I have an 11 year-old son on the autism spectrum, so when I was asked to read and review Asperger’s onthe Job by Rudy Simone, I wasn’t sure how relevant I would find its contents. After all, Danny is years away from holding a job, so how helpful could the book be? Still, I figured I would glean information that I could refer to at a later date, closer to when my son became a teenager.
I was wrong, though. This book has invaluable advice for anyone who has Asperger’s or who knows someone with it. As soon as I opened Asperger’s on the Job I discovered that the information and advice provided can really be applied to almost any social experience. Much of what I read can be used to help my son in school, church, LEGO Club, and even family celebrations–all activities he participates in now.
So, don’t wait to read this book thinking it won’t be helpful until your child is older, because that would be a mistake.
The author, Rudy Simone, decided to write Asperger’s on the Job when she discovered that there is a very high unemployment rate among people with Asperger’s. As a woman with Asperger’s, Simone offers a unique insight into what it might be like for Aspergerians in the workplace. Additionally, she interviewed over 50 people with Asperger’s as research for this book.
Simone covers a wide variety of topics from why people with Asperger’s are good employees to the many sensory issues Aspergians might face at the workplace. There are chapters on small talk, emotional attachment, rumors/gossip and other social blunders people with Aspergers often fall prey to. One whole chapter is dedicated to whether you should inform employers if you happen to have Aspger’s, and another chapter explains how praise can and should be used by employees to motivate and train their Aspergian employees.
My favorite aspect of this book is that Simone does not blame anyone for the extremely high unemployment rate in this population. She admits that people with Asperger’s can be awkward, put people off, and sometimes be difficult to understand. Still, she notes that Aspergians have many, many strengths that are of great benefit to employers. She encourages employers to note those strengths and to do whatever possible to help their employees be successful in the workplace.
Asperger’s on the Job offers clear explanations for many of the difficulties facing Aspergian employees and gives straightforward advice for workers and employers alike. Often, all it takes for success is a little adjustment and understanding on both sides.
I, for one, am grateful that Simone has shared her insights in this invaluable book. Hopefully, with her help the world will become more aware of the challenges facing people with Asperger’s in the workplace.
Who knows? Maybe by the time my son is old enough to get a job, people will be better educated, and therefore more accepting of him and his difficulties, because of books like this one.
I can only hope.
If you are interested in borrowing a copy of Asperger's on the Job and live in Illinois, please contact Family Matters at 866-436-7842 or leave a comment here; please be sure to leave an email address so we can contact you!
If you would like to buy your own copy of this important resource, go to Future Horizons. If you use the code PH, you will receive free shipping and 15% off your orders.