Welcome back! This week we will continue our look at a certain part of the issue of unemployment in the Autistic/Asperger community, mainly the poor workplace environment. Last week we left off, I was reviewing a section of an article going on about how we are a marginalized minority in the workforce living in a broken culture. Now let's continue off from last week with some good old-fashioned what-ifs on a social-justice scale. You know, fun stuff!
Who says political games can’t be fun? They’re fun for everyone under the sun! And by political games, don’t mean the ones where one person fights, lies and cheats their way to the top of political power. That's just fun in general.
Here's a surprise for you guys: did you know that it’s easier for people who are Autistic/Aspie to communicate with other people who are also Autistic/Aspie? No? Will apparently science is, or at least the people who performed a study on just such a topic, showing (duh) that its not our Autism/Asperger's that's the issue but rather our culture, lack of workplace Autistic/Aspie role models, managers and leaders. In other words, this is a classic case of “we told you so”, except now they are now finally listening to us rather than talking at us.. Like man-splaining, but for NT’s: NT-splaining (copyrighted by me). Here's a link to the findings of the study.
Need a clearer case of what I mean? Well imagine that the roles were reversed: most of the people in the workplace are not NT, but in fact are Autistic/Aspie. All the managers, board members and CEOs, right down to most of the average Joe worker’s are Autistic/Aspie. And you, my friend, are one of the view, or perhaps the only one, who is NT and hired to work for the company. You become, in effect, the token NT of the company, and become the one that they will constantly point to and say “see? We are an equal-opportunity employer, the NT community love us now that we have hired one of their own!”. All the while, of course, we try, subtly or otherwise, every day to change you and make you into one of us. From NT to Autistic/Aspie. Sound like a dark, sci-fi themed scenario? Yep.
Maybe not as dark as 1984 or a clock-work orange dark, but dark enough. Dusk-like dark perhaps, with the sun still shining through but still a lot of darkness around the edges.
The article gives this kind of scenario, or mentality, an interesting name: “Autism in the Workplace” (Paragraph 12, The Dark Side of Autism in the Workplace. See? I’m not the only one coming up with crazy names for certain events and scenarios. I just like to think that I do it better). Supporting Autistic/Aspie stereotypes, highlighting people with disabilities as somehow less than and in need of help, education and low-end work. All the while ignoring the vast majority of us who have some university/college degrees and have had some low-end jobs as well. As Kermit the Frog once said: It’s not easy being green.
Will, that does it for this week. Next week will be my last review of this subject, after which a list of my own personal thoughts on it will follow, because I think we can all agree when I say that the sound of my voice is beautiful. Then moving on to something completely different (Monty Python Reference). Until then, this continues to be, The Audacious Aspie.