Asperger’s on the Job … for People with Asperger’s or High Functioning Autism by R. Simone

Asperger’s on the Job … for People with Asperger’s or High Functioning Autism by R. Simone

If you are a person with Asperger’s Syndrome (AS) or with High Functioning Autism (HFA), a parent or spouse of such a person, an employer, a co-worker, an educator or an advocate, Asperger’s on the Job: Must-Have Advice for People with Asperger’s or High Functioning Autism and their Employers, Educators, and Advocates  by Rudy Simone  is a must read for you. Learn about the daily social and environmental challenges Aspergians have to cope with every working day.

Rudy Simone’s unique, fun way of expressing herself makes it very entertaining and her first hand knowledge with Asperger’s makes it very educational. The advice Simone shares will stay with you no matter who you are. Asperger’s on the Job has an interesting foreword by Dr. Temple Grandin. It is winner of Foreword Review’s 2010 Book of the Year Gold Medal! Who is Rudy Simone?

Rudy Simone was born in upstate New York and lived in Europe, Asia and California. She is an accomplished author, Asperger’s consultant, a jazz singer and stand-up comedian. She now lives in San Francisco and she also has Asperger’s. A diagnosis she only received when she was in her 40’s. By then she had walked out on jobs, apartments, friendships, and relationships and had haunting memories of being bullied and never fitting in. This book is based on her own experiences and the experiences of over fifty adults with Asperger’s  from around the world.
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At first glance, the book only seems to be a resource to help employers accommodate their employees with Asperger’s or High Functioning Autism and for these employees to find and keep gainful employment. Once you start reading, you quickly realize the valuable insight Rudy Simone reveals about Asperger’s Syndrome and about many aspects of the daily challenges Aspergians face. Simone has practical solutions for Aspies on how to make better choices from choosing the correct career path, to the right work place.  Her recommendations on how the neurotypical population could accommodate the growing number of employees on the spectrum make it a go-to book for all groups of readers.
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Her twenty short chapters are often supported by true stories or quotes and always end with a list of what the employee can do, followed by a list of suggestions to employers and advocates. The author finishes each chapter with a few thought provoking or self-searching questions and she has even left blank spaces for your answers. To quickly locate information, if you cannot find it in the table of contents, you will surely zero in on exactly what you are looking for in the detailed index.
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Rudy Simone author of Asperger's on the Job: Must-Have Advice for People with Asperger's or High Functioning Autism and their Employers, Educators, and Advocates Rudy Simone brings a bit of humor to her serious topic through her play on words. For example these are two of her chapters:
  • Polyester Prisons, Neck-Tie Nooses, and High-Heeled Hell
  • A Little R&R Goes a Long Way: Ritual and Routine

The author has a wonderful way of explaining things. Here is how Simone explains to a person with Asperger’s how to get their point across to a non-spectrum person: “If you shoot your words like an arrow (directness) at their recipient, that person will likely recoil from them. If you gift wrap your words (tact), the recipient will be more likely to want to accept your package (the point you want to make) and take it in.”

Simone addresses many controversial questions, one being her chapter: To Tell or Not to Tell, That Is the Question. She presents many arguments for and against disclosing that one has Asperger’s. Among the many different perspectives given, Lewis is quoted as saying: “It is best to let them know what it is so they don’t guess the worst. The vacuum of not being able to insert a label means others place it. …The term Asperger’s displaces ‘crazy’. Preemptive strike—fill the vacuum before someone fills it for you…”

This book should raise the self-esteem and hope of Aspergians and parents of children with Asperger’s. Simone never misses her chance to validate the attributes of individuals with AS. Here are a few:
  • “People with Asperger’s possess a diligent, perfectionist attention to detail; these two factors will ensure that as long as your AS employee knows what you want or need, you can trust them to do the job right.”
  • “The Aspergian ability to focus on tasks for a long period of time without supervision or incentive is legendary.”
  •   “Yet those with Asperger’s possess some extremely useful, important, creative, and marketable skills that employers are missing out on.”

Parents and educators can now read about the challenges Aspergians meet in the workplace, as apposed to the generation who grew up without diagnoses and guidelines. They are better equipped to point their child/student with Asperger’s in the right direction when choosing a field of education leading to a satisfying career.

In the section Finding the Perfect Job for YOU- The Personal Job Map, Simone states,“One way to optimize success is to choose one (career) that works with your strengths and interests and which doesn’t involve too many of your shortcomings.”

Hopefully, the valuable lessons learned when reading Asperger’s on the Job by Rudy Simone will go towards a positive change to the number in this quote “Up to 85% of the Asperger’s population are without full-time employment, though many have above-average intelligence.” If there is one author whose counsel we can believe and follow, it is Rudy Simone’s “Been there, done that” take on choosing a career, the work place and the interdependant roles we all must play.
Asperger’s on the Job by Rudy Simone

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This post was written by Lorna
Lorna d’Entremont: Vice-President of KidCompanions, mother of three, grandma of 5 and wife. Retired teacher and special needs advocate. Throughout she has taught all levels from grade 2 to grade 9. Lorna loved teaching and enjoyed seeing the students progress in the school system. During her 30 year career she took a few years off to raise her three children.
  • Danette

    I love Rudy and this book! You did a great job of detailing the wealth of information she provides.

  • Pierrette and Lorna dEntremont

    Thanks Danette!
    Yes,Rudy Simone truly has a wealth of information in this book.

    I hope families with an individual who has Asperger's will read it in their child's early years because many of the accommodations Simone advices could be implemented in homes and schools.

    Also in their child's teen years it would be so helpful in planning further education for a satisfying career.

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