Tuesday, August 21, 2007

What I'm working on

I notice I have not written much here in August. It isn’t because I have lost interest; I’ve just been very busy. I recently finished up my summer research project on university students with Asperger syndrome, taking a series of qualitative interviews with students and campus disability resource centers and comparing the responses from the two groups. I hope to post some details of this soon.

I’ve started a new practicum working with two projects to employ people with disabilities. I’m assisting with a mentoring program and will be compiling information on autism for employers, which I will also present at a statewide conference. Very much in line with the work I hope to do following further education.

For the past year, I have been coordinating a social group for teens with Asperger syndrome through a non-profit agency in my state. We are starting to pick up more members (finally); this month we are visiting a science museum. Still trying to put together an advocacy group here for adults, meanwhile working part time as a security guard and taking classes, hoping to graduate this December (but it might not happen until May), taking out just enough time to photograph a floor tile or draw a brick wall every once in a while in my notebook.


  1. The projects you're working on seem very worthwhile. It's encouraging to read about all of your efforts.I know that these things will make a real difference. Thanks

  2. You go girl.


  3. I think my daughter was asked to participate in this survey...

    I start my grad school studies next week. I am a technical training developer for a big corporation. My master's is Instructional Systems...they basically teach you to go into an organization, identify problems, and develop training programs to address the problems. The adult model of learning (what all adult education is based on) does not take into account ANY sort of adult learning disability. Once I started learning better ways to communicate with my daughter, I started using it with the engineer types in IT that can be difficult students in training classes, and it worked. I think if employers need to figure out ways to communicate properly with the brilliant people they hire...and that is the sort of training I want to be able to deliver.
    Are you in New England? Email me, I would love to get together if you are. I would also love to see if you interviewed the disability dept at my daughter's university, they are not so good.

  4. One issue at hand is, if employers knew about me being on the spectrum, I probably would not have been offered 30% of the positions I've held and even currently hold, because of people's pre-conceptions and type-casting. I owe my current director position with the corner office and frequent international travel to all the positions I once held. I can easily put myself into a box, but I don't want managers or the H.R. Department doing it for me because I "might be sensitive to" this or that or because I "probably lack the social skills or empathy" to perform in such and such a capacity.

    I prefer to manage my own challenges, surpass them and possibly even excell at them, even "against all odds", rather than to have these managed for me by some overbearing, even if "do-gooder" limiting entity or organization.

    This is why I keep secret about being on the spectrum. I don't entrust the employer to do "what is right", even when they are "well intended". There is just too much bias and cookie-cutter placement into "proper" positions for our "type".

    All in all I very much enjoy what I do. It comes with some social stressors. I've learned to manage them to the most part. And I seek ways to recharge when my social battery is running on empty. But having the corporation determine that i wouldn't be fit for such a position before-hand undermines what I'm really capable of.

    A person may not be able to breathe in puter space. But leave it to resourceful people to come up with a spacesuit to effectively perform spacewalks or scuba gear to effectively swim under water for extended periods of time.

    A typical boss or H.R. department would have said: "Silly, that is a person. A person cannot hold its breath for such a long time. Therefore we shan't put them in those types of environments."

    I want the freedom to decide. Thank you very much. ;-D


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