Aspergers and Employment


Uploaded by anubis2814 on 08.06.2011

Transcript:
Having asperger's I've had a few difficulties maintaining jobs
in a non college-level job i've always done fantastic
And have
always been given good reviews
Then I got out of college and everything changed
the problem I'm finding is that college can for one thing kill your social
capabilities especially when it comes to jobs
for another i went from a blue collar to a white collar group
I learned fairly well how to read and interact with blue collar which kind of surprises
my girlfriend i think she's worried I'll get into some religious argument or
political argument with them
i did roofing while I was unemployed the last few months with some good old boy
and we didn't have a single problem
I knew how to read him just fine and we
dealt very well together
However the white collar people have body language communication that are more
subtle
there is little directness
everything is nuance and just expected of you to pick things up
According to my shrink however this is pretty hard for regular people to get it
especially if they came from
more blue collar background
but with asperger's and isolationist homeschooling it's been a massive
challenge
so with the latest employment in this new job i got
I made it my job to learn how to act and read people especially the white collar
community
my major issues with aspergers involve my volume level, eye contact, matching
rhythm in conversation and not picking up queues stopped talking
volume controls is a big one for me all my life when i get focused or
engrossed in a conversation my voice modulator turns off and people go
"Hey, hey whe're in the same room"
i wish i had a decibel sensor that would vibrate when I get to loud
because no matter how hard i try i can either or not talk about interesting
things or constantly get asked to quiet down
Eye contact is another big one I recently just discovered.
Now I was told as a child that giving eye contact was a sign of respect i'll look
someone in the eye when talking to someone but then look away when i'm
thinking about what they're saying
A recent book i've been reading for asperger's discusses the language of
the eyes and I make all the mistakes they mention
What's funny is that all my life, no one ever told me how to look someone in the
eyes, just do it
So I use what is called the locked fixed stare
i'm sure i have weirded out a few dates in fact one mentioned it that I "Leered at
her eyes" which i thought was the weirdest thing ever and made her very
uncomfortable
the area the face to look at
is the spot between the eyes then drift down around the corner of the
mouth
then back to the forehead and repeat
it feels so weird and unnatural but my boss who
feels a tad awkward we've not quite felt each other out yet
with me right now as i can't read her has softened and relaxed a bit today
when i tried it
looking straight into someone's eyes and not moving them looks unnatural while
roving the faced makes it look like you're interested listening or
sympathetic with what the speaker saying
the opposite of this is called the power stare
that when you want to intimidate someone start of the center of the forehead or
the nose
and rove up to each eybrow
my look is somewhere between these but with practice a relaxed eye contact will
become second nature
the stare and nervous look away is something i'll do what i feel like i'm
making someone uncomfortable because i want them to let them know i'm listening
but i can tell from being rude by keeping eye contect for so long
i've never given the impression of lying because i'm so brutally honest so that's
not. the case but i'm sure I appear
just straight up awkward
When i'm thinking all do an eye roll
especially in classwhen a student has a question
and they're just not getting a subject which has led some of them to think i'm
rolling my eyes because i just think they're stupid or that question is
retarded
it's actually my way of telling myself to stop and change directions as the
situation I'm trying is not working
My Shrink says i need to verbalize this
"Give me a second i'm thinking"
looking away also indicates boredom which can be intimidating or stop the
potential friendship
before it begins
but for an asperger's its normal in conversation
i've attended a few meetings of the local adult aspergers meeting and we
look away all the time
we're direct with each other
with what we mean and my girlfriend said it looks like we were all just being
incredibly rude and rowdy to each other
But we can all communicate with each other just fine without getting offended
it was in many ways liberating because no one was judging us for
our nuances we didn't get
avoiding eye contact indicates embarrassment or guilt which i'm sure is
not helped me in many cases. It makes me think that's why for many years my best
conversations relationships were with co-workers at work especially when we
spent a lot of time talking while focusing on our own work
We'd try to hanging out after work we'd
for some reason always feel comfortable
Rythmn matching is something i have to focus on as well
when people start out their sentences it can make people feel really awkward if
you're either faster or slower than them in your speech. It breaks the rhythm of
the conversation
if you match a rhythm to the person you're talking to you
you appearing engauged in the conversation if you talk
fast you appear like you're not interested or you're trying to get the
conversation over quick
or trying to switch to a different topic
if you talk slower than them you see bored
not catching cues to stop talking I can kind of grasp for the most part but
looking away is a queue that they aren't interested
looking way to me and most aspy's is looks like you're just thinking so i'm
going to have to raise my awareness on this
Teasing was also something i took personally. Teasing can be a form of
bullying, but teasing can also be used to hint
at stopping behavior or correcting it
i didn't have the ability to get hints and even if i did i wouldn't have known how
to correct my behavior without
the information I have now
it can also be uses as a social game something i had to explain to my
younger brother
where one can use teasing and insults as a way to dual more for humor sake
sadly many kids don't get that end up feeling sidelined and hurt
then continue to get bullied because
they take it so seriously
fortunately once he got that he began to get teased less and less
one final piece i learned that i had massive problems with as a child was
knowing the difference between rejection and refusal
refusals is not personal they may refuse you because this is not a good time
or there are other conditions
rejection is personal and they just don't like you i could never
distinguish this as a kid or my teen years and assume that people who refuse
me were rejecting me
I had a very low opinion of myself in high school for this very reason
so why am i saying this because i'm thirty two and finally educating myself
on some of these things that most people grasp from early age
it's just something i was never able to pick up. l also know i have many aspy
subscribers who will appreciate this
also persons of various levels of class and different cultures
will have different body languages which may prevent them
for moving up in the world
if you aren't a native speaker it's sometimes expected and forgiven that you
don't get local body language
if you do speak the language and don't get the body language of certain groups
you can have some difficulties fitting into that group or they'll think you aren't
a competent employee because you for some reason can't understand english
you actually can understand english the language but not the unspoken ways
they're saying it
i hope this helps some people please put any similar advice or stories of your
own coming awareness of unspoken nuances and body language
that you think might help others
thanks and have a great day