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Job Skills What do you suggest for someone with Asperger's in Science?

  1. Dec 6, 2015 #1
    What do you suggest as far as tips for interviewing and interacting with team members for someone who is wanting to go into research in a Chemistry or Physics field who is shy and has always had difficulty with eye contact and has been diagnosed with Asperger's? Also, do you have Asperger's as well? This person is on the high-functioning end. If this person has been diagnosed with Asperger's are they protected from workplace discrimination once hired?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 6, 2015 #2
    Anyone with a disability (in the U.S.) is protected from workplace discrimination before and after being hired.
     
  4. Dec 7, 2015 #3

    symbolipoint

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    Such protection which may be stated, or described in the legal sense, means much less in actual practice. The person with "Aspergers" should just keep in mind what he wants to do, make and follow a plan. Stick to business and be polite, but honest. Some of the finer points about how to be less-honest, as in selling ones-self may require some guidance.
     
  5. Feb 14, 2017 #4
    I would like to reply with my personal perspective on this issue. I hope my experience is helpful.

    I would not be worried if I ever got a so-called diagnosis of "high functioning ASD" because I doubt the scientific validity of this classification. I look around and see a society that is run by people I would classify as having a mental disorder. Perhaps some people adjust to a disordered environment in ways that some people, with what I call Normal Disorder Syndrome, find strange. In my book, they are the strange ones.

    I did take an online test for Asperger's. Some of the questions were stupid.

    For example, do I prefer reading non-fiction to fiction? My answer is yes, in general. Although I like some science fiction, in general I find reality much more interesting than fiction.

    Do I enjoy making up stories? My answer is no. I prefer to write non-fiction. I always thought creative writing class, where I was expected to make things up, was insane. I think being sane includes seeing the world as it is, and not indulging in fantasy. I had the feeling some teachers were trying to draw me into their insane world view.

    Apparently, I gain a few points in favor of having ASD because I prefer to not live in a fantasy world, and to tell the truth. Perhaps in a more reality-based society it would be the fantasy-based people who are said to have a syndrome. I'm tempted to post an online test based on my reality-based world view.

    As far as legal protection, I'm not qualified to answer.

    When it comes to jobs, it seems to me that people in math, science, and technology often have traits that would put them in the high functioning ASD category. This can actually be a great advantage in their work, although it makes many of them difficult to be around.

    I think software development is an excellent choice for someone who is intelligent, who is attracted to STEM subjects, who likes to work on his or her own, stay with a task to the point of obsession, and would be considered anti-social by those with NSD. Some of these 'high functioning ASD' types are in fact very rich, even billionaires, who I believe are very satisfied to be who they are.

    Speaking as someone who might be classified by pseudo-science as 'high functioning ASD', I wish someone would have encouraged my obsessive tendencies in math and science when I was a child, instead of trying to force me into normal social activity. It took me a few years in adult life to recover from an attempt to conform to the world of the lunatics.

    As far as interview skills, I'm not qualified to answer in general. My own experience is that in the past, when I had to interview for a STEM job, they only cared about my technical skills.

    I should add that in some STEM situations, social skills are in fact important. There is this social and perhaps political aspect in some jobs. Perhaps there are classes that can help people improve their abilities in this area.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2017
  6. Mar 1, 2017 #5
    I am asperger. I was working as an engineer in an engineering company, mainly for oil, gas, and mining. It was just 2 years. Things don't go very well, but it is because i was just 20 back then. I wasn't quite professional since aspergers roughly need 20 years to learn what regular people only need 5 years to learn. As the time goes, asperger will fade away from one's body. Being born in a doctor family, my cousin say that asperger is not diagnosable once one reaches an adult. Because adults can't have asperger.

    I think if I work again I will be much more professional than I was.. Simply because I learned what to do and what to not to do. People tend to make excuses and find justifications over everything. I am lucky because I live in a such poor country with no asperger knowledge, hence I just knew about asperger in my 18s.

    Move on from your comfort zone. If i can do it, so do you.
     
  7. Mar 4, 2017 #6

    radium

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    I think I've heard (should probably check) that they've actually gotten rid of aspergers in the DSM. I think this is because it's because it is basically equivalent to being less intelligent but in social skills arena. Also, a lot of people who had aspergers traits when they were young are able to adapt pretty well by using their intelligence to learn social skills by observing others interact. This is something you should try.

    I know quite a few very smart and successful people who have some of these traits. You can usually only tell when you're with them one on one as they may have trouble making eye contact for example. So I think that if you are open to learning and observing other people, you eventually won't have any trouble functioning in an academic/science environment.
     
  8. Mar 6, 2017 #7
    As said, be honest specially to yourself. If you find you're trying to convince yourself of something when it comes to working with others you're probably on the wrong track. You may even be right but as long as you're not being taken advantage of it's usually better to get along than go along. That's usually true regardless. If you take any medications talk to your doctor about your concerns. There may be better medications for being social but your doctor is going to presume everything is fine if you don't bring it up.
     
  9. Mar 6, 2017 #8

    berkeman

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    An online test is not a valid source of information about any medical issues. This thread is closed for Moderation and cleanup...

    We cannot provide any medical advice or diagnoses here at the PF. Since this thread is not based on peer-reviewed literature, it will need to stay closed.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2017
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