Special Education

Best Careers for People with Aspergers Syndrome

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"Best Careers for People with Aspergers Syndrome"
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Asperger's syndrome is an Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and therefore one might think that career opportunities would limited for people with the condition. However, Asperger's syndrome differs from other autistic disorders by preserving far more of the person's linguistic and cognitive abilities during their development. Where Asperger's syndrome is similar to other autistic disorders is in giving rise to learning difficulties, social interaction problems, and a narrowing of interests and behaviour. Asperger's syndrome, which is thought to have a genetic basis, currently has no cure with symptoms being managed through behavioural therapy.

The trick in finding a career if you are a person with Asperger's syndrome appears to be working out interests and your strengths in terms of the skills that have been spared during development, avoiding jobs that involve significant amounts of social interaction, and in using your narrow interests and possibly intense ability to focus, to your own advantage by becoming highly specialised in something and therefore potentially becoming better at it than someone who is dividing their time between multiple activities or is just less focussed than you.

So it would make no sense for someone with Asperger's syndrome to go in for a job that is heavy on social interaction such as public relations, for example. Plenty of other examples spring to mind such as managers, personal assistants, and diplomats. Jobs that can be quite solitary such as art, music, writing, and individual as opposed to team sports all spring to mind as jobs that could require limited needs for social interaction, with the person able to happily get preoccupied in what they are doing.

Another symptom of Asperger's syndrome is the intense focus that people with the syndrome can bring to very narrowly specialised interests. Perhaps even being accompanied by endless waffling on about the subject to those they are speaking to without registering their boredom or the other person's need to go somewhere. Whilst this can be somewhat debilitating when it appears in an inappropriate social context, it is easy to imagine professions where detailed knowledge of a subject and the ability to talk at length about it and in great detail is a positive blessing.

So in this sense teaching in schools and colleges seems to be a possibility, but problems with social interactions would need to be managed properly. Perhaps the best professions to utilise this symptom would be working in specialist shops where people are going in there precisely to hear detailed information about cameras, wine, antiques, jewellery, clothes, computers, or comic books, and so on, without expecting anything more from the interaction. The bottom line is that Asperger's syndrome is a condition that, whilst precluding someone from a number of professions, should not be an impediment to having a good career if it is chosen well.

More about this author: Darian Peters

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