Labor Day brings so many things to mind. How often our ‘labor’ somehow defines us. In our society, adults often feel a sense of belonging and worth, through their work. Being ‘productive’ is part of feeling good about ourselves, and ‘life’. Labor demands increase when one has autism. Preparing to join the ‘labor force’ can be a struggle because often one’s inabilities become more in focus than abilities.
A ‘work program’ I’ve recently observed failed miserably, due to the employer and employees seeing only skills that were missing. Instead of readjusting the job requirements to focus on the person’s successes, the fact remained that he couldn’t ‘pull his load’. He was too much of a burden on others sharing his shift.
It is hard to know whether this young man felt relief, or was devastated. Unfortunately, that potential employer will never understand what they have lost. They’ve lost the opportunity to have a loyal, happy worker who would show up eager to please, every day. He would have worked the days when other employees wanted to be home with their families... like Labor Day.