Aspergers at Work GmbH
Im Hinterstück 12
+41 79 825 78 94
Like many with an Autistic Spectrum Condition I have had to face many obstacles trying to enter the world of employment. Too few employers knew what Asperger’s was. I experienced not only hidden discrimination but, also, blatant discrimination. I am determined, and motivated, to ensure that young people with Asperger’s are not the victims of poor understanding and misconceptions about the condition. Employers not only have to be made aware of what Asperger’s is, but also of the advantages and benefits to their business of employing individuals with the condition. These individuals are often very high functioning and have skills that are underused and unappreciated. Through my work I would like to raise the profile of people with Asperger’s in a positive manner.
Patrick Samuel, England
My name is Patrick Samuel. I am an artist and public speaker living in London. I was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome and ADHD late in life. When I started my daily art therapy in December 2016, I did so at first to develop coping mechanisms and learn social skills, but meanwhile I have come to see painting and drawing as my calling, and my neurodiversity as a gift rather than a disability. Usually, I finish one piece a day, so I have produced quite a large portfolio with a wide range of styles and media so far.
Since getting back into art, I have had five solo exhibitions. I have been travelling around the country with my carer giving talks at autism shows, conferences and in schools and community centres about how I experience my autism and the world. I use my exhibitions to tell something about my condition too. As someone with synesthesia, I also compose music, and this goes together with my art quite well.
Before I had my formal diagnosis and support, I tried to ignore an important part about myself because for so long that is what others were doing to me. Now I have embraced that autism and ADHD are part of who I am, and from those I have met at my exhibitions and at conferences, and because of the media coverage I have received, I realise how important it is to be visible and vocal. There are many others like me struggling to get support, and are afraid of what being autistic might mean, or simply do not understand it.
A disability does not have to be a disadvantage. It can give us unique viewpoints that we can use to our advantage and that is what I am doing through art, music, poetry and in my talks.
Juraj Jascur, Switzerland
My name is Juraj and I live in Switzerland. My parents come from former Czechoslovakia and left there in 1968 to start a new life in Switzerland. The many stages in my life – school, university, employment, marriage and becoming a father – have all formed my character, but I am particularly passionate about writing. I started at the age of sixteen and over the years have written various books, from science fiction to historical and fantasy novels, novellas and essays as well as an autobiography. My latest book, ‘Mein Leben in einer anderen Welt’ (My Life in Another World), was published in 2016. With my writing, I address topics such as slavery, war and the meaning of life, or simply lose myself in a fairy tale.
David Breslin, Scotland
My name is David Breslin. I am 29 years old and was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome at the age of eleven. I have worked in an administrative capacity for a period of 10 years before setting up my own business, “Speaking Literally”, which I now run and market completely independently. Due to a deep, personal and insightful knowledge of my condition as well as a passion for expressing that knowledge and imparting it to other people, I now give talks to, and do workshops for, professional organisations on the topic of Asperger’s Syndrome. I am also currently studying for a B.A. Honours Degree in History and Classics.
There are many misconceptions about people with Asperger's Syndrome (AS) including that they are savants, lack empathy and have a high affinity for anything technical. Whilst there are characteristics that are typical of autism, they are expressed in each individual in differing ways and to varying degrees. Just like any other person, people with AS are all individuals, with unique interests, skills sets and personalities and no two people with AS are alike.
In this section you will find personal stories from people with AS illustrating not only how diverse they are but also their experiences of the working environment.