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Harnessing your Special Interests

Some autistic people turn their special interests into a career path. This way, they can make money from following their passions!

Here are some examples of autistic people who have turned their strengths and interests into successful job and career opportunities.

  • Isaac Doman is a young South Australian filmmaker whose eye for detail contributes to his artistry.
  • Temple Grandin in this TED Talk, Temple credits her visual thinking as a strength in analysing animal behaviour and designing livestock handling systems.
  • Rosie King, a young writer and public speaker, has an amazing imagination thanks to her autism. Hear her story in this TED Talk.
  • Hamish Finlayson is a young entrepreneur who is combining his skills in coding and app development with his passion to make the world a better place.

Depending on their special interests, transforming a passion into a career can be easier for some people than others. For instance, a person with in-depth knowledge of sea creatures may be attracted to further study and job opportunities in the marine biology field. Alternatively, someone with a deep love of Harry Potter books might need to think more broadly with their career path – perhaps as a librarian, a book seller, or a creative writer. There are plenty of university lecturers who specialise in fantasy literature – so don’t count yourself out! Some people even ‘invent’ their own job positions that didn’t previously exist and work for themselves providing a service to others!

For more ideas on how to turn your interests or strengths into a possible future career, check out Adultistic’s article on this topic. Remember that not everyone necessarily wants (or is able) to adapt their special interest into a job, and that’s perfectly acceptable too. Some people prefer to keep their special interest as a hobby that brings them a personal source of joy, without the pressure of having to earn money from it.

myWAY Employability is an initiative of the Autism CRC, which receives funding from the Australian Government

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