About Autism

Hurricanes, Disasters and Autism

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In 2015, I wrote an article about Hurricanes, natural disasters and planning for these disasters with people with autism in mind. In the wake of Hurricane Harvey devastating my hometown of Houston, I wanted to re-share some of those thoughts, so that people preparing for future unexpected natural disasters and those working to survive through Harvey can best understand how to communicate with people with autism in these situations.

 

Most importantly, it’s key to remember that people on the autism spectrum are hypersensitive to changes in routine. Not knowing what comes next can be panic-inducing.

 

Here are a few ways the we can prepare for disasters and the impending road trips they may cause:

 

Read a Book About It

 

Create a visualization of what the trip will be like and what your family’s plan will be if rough weather is encountered. A picture book can serve this purpose, or make a chart with picture icons of the steps you will take if a weather emergency arises. Your child can keep the book or chart in a backpack along with an itinerary of the trip and other personal preparedness items. That way the information can be reviewed whenever your child would like.

 

Include Your Child in the Emergency Prep

 

Your child can help put together the basic items for an emergency kit that can be kept in a weather proof travel container inside the car. Knowing that the family has the items needed to handle common injuries, illnesses and safety situations is a vital reassurance for children with autism.

 

Do a Practice Drill

 

Before the trip, practice what your family will do if there is a severe weather emergency while you are driving. Act out the steps you will take if there is an accident or if you are forced to seek shelter. Listen to a recording of the sounds of thunder, tornado sirens and high winds so that these are less of a shock to your child if they occur. Show your child photos or video of what first responders look like, and how to contact them or react to them if the situation arises.

 

Pack Smart

 

Remember to pack all medications as well as a list of your child’s prescriptions. If your child is non-verbal, a medical bracelet or I.D. tag is important. Pack plenty of your child’s favorite non-perishable comfort foods, as well as favorite toys and familiar clothing so that your child will feel more secure in an unfamiliar environment.

 

Know Your Child’s Sensitivities and Triggers

 

Anticipate your child’s anxieties and what you can do to head them off. Technology provides structure and comfort for many autistic children. Bring along noise-canceling headphones that can be connected to a portable device loaded with favorite music, apps, movies and games. I also suggest investing in a portable battery charter and, if your child uses the Internet regularly, a mobile wi-fi hotspot. These items take on even more importance if you’re forced to take an evacuation route, because you could be in the car for many hours.

Autism Q&A

Louden on Autism Q & A: Life After High School

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Welcome to the Louden on Autism Q & A: Volume 6. Today, I’m back to answer a question submitted by a website visitors to shed light on some of the most important questions about autism. I receive questions every day, and I want to make sure that the answers to these important questions are being shared with all of you.

 

Please know that these are my opinions and my answers come from my research and my own personal experiences. Of course, each situation is different. All of us as people are different. And no two people with or without autism should be treated the same exact way.

 

This week, I received a question about children with autism who are nonverbal. This is a very common topic, so I wanted to address it in this week’s post.

 

QUESTION

 

My daughter has autism (high functioning) and has been excited about the debut of Julia on Sesame Street and other TV stars with autism. She is 20 years old, and she loves theatre and film. I want to find programs for her to join after high school. I would love to hear your advice and understand more about the challenges you have faced post high school/pre college years. She is incredibly confident on stage!

 

ANSWER

 

There are some programs that I’m aware of. I largely focus on trying to understand and communicate my experiences, so I’m not as knowledgeable as I’d like to be in terms of services available.

 

Particularly, as you’ve noticed, services for adults are fairly limited, though there’s a definite increase in interest. I do know of the Burkhart Center at Texas Tech in Lubbock that focuses on either developing job skills or a collegiate plan. They seem to have a fairly broad approach to things, but I believe have a considerable waiting list. There’s also the nonPareil Institute in Plano and Houston (you may have noticed my knowledge is fairly Texas based right now).

 

They’re also focused on developing employability, mainly with a focus on programming, computer art, and game design skills. They’ve expressed a desire to expand, and among those are film and other media. So, there are things like that out there. An online search might be a great place to start!

 

As for the challenges I personally faced, it was mostly in self-management. I failed to pay my bills in a timely manner, failed to attend classes, or turn in assignments. I had no problem keeping up, but while I wanted to get things done, I wasn’t able to self-manage myself and overcome anxiety and other barriers that prevented me from acting. One thing I strongly feel about autism is that while many people see a goal as “helping them have a typical life” the more important goal is “help them have a happy life.”

 

Sometimes this means foregoing a college degree and finding your niche elsewhere. Sometimes it means pushing through and figuring out how to make it work. If she’s confident on stage, it might be worth looking into alternative approaches to developing acting skills outside of college. Maybe a local theatre group or improv classes.

 

Thanks for reading. Check back soon for another Q&A.

Autism Q&A

Louden on Autism Q & A: Volume #5

560 315 Paul Louden

Welcome to the Louden on Autism Q & A: Volume 5. Over the course of the next few months, I’m going to be using questions submitted by my website visitors, readers, autism advocates, parents and others to shed light on some of the most important questions about autism. I receive questions every day, and I want to make sure that the answers to these important questions are being shared with all of you.

 

Please know that these are my opinions and my answers come from my research and my own personal experiences. Of course, each situation is different. All of us as people are different. And no two people with or without autism should be treated the same exact way.

 

This week, I received a question about children with autism who are nonverbal. This is a very common topic, so I wanted to address it in this week’s post.

 

QUESTION

 

My son is nonverbal and autistic, and I’ve tried so much to help him. There will be many days where he says absolutely nothing that’s very understandable. However, the other day he said a whole sentence. I was very surprised. Any suggestions on how to keep this progress going?

 

ANSWER

 

A full sentence is great! Often there are a lot of factors when someone is nonverbal, and what it means when they verbalize something. As humans, we attempt a lot of nonverbal communication before we ever become verbal, and nonverbal communication still makes up a large part of how we communicate.

 

With autism, we tend to experience a lot of failures communicating. We often “reach out” in one way or another and have it ignored or misunderstood. And a key part of improving communication is developing the two-way flow.

 

Communication is never one sided, and your reactions to it, and how you respond, can be just as important. That may mean sometimes communicating as much as you can in the way they do. So if they prefer sounds or gestures, then sometimes trying to use some of their own communication tactics back, as a way of establishing a “shared” communication.

 

While the eventual goal is to move them toward more typical verbal, it can help to move back to them, and then move forward as a guide, rather than standing at the endpoint and asking them to come to you. Look a lot at the situation where a whole sentence was used — had it been a good day? Did he feel particularly safe? Was there something unique that might have removed barriers on the situation? Understanding the why is hugely important.

 

Thanks for reading. Check back next week for another Q&A.

Autism Q&A

Louden on Autism Q & A: Volume #4

560 315 Paul Louden

Welcome to the Louden on Autism Q & A: Volume 4. Over the course of the next few months, I’m going to be using questions submitted by my website visitors, readers, autism advocates, parents and others to shed light on some of the most important questions about autism. I receive questions every day, and I want to make sure that the answers to these important questions are being shared with all of you.

 

Please know that these are my opinions and my answers come from my research and my own personal experiences. Of course, each situation is different. All of us as people are different. And no two people with or without autism should be treated the same exact way.

 

This week, I received a question about struggles with autism and hygiene — specifically brushing your teeth.

 

QUESTION

 

How can I get my son to brush his teeth? He’s 21 and has suffered from depression. I’ve bought every type of dental accessory and paste, but he won’t use anything. He had 9 cavities and early gingivitis. He just does not care.

 

ANSWER

 

Honestly, this is a case-by-case basis for most people. For me personally, repetition of activities creates a lot of anxiety, so I found myself unable to consistently brush my teeth when I started living on my own. Because of this, I had severe decay and some significant problems. For me, it was the internalized anxiety of the nature of the activity. For many autistic people, the consistent routine is important, but because of my toothbrushing routine as a child, the lesson I’d learned had been “brush your teeth before bed,” and because I had severe sleep difficulties, it didn’t work well.

 

Once I became relaxed and tired enough to sleep, I had to embrace it fairly quickly. Getting up to brush my teeth before would’ve made it much harder for me to sleep. As well, I didn’t eat breakfast, though morning brushes were at least somewhat of an occurrence. If someone had just told me “brush your teeth at 8 pm every night” it would’ve helped.

 

While your son’s challenges with tooth brushing may be different, part of it is a simple fact that the anxiety spike is a “now” thing, while rotten teeth is a “future” thing. It can be really hard for those of us on the spectrum to be motivated by things we can’t necessarily make a firm emotional attachment to. Also, presenting the task as “extremely important” can then make the task feel more high-pressure, and increase the anxiety over doing it. Then, the sense of “I’ve already failed” kicks in if your teeth are already in rough shape.

 

My recommendation is to take your time, and try to work through what the obstacles are to getting it done — is it schedule, taste, the texture, the time needed, or something else? It’s so important to figure this out. We need to know the “why.”

 

Then, once they’ve been better identified, work on plans to overcome these obstacles. Try to identify places where he may get stuck — assumptions he’s made about how things “have to” be done. And at the same time, try to let him lead in making the plan as much as possible. If it’s his plan, it can help grow his confidence and sense of control along the way.

 

Thanks for reading. Check back next week for another Q&A.

Autism Q&A

Louden on Autism Q & A: Volume #3

560 315 Paul Louden

Welcome to the Louden on Autism Q & A: Volume 3. Over the course of the next few months, I’m going to be using questions submitted by my website visitors, readers, autism advocates, parents and others to shed light on some of the most important questions about autism. I receive questions every day, and I want to make sure that the answers to these important questions are being shared with all of you.

 

Please know that these are my opinions and my answers come from my research and my own personal experiences. Of course, each situation is different. All of us as people are different. And no two people with or without autism should be treated the same exact way.

 

This week, I received a question about struggles with school and an issue with discipline.

 

QUESTION

 

My son is 47 years old and he has not been tested for autism, but he is the textbook case of Asperger’s. He is working & living independently but needs support with living skills; housekeeping, laundry, money matters & bills, and he has a relatively recent lack of personal hygiene. He agreed to find a diagnosis while looking into getting disability for his anxiety, which he takes medicine for, but since that was declined he is reticent about testing. What are your thoughts?

 

ANSWER

 

I’m strongly in favor of seeking disability in general. The possible foundation of reliable income and potential medical insurance can reduce the general anxiety someone struggling with mental health may feel, and that can help improve their ability to operate daily and alleviate some of the “worry” they may constantly feel.

 

It’s important to remember that the process of applying for disability is intentionally harsh – it has many checks to ensure it doesn’t go to people who don’t need it, and so it’s actually likely you’ll be rejected once or many times. It’s expected, and you’re expected to persist if you actually need it, which unfortunately can be very difficult for those of us on the spectrum. We often take “no” at face value, and assume that systems like these are impartial rather than oppositional.

 

Seeking the diagnosis is, to me, very important. It gave me tools to better understand my challenges as well as a secure point from which to ask for accommodations. Much of the world is willing to say “yes” when you say something like, “I’m autistic and would like to be part of the early boarding group for this flight so that I’m not too close to so many other people for my sensory issues,” and similar. It may also help with the application for disability.

 

It may also be worth looking for experts in the application in your area. The process has grown complex, and there are often agencies and individuals who specialize in helping you with it and understanding the challenges it poses.

 

I am absolutely in favor of seeking whatever help you can get, in whatever form. There’s a world of difference between treading water and having a life preserver. While neither puts you on shore, you’re much more likely to keep your head above water and have the energy to work on improving your situation if you have that life preserver.

 

Thanks for reading. Check back next week for another Q&A.

Police Violence & Autism

My Thoughts on Police Violence & Autism

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Some of you may have seen the recently released dashboard camera video of the Philando Castile shooting. I’m not sure I’d recommend it. It is, after all, the video of someone being killed.

 

When I saw that video, I was afraid. I heard the instructions the officer gave. I heard Castile’s responses. He said, “I wasn’t reaching.” The last thing he said, after being shot, was an attempt to explain to the officer that he was following instructions. And I saw myself in every action Castile took.

 

The officer gave him two instructions. The first was to get out his identification and then after being made aware of the legally possessed firearm, not to take out the gun. Castile, from what we can see in the video, claimed to be complying, reaching for his identification, while reassuring the officer he wasn’t getting his gun. The officer, on the other hand, seemed to think “don’t reach for your gun” was an order to also stop getting the identification.

 

If I was Philando Castile, I would not have interpreted it that way.

 

It just wouldn’t have occurred to me. A traffic stop is a high-pressure situation even without a gun involved, and you’re just trying to make sure things don’t escalate. After seeing that video, the one thought I had in my head was “If that had been me, I’d have done the same thing, and I’d be dead too.”

 

And the officer was found “not guilty.” Because a reasonable officer in his situation would also be afraid, and being reasonably afraid is a justification to use lethal force.

 

There are very few crimes that we punish with death in the U.S. Typically murder, and then, only when proved “beyond a reasonable doubt.” But we also punish “frightening a reasonable police officer” with death. And we instruct juries that the officer was trained to do this, and that as long as the jury agrees a reasonable police officer could be afraid in that situation, they did the right thing and did not commit a crime.

 

So what does that mean for me? I’m autistic. My body language isn’t right. I might come off as on drugs, or trying to hide something, or just challenging their authority. I take instructions literally. I’ve already had back-up called on me once for an expired license place, because “please step away from your car” was performed literally, which meant I stepped nearer the officer. If I tell an officer that I’m autistic, and they assume a common misconception that it means I’m more dangerous, does that make it more reasonable for them to be frightened?

 

After this, I’m afraid of revealing my autism to a police officer, should I be pulled over. I’m afraid of not revealing it as well, because I know I don’t present as entirely typical.

 

“Reasonable fear” shouldn’t be a justification for killing someone, in my mind. Police officers are there to protect us. If they’re afraid, they can quit the job. I can’t quit being autistic. I can’t quit being pulled over if I match a description. They have every right to defend their own life, but at the very least I think the hurdle should be more than “any officer would be afraid in that situation.” That makes the standard lower the more poorly trained officers are — the easier they are to spook, the more legally sound acting on that fear becomes.

 

An officer should not be justified in killing me because he feels uncomfortable with my presence and because I follow the orders he gives, rather than the orders he thought he gave.

 

I could quote you numbers about police shootings, and try to show you the data, and you and I might interpret it differently. But that’s not what I’m here for. I’m here to tell you how that video made me feel.

 

After that video, I’m afraid. Because I can so easily imagine it happening to me. And I’m pretty sure I shouldn’t be afraid of our own police force. But I am.

Louden on Autism Q & A: Volume #2

560 315 Paul Louden

Welcome to the Louden on Autism Q & A: Volume 2. Over the course of the next few months, I’m going to be using questions submitted by my website visitors, readers, autism advocates, parents and others to shed light on some of the most important questions about autism. I receive questions every day, and I want to make sure that the answers to these important questions are being shared with all of you.

 

Please know that these are my opinions and my answers come from my research and my own personal experiences. Of course, each situation is different. All of us as people are different. And no two people with or without autism should be treated the same exact way.

 

This week, I received a question about struggles with school and an issue with discipline.

 

QUESTION

 

My son is 13 and very high functioning. We have struggled with school mostly, but have not had many problems at home. My question really involves discipline. When he is argumentative, he gets extremely disrespectful with school staff.  He thinks the teachers are attacking him. So when he tells me what he thinks they meant or even what he thinks they said, how do I give consequences for his reactions?  He truly believes he was defending himself and I feel bad punishing him. Any suggestions?

 

ANSWER

 

This is a difficult question to answer from the outside. Often a lot of negative feedback, such as removing privileges, can be less helpful in changing a behavior that is seen as “self defense.”

 

It simply feels like it’s unavoidable – you’re either punished by your parents, or you suffer in the other situation. Neither situation keeps the person from suffering. In fact, this can sometimes lead to someone being more defensive — it’s hard to trust and open up to someone who you truly believe is “not on your side.” And it can also be hard to view someone as on your side when you see them as punishing you for trying to keep yourself safe — either physically or mentally.

 

Instead of changing the behavior by punishment, my recommendation would be to try to understand more deeply where the disconnect is. Does he not do the work, or is it just a matter of “respect?” If it’s what the school staff considers respect, then you need to think about whether or not they are adequately adjusting their expectations for someone on the spectrum who may struggle with typical social expectations.

 

When you live with autism, the world can seem like a very dangerous place. You often feel like everyone is “ganging up” on you because they have expectations that you can’t understand. And much like in your case, people punish your son when he fails to meet those expectations.

 

If someone says, “I explained it” and you say, “but I didn’t understand” then you’re punished for not understanding, even though you have a disability. Might they be in the wrong for failure to explain more clearly? This is rarely the case.

 

Because of this, trust can be very difficult to come by, and easy to break. My recommendation, then, is to look for ways to talk with the educational staff about fostering and increasing trust, and try to minimize punishments unless it’s clear there’s a real, conscious choice to do wrong. Poor behavior with intent is very different from a failure to understand.

 

Thanks for reading. Check back next week for another Q&A.

Autism Written on Chalkboard

What Causes Autism?

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IS THERE A CAUSE?

 

It looks like there are going to be multiple causes for autism. One day, when we finally say this is what causes autism, a lot of the causes are probably going to be genetic. I think people are going to say, if you and your husband or wife has certain genes, then your child is 80 percent likely to be autistic. We’re probably also going to say that if you have these nutritional problems while you’re pregnant, your child is likely to be autistic. Simple, understandable things like those.

 

We may also say that for example, it’s looking like if you live near places where lots of pesticides are used, or if you live close to farms, well, then you have a higher rate of autism. But it’s not a guarantee. We know that heavy pesticide use in an area correlates and that doesn’t necessarily mean pesticide causes autism — it just means that something related to that whole process correlates to a person having autism.

 

A CURE

 

In talking about a cure, part of a cure is prevention. If we can stop the causes from ever infecting, then you’re stopping 10 percent or 20 percent of people who would eventually be born with autism. But, keep in mind,  you have nutritional causes, bacteriological causes, and immunological causes. With these causes, you’re going to be looking at supplements, or nutrition, or interesting therapies we might have in the future. This might also include genetic therapies, or other things that I believe can probably help to cure just about anything.

 

I would say that banking on a cure in your child’s lifetime is probably a mistake. Cures are being worked on by brilliant people, but a lot of the best cures are going to be the ones that are going to be applied before the child is born.

 

VACCINATIONS?

 

The rate of autistic people in vaccinated people and the rate of autistic people in unvaccinated people is so close to being the same that there’s no statistical difference. It is possible that we know that autism does correlate to some physical conditions. Often, you hear the stories of the child who went to get vaccinated, and then they came back and they were withdrawn and they seemed autistic.

 

A lot of times the parents of these children will say that he or she was withdrawn right after the visit, and there’s not enough time for whatever is in the vaccine to even affect them in that time period. What there is time for is the shocking experience of going to a waiting room, having something shoved up your arm, bright lights, and cold medical implements.

 

If someone is on the autism spectrum or maybe mildly on the autism spectrum, this could be a traumatic experience just as a life experience that could cause them to withdraw further and cause the parents to finally notice the symptoms that they weren’t looking for before. Because after something like a vaccination, you’re watching and paying more attention to your child to see if they get a fever or if they have any of the other side effects from vaccinations. This is a time when a parent is extremely watchful and most likely to spot the symptoms of it.

 

You hear these stories, but a lot of times there’s no evidence that it was the vaccination that caused it, just that at the time of the vaccination, which also tends to be the age when autism signs start to show up. It’s just one of those things that is frightening for parents and there are a lot of parents who see these things and share stories with other parents, but the evidence on vaccinations is not there to back it up.

 

ACCEPTANCE

 

Overall, there is no cure for autism. There are no magical vaccinations. I truly believe that our time is much better spent on trying to enhance the lives of people with autism, and accept the fact that they may live a different life — rather than trying to “cure” them of their autism. People with autism are amazingly smart and successful in all avenues of life. It’s important to remember that all of us on the spectrum don’t need to be cured, we just need to be accepted for who we are and the ability we have.

The Jenny McCarthy Show

My Thoughts on the Jenny McCarthy Show

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JENNY MCCARTHY & AUTISM

 

Last week was an important week for me. As you may have heard, I made my first appearance on the Jenny McCarthy Show on SiriusXM radio. To start, I believe it went well, and I enjoyed the conversation with Jenny about autism and my new book.

 

But I will say, when I received the invitation to be on the show, I definitely had to think twice about what it would mean to accept the invitation and to speak with Jenny about autism and her controversial opinions.

 

WHY I WENT ON THE SHOW

 

My instincts told me to avoid the show, and to tell the producers that I would not accept the invitation. But that seemed like the easy way out. I understood that a large portion of her audience would benefit from hearing about my experiences and my perspective on life in general.

 

I felt like it was important to go on the show, but to also make it very clear that Jenny and I have differing opinions on many issues within the autism community.

 

In case you’re wondering why this is so important — Jenny’s son, as she has openly talked about, is on the autism spectrum. She has been very vocal on the topic, and it’s safe to say that over the years I have disagreed with a few of her points with regard to vaccinations.

 

That said, whether you’re a fan of hers or not, Jenny has given a voice to the autism community. She is a celebrity and world-famous, so if she’s talking about autism — people are likely going to listen. Although this isn’t always 100% positive, in my opinion, she truly does care about the happiness of people with autism.

 

MY KEY TAKEAWAY

 

So, after speaking with her, it’s clear that her main point is that if parents have children on the spectrum who are in immense pain because of their autism, then she would love to find a cure for that pain — not for the autism. This was a key takeaway from the show.

 

Overall, one thing that is always important to me is the idea that we need to remember that even when we strongly disagree with someone, we need to see life from their perspective before jumping to any conclusions. Most of the time, they’re just doing what they think is best for the people they care about.

 

TAKING THE RISK

 

I took the risk. I went on the show. And I knew that if did not go well, then it would be pretty damaging to my reputation in the autism and disability community. But I felt that sharing my message with her audience was worth the risk.

 

I hope you agree.

 

I’ve posted the 25-minute clip on my YouTube channel, so feel free to check it out by clicking here.

 

We also talked a lot about my new book: AUTISM – Behind The Locked Door: Understanding my Life as an Autistic. You can always learn more about the book at the link below.

 

Behind The Locked Door on Amazon.

 

Thanks.

— Paul

People around desk looking at files

Advice When Employing People With Autism

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A major focus right now in the autism community and a topic that is very important to me is employment for people with disabilities and autism. Right now, we’re learning more about autism and employment, and specifically about high functioning autism and employment. Specifically, we’re learning that lot of times people on the autism spectrum are better able to perform specific types of tasks at work, in which they have a very clear responsibility.

 

A lot of times, this means repetitive tasks. Tasks that don’t require a lot of personal initiative, but do require the absolute following of directions, and the repetition of a precise set of steps. A lot of this is attention to detail. And in a lot of cases, there are both small groups of educators and businesspeople, as well as large companies, hiring for roles in which people on the autism spectrum can actually be more effective than some people without autism.

 

Sometimes it’s very hard for some people with autism to hold jobs, and while it may not end up looking like typical employment in the future, there is research on a lot of fronts going into ways that people on the autism spectrum can find jobs and roles that fit, so that they can stay at their jobs for longer periods of time.

 

I’d say that one of the biggest reasons people with autism tend to struggle with holding jobs is that a large part of those jobs is social interactions with people at work. It’s how well you get along with your co-workers. It’s how well you get along with your manager. It’s how much your manager likes you. This is not a great metric for successful work for some people on the autism spectrum.

 

For a lot of people on the autism spectrum, they see a job as, “These are the job requirements that I was given.” Maybe it was a writing a document. Maybe it was a creating a briefing for a manager. Or maybe it was putting together or finishing a training program. These are all clear cut job responsibilities — black and white.

 

The typical response for someone on the autism spectrum when someone asks them to do something that does NOT fit their job description is, “Well, that’s not my job.”

 

The typical expected response of an employee in that same exact workplace situation is, “Well, he’s the boss. He gets to tell me what to do. And now I have to make an adjustment and do the new work that I was just assigned.”

 

But I would tend to ask, “why?”

 

In this example, we have the huge issue of gray area vs. black and white. You’ve given the employee their “guidelines and instructions,” and then you start changing things around on them. That makes it very difficult for with someone on the autism spectrum to really fit in and flourish in the long-term at a place of employment.

 

People sometimes ask me, “Paul, what if I had a to-do list for you at work and halfway through the day I added a few things, would that bother you? And the answer is – yes, it would bother me.

 

Absolutely. I would be very bothered.

 

Of course, this is a case-by-case basis, but it would certainly not be ideal for many people on the spectrum.

 

If someone were to say “Well, Paul, this just came in and we need to get it done today because it’s more important than your previous task.” Then sure, I’d work hard to understand that. I know that some things just need to get done before others. For some other people on the spectrum, this might be harder to deal with. Often, there’s a lot of resistance to change, and I’ve learned to deal with change as long as I understand the reason for the change. But a lot of people on the autism spectrum are really firm on the fact that all change is bad.

 

Overall, this sudden change does induce quite a bit of anxiety, but I have learned to cope with the anxiety by trying to understand the root of the change and why it is necessary, in certain cases, to be flexible at a job.

 

So, in closing, it’s important for employers and other people working with people with autism to understand the issue a lot of us have with sudden change and a lack of certainty. If we can all work to mitigate this sudden change, people with autism would likely have a much easier time flourishing in the workplace.