We started auties.org around 2004 as a self help website for people on the autism spectrum. It provided people an opportunity to have an ongoing web presence for the purpose of seeking work, seeking friends, or letting people know about the products or services they had developed as self employment. The service was used by people all around the world. But it was time to change it. It is now an information only page. Here’s why:
Since 2004 social media has taken over as a far more effective means of doing all of these things: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, blogs and the like.
This meant that people on the autism spectrum could now far more easily empower themselves to use the web to call to others, call to the world or to their local community about what they had to offer and what they were seeking. In other words, today people with autism can far more effectively reach out and strive for the opportunities that may be out there or make their own and put them out there.
For those who have no idea how to do this here’s some brief ideas:
get a free blog – ie www.wordpress.com have free blogs that are quite easy to update and maintain. This gives you your own site, without your own control, easily updated to keep up with your needs, and if you use tagging effectively, create interesting blog entries to attract the general public to your blog and link to it, then your blog will become more findable and that means more exposure for what you have to say, to sell, to seek out. Each time you post a blog, every article has its own unique URL and you can put your signature at the botton of each blog entry so people will come to know who you are. You can copy and past this URL into comment boxes on Facebook, Twitter or any high profile social media site… it helps you get seen and found by even more people.
If your own Facebook or other social media page has few connections then if you have relevant blog articles, you can post these as comments on associated Facebook or other social media pages. So if you are an artist, for example, you can write an ‘Artwork of the month’ blog article for your blog, then copy and paste the URL for your article as a tweet with Twitter, or as a comment on a Facebook page about autism arts.
You can get a free website and set up an online gallery featuring your products or services. If you start a Paypal account you can create online ‘buy it now’ buttons so people can buy from you online. You can use this to sell both products and services, including time
You can create a signature for your emails that includes your website’s URL so people clicking on your signature will go to your site.
You can also create your own business cards or flyers and put these around your local community.
If you need experience before you can charge for your services or get a job, then you can seek out the volunteering, learning or mentoring opportunities in your area. If you volunteer, you have a right to say you want to do this for a fixed term, ie 3 months, and to ask for a reference or at least a certificate of voluntary service.
You can use the online employment sites which include disability employment sites. If its a relationship you’re seeking there are also now several Aspie dating sites online
You can create a great CV/resume and covering letter using some of the examples online. Then research the websites for potential employers, send them an email with a covering letter and attach your CV, asking that they please keep your information on file and let you know if any work or opportunity for an interview becomes available. If you lack work experience or references, You can even offer a 2-4 week unpaid trial period to prove your employability.
If you struggle to implement these ideas and don’t have friends or family who can help, you can ask a life coach, mentor, counselor, social worker, occupational therapist. If you don’t have one you can see your GP for a referral to a counselor who might help.