How can I launch my daughter with Asperger’s into adulthood

Hi – I just discovered your blog & feel excited + relieved to learn the potential joyful life for an Aspie woman. My creative, severely anxious yet improving child probably fits in the spectrum. There are about ten thousand events I wish to recount and then ask for analysis, but…

1 – What suggestions do you have for a part time time job for her? We live in rural northern NY State with access to a mall, fast-food places and parks/YMCA. My sense is that it’s time for my daughter to get more skill building, but it terrifies me that she might go into tailspins, experience traumas etc. I virtually force her to complete some tasks which come easy for most, have her repeat them and reinforce her success – such as pumping gas, using the self-checkout at Walmart. Need I add that she lives on-line, writing lots of fiction?

2 – How can I help her get into the school to sit for the SAT? No, she has no accommodations for her anxiety because she won’t go to a psych assessment (epic fail a couple years ago).

3 – Do you know any phone apps which would help with her executive functioning tasks? All that I have checked out seem only to help already-highly functioning people move from an “A-” to an “A+” whereas moving to a “D” would seriously be success for us.

Thanks a million from Mom of a Fabulous Daughter!

Which job is better?

I work for the state at a VERY relaxed (we can wear whatever- flip flops, tank tops- whatever) The thing is, I don’t have a lot to do. They acknowledge this. I am bored much of the time, which drives me nuts.

My conundrum is- should I interview for another state job (that pays more or an advance, but who knows what the atmosphere is)? It really is a good group I work with and I have worked for the devil himself in a female form in the past.

I’ve only been here 6 months. It could get better or not. I’ve asked for additional duties but none are available. I worry that my job could go away because of that, but when I expressed my concerns, they assure me not. But of course- it is government.

Thoughts?

I feel like I’m in a job that doesn’t fit who I am

I’m 25 years old and I work in a senior advisor position within a government.  I help form decisions with some of the most senior elected officials that appear on TV news hour. I navigate political warfare, and I make more than the combined salaries of my parents.

But somehow this meteoric rise churns in my stomach since by night I inherently reside in another galaxy. I’m a hobbyist performer in breakdance/funkstyles/hiphop culture. I share communal practice space and session 3-4 times a week after work. I’m more in-tune with the grassroots arts organizations and people that meet what we call a “struggling artist” profile. I do local outreach with them in fact.  I know and can recite all the lyrics of Notorious B.I.G’s Big Poppa, prefer high top sneakers over oxfords, and generally grew up with this type of environment since high school.

I find myself in a space in life right now where I simply don’t have a place called home in the realm of social circle. Don’t get me wrong, I can mingle with the best of the suits in a networking session, but I’m genuinely not interested in hearing about how fast your Porsche 911 can go. In the same way I admire the artist community, I couldn’t find myself fully relating to some arts educators who tell stories about literally saving children from suicide by teaching them dance.

I feel there’s something wrong with me. I wake up many mornings wondering if I should pursue other things. Do “successful” people at mid 20’s ever face loneliness? What if I don’t find myself fitting in with the country club?

What should I say about the company i tried to start but didn’t

I spent a year working on my app but have nothing to show for it since it’s not ready. What should I do about my resume? Do I  1) leave the app off completely and have a gap there, 2) tell the truth about running out of money (which sounds like a lame excuse to me), 3) say I dropped the app because I realized it wasn’t going to work out, 4) forget changing jobs?

I know how to talk about the business. My concern is, there’s a difference between getting something off the ground and failing, and not even finishing the thing in the first place. It sounds like I don’t have the grit to get something done. Or that the idea was stupid and I’m not qualified to run their business because I’ll just come up with more stupid ideas.

Advice on daily decision making with Asperger’s

I am a college student with Asperger’s and I need some advice.

Daily decisions really wear me out and I am incredibly bad at making them. For instance, I had a wisdom tooth ache and I didn’t realize that it was causing all the health problems I’ve been having for years until I connected the dots yesterday. Also, I had trouble on deciding when to schedule my dental appointment because it would conflict with school. So, in making that decision, I had to weigh my own level of pain, the severity of the ailment and my personal schedule. It really drained me.

Also, I have a lot of trouble making daily snap decisions, such as whether to have lunch with friends or alone, where to study, what I should do with someone new I’ve just met, what I should do about an event/unexpected social plans that just cropped up but that may conflict with other errands that are in my schedule, when I should answer email or check my Facebook account, how I should behave when confronted with certain unique situations I’ve never encountered before, etc. etc.

I really don’t want this problem to keep me from living the life I want to live or stop me from doing what I want. Do you have any advice for me? How do you do it? Any tips would be extremely appreciated!

What to say in an interview if I’ve been fired?

I love your site and have a sticky question to ask about resumes/interviews when you’ve been unemployed. You said you yourself had been fired a few times, so I hoped you might have some insight.

I worked at a company with a high rate of turnover and what was (in my mind) a toxic work environment. I was fired for the first time in my professional life last summer.

I know it’s something like career suicide to say your old bosses were horrible people and that you were victimized, but when asked about why you left the last job, what is appropriate to say?

I was considering something to the effect of, “Restructuring.” And also bringing up the detail that I was replaced by a contract worker, but I myself was offered continued freelance work with the company, after the fact (which shows that I couldn’t have been a horrific employee and that they liked my work).

Do I mention that there was constant restructuring at my old company? That I saw 60% of my colleagues get let go, restructured, or otherwise terminated?

It seems unfair that the only time my performance was called into question, it was by a volatile company. All the same, a lengthy explanation makes it sound like I’m covering something up.

I know the best course is diplomacy, but how do I cover my butt while being professional?

When are questions insulting?

I have really great people on my network on Facebook (but not all of them talk to me) and yesterday I needed a few brilliant ideas that I turned to my Chat box and saw who among my Tech connections (people I look up and respect because of their ideas) are online and it happens that this “Social Media Boss” was online so I approached her with,

“Hi [name]
I was wondering if you could share some crazy ideas like what’s the craziest thing you’d do for something you’d really want?”

I fired up the question hoping it was interesting and perhaps she’d be so kind to share some, and I was totally taken aback by her answer:

“What made you think I would share ideas with you?”

I told her I’m sorry if she doesn’t want to and that’s fine with me; and I forgot her services are paid.

Now me and this lady have a lot of mutual friends, she’s a boss in a consulting company, but we never really talked except once I told her that I really liked the video interview of her despite the criticisms on it and she thanked me. Besides that, the second encounter was the unfortunate event yesterday.

Then she went on that “Do you pay by hour?” I told her I couldn’t afford her services and since she’s someone I look up to, perhaps I could get some ideas. Then she told me it was my nice way of saying I like her services but I want it for free.

Now I get it, maybe she felt insulted and violated that she’s someone that has mastered her skill and has become a “big shot”(at least her region and she thinks she is), and I, have been ‘stupid’ to ask for her ideas when she’s actually paid to do it. Then she goes on with:

“Thank your luck you’re one lowly an individual” that I wouldn’t trigger a backlash. Now that I must tell you, hurts.

But then again, I apologized if she felt insulted and violated because after all, we don’t have any strong association. She posted on her Wall that if I really “look up to her”, I wouldn’t ask her on a “cheap Facebook message”.

Penelope, I wonder if is that how most “big shots” really respond? Like when a blog reader asks you a question, would you feel insulted that I solicit your opinion or idea for free?

I would really appreciate your comment on this. Perhaps you could shed me and your other blog readers some light as to when is it “good” to ask questions, or is it even okay to ask “professionals” like her when she does consulting for a living. I thought it was an innocent question, but what do you think?

Hey, remember that time you told us you posed nude?

I’ve been a big fan of yours recently.  I can’t help but think you said that you posed nude a few times in one of your blog posts before.

I was wondering if there was any way to see those shots?

If not, sorry for asking.  Just being frank, something I wouldn’t mind seeing.

My daughter with Aspergers doesn’t want to do anything

I have a daughter with Aspergers.  She doesn’t know that she has it and if we try to speak to her about it she will not accept it.   I read your article Don’t Miss Diagnosing Aspergers in Young Girls and my daughter also can’t seem to wash her hair properly, nor comb it . . . ever.

She is 14 and doesn’t have friends.  She says that she does, but they are all online friends who have never met her in person.  It is hard to find help for her since she thinks that there is absolutely nothing wrong.

She is not a good student, the only class she does well in is Language Arts. She is disorganized and will just lie on her back with her computer on her lap all day long if I don’t force her to do something else.  She can’t manage time.

What I am trying so desperately to figure out is what kind of help works?  What type of therapist works?  Especially for someone who thinks that they don’t need any help? We live in Raleigh, NC.  I don’t know where to go or what to do.

Timing of baby and grad school

I am in my late 20s and married to an amazing man. I have a liberal arts degree, and after much unhappiness in the workplace + a job layoff, I enrolled in a grad program. I love what I’m pursuing (speech pathology), as it’s much more rewarding and interesting. I’m an INFJ personality type, and the cutthroat business world wasn’t for me.

However, I am feeling very stressed about when is the “right time” to have a child. I considered this before beginning school but assumed I would figure it out, though I still have not. My ideal age is 30-32, and my husband agrees, but this is when I will be new to my career (I graduate when I’m 29).

I fear I won’t be taken seriously if I get pregnant in my first few years of work. I’ve also considered getting pregnant while in grad school and trying to “time it” so the baby is born after the degree is completed but before I begin working. I know ultimately no one can decide for us, but I’d appreciate any insights from you & your readers.