South Wales in the United Kingdom is opening a College geared specifically for students with Asperger’s Syndrome. According to the National Autistic Society in the UK, the unemployment rate for people with Asperger’s Syndrome is close to 85% regardless of the nation economic situation.
While I think that providing education to allow independence is preferable to simple support programs, I was stunned to think that unemployment is so high. Possibly, people who have Asperger’s and are continually employed are successfully functioning in they everyday typical world. Therefore, they are less likely to reach out to national programs for assistance. This could mean the statistic is skewed by the sample pool population. However, I decided to look for some other statistics.
A google search lead me to the blog Life with Asperger’s. This Aspie gives a first hand account of life with Asperger’s. The author did a survey on their own and came up with a significantly lower number of 11%. The survey is not scientific and draws upon the readership of this blog.
I liked the advice given by the author. Anyone, but particularly people with Aspergers should focus their efforts on a career that suits their interests, their strengths and avoid the areas that are difficult for them. Each person will have more specific strengths and weaknesses but this author does an excellent job profiling jobs that fit the general characteristics of Aspies. I recommend reading his series on Improving Employment Prospects for Aspies.
What has been your experience regarding employment on the spectrum?