We shouldn't have to explain that being blunt does not mean, "Be an uncontrollable dickhead to any autistic person you meet from now on. They love it!" We shouldn't have to, but knowing the Internet, we probably do.
For People With Autism, Work Is a Huge Hurdle
One in three young autistic adults has zero paid work experience, even seven years after high school graduation. This is significantly higher than the rate for people with mental disabilities. We're not going to claim there's only one cause for so large a problem, but being seen as even a little weird can torpedo your chances in the working world.
Nina Mason: "I can't prove I was fired from my last job for being autistic. What I can do is say that it's awfully funny that I was 'doing a great job, just relax a little -- you don't need to push yourself to learn everything so fast' until four days after I disclosed to my boss, and then suddenly I was 'making customers uncomfortable' and 'not learning company standards.' I've had people tell me I made them uncomfortable because the Aurora shooter had autism. To my face."
STF/AFP/Getty ImagesWhich is about on par with being linked to Charles Manson because of a similar haircut.
As Chris pointed out, deciding whether or not to disclose your autism to an employer is a major choice:
"If we admit to being autistic upfront, that means a reason not to hire us. If we don't and we get the job somehow, we risk being fired because of the whole 'there's something a little odd about that person; I don't like them' crap."
NAN104/iStock/Getty Images"Pros: highly qualified professional. Cons: holds eye contact a little longer than usual."
And while "coming out" to your employer can have some serious negative repercussions (as Nina experienced), it might also really help:
Chris: "At work, I had a coworker who would always avoid me. She had a look in her eyes that indicated that she found me creepy somehow, as I did nothing more than walk down the hall. It's hard for me to look natural -- natural for me is either staring straight ahead, staring at the person, or avoiding their gaze. She seemed to find me creepy ... until one day she randomly warmed up, and was nice after that. I imagine she must have told her boss (who knows I'm autistic) that I was creeping her out, and got set straight."
Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty ImagesNaturally creepy guys: This is not the excuse you should use to make women warm up to you.
Robert Evans heads up Cracked's personal experience team, and he has a Twitter. Chris Gallagher would like to see everyone become an Everyday Hero, or at least die trying.
For more insider perspectives, check out 5 Ridiculous Myths You Probably Believe About Schizophrenia and 6 Surprising Ways Life Looks Different With Terminal Disease.
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