OAARSN Book Review
Asperger Syndrome Employment Workbook: 
An Employment Workbook for
Adults with Asperger Syndrome. 

By Roger N Meyer. Foreword by Tony Attwood.
Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2001. 319 pp.
ISBN: 1 85302 796 0.
 Available in Canada for $44.80
from Irwin Publishing, at www.irwinpublishing.com

Highly Recommended by Amar Arneja of Guelph

This book, written by Roger Meyer for adults with Asperger Syndrome to understand their own abilities and limitations by looking into their experiences with their employment histories, is also an excellent guide for human resource personnel who can tap into pool of dedicated workers. Personnel Officers are usually reluctant to offer employment to persons who are classified as Autistic or having Asperger Syndrome because of the unknown. Once the employer knows that these people are extremely honest, meticulous and are happy to perform routine jobs day after day, they might find them valuable employees. However these employees have certain limitations that should be made known to the prospective employer beforehand. These limitations could be as simple as being bothered by the flickering fluorescent light, certain noise that may be associated with danger such as fire alarm or not having a fixed time for lunch break. If the employer is sympathetic, he will come to some arrangements by making minor changes to the work environment and modifying the job description.

You cannot go and tell the employer that you have been diagnosed as having AS and you have the right to the job, as this attitude will not work. This is where this book comes in very handy. The book helps people diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome and high functioning autism to list their skills, experiences, style of learning and coping with unexpected changes in their routine. Even successful adults with AS face certain conditions that they try to hide but it causes them great stress. By following step by step your three job histories you can list your capabilities, your limitations and your concerns about the work place. Then there are rules to telling i.e. who you tell, when you tell, how you tell, what to tell and why to tell. Your point in disclosing your AS is to provide just enough information for people to understand your particular job challenges.

By analyzing the three jobs that you have held in different life periods and knowing your interest and talents you can seek employment in a relevant field. For example if you have a keen interest in maps and directions may be you should seek to become a cartographer. Find out what qualifications you need and see if you can get training for it. 

Overall this is a good book for persons diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome and high functioning autism to better understand themselves. It is also an educational guide for vocational counselors and human resource personnel as it provides in-depth guidance about these potential dedicated employees.
 

About the Author: Roger N Meyer is the executive director of the Portland Asperger Syndrome Research Project. He was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome in 1997. He worked for many years as a cabinet-maker, gaining direct experience as a trainer, writer and individual counsellor. He has recently worked as a parent/student special education advocate and a support group moderator. He is co-author of A Manual for Resolving Group Conflicts and an article on 'Self-determination for people with developmental disabilities and autism' which appeared in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.
 

Contents:
Introduction. Part 1: The Issues Involved: 1. Three Jobs. 2. Diagnosis, Disclosure and Self-Advocacy. 3. Social Skills. 4. Learning and Work Styles. 5. Interests, Skills and Talents. 6. My Work and Asperger Syndrome. 7. Personal Tools and Strategies. 8. My Wish List.
Part 2 consists of Workbook instructions with individual chapters on the same topics as in Part 1.  Part 3 consists of pages in Workbook format ready to be used by others with AS. Appendices. Bibliography. Index.
 

For more details from the Jessica Kingsley catalog:
http://www.jkp.com/catalogue/book.php?isbn=1-85302-796-0

For an extract from Chapter 2, Diagnosis, Disclosure and Self-advocacy
http://www.jkp.com/catalogue/book.php?extract=1-85302-796-0

Available in Canada for $44.80 from Irwin Publishing, at
www.irwinpublishing.com
 

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