Small talk is an important workplace skill. It is the first step in establishing relationships with your colleagues. Most neurotypicals (who make up the majority of the workforce) place a high value on relationships. So much so that a good relationship with one’s supervisor and liking one’s co-workers are consistently rated as major factors for job satisfaction. Read More →
July 2014 Asperger’s & NLD Career Letter
“I have been at my position in accounts payable for five years and enjoy my job,” writes Sharon. “I work in a small office, in an area with six cubicles. Recently we gained two new people and I have found it a bit hard to get used to them being here. They tend to talk a lot, about work related things but also about personal topics like clothes and makeup that I am not interested in. I feel like I am back in grade school where the other girls were talking about things I had no interest in Read More →
June 2014 Asperger’s & NLD Career Letter
“How can I ask ‘why’ without appearing flippant or confrontational?” Alex wants to know. “Because of the inherent bluntness of people with Asperger’s Syndrome, some of us may ask a supervisor directly, ‘Why are we doing this assignment?’ Our intention is to enhance understanding, due to our lack of central coherence. The supervisor may be taken aback by the apparent challenge or ‘flippant remark’ and miss the positive intent of the Asperger’s employee.” Read More →
January, 2014 Asperger’s & NLD Career Letter
“One of my challenges in the workplace is the ability to be concise in communications, both written and verbal,” writes John, a professional who has Asperger’s Syndrome. “I have been repeatedly criticized, even mocked, that I make things too wordy,” he continues. “I have a low tolerance for ambiguity so I feel the compulsion to write things out in more detail, which backfires. Read More →
October, 2013 Asperger’s & NLD Career Letter
A reader of this newsletter who has Asperger’s Syndrome wrote to me expressing her frustration with pre-employment screening tests. “Many companies … require online assessments which rely heavily on ‘normal’ intuitive aspects of relationships,” she began. “I have been consistently informed via impersonal emails that I am not a ‘good fit’ for this or that company…with no options for human interactions, therefore no opportunity to market my strong points!” Read More →
September, 2013 Asperger’s & NLD Career Letter
The August issue of the Asperger’s & NLD Career Letter discussed the danger of faulty assumptions. This month, we’ll look at how to challenge negative beliefs that are interfering with your goals.
You’ll recall that an assumption is a belief that a person accepts as true, in the absence of any supporting evidence. Inaccurate assumptions can result in misunderstandings, lost opportunities, and lots of stress. People with Asperger’s Syndrome and Nonverbal Learning Disorder (NLD) can be more prone to making faulty assumptions due to black-and-white thinking, and problems recognizing situational context and interpreting the intentions, expectations and actions of others.
Individuals can learn to challenge assumptions and patterns of negative thinking. Read More →
August, 2013 Asperger’s & NLD Career Letter
Whenever John’s supervisor pointed out an error in his work, John panicked. Surely, this meant that he was about to be fired! He would fix the mistake, then wait anxiously at his desk for his boss to “give me the ax.” Each time that Lisa was given an assignment, she treated it as urgent. She would stop what she was doing, begin the new task, then become agitated when she fell behind on other projects. Steven was ready to give up his job search. After two weeks of sending out resumes, he still had not been invited for an interview. Steven concluded that he would never find work.
John, Lisa and Steven were drawing conclusions based on faulty assumptions. Read More →
January 2013 Asperger’s & NLD Career Letter
Perseverance is an important part of reaching goals. Successful people treat setbacks and unforeseen obstacles as challenges to overcome. Some of the ways that my clients have persevered include: taking the bar exam seven times before passing; volunteering in order to acquire needed work experience; changing careers, twice, to find the right match; interviewing more than a dozen times before receiving a job offer; returning to college.
I have also worked with clients who perseverate, and become fixated on one idea or action. Although anyone can perseverate, it is common among individuals who are on the autism spectrum.
Perseverating isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Read More →
February 2013 Asperger’s & NLD Career Letter
Working memory has been described as the brain’s note pad. It is where information is made available for a short period time, while a person is performing a specific task. Working memory is needed to organize written information, take good notes, and respond to what someone says or asks. Read More →
April/May 2013 Asperger’s & NLD Career Letter
It is my experience that interpersonal communication is the source of most problems that people with Asperger’s Syndrome and Nonverbal Learning Disorder (NLD) have on the job. Most neurotypicals (NTs) prefer to work in groups, and place a high value on the relationships they have with their colleagues. Aspergians and NLDers may not be aware that their actions have upset others, or know how to resolve a conflict at work.
Generally, NTs will forgive the occasional brusque remark or odd behavior. It is when behaviors are repeated that people lose patience. Read More →