Discuss getting a diagnosis, educational help & electronic devices and apps for autism.

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Postby idriguesk » Mon Jul 25, 2016 10:27 am

Hello, my name is David and I have a 10 (almost 11) year-old brother who has Fragile X syndrome and one thing he is really passionate about is photography and well, sometimes some of his photos turn out really well, so I decided it would be a good idea to create an Instagram account to post some of his photos so he could get into photography even more and maybe one day make a career out of it. I know this is not the place to be asking for followers or anything, but, as most of you know, it's not easy for someone with autism to have a job or a career, and I really believe that with some work and some reeinforcement my brother could someday make a career out of his passion and I just wanna help him get his talent out there. So, if anyone is interested in following him, his instragram is:
Thank you so much!

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Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2016 1:35 am

Re: Photography

Postby DC1346 » Fri Aug 26, 2016 9:54 pm

idriguesk wrote:As most of you know, it's not easy for someone with autism to have a job or a career, and I really believe that with some work and some reeinforcement my brother could someday make a career out of his passion and I just wanna help him get his talent out there.

Kudos on encouraging your son's interest but I respectfully disagree with the aforementioned statement.

I am autistic (high performing end, Asperger's Syndrome) and I wasn't diagnosed until rather late in life ... 54 years old (just last year). I have 3 college degrees including a Master's and I worked as an an elementary teacher in Texas public schools as well as private American schools in Saudi Arabia and Lebanon. After burning out, I pursued a culinary degree and worked in the food service industry for four years. I eventually went back into education, this time as a Chef Instructor and have now been teaching Culinary Arts for 8 years. Now that the new school year has resumed, I am entering my 26th year of teaching. '

I make a decent living. I own two homes, one of which I purchased as an investment for rental income. I've published 9 books and earn royalty income. I'm even a staff writer for an on-line forum for chefs. I've lived abroad and have traveled around the world more times than I can actually remember.

With this being said, I think that people like me have an intrinsic advantage over millennials.

I grew up before Asperger's Syndrome was even a diagnosis. My parents FORCED ME to socialize. Initially I had to join the cub scouts and then I went into Weblos and from there, the Boy Scouts. In the days before cable and satellite TV and the internet, we played board games and games like Red Rover or kickball. By forcing me to socialize, I learned how to take turns. I learned basic protocols for interacting with others. These lessons were reinforced at home and at school and at Church.

Millennials are at a disadvantage because they grew up with technology. Instead of playing with others or being made to join an extracurricular activity, many of them escaped from reality into video games and didn't develop the social skills needed to be out and about in the world.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not HAPPY to be out and about in the world. By nature I'm a reclusive introvert ... but I am capable of being out and about and if I don't tell anyone that I'm autistic, I can pass for normal ... maybe a slightly eccentric normal for anyone who knows me, but still a neruotypical.

To give you an example of my eccentricity, if I'm going to eat out, I only do so on alternate Tuesdays and only at one of three restaurants. At each restaurant, I will always order the same entree with the same sides, the same beverage, and the same dessert.

About 1.5 years ago, the Outback Steak House abruptly dropped strawberry milkshakes from their menu. I was devastated because that was one of the food items I ordered. I was so upset about the loss of strawberry mini-shakes that I held a memorial service at the Outback. Since I eat early (usually at 4 PM), I was the only customer in the bar section.

I had a framed picture of an Outback Steak House strawberry mini-milkshake. I put the photograph on the table, pulled out my cell phone, placed my right hand over my heart and had the cell phone play taps.

This solemn occasion was ruined when the bartender and server began to snicker.


The bottom line is this. If you're on the high performing end of the autistic spectrum, yes, you can have a career. The secret is to think about your interests and to find a job that relates to that interest.

I got into elementary education because I like history and writing and as a 3rd and 4th grade teacher, I got to teach social studies and composition. I also taught science, health, cursive handwriting, reading, spelling,and math ... and that was okay but my true love was social studies and composition.

I also have an interest in all food related subjects and so I worked in the food service industry and later transitioned into Culinary Arts.

I HAVE had part time jobs that I absolutely couldn't stand.

I worked as a campus security card at a university. I hated it and only lasted for about a month. I also tried working in the "front of the house" at a restaurant and took on the job training to be a restaurant manager. I lasted for about 9 months. I hated it because a good part of my job was interacting with customers and I HATED THAT. I especially hated dealing with customer problem conflict resolution.

I spent 3 months freelancing as a computer programmer but hated dealing with clients who kept changing the parameters of what they wanted.

I have found that if you pursue a career in which you have an almost obsessive interest, you may indulge your interest while also making a living.

It's just a thought.



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