Welcome back! This week, we will be taking yet another look at the employment issue facing the Autistic/Asperger community. Now some of you may already think that all the factors have already been covered: Hiring practices more suited to NT’s with face-to-face interview being preferred. Our simple lack of understanding social cues unfairly taken to mean that we are a cold, cruel people and the wider societies poor understanding of us, just to name a few. And while all of those may be true, there is a more work-related reason, like the hiring practices, as to why the unemployment problem is so pervasive in our community. You may already know what I am talking about, or you may not. As all the clickbaits like to tell us, some of it may surprise you!
Clickbaits, the annoying, abrasive person of the internets’ fish hook. The worm is the stylized, dramatic wording and font choice. At least unlike the actual fishes and fish hooks, you won’t die if you get caught on one (though you may come close to it through boredom).
So what am I talking about exactly? Well, according to an article on LinkedIn, we have a hard time fitting into our workplaces, to the point where we are forced to leave in order to retain our own sanity. That is, try to avert depression, severe anxiety or even PTSD, all or mostly because of feeling lonely in the workplace. Not to mention the feeling of, if you’re on social assistance, unemployed or both, like you are not a productive member of society. In short: not exactly feeling your best most days.
And with 24% of the workplace place population (unclear of whether it is the worlds or a specific nations) declaring that they have one or more disability/different numerology, that’s a lot of loneliness to go around. At least psychologist’s we’ll never go out of business, no matter how many emotional-tracking-apps there will be (expect an explosion of them). Now, the article says, it’s not like things aren't getting better. We’ve all seen and/or heard from the media’s stories of apparently “thousands” (not sure where the article gets that number, as at best I hear of hundreds finding employment, while actually seeing only tens in the workforce, but anyways) getting support for employment excavation (get it? Excavation? As in archeologists excavate, or find, artifacts? Because...it’s...never mind).
That joke probably had as much of a chance as being both understood and found humorous as this plane apparently had of landing safely.
But what’s the info behind all the big numbers? Well, according to the article, the thousands of Autistics/Aspies are all young, and the jobs are usually low paying, menial entry level positions. And as for the older generation? Those who have already gone through years of low-pay, poor treatment and the rest? Well, there is little support for them when it comes to employment excavation, or wandering for work, or exploring for employment (however you want to phrase it). Not that, according to the article, the employment initiative are that good anyways, despite some being well meaning.
And despite their efforts, we remain marginalized, misunderstood, and compartmentalized (a fancy way of saying shoved in an all-defining box). Either being mistreated or told to become better, non Autistics/Aspie people. The author said it best with “We aren't broken people. But we live in a broken culture” (The Dark Side of Autism in the Workplace, LinkedIn, paragraph 10). Well, that does it for this week! Next week we will continue to look at the subject from this, in my view, interesting angle. Along with some thoughts of mine in the end. But until then, this continues to be, The Audacious Aspie.
Source to use:
Welcome back! This week, we continue, once again, our look at why we get stressed when confused, continuing on from last week were we looked at how the article ties stress from confusion, and melt downs, together. Basically saying that the stress from confusion comes from living in a world that not only doesn’t understand us, but also expects us to act like we are the same as the wider population, than punishes us whenever we eventually break form the act in nervous break downs (it may seem like an anxity teen thing, the whole world not understanding us and the rest, but to talk to anyone who is Autistic/Aspie, and you will realize that the problem transcends age and affects literally all of us).
When we do act out, it’s not so much with big sighs, or eye rolls, or “OMGS!!!!!!”, but more like people who are actually dealing with an issue that we face everyday.
But wait! it gets even more complicated than that! As bad as living in a world that does not understand us and the rest is, the second part of the problem, expected to act like everyone else, proves to be a unique stressor all its own. Think about it: has any one of us in the Autism/Asperger community naturally knew how to act like an NT? I sure didn’t, and in most cases still don’t, or at least only in passing. We have to learn the various social cues, verbal cues and the rest when interacting with the rest of society. All the while being misunderstood by them and being expected not to show cracks in our facade.
That, the article claims, is like “learning through fear and intimidation which is not learning at all” (THE ASPERGIAN, Paragraph 15, Why Being Confused Is Absolutely Panic-Inducing For Most Autistics). And from there we move on to the articles second point: how society goes about teaching. Our school systems, or at least the ones in Canada as they are the only ones I am familiar with, do tend to teach in one way and one way only: by reading, memorizing and regurgitating information onto tests and exams. Metaphorically regurgitating. Actually regurgitating the answers would bu just unsanitary. All other forms of learning are poo-poo’ed, and any student who tries them, so the article says, is punished (not always severely, but passive aggressively, only the second-worst kind of aggressiveness).
Oh sure, those kids may look like they are having fun, they are really bending under the unyielding one-way doctrine of schools everywhere! See how unreasonably close they are to the paper?
But that’s not how human beings work (not the first time an institution, run by fellow human beings mind you, seemingly forget how the human soul/brain/consciousness works). We all, both NT and diverse, learn in different ways, from hands-on, to visuals, and than some. Some would say that it’s hard to see what’s happening on the street from all the way up in the ivory tower, but I would like to assume that they are rather working in a kind of two or three story ivory office building instead, fixed to their computers for hours on end with minimal human contact. After hours of sitting there with only the screen, some music and the ever-increasing boredom growing on you to keep you company, you’d feel more machine than man yourself. I know that feeling, as I work in a office job myself.
Well, that does it for this week! Next week we will move on to a different topic altogether using my high processing power to search the web for related topics. Shoot, I mean type in commands on my computer, to search the web for related topics (nailed it that time). But until than, this continues to be, the Artificial Intelligence. I mean The Audacious Aspie.
Welcome back! This week we will continue our look at why Autistics/Aspies often feel chaotic when confused (chaotic as in there normal routine is disrupted, not chaotic as in they suddenly become anarchist’s or agents of chaos like the Joker). Last week I talked about why I thought we felt some/a lot of stress when confused (depends on the severity of the confusion), while I stated before hand that I would be reviewing the site THE ASPERGIAN and their article on the subject. How’s that for confusion? But anyways, lets get back to subject from the source in the hot seat shall we?
I Tried To Find A Picture Of A Seat Either Literally On Fire, Or In An Interrogation-Like Scene, But Than I Found This And Thought: Why Not? Let The Subject Try To Stand On A Chair Like This For Hours On End. Just As Uncomfortable As Actually Sitting On A Fire-Chair.
So why, according to THE ASPERGIAN, do we feel insecurity when confused? First, it wants to talk about meltdowns. There is a belief, so it says, among most of those who are not Autistic/Aspie that meltdowns are part and parcel of, well, being Autistic/Aspie. The author of the article for ASPERGIAN disagrees, and frankly so do I. Rather, as the ASPERGIAN author notes, it’s not that simple. For those of you who are Autistic/Aspie, you most likely already know what a meltdown is, and that it has nothing to do with a nuclear power plant. But for the un-initiated, it’s basically what happens when our senses are overwhelmed (lots of flashing lights coupled with loud music/noises and lots of movement, for example), followed on the heels by an overwhelming emotional response (varies from person to person, from what I do, which is to completely shut down or to refuse to speak or acknowledge the environment around us, to acting out).
But, the article notes, that while it is not inevitable in and of itself, it is basically inevitable for us Autistics/Aspies living in an NT world. The whole Apple in a Mac world kind of scenario (or is it Mac in an Apple world? I can never remember). If you’re not aware of this phrase, or don’t know what it means, it’s basically an Apple (or Mac) living in the Macs world, having to play by their rules: act the way they act, speak the way they speak, and so on with out seeming like a fish out of water. Talk to any Autistic/Aspie, or if your one yourself, than you know the kind of skills it takes to pull that off.
It’s Like Practicing To Run In The Olympics, Except You Do It Everyday For No Real Gain Or Recognition For It Either.
Now, the article says, this does not happen once, or twice, but repeatedly through out our lives day by day. With all that strain coming down on Autistic’s/Aspie’s, or indeed anyone, it’s no surprise that they eventually break down. In our case, it takes the form of a melt down. But the problem isn’t in the fact that we have melt downs, its rather how the outside world, the NT world, reacts. Rather than attempting to calm us down, or find out what, or who, is it that has set us off, they rebuke us instead for acting out. For not being able to keep up the charade of being an NT when we are not. The perp in the mean time is let off the hook.
Well, this does it for this weeks post! Next week we will continue our look at the article, possibly finding out why we Autistics/Aspies feel anxious when confused. But until than you’ll just have to make do with feeling confused for now (don’t worry, it’ll pass. It’s not like the world keeps coming up with conundrums like: Why did a world leader say that? Did a celebrity really just do that? Is that really a smart thing to go to war over?) but until than, this continues to be, the Audacious Aspie.
Welcome back! This week we will be looking at a topic that, while it may seem relevant to everyone, really does not hit home unless you are, let’s say, different-abled. When Autistic’s get together the topic tends to follow ‘you know how sometimes when…’ or ‘you know how most times…’ When they are talking about is how confusion creates stress, and how both go hand in hand with chaos. Then it becomes a vicious circle.
SORT OF LIKE THIS, BUT NOT AS DRAMATIC, OR VIOLENT, OR COOL-LOOKING. ALTHOUGH, THIS IS A GOOD REPRESENTATION OF WHAT CHAOS WOULD LOOK LIKE IN OUR MINDS.
Why is it that when it comes to feeling confused, people who are different-abled tend to also feel stressed or overwhelmed? An article from THE ASPERGIAN (their all-caps, not mine. I just type’em) claims that it may have the answer (some where, it goes on a bit about meltdowns). I have my own theory as to why we feel stressed/anxious when confused: our routine is disrupted. Not everyone who is Autistic/Aspie is the same or will react in the same way to the same situation. So say for example when Jean’s routine is disrupted, causing confusion, he may feel some stress about the situation, but not enough to paralyze him for long, or to cause him to react excessively. Rather he keeps a semi-cool head, and tries to figure out how to solve the problem.
Samantha, on the other hand, does not react well to her routine being disrupted and confusion occurs. She either freezes, has a meltdown or leaves the situation. Then tries to calm down before she can deal with it again. In both of these situations, chaos has followed confusion, as confusion has disrupted their sense of normalcy. As you can see, it’s not a simple “oh God, gotta deal with this now” thing for Autistics/Aspies, but (from my experience) get’s better with experience. Which is just a nice way of saying it’ll get easier as you get older.
Now, I don’t mean that the stress of facing chaos gets any less, but rather you learn to deal with it better. If we can go back to the previous examples of Jean and Samantha, we can assume that Jean is some years older than Samantha as he acts like someone who has gone through this many a time before, he knows how to handle it. In geeky terms: the monster is still just as powerful as it was before, but as you progress through the game your stats will increase exponentially, picked up enough magical items and learned some new skills to deal with it, whenever it shows its ugly demonic hide again.
(SIGH), SPRING AND SUMMER. THE TIME WHEN THE LAND IS FULL OF LIFE, THE OUTDOORS ARE GREAT, AND THE YOUNG BEGIN THE NEW RITUAL OF ALWAYS HUNTING FOR WORK.
Well that does it for this weeks post. You may be wondering why I am posting less frequently these days, and I have an excuse ready in hand: work. Lots of work. If you are reading this in Canada, you may know already that it is the summer time, and therefore the time for young people, like me, to find some part time work or two or three or four. Make money for the next post-secondary semester, or to get that car you’ve been pining for, or just because you’re a masochist and hate the idea of rest. Until than, this continues to be, The Audacious Aspie.