Employment should take advantage of the individual's strengths and abilities.277 Temple Grandin, Ph.D., suggests, "jobs should have a well-defined goal or endpoint," and that your "boss must recognize your social limitations." In A Parent's Guide to Asperger Syndrome and High-Functioning Autism, the authors describe three employment possibilities: competitive, supported, and secure or sheltered.
Competitive employment is the most independent, with no support offered in the work environment. Individuals with Asperger’s Syndrome may be successful in careers that require focus on details but have limited social interaction with colleagues such as computer sciences, research or library sciences.
In supported employment, a system of supports allows individuals to have paid employment in the community, sometimes as part of a mobile crew, other times individually in a job developed for the person.
In secure or sheltered employment, an individual is guaranteed a job in a facility-based setting. Individuals in secure settings generally also receive work skills and behavior training, while sheltered employment may not provide training that would allow for more independence.
To look for employment, begin by contacting agencies that may be of help, such as state employment offices, social services offices, mental health departments, and disability-specific organizations. Find out about special projects in your area and determine your eligibility to participate in these programs.
For additional information see Adult Day Programs and Services.