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Roger N. Meyer "...of a different mind "
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Aspergerís Syndrome Employment Workbook : An Employment Workbook for Adults with Aspergerís Syndrome, by Roger N Meyer, published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers

 

 

    Review by Tony Attwood, as found on his web page:  http://www.tonyattwood.com.au/index.htm

 

    I highly recommend this book and have written the Foreword.

 

    Roger Meyer is someone who understands the unusual profile of abilities of adults with Aspergerís Syndrome from personal experience and meticulous study. He was diagnosed relatively late in life and his employment workbook is based on his own work history and the observations and detailed analysis of over 200 adults who have written their employment biographies. The workbook was designed to be read by an adult with Aspergerís Syndrome and is written in the style of a conversation between author and reader. Roger states, ďMy interest lies in helping you understand how you arrive at your own decisionsĒ. Completing the workbook is a private journey of discovery that will enable the reader to identify and understand their strengths and weaknesses, resolve issues in their work history and outline a plan for a more successful future.

 

    We have several publications on strategies to help children with Aspergerís Syndrome at school but Rogerís workbook is the seminal publication for adults in the workplace. The challenges faced by such individuals do not end when they leave school and the development of employment skills and vocational guidance should commence in early adolescence and continue throughout the personís working life. Their profile of abilities can include attributes such as an extensive knowledge base, reliability and attention to detail but a difficulty coping with change, the interpersonal aspects of the position and an unusual learning style. New research is suggesting that adults with Aspergerís Syndrome can achieve, maintain and succeed in a wide range of occupations but the first step on the journey is to identify their qualities and areas that need to be addressed. This workbook provides that first step.

 

    We recognize the value of work not simply as a source of income for financial independence, but also as a means of improving our self-image, contributing to our community and providing opportunities for social experiences. People with Aspergerís Syndrome often define themselves primarily by their occupation and interests, i.e. what they do in a practical sense rather than their social network. Unemployment or misery in their job has a devastating effect on their quality of life, self-image and mood. Work circumstances can be a cause of depression, anxiety and anger that require psychological intervention and medication. Improving the personís work circumstances can have a beneficial effect for the individual, their family, colleagues and employer as well as contributing to an improvement in their productivity.

 

    The first part of the workbook provides a review of our knowledge of Aspergerís Syndrome and aspects relevant to employment. The description of the learning and social profile is particularly illuminating. The reader identifies the characteristics that are applicable to their own profile of abilities as part of the process of self-discovery to make better decisions. However, once the person recognizes their differences, they are faced with the dilemma of disclosure. Who do you inform? How much do you reveal? And what are the likely consequences? Roger outlines the diagnostic process, issues related to disclosure and the importance of self-advocacy. His role is that of a mentor, providing information on employment law, social skills, learning and work styles, conditions associated with Aspergerís Syndrome as well as special skills and interests.

 

    Roger is a cabinetmaker and his skills are apparent in the meticulous detail and quality of workmanship he provides in the instructions for the employment biography provided in Part 2 of the workbook. He carefully guides the reader through the various stages in completing their employment biography, anticipating their questions and providing answers and examples. Gradually the reader discovers their pattern of abilities, appropriate strategies and accommodations they have used in the past and is helped to develop a comprehensive plan to improve their current and future work.

 

    Although the book is written as a personal self-help manual, it is also designed as a resource for conventional training and employment services. The workbook can also be used by High School teachers preparing the adolescent for the transition between school and work and employment and vocational counsellors who are assisting the person to determine an appropriate career and employer. Management and Personnel staff will benefit from the information when reviewing deployment and promotion with the person with Aspergerís Syndrome. It is also a valuable resource for a parent or partner to facilitate wise decisions that will affect the family, and for clinicians who recognise the importance of the personís employment circumstances as a significant factor contributing to their quality of life and mood. Completing Roger Meyerís Employment Workbook starts a journey of self-discovery that will have a beneficial effect for all of us.

 

 

 

ROGER N. MEYER

"Öof a different mind"

Disability Advocacy and

Person-Centered Planning

18162 East Burnside

Portland, OR  97233

Phone and FAX:  503-666-2776

Email:  rogernmeyer@earthlink.net

 

Copy Right Issues

    This article is copyright, all rights reserved by the author, Roger N. Meyer.  It may be reproduced in single copy once for personal use, and in no more than ten copies total for educational purposes.  Fair Use is authorized for all purposes and under conditions established by US Statute and the International Copyright Convention, to which the United States is a signatory nation.  No person shall publish, distribute, copy, or by other means make this material available to others for purposes of personal gain or professional self-aggrandizement.  Individuals wishing permission to exercise other than fair use or limited distribution as outlined above must contact the author, in writing, and receive explicit written permission from the author prior to engaging in further use of this material.

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