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Most of us have made lists regarding our ideal mate, our Prince Charming or Princess Charming. I think girls are more prone to this than boys. Perhaps not.

Tall, dark, handsome, rich, cute, athletic, attractive, beautiful, has a good job, funny, blond, cute, nice, smart, sensitive, cute, etc.

As we get older and more mature, our criteria for our mate changes – worldview, philosophy, good manners, kindness, strength of character, enter the picture. Sometimes we drop some “requirements” in view of reality. We have deficits ourselves which affect our choices. Sometimes our experiences with the cute boys, reveal to us what we don’t want – a very useful bit of information.

Today, Mary went for another job interview. It was a 20 hour a week job for a non-profit.

After she graduated from college with a bachelor of arts in accounting, she had a list of requirements for her ideal job: accountant, full time, $30,000 salary to start, etc.

After a year of job hunting with no results, she began to lower her expectations, her hopes. She decided she would accept full time bookkeeper, perhaps at $10-15 an hour. Then it was part-time accounting assistant for $10 an hour, or even minimum wage.

At two years with no job, after many job interviews, she was willing to work for nothing, just to get some experience and keep her skills sharp. She found a volunteer position with a local homeless shelter where she performed charitable receivables for two afternoons a week. They told her that if she did this for a year, they would give her paid work. This fall, they gave her paid temporary work full time for three months. After the holiday giving season was over, they offered to pay for the work that she had been doing for nothing in the prior year. She was happy to get that employment.

Autism is the deficit that she cannot overcome, yet. Mary’s resume looks good, but the woman that presents for interviews doesn’t square with that resume. Probably, the interviewers cannot identify what is off. But so far, Mary has not received work through interviews and normal job hunting.

Her requirements for the job have changed to anything related to accounting, part-time, low wage. Something also on the bus line and/or on the way to my or Ralph’s work, with hours that fit with ours.

She has given up job charming for job possible.

So she went to the interview today at a non-profit corporation. Her experience with the homeless shelter has given her confidence and competence. I drove her to the interview because she cannot drive. Afterward, I asked her how the interview went. She said that the interview went well. Ralph, who drives her to most of her interviews, said that is what she always says.

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According to an article in Huffington Post, there is tsunami of young adults with autism entering the workforce. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/27/autism-employment-white-collar-jobs_n_1916611.html

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