Autism is a developmental disorder that primarily manifests itself in difficulties with forming social bonds and communicating. It also is associated with Intellectual Disability, which inhibits a person’s ability to learn. For many people with autism, the affliction affects their ability to effectively communicate and form bonds with people for their entire lives. For some people with no early intervention, autism can leave them nonverbal, with no way to speak at all. There is a stigma that people with autism are disabled to the point where they can’t work.
However, autism occurs on a spectrum, with some people experiencing more mild symptoms and higher cognitive function and others experiencing severe symptoms and greatly reduced cognitive function. For these people who don’t have all-encompassing symptoms, they can definitely work and have productive lives.
Despite all the difficulty children with autism face, they can hold jobs and become responsible adults. For example, Temple Grandin is a famous activist and holds a doctorate in animal science. She is a professor at Colorado State University. She also has autism. While Temple Grandin is an extreme example of success for a person with autism, there are many people with autism who are able to work. Depending on the level of severity, people with autism can hold down jobs and live pretty normal lives.
If your loved one has autism, it’s important to start early with treatments like behavioral and speech therapy. This can teach him or her how to communicate effectively and how to “read” social situations and nonverbal cues. When a child with autism has a very early exposure to treatment, she is much more likely to learn to function well in society. When an adult with autism knows how to steer through social situations and how to deal with the stress that can come up in their daily work lives, the sky is the limit for what type of job he can have!