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“It Took a Long Time, But He Finally Found a Role.”

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Anne Duncan experienced high, persistent anxieties and social difficulties during her 12 years as a teacher. Discouraged, she left teaching and spent three years searching for a different occupation, eventually turning to administrative work.

She connected with Crossroads, a disability employment group in Sacramento, and volunteered in several clerical roles before accepting a position with the California Department of Corrections, which has proved to be a better fit over the last nine years.Paul Nussbaum held and lost a series of jobs in his 20s and 30s.

Over the past 15 years, he has settled into a combination of a handyman business and seasonal employment with Ascendigo, the sports program based in Colorado for children and adults with autism.Both Anne and Paul were diagnosed with autism in adulthood. “Being diagnosed at age 40 with autism after a long, hard struggle with employment, academics, and major communication and social issues, the light bulb went on,” Paul said. “I learned about autism and found there is a huge population, just like me, with the same struggles.”[Get This Free Resource: Autism Evaluation Checklist]In Northern California, the Autism Job Club has begun to chronicle and detail the professional journeys of its members over 40, including their experiences and advice for younger workers.

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