One of the most difficult things to find for an older developmentally disabled person is a job. People living with a label are often rejected and can't find a job at all, or they are ridiculed so much in a job they already have that they end up quitting. This can plunge them into poverty, shame and depression.
Employers may view behavioral health issues with negativity instead of seeing what an asset this potential employee can be to their company. An autistic person, for example, works well by him or herself and may even find a better way to do the job because they see it from a different angle.
When a developmentally disabled person seeks a job, they should answer the following questions first:
- Do they enjoy working with people or working alone?
- Do they enjoy working with their hands more or with their mind in problem solving skills?
- Do they prefer to work indoors or outdoors?
- Are their skills geared more toward electronics and computers, healthcare, nature?
Knowing what they want will help the job seeking process go smoother and make it easier to land a job that they will feel most comfortable doing. Someone who has difficulty with motor skills and enjoys working indoors may seek a job as a librarian. An individual who is sensitive to a large range of sounds may enjoy working outdoors as a farmer. A person who struggles with Asperger's syndrome may love the life of a computer technician.
This is where the rubber meets the road because choosing a career will be up to them, not what a label or another person dictates to them. Most importantly, they will learn to gather up the courage and go get what they want.
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