The people in the book also had very different careers from each other: artist, tour guide, professor, psychologist, retail employee, medical professional, and more. Instead of being a guide to obtaining employment, to me, this book is about possibilities, and not limiting our thinking about what a person on the spectrum can accomplish. We need to focus more on developing a strengths, talents, and special interests, instead of just focusing on deficits. There may be a little niche out there that is pretty close to perfect for someone’s unique talents and quirky interests (“quirky” is used here in a positive way). Reading this book may give some ideas for finding these niches.
This isn’t a new book (it was published in 2012), but I spotted it on the “New Books” shelf at my city library. I’ve never read it, so I wanted to give it a try. I liked that this book showed lots of diversity in employment. It sort of breaks the stereotype of many people on the spectrum working only in tech jobs, although there are many who have strengths in this field. It really emphasizes that there is no “one size fits all” approach for employment or education for people on the spectrum.
I’m not sure if the book might be a little disheartening to an older individual who has not yet found a career that they are happy with. It might be more empowering for an older teen or young adult. However, many of the adults featured in the book didn’t find a career they enjoyed until they were older, through a lot of trial and error. So, I wouldn’t necessarily tell an older adult to avoid this book. I hope the book with be an inspiration of what’s possible for all ages...and to think “outside the box” beyond “traditional” jobs.
There may be some quirky, awesome job out there that is a great fit for you or your loved one or student with autism. This book, along with the resources below might be some good places to start.
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