Now that graduation is right around the corner, many parents worry about their child’s future. Will Asperger’s affect their child’s ability to find and hold a job? The answer to this is both yes and no.
People with Asperger’s may have difficulty in jobs which require a lot of social interaction but they can often find success in jobs that require focus, high concentration and solitude. An example of this would be the world of academe.
In fact, many people with Asperger’s do excel in their pursuit of higher education. The long hours of study and the many days of alone time will seem like the perfect environment for your child. In addition, the demands of a good Ph.D. program will fit well with your child’s ability to absorb and retain specialized information. This is specially true for topics that are of great interest to him.
In fact, studies have shown that very often, a child diagnosed with Asperger’s will retain their interest throughout the course of their lifetime. Therefore, it is a good idea to think about what your child loves to do and encourage him to choose a field of study that would allow him to learn more about his particular field of interest. For example, if your child likes to collect rocks, you can encourage him to take up geology. If your child is interested in model trains, he can choose to study either engineering or industrial history.
You can get a good idea of what your child’s future career will be like by taking note of what he is interested in and likes to do when he was a child.
If your child is interested in developing a career in the academe, it is a good idea to ask a professor if your child can shadow him for a couple of days to give your child a feel of what a typical day looks like for a person working in the academe. It is important that he is fully aware of the other responsibilities required of him. He needs to know that he will be expected to create and make presentations to audiences, teach students and attend conferences. He needs to know what to expect so he will not be caught off-guard later on.