Ideal jobs for those with Asperger profiles include ones that prioritize self-motivation, detail orientation, and intellectual complexity.
An Asperger profile — previously known as Asperger’s syndrome — is a type of autism spectrum disorder that’s characterized by social and behavioral impairments with little to no intellectual or language delays.
Because autistic people with Asperger profiles don’t require as much support as other autistic people with more severe autism, they’re often described as being “high functioning.” However, that term is relatively outdated and doesn’t account for the challenges that autistic people might experience in their everyday lives — especially when it comes to employment.
Below, we’ll explore some of the job options that autistic people with Asperger profiles can thrive at, as well as discuss what accommodations exist for autistic folks in the workplace.
Autism affects each individual differently, but autistic people with Asperger profiles generally experience impairments in
- Impaired social communication and interactions: People with Asperger profiles may have a lowered interest in social interaction and might find it difficult to have social interactions with others. Autistic folks with Asperger’s tend to express themselves nonverbally differently than others, such as using nontypical facial expressions or gestures.
- Restricted and repetitive behaviors and activities: Autistic people with Asperger profiles often exhibit patterns of repetitive behavior, such as repetitive body movements or speech. People with Asperger profiles might find it difficult to move away from certain behaviors or engage in behaviors they’re not used to.
Although people with Asperger profiles may find things like social interactions and activity changes difficult, they often thrive in other areas. For example, autistic people with Asperger’s might find that they succeed best at tasks that are detail-oriented and repetitive or require someone with a strong memory or intellect.
When it comes to employment, some of the possible jobs that play to these strengths while limiting potential challenges might include:
- mail delivery
- data entry
- retail stocking
- personal shopping
- dog walking
- animal care
Of course, even with the suggestions above, there is no one job that is “best” for everyone with Asperger profiles. Instead, most autistic folks find that they feel most fulfilled in a job that balances their challenges with their strengths. Finding an employer who is inclusive of neurodivergent people is also key to having a fulfilling career.
Are there employment agencies for people with Asperger profiles?
If you or someone you love is interested in exploring the various resources that exist for autistic people looking for employment, here are a few to get you started:
- Job Accommodation Network (JAN) shares accommodation options at the workplace for disabilities.
- Office of Disability Employment Policy has employment resources for autistic adults.
- Independent Living Research Utilization (ILRU) Program has a search tool for independent living centers.
- Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) has employment resources for autistic adults.
- Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation (CSAVR) has a list of state vocational rehabilitation agencies.
Autism can affect the way someone engages with the world around them ― and for people with Asperger profiles, this can sometimes make employment challenging. In fact, research suggests that a significant percentage of autistic people remain unemployed because of factors like job imbalances and lack of accommodations.
However, autism is considered a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which means that accommodations exist to help reduce potential challenges at work. If you’re planning on asking for reasonable accommodations for yourself or a loved one, here are some questions to consider beforehand:
- What barriers are you or your loved one experiencing that make it difficult to work?
- Which work tasks are you or your loved one having the most trouble with?
- Which accommodations exist to help improve these limitations and challenges at work?
Accommodation can vary from job to job, and from person to person, depending on their needs. For example, an autistic person with an Asperger profile might not need reading or typing accommodations but instead may benefit from digital calendars and written messages to help with things like staying on task and communicating.
What jobs aren’t good for people with Asperger profiles?
There is no right or wrong job for autistic people with Asperger profiles. But while some autistic people may choose to face workplace challenges head-on, others may want to reserve their energy by limiting those challenges.
For example, autistic people with Asperger profiles may find it difficult to work in jobs that involve a lot of social interaction or changing responsibilities, like sales or teaching. And for autistic folks who also have other challenges, like learning disabilities or mental health conditions, some job responsibilities can be even more difficult.
When it comes to choosing the best job for someone with autism, autistic folks should always be the ones to decide what type of employment does and doesn’t work for them.
Everyone has bad days at work, but if your job leaves you feeling stressed and overwhelmed most of the time ― then that might not be a good environment for you.
A disability is any physical or mental impairment that makes it difficult for a person to engage in substantial life activities. Although many autistic people do not view their autism as a disability, autism spectrum disorder is considered a neurological developmental disability, according to the
Autistic people with Asperger profiles may not experience the same level of disability as other autistic people, such as those with intellectual or language impairments. However, having an Asperger profile can still make it difficult for someone to fully manage everyday activities.
If you decide to apply for disability, a psychologist will evaluate your symptoms and make a decision as to whether or not you qualify for any disability benefits. Learn more about autism’s relationship to disability here.
Autistic people with Asperger profiles often experience increased social and behavioral impairments, which can sometimes lead to challenges in the workplace.
For autistic folks who do experience challenges at work, workplace accommodations can help reduce those difficulties and allow them to lean into their own personal strengths.
The best jobs for someone with an Asperger profile will likely prioritize independence and be detail-oriented. Many work-from-home career paths may be ideal. Employment resources exist to help you find the best job for you.