There are pros and cons to disclosing to an employer that you have Asperger’s Disorder. Some Asperger’s Disorder teens and adults believe if they tell the employer during the interview, they will not get the job. Those who have followed this practice, however, warn that once they are hired they are faced with having to hide their symptoms from their coworkers and it is usually not long before their difficulties are apparent to their coworkers and supervisor. Those who have disclosed their Asperger’s Disorder to the interviewer report being happy they had done so, as once they started the job their employer was able to give them what they needed to do the job successfully.
The potential assets and liabilities of disclosure should be carefully considered for each job interview. Discussing and rehearsing disclosure with an employment counselor or therapist is a good idea. Be clear about the reasons for disclosure and what is needed from the employer if a job offer is made. If disclosure is decided against, the job candidate can prepare questions ahead of time to determine if the job will meet his needs for success. Again, an employment counselor or therapist can help with the phrasing of these questions.
Adults with Asperger’s Disorder report greater success in their job with the following:
• Job mentor or coach: An established coworker who can answer questions instead of trying to figure it out alone.
• Clear expectations: Written details of rules, routine, duties, procedures, and requirements for productivity that tell what, when, where, and how to do the job.
• Organization: Additional time to organize before starting tasks.
• Increased time to learn the job: Additional time to learn the job before being considered for termination.
• Similar coworkers: Working with others who are similar decreases social difficulties.
• Interest-focused jobs: Finding work in an area of interest.
• Preparation: Being notified of upcoming changes in tasks, procedures, schedules, etc.
• Written information: Information in writing increases success more than verbal information.
• Limited social contact: Less contact with people will decrease social difficulties.
• Supervisors: Clear expectations and being left alone to do the work without micromanagement. Accepting and tolerant supervisor.
• Environment: Quiet and away from coworkers.
• Teamwork: None or very limited.