This month, The Arc’s blog will feature a Q & A with members of The Arc’s national office staff to help raise awareness of issues important to the I/DD community during Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month. Amy Goodman is the co-director of the Autism Now National Resource and Information Center and is on the autism spectrum.
Q. Amy, as a person who is on the autism spectrum, help us raise some awareness during Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month. Are there any myths or popular misconceptions about autism that you would like to help dispel?
“Individuals on the autism spectrum can work, should work and make some of the best employees.”
A. Yes, it’s a myth that individuals with autism or Asperger’s syndrome cannot work because of their disability. Not true. Individuals on the autism spectrum can work, should work and make some of the best employees. An individual just needs to find an environment that is accepting of disabilities, a supervisor that has some experience working with individuals on the spectrum, and a boss who understands their unique characteristics and how they can fit in to help make others aware of what it is like to live with a disability. If more people would take the time to see the individual for who they are and what they can do and not focus on the disability maybe more individuals with autism or Asperger’s would be employed, which might solve the problem of having too many individuals on SSI. Or maybe not, but it’s a start.