Missouri Advocates For Families Affected by Autism

We are a citizens action group advocating and lobbying for families that have a child with special needs. We believe that EVERY child has a right to a FREE and APPROPRIATE EDUCATION and should NEVER BE LEFT BEHIND.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Teacher with autism explains the best work situations for those with autism and those hiring them - wptv.com

Teacher with autism explains the best work situations for those with autism and those hiring them - wptv.com

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla - "You make small payments for the first five years and at the end of the mortgage everything else is done,"  Rachel Silverman says as she leads a small class of students at the Dan Marino Foundation.
In this classroom the students are between 18 to 24-years-old, are on the autism spectrum or have cerebral palsy. They are high functioning, and on this day the lesson is mortgages.
"We take 5, divide it by 2 and that's 2.5," she says, working out a mortgage math problem with them.
But another lesson is being taught here too, and that's for students to pick the right line of work.
"Unfortunately, many business jobs have higher social and sensory requirements requiring a lot of social skills and a lot of teamwork that are ill suited for autistic people," she said.
Rachel speaks from experience. Not only is she an instructor and an advocate for those with autism,  but she's also on the autism spectrum. 
Her advice for those with autism looking for a job is to select a field that can accommodate their needs.
"You need something that doesn't require you to work in face-to-face social interactions and a lot of teamwork," she explained.
She also has advice for employers.
"You have to talk to us directly and explicitly and if you're managing somebody you preferably want to give them written instructions."
The results can be beneficial for the employer.
"We are very detailed oriented, we are very focused, we 're very loyal to the employer, we're very hard working and we're very dedicated."
In her case she earned a degree in international relations, and a masters in taxation. As they rely on social skills, those jobs didn't work out. But they led her to here.
"Now I've found a job I love as a teacher," she said.

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