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How Autism Greatly Limits My Ability To Work A Job

I am trying to apply for SSI, got denied twice because they claim 'my conditions are not bad enough to keep me from working.' I got a call from the layers I am going through and I have to go to court. That probably will get denied too. It's harder now for people to get SSI because of people who leech off of benefits that they don't need. It's harder for us since we are not physically disabled. I thought I explain how my ability to perform a job is greatly limited to the point where getting a job will be basically impossible.

You are aware the gov shut down for 34 days last month and there were articles about food stamps and WIC being affected. I shared it on a page and this asshole told me to 'get off my ass and get a job.' I call these people assholes because getting a job is not that simple, one cannot walk into Target and come out with a job. You have to send in applications and it's you vs hundreds, thousands of people wanting the same job. Another thing, most people who need food stamps work but is not making enough to feed their families. If it was just them, maybe they wouldn't need as much help, but these families probably have elders and kids to feed who CAN'T WORK.

Some people also cannot work due to a disability that affects or limits their workability.

It's very hard for us Aspies to get or even keep a job. Here's to that jerk so he can see that it's not so easy. There is more than just what I post on Facebook, Twitter, etc.
So here's to all of the 'get a job*insert name here*' asshats. It's not like that for me. I cannot get a job. Here's why. And it's not 'laziness.'

Not all disabilities are visible. Just because you can't see it doesn't mean the person is not affected.
I am better at explaining myself here where I can properly organize my thoughts. I will have a blog on how adults with autism struggle with employment.

I talk about my struggles with finding a job on this blog.


Cannot Follow Verbal Or Written Instructions

When someone with autism tells you they have trouble processing information, they mean your explanation is hard for them to understand and you may have to explain it differently. I need to see the action physically to understand the job. If the boss does not physically show me how the job needs to be done I will not understand it. Depending on the job. When people give me feedback on YouTube, it's useless if they don't provide a guild I can refer to regarding what they are talking about. An example, if they tell me my thumbnails need work but don't provide tips on how I can make them better. When someone explains something to me with no visuals, it's like their speaking another language. An example I have to back this is I went to the eye doctor, this was a different place. I was not familiar with their testing system. The doctor was just telling me what line he wanted me to read and not say 'read the line that starts with XWSA.' Or 'the second row from the bottom.' When you just leave one-liner instructions with no extra details, I won't get it. The doctor did not provide more instructions as to what line he wanted me to read. Imagine on a job if someone starts to get annoyed repeating themselves. So I cannot do jobs where they teach you your job verbally or with written instructions. I need visuals to get a better feel of how the job needs to be done.

I Need Direct Instructions
I need direct instructions when giving me a task. One time when I was little, I was at my aunt's house. She told me to get change out of her room. Never said 'look in the blue box.' Or 'it's in a red can.' When I got it from the wrong spot, she came into the room and hit me. She got mad that I did not get the change from the spot she told me to. Due to the lack of details, I didn't understand where she wanted me to get the change. Now imagine on a job if the boss gets mad that I did not do what they told me due to the lack of details. My mom doesn't understand things have changed since she worked. She got mad at me when I was little when I did not do as she instructed, how is a boss any different? Not everyone's boss is like hers and does what they're supposed to do. There were times that my mom did not give me direct instructions and got mad that I didn't do the task(s) how she wanted it. Not all employers are willing to make it work for us. One time my mom told me to bring her some chicken but didn't tell me what else she wanted if there was not a lot of chicken left and got mad that I only brought her one piece of chicken. Most people with autism cannot read between the lines, therefore they need these extra details when giving a task. Another thing is when we are going out, my mom just says get up early. not giving me time like 'at 8' or 'at 9.' And she'll go off on me for not being ready in time. Like today as I update this blog. My mom didn't give me a set time she wanted to leave and proceed to yell at me for 10 minutes because I wasn't ready in time. I felt dead inside and wanted to cut myself so badly. If I can't handle my mom going off then I can't handle it if it's an employer.

My mom says I yell but I speak louder because when someone says 'what' I think that they didn't hear me and I need to speak louder so they can hear me. Of course, my mom doesn't wanna listen and hear where I am coming from. Other times I am just unaware as to how my voice tone can be seen by someone else. Remember, autism affects my ability to pick up these social cues.

Sensory Triggers

Most autistic people have sensory triggers, these can vary from light, smell, hot, cold, crowds, noises. Mine are heat, cold, fluorescent lights, noises, crowds. Retail jobs will have these triggers.
Therefore it will be hard for me to function on a job with 10 different things are happening at once around me or if I am in or near a sensory trigger. When I am around so many people I feel trapped. Say, I want to go to Six Flags, I'd have to go through the work week because the park isn't as busy. I went to Great America as part of a class trip in Jr. High, when we normally would wait 2 hours depending on the ride, we waited a half hour due to the park not being busy. If I go on a weekend or near a holiday it will be too crowded. Moral of the story is I have control over my schedule. On a job, I won't have control. Yes, you can pick your schedule when you apply, it will not be permanent if you get hired. Some companies have a system that sets your schedule. So I cannot do retail or anything with a lot of people coming in and out.

I learn Visually

Most people on the autism spectrum learn visually. I am one of them. I cannot work in customer service due to this issue. I am ruling out the jobs I cannot do. If I can't physically see the customer's issue, I can't help them. You have to think what if I am the only person in and can't ask someone else. Even if I see them in person if they don't show me what's wrong I don't understand or I don't understand their explanation. One time I was in a group chat and someone was explaining something. Due to there being no visuals, I was not understanding what they were explaining. When I kept asking, they belittled me. Not everyone will be nice enough to break it down for me. The bullying from school pushed me to self-harm. Imagine the bullying in the workplace. When I look up tutorials on YouTube, they help me because the person is going step-by-step and telling me what I need to click on. Say I look up a thumbnail tutorial, the person may use the thumb they made for the video, that way I know what it needs to look like. When people are just explaining but not showing me, it feels like they are speaking another language.

Won't Be Able To Pass The Interview

Most people with autism can't pass the interview. Hence the reason the unemployment for autistic adults is so high. It can be for several reasons. I cannot make eye contact for very long. I can only look you in the eye for seconds and look around you, look at your shirt, etc. The interviewer can read no making eye contact the wrong way.
The 'tell me about yourself'' question will surely get me. When I went through a program that helped people with disabilities get jobs, the coach asked this question. I did not answer it in a way that it relates to the job I am trying to get. When the coach asked some follow-up questions, I just could not answer. I just did not know how to answer. I take things literally, therefore, I will take the questions too literally. I will miss non-verbal cues. You have to think not everyone is the same. It may be off-putting mentioning my autism right off the bat at an interview. Although the program I went through was useless, they advised against mentioning my autism at an interview. Therefore, I have no way of getting to them that I need the questions asked in a different way. If I mention my autism they can not offer me a job and just say I didn't qualify as an excuse. The program also said this. They may be right, they may have had clients who were denied jobs for mentioning their disorder. I think it would only be appropriate to mention accommodations for an interview for instance if you are not a native English speaker and request a translator. Or if you are mute and need someone who knows sign language.

Mutism

Mutism is apart of social anxiety where the person cannot speak at a specific time. I get bouts of mutism and my mom makes bold assumptions that I am lying or hiding something. When I went through that program, where the coach asks people what jobs they applied for, I had a misunderstanding about a position I applied for and the coach was asking questions and the mutism hit me. The employers could assume I am lying or hiding something and won't tell them. If you ask someone a question and you feel they are hesitant to answer, you would think they are hiding something, don't ya think? One time, my friends' mom offered to buy me a sub sandwich. I missed when she told me to get a 6" and got a footlong instead, making the bill higher. When she asked me about it, the mutism struck me and I just could not answer. Imagine on a job if the boss addresses something to me and I don't speak. I surveyed some autistic adults and one person mentioned they were fired for their mutism bouts. This rules out jobs where I have to talk and have good communication skills.

Anxiety, Depression, etc

Most people with autism don't just have autism by itself. They may get depression, anxiety, OCD, etc. My anxiety can be a problem on a job. Being around a lot of people makes my anxiety skyrocket and my anxiety will not stop until I am out of the situation that's causing my anxiety. Getting yelled at, unexpected changes causes me anxiety as well. I feel I should not put myself in situations that will not help my anxiety. I am easily startled and my mom said her grandma says an easily startled person means they are guilty of something. You have to think about how my behavior can be seen by someone else. Most autistic adults are scared of disclosing their autism in fear of being mistreated or fired. No one should be discriminated against for a disability they probably wish they never had.

When people talk about their job, why they were fired etc. My mom doesn't believe it because 'they didn't tell the whole story.' Someone told me all states in the US except like 5 have 'at will' laws which allows them to harass you, or fire you for no reason. They can fire you and make up a reason why in these at will states. Some companies are notorious for firing their employees for no reason. This would be bad for someone who can't afford to get fired.

I Need A Time Frame
I need a time frame and reminders when giving me tasks. If you need me to help you with something, you need to give me a direct date and time and I need to know in advance. Example, ' I need you to help me mow the lawn Tuesday at 10:00am.' I also need reminders because my short term memory is horrible. If you need me to help you mow the lawn on Tuesday, I need you to remind mine on Monday. People with autism/ADHD have trouble filtering their thoughts. I am one of them. Therefore it causes me to forget very easily and quickly. My mom asked me to help her hang something, she did not provide me with a set date and time and when it came out of nowhere, she got mad when I was not ready. I tried to reason with her that I need a timeframe and she just said I am making excuses. Imagine if on a job I get tasked with something important and I forget because my brain cannot filter everything through like a neurotypical can. A neurotypical is someone who doesn't have autism. Nts do not have the issues we have, therefore our issues may not be brought up and jobs won't have a steady setting for us. This would be a problem to forget something important. Depending on how important it was.

Cannot Handle Being Yelled At, Pressure, etc

I used to be on the flag girls team for the marching band. There was one move I could not get down. The director lost his patience and screamed at me. I got deeply depressed and starved myself. I got sick and had to go to the ER. From not eating, I was backed up like a storm drain. I was lucky they did not see it as self-harm and put me in a mental ward. I am lucky because it could have been worse. Being yelled at causes me to self-harm or want to. It's not healthy to put someone in a possible triggering situation. When you watch a TV show and they cover a serious topic ( like rape for instance) they warn you so if you feel you will be triggered, you watch something else, right? If there is a possibility a customer can yell at me or the boss, I should stay away. I should not work in retail if there is a possibility of a customer yelling at me.

I Don't Like Physical Contact

I do not like unsolicited physical contact, this is another common trait people with autism have. Of course, working in a public place will be very discomforting. When my mom used to drag me to church. You know when everyone takes hands when praying. I tried so hard to resist. Imagine on a job I resist a handshake or resist one going into an interview. These points are going to count against me for sure. Another example I have is, my grandma ran into one of her church choir friends at the store. My grandma tells her friends about me which I expect. The friend walked up to me and hugged me and I was VERY uncomfortable. I feel like I may offend if I resist. I feel like I have to lie ( eg I'm fighting a cold) or say I have a disorder where I will hyperventilate if someone hugs me. I was watching Full House and this guy had this disorder. I feel like I have to lie and say I have that to resist a hug. Imagine if the job I have calls for me to greet people with a handshake and I resist. What if they complain to the manager?

Will Be Unable To Handle The Stress, Demands Of A Job

I would not be able to handle all of the stress and demand of a job. I can just feel it in my chest when I am getting stressed and need to walk away. When I get too stressed I either gain weight or my hair falls out. I got stressed having to see my sorry ass doctor only for him to invalidate me and think my problems don't matter and feel worse than how I did when I came to the office. As a result, my hair fell out fast. NO amount of care could save it. I ended up having to cut it (again). I lost cost on how many times I ended up having to cut my hair due to it falling out from stress. Stress will mess with your nerves that control your hair growth. I think I had a few stress headaches because I felt the back of my head hurt. I cannot do jobs that are stressful. I forgot I am not a teen anymore. My body has a very low tolerance for stress.

This Is Isn't Autism Related, But Arthritis, Vertigo Will Greatly Affect My Ability To Perform A Job

I hurt my shoulder when I was 14, I got arthritis in it as a result. I get random flare-ups and they are very painful. I have little to no mobility in my right arm. I can't lift my arm past my head and it feels like cement is in my shoulder. It will be hard performing a job 100% with limited mobility in my arm. It will be impossible to focus on anything because of the pain. Over the counter pain meds are not strong enough and the doctor may not give me meds in fear I will become addicted. In fact, when I get my flare-ups, it feels like it did when I hurt it. Not when the injury was fresh, but after a while. I can't stalk shelves because the repetitive movement will speed up the flare-ups or give me Carpel Tunnel. ( Eg when I have to reach high and when I get my flares I can barely lift my arm past my head). My flare-ups last 2-3 days. I would not be able to call off work this often. Lifting something heavy also causes my flares, extreme cold, etc.

I also have Vertigo, the way to explain it is it makes you dizzy for no reason. Of course, performing a job will be difficult with the room spinning. Sometimes I get the dizzy spells when I wake up. Sometimes I get headaches. All the loudness of a job will just make my headaches worse. I got all this from a genetic disorder that I can't spell. This is to show that most people with autism won't just have autism by itself.

I feel that working from home is best for me. Clearly, I cannot deal with the public. And I am extremely limited on what jobs I can do. I rather do what will help my mental health, not make it worse. Writing makes me better. I just wish I can find more writing jobs. I feel in control of having my own schedule. Most aspies prefer this as well. They want their own pace, their own flow This isn't so they get what they want, this is because the function people with they're own thing.

I tried explaining to someone that I couldn't work and they judged and shamed me. If only she knew all of this. Never judge someone when you don't know. There is more do it than what I tell you.

I Am Unable To Do Something The Way The Person Wants It Done

I just cannot do something the way someone else wants it. I have this issue all the time with my grandma. She is a neat freak. She is worse than Danny Tanner from 'Full House.' If it's not perfect the way she wants it, she goes off. She complains. I am never clean enough for her. She can hire a housekeeper to clean up and it wouldn't be good enough. If I can't do things the way my grandma wants it then I wouldn't be able to do the job the way the employer wants it. I cannot deal with her hovering over me watching my every move. I wouldn't be able to handle an employer that is like this.

The Solution 

I don't need toxic environments that will make my mental health state worse. I've already relapsed since that sorry excuse for a doctor. I don't want it to get worse where I had suicidal intentions.

I would like to work from home, being a Freelance writer. I have emailed a few blogs pitching ideas to them. I just hope they like my idea. My mom, my grandma, etc is not in my head. They don't know what goes on on the inside. All they see is on the outside. Like a doughnut, it can look fine on the outside and have jelly on the inside. Don't speak on what you just see on the outside. Also, I was thinking about being a freelance artist. I do photography and 3D renders. This is my art portfolio. This is my writer portfolio. 

I know talking about what I can't do can be seen as negative to someone who is not on the same page as me. This way I can find a solution to the problem. I covered that I cannot be in crowds, my solution is work from home where I am not around anyone. I feel alone in this world. My grandma can't understand my disorder and just says it's excused. How can I be positive in a world that doesn't understand me and won't understand me?

In other news, I am writing a book about autism and employment. Things need to change. We can't be judged on NT standards because I am not like the NTs. As of now, May 4th, the book is out for preorders. I am using Gumroad and Amazon Kindle.  If you use Gumroad, use the code 'wired differently' to get 1 dollar off.  If you are reading this AFTER May 31st, the book is out.

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