Autism And Employment Misinformation

The prospects of autistic workers are dismal. While the number of people diagnosed with autism has increased by 118% over the last decade, only 16% find full-time employment outside of sheltered workshops. And while most employers favor hiring neurotypical workers, this still means that there are plenty of jobs out there available to those on the spectrum.

Unfortunately, due to widespread misinformation about autism and its correlation with employment, some misconceptions stand in the way of high-functioning autistic individuals finding suitable work. The following are some common myths that prevent this demographic from securing jobs they may otherwise be interested in pursuing.


Myth #1: Autistic people can’t hold down a job

Often times companies assume that autistics are unemployable because they believe that those with autism cannot handle the social interaction and responsibilities of a job. This could not be further from the truth. Many autistic people are highly intelligent and have a knack for details, making them excellent employees in fields such as accounting or engineering.

Myth #2: Autistics can’t handle stress

Like anyone, autistics can feel overwhelmed by stressful situations. However, due to their heightened sensory sensitivity, they may react to stressors differently than neurotypical individuals. For example, an autistic person may become extremely agitated by loud noises or bright lights, while a non-autistic person would be less affected. Employers should be aware of this and work to create a supportive environment that will allow autistic employees to thrive.

Myth #3: Autistics can’t handle change

Many autistic individuals are extremely rigid in their routines and dislike changes to their daily life. This does not mean, however, that they are incapable of handling change. In fact, many autistics are quite adaptable and thrive in new environments. It is important for employers to be understanding of an autistic employee’s need for stability and to avoid making sudden changes to their work schedule or routine.

Myth #4: Autistics are socially awkward

While it is true that some autistic people have difficulty with social interaction, this does not mean that all autistics are introverted or shy. Many autistic people have an uncanny ability to focus on one task at a time, making them excellent employees in fields such as engineering or software development. Employers should look past a candidate’s social awkwardness and consider the autistic individual’s ability to get things done.

Myth #5: Autistics are uninterested in working

Some autistics may lack the desire to work due to relatively low levels of executive function. However, many high-functioning autistic individuals enjoy working and doing activities independently or semi-independently. It is important for employers to recognize that not all autistics fit into society’s standard definition of “disability” and instead look at an applicant’s merits on an individual basis.


Beneficial Autistic Traits in the Workplace

In addition to disproving some of the most common myths about autistic employees, it is also important to recognize some of the unique benefits that autistic individuals can bring to the workplace.

1. Excellent attention to detail

2. Strong focus and dedication to tasks

3. Creativity and innovation

4. Excellent memory skills

5. Thoroughness and precision in work

6. Independence and self-reliance

7. Passion for specific interests or hobbies

8. Emotional intelligence

9. Keen senses (e.g., heightened sense of smell, taste, texture, etc.)

10. Ability to think outside the box

stylish guy relaxing on chair and reading book in modern room
Photo by Monstera on

It is clear that there are many benefits to hiring autistic individuals in the workplace. By understanding their unique abilities and challenges, employers can create a more supportive work environment that allows these skilled workers to flourish.

Job-seeking autistics should also be aware of the right time to disclose their autism status on their resume or during an interview. It is important to consider the nature of the job you are applying for, as well as your relationship with your potential supervisor/coworkers when deciding whether or not you need to disclose your diagnosis.

Employees who are at risk for social isolation due to a lack of communication skills should only disclose their autism if they believe it will help them gain acceptance from potential coworkers. Those who have excellent communication skills may choose not to mention their autism while applying for jobs in order to avoid the possibility of discrimination.

It is also important for autistics with high-functioning autism to remember that their job performance may be hampered by difficulties in managing sensory overload. Although they are often thought of as being “stuck in their own world,” autistics can use certain coping strategies to help them remain productive employees. For example, wearing noise-dampening headphones or earplugs is an excellent way to block out sound while you work.

Employers who are unable or unwilling to create a more supportive work environment should consider hiring autistic self-advocates who have developed effective tools and techniques for dealing with sensory overload. 

In Closing

The benefits of hiring autistic employees are clear, and with a little bit of understanding and accommodation, these individuals can be successful members of any team. So the next time you’re looking to fill a position in your company, don’t forget to look at the talented autistics out there!

OCPD, Are There Any Benefits?

What is Obsessive-Compulsive PD?


Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD) is a personality disorder that involves being preoccupied with orderliness, perfectionism, and control at the expense of interpersonal relationships.

What are the benefits of having OCPD?

In fact, there are several. But before we get to that, let’s have a quick peek at what being an OCPD is all about.

What does it mean to have OCPD?


Well, in the case of Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD), having perfectionistic tendencies would be manifesting itself as preoccupation with details, rules, lists orderliness, etc. The reason this is an issue is that one with OCPD might have “a great deal of difficulty adjusting to things not going the way they wanted or expected them to go.” This could lead to problems in all sorts of interpersonal relationships.


But that’s not all! Another fundamental characteristic of having OCPD is having a “preoccupation with work and productivity to the exclusion of leisure activities.” Talk about dedication! But what would motivate someone to be so driven? The short answer would be fear of failure. Being driven by perfectionism, one might not want anything less than perfect because not being perfect could lead to feeling bad things – like a failure.


So, if someone is successful in the professional sphere (even though they might find it difficult to adjust to things not going their way), what’s not to like? Well, for one thing, having OCPD may limit the possibility of experiencing pleasure and happiness due to a lack of leisure activities. But that’s not all! Another problem is that one may be viewed by others as stubborn, rigid, and controlling.

And the benefits?

This brings us back to the benefits. Having OCPD can result in professional success! Now it makes sense why someone would be driven by perfectionism. Having OCPD could also provide an advantage over others in certain circumstances (like getting a job done properly).

So there you have it – three benefits!

  1. Professional success and career advancement
  2. 2. An advantage over others in certain circumstances
  3. 3. Finances might be more stable (due to preoccupation with productivity)

Autism and High School

What Teachers Got Wrong

I grew up in a small town where we only had a Primary School. Inadvertently I was booked into a hostel when I had to attend High School in a neighboring town.

I remember how difficult it was for me to understand why Teachers did not like my approach to answering questions. In my mind, when a Teacher asked a question the following sequence of events unfolded in my brain:

  1. Teacher asks question.
  2. My mind started extrapolating relevant information from all the knowledge ‘files’ already present in my mind.
  3. My mouth spoke the answer even before my hand was raised.
  4. I felt a sense of achievement for being able to repsond so quickly and accurately and was ready for the next question.

Apparently, the Teachers did not find my method that amusing. They explained to me time and time again that I had to:

  1. Raise my hand first.
  2. Wait for the Teacher to acknowledge me.
  3. Speak slowly and succinctly.
  4. Allow other pupils to also answer the questions without immediately pointing out when they were wrong.

The effect

This had an effect on me which would alter my recall ability significantly for the next 2 to 3 decades. This caused me to start keeping my answers to myself. I was reprimanded for knowing all the answers, but I couldn’t help myself, it was just there in my mind.

I got more reclusive and started to engage less in class. My marks took a tumble and where I had a 98% average in school when I was 13, I ended up with a 60% average when I finished school at 18. I just wasn’t interested in playing their game anymore. I never studied and wrote all my exams on general knowledge. I also did not answer all the questions because according to one Teacher, it made the other students ‘look bad’.

It is a pity now that I did not have a mentor who could see that I was on the spectrum, and could guide me through my academic life phase.

To the Teachers

Perhaps read up on Neurodivergent pupils and how to include them. Try to see their potential and help them develop their unique self instead of trying to make them fit in with other Neurotypicals.


Today, for fun, I dabble in science, math, engineering, biology, psychology, geography, writing and martial arts…

At least now I do not keep quiet and I am my authentic self. Finally…

Autism and my favorite F-words

My Favorite F-words

I always had a hard time figuring out how to put a ‘life’ together. It was difficult to get a model in my head of the prefect life because the only way to get the necessary information would be to ask questions. Apparently I did this the wrong way. I lacked the skill to engage in ‘small-talk’ and would often ask people direct questions about their lives. Some of these questions where too direct or too private.


I was also told what I can say and what I can’t say: some things were offensive, or hurtful or not tactful. I had to learn what certain words meant and when people used it for a different meaning or in a different context.

I had to get a framework in place, based on my own failure and learning and also by studying others relentlessly. For me to get some kind of life in place, I needed information and I did this by using the correct words, in the correct way, with the right tonality.


I have realized now that by being autistic, and having been diagnosed with ADHD, that I formed my own unique set of words or concepts which I believe would serve you in order to achieve wholeness in your life.

Life Framework

You need to have at least 80% of the following concepts in place:



the unshakable belief that things are going to be okay. To live, as far as possible, in harmony with others and with nature.



be in pursuit of a fulfilling romantic relationship. Love deeply. Someone you can see spending ‘forever’ with.



to have some sort of balanced relationship with your kin. You will need them in the future or they will need you.



you need a soundboard of sorts, to test your ideas, goals and dreams. Choose friends who want the best for you.



follow a balanced diet to feed your body and your mind. Too much of anything is a waste.



bring your own value to the marketplace. The fee that you earn for your time can be increased if you enhance your skill set which in turn increases your value.



spend less than what you earn. Sacrifice small present indulgences for greater future reward. Get familiar with the concept of compounded interest.



move more. A 30-minute walk daily has been proven to be enough. It helps to clear your mind.



celebrate good times but in moderation. Know when to be serious and when to have fun.



the first year most of us learn to read and write. The perfect tools to kick off your journey of discovery and education. Never stop learning.


Last but not least, and my personal favorite:


I have at least one moment of gratitude per day, just to realize the miracle of how lucky I am to still be alive. When you go to bed at night and fall asleep, you have zero guarantee that you will wake up the next day. I am forever humbled by the favor that mother nature does every morning to allow me to wake up as me: with my mind, my thoughts, my identity, my hopes, my dreams, my fears, my talents, my likes, my dislikes, my memories, my victories, my regrets, my successes, my failures, my vision, my uniqueness, my verve!

Please comment on this post by sharing your favorite F-words…but keep it clean please 🙂

Day 12 post failed suicide attempt – How I made money


I wake up. Nurse takes my blood pressure.



I get dressed and make myself a cup of coffee. The Psychiatrist will only arrive at 10:00 so I decide to sit and review my career path. How did I make money?

Where did money come from?

The Origin of Money[ii]

There are three major theories regarding the origin of money:-

1 Money was created for trading purposes;

2 Money was created for social purposes;

3 Money was created for religious purposes.

What is money?

Characteristics of Money

Money has three characteristics according to the economists:-

1 Means of Payment;

2 Unit of Account;

3 Store of Value.

What is money really?

Money exists not by nature but by law[ix]

Aristotle, Greek Philosopher (384 BC – 322 BC)

Clearly in the 4th century BC, almost 2,500 years ago, Aristotle understood the nature of money. Money is not a commodity that is to be mined like gold or silver. Money is not a commodity to be farmed like wheat or barley. Money is not an animal like a cow or a goat. The nature of money is that it is a legal invention. Money is a creature of the law. The Greek name for money is ‘nomisma’, which is derived from ‘nomos’ meaning law or binding custom. Aristotle defined money as an abstract legal power, publicly controlled for the common good.

MY so-called CAREER


I have been working for just over 2 decades. I earned salaries and I followed the ‘normal’ path of the Consumer and I bought stuff. It was always confusing to me to figure out what money is and what it does. It confuses me?!


I understand bartering, I also understand that when you create something you get rewarded for your time and effort, which kind of determines the value of said creation.

What I struggle with is that a Seller and a Buyer can decide what the ‘price’ is of anything they wish to transact over. So, to me, the price is not at all tied to the value, because it is subjective.

That’s how I figured out that my intrinsic value is not the same to two different employers. One may want to pay me $1000 per week and the other $2000 per week.

It depends on how much my skill set can help him increase the value of his offering and his ability to get a good price when selling it. I am just a product to my employer, and when I start asking for more money, he can just say no and if I then resign he can just replace me. I do not resign because my life has been set up in such a way that I need the salary to support my life, which I set up. So now I stay in a miserable job and I never get the salary I think I’m worth.


Things are about to change:

Now that I have been given the gift of knowing how my mind works, I can figure out how to be more valuable and how to earn more money on my terms aligned with how much I value myself. I am a problem solver by nature and I just need to find a problem I can solve. Not just for one person, but for everyone.

I have been in the wrong positions my entire life!


The Psychiatrist arrives and we discuss my epiphany regarding how strange money is to me. He advises me that people with my condition sometimes struggle with the concept and need help to assist them with realizing their potential. He confirms that I look rested, energized and focused today. Nice…

He leaves and I have a cup of tea.


The Psychologist arrives at 14:00 and we discuss money and employment and careers. He pointed out that I need to really take a look at where I am now in life and decide whether it would be mentally stimulating to continue with my current career path. He also stated that it gets more difficult to change your career the older you get. Well, I feel very ‘young’ now that my new life has begun, so I will go and think about my strategy to either remain at the company I am working at right now, or to decide on a new path.

Our session ends and he leaves.


Shower and coffee again.

“What am I doing with my life?” I think.

I need to start making money based on my value and skill set, not according to someone else’s value they assign to what I bring to the table, which is just modern slavery I guess.


I start to read up on ‘How to make money’, ‘How to make money online’ and ‘Work from home’.

Wow, what a lot of false claims and smoke and mirrors and illusions and delusions of grandeur. And what on earth is Bitcoin?

I give up and decide to get some rest.

I take my medication, get into bed and think: “How do other people make money? Who will help me to make money?”

And I drift into darkness…

Day 11 post failed suicide attempt – familiarity breeds contempt


Nurse checks blood pressure.



The Psychiatrist informs the staff to tell me that he would only visit at 19:00 that evening. The Psychologist will only visit me at 15:00, so I have the morning to myself.

I start to work on what the Psychiatrist asked the previous day, and I try to ‘see’ if any of my family members present with behavior which might suggest that they are on the spectrum.

I was never close to my siblings, always felt like the outcast. The outsider, the weird one, the dreamer, the talker, the strange kid. I was always alone…

I have 3 brothers and 1 sister, I am the 4th child. I remember that I always asked questions. I always wondered about things, I was interested in how things worked and why they are the way they are. I hoped to get answers from my siblings but I soon realized that they became annoyed with me asking so many questions. I was told to keep quiet, stop asking questions and I was ignored. I was shunned from the rest of them and kind of dismissed as the creepy weirdo kid. I ended up reading the encyclopedia and books and magazines to quench my thirst for knowledge.

I would then go back to my siblings and would try to tell them about the interesting things I learnt but they would always just tell me to keep quiet, to stop talking.

I felt the distance grow between me and my brothers and sister over the years. I got this feeling that they didn’t like me, and I could never understand why.

Now, 4 decades later with the knowledge that I am actually different in an amazing way, I feel better about the lonely journey I had. I feel better about the fact that they showed no interest in me. I understand why I felt like an only child with absent parents. I am at peace now with myself. It is strange that ‘familiarity breeds contempt‘ in my life was actually ‘being unfamiliar with your brother and his autism breeds contempt‘.

Thinking about them now trying to identify autistic traits is easy, none of them have it, they are as normal as can be. I do see it in my extended family but not in my immediate family, they are all neurotypical, typically typical.

I am glad I never did fit in, and I am glad I can now stand out!



The Psychologist arrives and we start talking about my current mental state. How do I feel? Mentally, physically, emotionally, how do I feel?

Physically? I feel rested. I feel healthy. I feel great.

Emotionally? I feel strange. I feel like my effort to match emotions to facial features my entire life in order to read people has drained me. I feel relieved that I can now pay attention to how my emotions affect me and how others and their emotions affect me. I struggle to have sympathy and empathy display on my face, but I do feel it. In fact, I feel more intense than normal people. I feel that I would need time to process my emotional baggage I carry with me after 2 failed marriages and 2 divorces. At least I feel, I actually feel EVERYTHING all the time…

Mentally? I am strong! I have a fantastic mental gift which I never knew existed! I am only starting to discovery the immense power of my mind! I am absolutely overwhelmed with joy just thinking of the possibilities I can uncover with my new super power! My mind is a powerful resource and I can use it to solve problems! I am very very very happy!

The Psychologist tries to warn me that my happiness may be too much. I need to watch out for a relapse. I need to take it easy, I would need therapy for a long time to align my ego-states and to make sure I’m really coping.

I picked up a shift in his voice and his gaze and his body language. The air changed, his mood changed, he became colder and a bit distant. I know, he wanted longevity in this therapy approach between us. He wanted a patient for an extended period of time. Mmm…. He wanted money.

We spent so many hours talking through my experience and I made great progress and I was relieved that I have received an answer to my lifelong question. And this guy sitting in front of me starts to plan his future income stream? Well, well, well, it does seem to me that he became too familiar with me and now I do not like him, so….’his familiarity breeds my contempt’….

We finish the session and he leaves.




Psychiatrist arrives and we talk about the physical sensations of having dopamine and serotonin stabilizing. We double check that we are both happy with my prescription medicine and the dosage and the way I function. We agree that we have found the sweet spot with the pills. We chat about my family and my experience of being ‘different’ growing up. He assures me that my future would now be light and in focus and would make sense. He talks to me, he actually talks to me as if I am worthy of being spoken to. He listens to me and he believes me. He tells me that I need to start thinking about my career history and my current career choice. He has a feeling that I might have never really done what I am actually good at, and perhaps I need to take a look at what passions or interests of mine I had to bury in the past in order to ‘fit in’. I may want to revisit those ideas 🙂

We finish the session and I have a cup of coffee. I like the Psychiatrist more than the Psychologist.

I take my medication, get into bed and wait for the bliss that is sleep…

Day 5 post failed suicide attempt – Ritalin to assist with High-functioning Autistic Savant Syndrome


Rise against the dying of the light…

On the 5th day in the Psychiatric Hospital I was about to test medication called Ritalin.


Ritalin (methylphenidate) is a nervous system stimulant that’s commonly used to treat ADHD in adults and children.

It’s a brand-name prescription medication that targets dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain to reduce common ADHD symptoms.

Though Ritalin is a stimulant, when used in ADHD treatment, it may help with concentration, fidgeting, attention, and listening skills.

I have been using 4 types of medication during my stay at the Hospital up to now, so this will be number 5:

  1. Sleeping pills (strong)
  2. Anti-depressant
  3. Anti-psychotic
  4. Painkillers (strong)
  5. Ritalin (New!)

The Psychiatrist instructed the nurse to give me the fast acting Ritalin just after breakfast and I had to pay attention (no pun intended) to what effects I felt. Did I feel anything different?


Lance Armstrong used performance enhancers in his quest to win the Tour de France 7 times. He still had to train extremely hard, and the stuff he took merely ‘enhanced’ his performance.

Ritalin was the performance enhancer I never knew I always needed. Now, I have always been a very perceptive person:

  • I would memorize everything, everywhere, constantly.
  • I would use ALL my senses to navigate through the world.
  • I would be on high alert every waking moment.
  • I would think, over-think, analyze and over-analyze everything.
  • I would asses and scrutinize small changes in mood, facial expression, body language and eye-movement when I was having a conversation, trying to figure out what the person’s intentions were in order to act appropriately on all the social cues I had to map and adhere to in order not to stand out.
  • I would start to anticipate people’s next moves, or next words or next thoughts to such a point where people became predictable in their behavior.
  • All of this DRAINED me mentally and emotionally…

Which led to my Autistic burnout and an attempt on my life by myself…


The strange thing is I was under the impression that everyone did this in their minds. The Psychiatrist assured me that none of the normal people did this. I was surprised…

So when the Ritalin started to take effect I felt an immediate sense of relief. I had a calm mind, I had a focused mind, I felt stable, I enjoyed the intensity of my mental application. The dedicated focus and the control I had over my thoughts. Ritalin changed my Life!!!

I was on top of the world!!!!!!!!!!

Day 1 in Psychiatric ward post failed suicide attempt – High-functioning Autistic Savant syndrome

The first day in a Psychiatric ward is not like in the movies. I did not know what to expect and had to follow instructions from nurses who have dealt with people with severe psychological issues, addiction, trauma, life-changing events and depression. I did not see myself in any of these categories…


After my first consultation session I was showed to my room. I shared it with 3 other males. They were all lying on their beds when we entered and all greeted me with a nod, swift eye contact and an under-the-breath ‘Hello’.


The nurse showed me my locker and set up the combination lock. My mother and eldest daughter had to bring me a bag with clothes for a week, toiletries and some snacks. They thought I was in a car accident and bumped my head and had to be booked in for brain scans to see if I had a concussion. I did not have the heart to tell them I tried to commit suicide. I put my bag in the locker and sat on the bed. The nurse explained when breakfast, lunch and dinner was. She showed me where the bathrooms were and the coffee station. After confirming that I had orientated myself to my surroundings, she smiled and left. I lied on my bed, closed my eyes and tried to come to terms with what transpired over the last 24 hours.


The bell rang for dinner and I went to the eating area. We were showed a menu and could choose what we wanted to eat. I sat at one of the tables and didn’t want to talk to anyone. After eating half of the food on my plate, I realised all the other tables were full of patients, but no-one came to sit with me. I found it strange, but then realised that the bandage on my wrist was a dead give-away: I tried to kill myself. I tried the unthinkable. I went against my strongest instinct: the will to survive. I used my mind to override that instinct and they were afraid of me. ME, the gentle soul who loved life and nature and living. The good guy, the funny guy, the smart guy, the dependable guy, the leader, the father, the brother, the son… They avoided me, and I didn’t know how to explain the confusion to them, so I didn’t. I finished my meal, took a shower, went to the nurse’s station, took my medication, and went to bed.


The sleeping pill was so strong I was out for the count in a couple of minutes. I was about to have the best sleep I have ever had. Rest for my soul…

Trauma recovery after failed suicide due to Autistic Burnout – Feedback to my Boss


Hi Boss

Just some feedback after my session with my Psychiatrist today:


Traumatic Grief


The normal experience of grief is a deep sadness, a yearning for the past, often loneliness and a need to reach out for comfort.

There may be initial shock and an inability to comprehend the reality of the loss, raw anguish, and perhaps anger, at being left behind, or an irrational guilt about being alive instead (survivor guilt).


Over time, the pain lessens and the sense of loss fades into a realistic acceptance that life must go on.


I can confirm that my Dr is happy to highlight that I have fast-tracked the grieving process which usually occurs after a traumatic event.


I have the unique advantage that I framed my experience as a ‘new me being born’ instead of my old self remaining intact.

My appreciation for my mental gifts played in my favour and he is convinced that I already let the trauma fade into the background whilst focusing on my new-found appreciation of life.

The scar on my wrist is thus a cesarean scar (c-section) symbolising the birth of the new me!



Self-observation as an agent of behavioral change


Self-observation is an awareness practice where you turn your attention inward, and non-judgmentally watch what you think, feel, and do.

Imagine that as an observer, you have access to your inner landscape. You observe your thoughts, emotions, sensations, etc. as they occur within you.

These patterns of behaviour are both tenacious and automatic. Self-observation creates a space.


In that space lies an opportunity for you to make a conscious choice. Is my automatic response pattern the best option for this circumstance, or would another behaviour be more helpful now?

Self-observation never becomes a habit. Just like following a diet, you must develop the discipline to periodically reflect and notice what pattern is presenting.

The good news is that just noticing them relaxes them and makes them less compulsive. Self-observation creates a “map” of your own specific habits and patterns.


The more you develop your ability to observe your conduct, the more you can bring your unconscious, reactive patterns of thinking, feeling, and behaving into your awareness.

Then you’ll be able to consciously choose and control them to best serve the situation.


I must now enter this stage in my personal and professional growth. It will allow me to identify behaviours that are to my benefit as well as to those around me.

This is the next step in aligning my skillset with being successful at home and at work. Exciting!



No change, happy to report that we’ll keep it as it is since I function very well.

My Dr is very supportive and confident that I have healthy control over my life right now.

My next appointment is only in March, which is great news indeed!

Take care