Unfortunately, Asperger’s Syndrome is often misunderstood and misdiagnosed. People often have misconceptions that these individuals are unable to work, form friendships, and maintain an independent life. While they may have difficulty switching tasks, learning new tasks, and multitasking, this doesn’t define them as people. Individuals with Asperger’s Syndrome can be excellent employees because of high attention to detail, reliability, and punctuality. Below are some strategies to ensure professional and vocational success.
1) Keep instructions brief and concise by using simple language, including written instructions, and confirming understanding
2) Allow time to process information and/or instruction; check-in with a task sheet or by providing a written schedule. Also, include breaks in his/her schedule
3) Chunk work tasks into smaller tasks, check progress consistently, and focus on maintaining a consistent work schedule and routine (e.g., same working hours)
4) For improving organization and planning, focus on using visual cues, color coding instructions, including an example, and briefing on any changes or upcoming social events
5) Communication is enhanced when conversations are direct, sarcasm and jokes are avoided, visual cues are provided, reassurance and support is given, and by monitoring non-verbal behavior
6) Socialization is improved by having a “timeout” period and location to de-stress without consequence or additional demands, reducing vulnerability by having explicit rules, and asking one question at a time.
7) Remember that individuals with Asperger’s need and value consistency, predictability, a direct supervisor who is also calm, and an organization workplace.