"In this book, Mr. Bernick and Mr. Holden shed light on an important issue and offer valuable strategies to improve employment for adults with autism in the modern workforce. On a broader level, the book speaks to all audiences about the difficult task of finding a role in the increasingly competitive job world." - Senator Dianne Feinstein
What People Are Saying
“The Autism Job Club takes a frank look at the trends that are reshaping the nature of work and rightly points out that neurodiverse individuals have an important role to play as we transition to this new world. The book recognizes and celebrates the value of gainful employment for all individuals, that each of us has a unique contribution to make.”
Gavin Newsom, Lieutenant Governor of California
“This book is rooted in the job placement experiences of AASCEND, a group of adults with autism in the San Francisco Bay Area. It builds on these experiences to draw together the main autism employment initiatives throughout the United States in recent years, and to point us to better employment strategies, individually and collectively.”
Alex Plank, Founder, WrongPlanet Autism Community
“The Autism Job Club is the most extensive informational book about adults on the autistic spectrum in the workforce today. This book is a must-have for parents, professionals, and employers who are looking to provide employment opportunities. The six strategies in this book will reinvent future employment for adults on the autistic spectrum.”
Alisa Wolf, EdD, Founder, Actors for Autism
“A tsunami of Americans with an autism diagnosis is about to hit adulthood. In the years ahead, their job training and employment will be a major public policy issue. But there is hope. This excellent book describes a remarkable initiative to provide opportunity to people who are different, not less. It’s not about charity: it’s about opening a door to fellow citizens who can make a real contribution to the economy.”
Jack Pitney, Professor of American Politics, Claremont McKenna College,
Writer and Blogger on Autism Policy
“Adults with autism are one of the fastest growing neurodiverse groups seeking to enter the workforce. Employment attorney Bernick and Holden (Regional Commissioner, U.S. Dept. of Labor) share not only their research and expertise but also their experiences working with a San Francisco autism job club as its members search for, obtain, and struggle to maintain employment in today’s difficult market. They outline the six employment strategies they developed as a result of their work and also examine government programs aimed at autistic adults, pointing out their efforts and limitations. VERDICT As noted by the authors, the autism community’s move toward a better strategy for autism employment is just getting off the ground, and this book provides a road map to guide them forward. Those working in vocational rehabilitation fields and career professions and those supporting adults with autism will benefit from the information presented here.”
Library Journal, March 25, 2015
“The job search process rewards sophistication in finding job leads, in networking and interviewing. These are precisely the executive function skills that many people with autism lack. The Autism Job Club a (terrific) new book by Michael Bernick and Richard Holden, gives an extensive background of the autism/neurodiverse employment picture and shares strategies (they say six, I found more) to help people with autism and other neurological differences find employment.”
Laura Shumaker, blog.sfgate.com, March 15, 2015
“New Strategies for Job Seekers. Activities that are associated with obtaining a job include networking and interviewing. Both of these steps involve making social interactions and connections that can pose a challenge. However, Michael S. Bernick and Richard Holden, the authors of The Autism Job Club: The Neurodiverse Workforce in the New Normal of Employment, have compiled a how-to guide to overcome these obstacles. This breakthrough book has offered in-depth information on the current job climates and where someone with autism might fit in. Furthermore, the authors discuss different insights and approaches on employment.”
International Center for Autism Research & Education, March 26, 2015
Barbara Bookman (CUNY), Michael Bernick, Mary Ellen Clark (NYCETC), and Martha Jackson (MOPD) at City University of New York, April 20, 2016, at discussion of employment strategies for the neurodiverse workforce.
The Autism Job Club is a groundbreaking book for bringing adults with autism and other neurodiverse conditions into the work world.
The book has its basis in the autism job club that the authors have been part of in the San Francisco Bay Area, the job-creation and job-placement efforts the club has undertaken, and similar efforts throughout the United States.
The authors review the high unemployment rates among adults with autism and other neurodiverse conditions more than two decades after the Americans with Disabilities Act. Bernick and Holden also outline and explain six strategies that, taken together, will reshape employment for adults with autism: the art of the autism job coach; the autism advantage in technology employment; autism employment and the Internet economy; autism employment and the practical/craft economy; autism and extra-governmental job networks; and autism and public service employment.
The Autism Job Club is a vital resource for adults with autism, their families, and advocates who are committed to neurodiverse employment, not unemployment. But it will also speak to a far broader audience interested in how to carve out a place for themselves or others in an increasingly competitive job world.
About the Authors
Michael S. Bernick served as director of the California labor department, the California Employment Development Department, from 1999 through 2004. Since 2004, he has been a Research Fellow with the Milken Institute and Counsel to the Sedgwick law firm, headquartered in San Francisco. He has been involved in job training on the local and state levels for over 34 years. He is a graduate of Harvard College, Oxford University (Balliol College), and the University of California, Berkeley School of Law.
Richard Holden has been analyzing labor markets, regional economies and the nexus between economies and public policy for 30 years, ranging from U.S. border employment studies to California earthquake risk and labor markets. He has been the Regional Commissioner for the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in San Francisco since 2004. Prior to this he served as Research Director of the California Employment Development Department, leading a staff of 300 research analysts, technical staff, and economists. Mr. Holden He has a B.A. in economics from the University of New Mexico and Masters in Public Affairs from the University of Texas, Austin.
Available at Amazon, Barnes & Nobel and other fine retailers.
Education Pyramids of Job Growth and Total Openings, 2012-2022 (in thousands)
American iDOL: BLS Regional Commissioner’s New Book Explores Autism in the Workplace Frances Magazine (U.S. Department of Labor internal magazine), June 2015.
Education Pyramids of Job Growth and Total Openings, 2012-2022 (in thousands)
What is The New Normal of Employment?
Accordingly, New Normal of Employment also refers to the change in job recruiting, hiring, and retention that has manifested in recent years, perhaps as far back as the recession of 2001. The increasing use of contingency workers, the presence of internship and externships as a path to hiring, and an increasingly competitive job market due to low labor market demand and the use of the Internet as a filtering and hiring tool characterize the New Normal of Employment for employers.
Even though the economy has dramatically improved over the past seven years since the recession began in December 2007, employment growth was slow to recover and wage increases, despite increased labor productivity, have been meager. The New Normal of Employment is tougher, harder to navigate, and less remunerative for many workers than rebounds of the past.
The New Normal is not the television serial by that name. The New Normal of Employment refers to the changing relationship between employers and employees, including the movement from long-term employment to short tenure, from jobs with benefits to contract employment, from permanent work to temporary jobs.
Some discussions of The New Normal:
Since the book was published in March 2015, we have heard from practitioners throughout the United States and in fact throughout the world. These practitioners are involved in local job placement projects for adults with autism and other neurodiverse conditions, as workforce entrepreneurs and administrators, as vocational rehabilitation counselors, as special education instructors, as employees of state departments of rehabilitation or employment, and even as pediatricians and other professionals advising parents. Below are just a few of the e-mails we have received.
Milt Wright, Los Angeles, California, June 2015 since the 1970s the dean of rehabilitation counseling in California, recently honored by the California Department of Rehabilitation as one of “50 Notable People in the Disability Community”
“I believe Milt Wright & Associates is the leading firm in the country in the field of people with disabilities and job development training. I have never read any product or guide that comes close to what we teach until I read your book. You take placement to another level that is brilliant. A must read and should used by every Rehab Counseling school in the country.”
Dr. Hackie Reitman, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, June 2015, Orthopedic surgeon, neurodiversity advocate and author of Aspertools
Thanks for going positive. We are initiating neurodiversity training precisely so that companies can see that they can improve their bottom line while doing the right thing. Keep up the good work.
Jason Kippen, Albany, New York, May 2015 Director of Placement and Recruitment, Spectrum Employment Services
The book is awesome!!! It is practical and based on real life experiences. I recommend it to everyone who has a loved one on the spectrum or if you are on the spectrum. This book is about addressing this issue on the grassroots level where advocacy can be most effective.
Ron Bonstetter, Scottsdale, Arizona, Target Training Institute, May 2015
I was invited last week to an Aspergers help session and the leader mentioned the Autism Job Club book. I was so moved by the needs of those present that I ordered it on the spot and then was directed to this group in the first chapter. I hope I can figure out how to help. This group may be able to help me merge two worlds that have dominated my life, cognitive neurology and now job matching software. Thank you for creating this forum.
Stephanie Newman, Princeton, New Jersey, hiring.thespectrumcareers.com, May 2015
I recently connected with you on LinkedIn via the Autism Speaks employment group. After seeing your profile and learning about your book I ordered it (via Amazon) and just finished it. It was terrific – I learned so much and it really helped give me some excellent background and facts about the challenges adults with autism face when it comes to finding employment.