Our work is not yet ours!
Watch me be the worker bee
Watch me be the worker bee
To be the worker I want to be
Rage to be a worker too
Rage to be a worker like you
Go to war to work like you
A worker, who tries to be useful too
My work is to be a worker like you
You, who know
All about getting to work
To work, to work, to work!
Today I am a twenty-three-year-old autistic. How can I get to work? I have no access to be a part of the workforce. Today many autistics like me, who are nonspeaking spellers, cannot dream of having a work life. Only those who have communication and access to good communication and regulation partners have some opportunities opening up for them. To use our talents and skills we are dependent on people who love us. The rest of the world doesn’t know us or get that we can be a part of the workforce.
Adult autistics get disheartened by the lack of work opportunities. We strive to get work that is autistic and authentic and doesn’t force us to mask our autism. Autism has to be forced into play in the best work we do. Losing our autistic ways in order to get work only leads to keeping us out of the workforce. Why succumb to losing who we actually are.
Do you want to work? I know I do. We have come a long, long, long, long way. We have only begun to do the things that we will autistically and authentically, eventually do.
Today I want to write on behalf of all nonspeakers who want to work. It is my ambition to work. It is hard to want something so easy, yet reachable by so few of us. For autistics who spell to communicate that means we have no access to work without a CRP’s support. This cause, to make work accessible to us, needs to become rewarding to the world. Work must be seen as a right because we are competent human beings. We can work anywhere where a worker needs to think for themselves. We need to sort through work that we are capable of but will tire us. We will endure losses of work where our minds are capable but our bodies are impossible. We cannot lose too many work opportunities. Having too many losses will set our capable, fallible souls back. To find work that gives use and purpose to our lives is the nonspeaking autistics next lust. I do not want to lose the war to work. The war to be a worker bee is playing at theaters near you.
Tejas Rao Sankar is a nonspeaking autistic who spells to communicate. Tejas is a passionate traveler who loves to dance and spend time with his friends. He blogs with Neuroclastic to contribute to our emerging understanding of autistics, by autistics. Read an interview with him on Learn From Autistics. Tejas loves to read with The BookWallis – A social media book group. He also loves creating memes for social media with I-ASC’s Spellers & Allies, a network which works to bring advocacy to spellers’ causes. He has been a panelist presenter at conferences such as Innovations in Education.