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Celebrate Stories: Advice I have for Parents of Aspergians

There are 2 bits of advice I have for all parents of "aspergians":

1) Teach them what is appropriate to do and say in every situation they are in or are likely to be in, as soon as possible.

2) Give them every chance to learn as much as they can about everything, and especially everything that is important.

My new counsellor at the March of Dimes (whom I met for the very first time just a couple of weeks ago) is the very first counsellor who has told me that I would be good in customer service. Even my last former job coach seemed to think that if I wasn't fast enough to do data entry, I would have to settle for very unskilled work, such as packaging food, sweeping floors, or stocking shelves. This may be because I didn't learn good social skills until very late in life, and for as long as I didn't learn good social skills, nobody trusted me in any job that involved working with the public. If people had taught me what is appropriate to do and say in every situation I was likely to be in, I wouldn't have ended up with such a long history of inappropriate behaviour, and by now, I would have a much longer history of appropriate behaviour! In this scenario, people would have probably also started trusting me on jobs that involve working with the public from a much younger age. This probably would have given me better job opportunities, and a wider choice of jobs much earlier in life.

It may be true that even if an "aspergian" is taught what is appropriate to do and say in what situation, they may still have other issues, such as being unable to multitask or process information quickly. However, if they know what is appropriate to do and say in every situation they are in, at least they will be able to do a lot more jobs than they would be able to do otherwise (e.g. those that involve serving the public).

I just want to finish off this message by saying that I mentioned to a group of people I was with last night about once being in a situation in which I was told to stop doing something because it is inappropriate, but was never told what is appropriate. In response to saying this, one of the people I was talking with (who is a mother of someone with ADHD) told me that it doesn't make any sense for people to not tell you what is appropriate! I agree.

*You have my permission to share what I said in this message with all the other parents you know! In fact, I would really like you to!*

Jonathan

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