My youngest son is "quirky." He wasn't disgnosed until he was 28, having had--and lost--many jobs due to lack of social cues and sensory issues. The idea that one needs to be "less autistic" to function in the world seems more about the attitude of others than someone who is different. Would we ask someone with visual issues to be "less blind"? Yes, the world is not ready for our quirky guys. And that's their loss.

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Hi, just a thought on this section from the autistic male perspective (diagnosed at 40)

"The small businesses that operate in our town cannot afford to employ people who don't conform to their expectations."

Isn't that a sad reflection on the business community though? There's a difference between being sociable when working a counter at a restaurant (which in my opinion is an expectation of the job) vs. pointing out typos on a menu. Frankly, you'd think feedback to improve the menu to make the restaurant more professional would be a sign of an employee taking initiative to improve the business (especially when that's not their pay grade) rather than a slight and to me is a sign of insecurity on the manager and owner's part. Here's a thought...pick your battles. Yes, you can have an expectation of socializing when being in a customer facing position. But what do you gain when you belittle an employee who's trying to help over something small like a typo? If I couldn't afford a full re-print of the menu, you could at least say "Hey Ian, good catch. Unfortunately to re-print everything right now is more money than I can afford to pay right now, but I'll fix it next time?"

But this is why I have a very dim view of the small business community. They seem to be perfectly happy with mediocrity. They have zero problem taking handouts from the government when it's their turn, but when employees go looking for a cost of living improvement the old "no one wants to work anymore" line comes out. Or they'll pay autistic and other disabled employees less, because the law allows it. A sad reflection on capitalism, really. These people have been conditioned that capitalism equals they make money, no matter what. Which is not how it's supposed to work, at all.

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Thanks, Mike!

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