Empathy

By Marcella Mackowiak

When I first started at Options, I had the very challenging task of placing students in jobs. I did not have any prior exposure to persons living with ASD, let alone understanding what ASD is. But as I worked with these students, I started to realize how limited they were in the jobs they could do. Not so much because of their capabilities, but because of the environment and bosses who were not empathetic to their differences. I had a student who did not talk so much, but was brilliant on computers. Because he would not talk on the phone, it was hard to place him. However, with lots of assistance from various other organizations, he was accepted as a teammate to serve lunch and dinner to army personnel through a Goodwill project. While it was not computers, the environment was perfect for him. Calm, no expectations in terms of conversation and repetitive tasks.

Michael John Carley, founder of GRASP (Global and Regional Asperger Syndrome Partnership) published an incredible article about a gentleman who has Asperger’s and his struggles with work until he was able to find someone to accommodate and understand his needs. This article gave me hope- hope that in the future it will be easier to place my students in jobs that they can do with employers who understand. Enjoy…

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/59c86121e4b08d66155043dc

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Author: optionsforcollegesuccess

Options for College Success is incorporated as a 501(c) 3 not for profit organization. The population we serve are young adults with learning challenges and disabilities. Our program focuses on six areas of a student's life. We take an individualized approach to ensure that each student is able to realize their full potential. No cutting corners, just the help they need when they need it. www.optionsforcollegesuccess.org 847.425.4797

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