Monday, October 27, 2014

There is a job that is right for everyone

If you read my article you probably read that I was told to do accounting, which I didn't like.  I was at a very good friends wedding last night, and someone I knew from Yeshiva University mentioned he read my article and could remember that I was not enjoying accounting.

The reason I'm now going towards coaching people with Aspergers is because that is something that comes naturally to me to do coaching and I have seen more of Aspergers than a lot of people (and have experienced what is really like),

Coaching comes naturally to me as two examples can show.  One over a recent Jewish holiday, where I was staying with a family.  I saw a friend who I had not seen for years.  He was telling me how he is going towards business.  When I asked what kind of business, he didn't know and was going for the degree because there were opportunities in business.  I told him if he can find an area he could do a good job in and get experience in that area he would have an easier time finding a job once he would graduate college.  Over the several days we spent together I saw several times he was showing interests in giving massages (in a friend kind of way).  I told this friend that he should try massage therapy out to see if that's something he likes (because if you like your job you will do better and it will come out in your life in general).

Another case is another friend I saw just last night.  He was telling me that he was trying to go into a certain field, and I grilled him on what he was doing to succeed, and gave him some suggestions that he appreciated.

I was talking with another group of friends last night and a certain person came up who one other guy knew.  I was mentioning the person is going into a certain field, and another friend commented "isn't it hard for someone with aspergers to get a job?"  I told them he was not going to have a problem getting a job.  The reason he won't have that trouble even though he has a lot of potential improvement in social skills, is that he is going into a type of job he's going into is one that doesn't rely so much on social skills.  The fact that this guy is so good at the other parts of the job he's going towards will make it so that he will likely easily get a job.

Most people don't know that there are jobs, and stratagies for finding jobs that are good for people with aspergers.  That is one of the things that I do; I help people find the right kind of work for them.  Doing what comes naturally, and what you like is one of those things we look at because many people don't realize how many types of jobs there are out there.

My Life with Asperger’s

My Life with Asperger’s

Sometimes in life there are situations, people, or times that at first seem like they are worthless or in some cases detrimental, but in time you find out how they come to change your life so much for the good. This is my story.
Craig KohnI have Asperger’s or high functioning autism. I was diagnosed when I was a kid. This does not mean I am what most people think of when they think of a person who has a disability – someone who lives such a different life than you do. That is not me. I am able to function on a level like everyone else. Even people who work with Asperger’s have a hard time seeing how I have it now.
As a young kid it would have stood out a little more because I wasn't as good with social skills as I am now. Less developed social skills is one of the big characterizations of autism. Some examples for me were that I used to not smile much (as opposed to now when I almost always have a smile on), I wasn't as good at conversations, and I didn't have the best eye contact. I was always in regular classes, and was able to interact with my peers. Asperger’s wasn't so much a part of my life because it didn't negatively affect my life. That was until I went to college.
In college I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do, but wasn't having much luck figuring out what I wanted to do. I looked at a lot of careers, but none of them fit my interests, skills, and that I would be able to do the course work. A lot of people suggested that I try accounting because I would avoid social situations, and my stutter wouldn't be a problem. I tried it, but I could tell that it was not for me because being secluded to a desk didn't feel right for me.
I also looked at Speech Pathology as I had gotten my diaphragm to start working (through deep breathing meditation that a friend of mine got me into) and was getting rid of my stutter by myself. I liked the idea that I could help improve other people’s lives. But I later found out the cost of graduate school – and the fact that I didn't focus so much on my secular classes – were going to stop me in that path.
After I graduated from college I went back home to try to figure out what I wanted to do. I found out about the human services field where you help other individuals out, and looked at working with disabled individuals. I got a total of 7 interviews, but didn't get anything. Then while in New York I was put into contact with someone I knew back from Kansas who worked at one of the agencies for disabled people. She helped me get several part time jobs that added up to be full time work. My jobs involved helping other people gain skills to help them do better in life. It turned out that most of the clients I received had Asperger’s like me (but lower functioning than I ever was).
My biggest advantages came from me having Asperger’s.
I was able to prove myself in helping my clients in meeting the goals set for them. I could see that both my supervisors and the parents were amazed at the work I was doing. My biggest advantages came from me having Asperger’s, as I had more knowledge than most people on what Asperger’s is and that I could get fixated on my work. What I mean by that is that some people with Asperger’s have one or a few narrow interests that they get really into. They can be extremely interested or focused on that item enough that they are able to become very knowledgeable in that area very easily. With my work I was always looking to see how I could challenge my clients to grow, and I got myself more educated on dealing with individuals with Asperger’s. I provided good enough work that in less than 6 months that I got all 4 of the agencies I worked with to give me letters of recommendation.
I also talked to some of the people I knew from Yeshiva University who I realized have Asperger’s, most of them EXTREMELY intelligent (one of the possible effects of this disability), to see if I could also help the extremely high functioning population like myself. I realized that even though I could see that they had the skills needed to have a successful relationship they were not sure about dating with their social skills, or were having very bad luck. One guy told me how because the shadchanim (matchmakers) looked at Asperger’s like any other disability (which is a very wrong view of Asperger’s in some cases) he wasn't getting many girls suggested to him.
Now I am starting to take my experience to work privately to coach, in person and through skype, individuals with Asperger’s, to help them better function and reach their goals in life. I now realize despite the fact that I can be awkward, Asperger’s for me is an advantage and is something I can use to help better other people's lives.