What major for student with super-high verbal skills?

<p>We have received the results of Son's latest psychological testing. He has Asperger's and poor executive function and very average working memory. But his verbal comprehension tests in the 99.9th percentile; reading fluency 97th percentile, etc. Doesn't seem like there's much of a career path in "verbal comprehension"...but seems like being in the 99.9th percentile in anything should give a clue as to a possible major or career.</p>


<p>History, linguistics, law, journalism (assuming his writing is good), english, politic science. The tough thing with many prfessions that rely heavily on verbal skills is that they also rely on interpersonal & delivery skills which many times Asperger students struggle with.</p>

<p>Law Editor?</p>

<p>I was also thinking along the lines of editing/technical writing... would he be interested in work involving preparing medical/legal transcripts? That might be one approach, start looking at careers or jobs he might be both good at and interested in and then figure out the best way (major) for HIM to get there</p>

<p>...also, given your own background in law, how do you think he would do as a paralegal (although perhaps only certain areas of law)?</p>

<p>Can you see your son as a teacher? A reading/literacy specialist?</p>

<p>How does his "super high verbal skills" present? Does he like to read? Write? Have a terrific vocabulary? As you know, a kid with AS has very definite likes and dislikes, so tailoring that to his interests is important. If he likes to read, what interests him: technical, medical, history, non-fiction, fiction? Does he like to "Play" with language? That is, does he enjoy how words are formed, or change, or rhyme? If so, he might be interested in pursuing a communication-related field, like those found at Northwestern's School of Communication.
Welcome</a>, School of Communication, Northwestern University


Look at their programs of study, like AUDIOLOGY + HEARING SCIENCE, SPEECH/LANGUAGE PATHOLOGY, NEUROSCIENCE/COGNITIVE SCIENCE, RHETORIC + PUBLIC CULTURE. NU is just one college that offers these programs, but it sounded tailor-fit as a start.</p>

Does he like to read? Write? Have a terrific vocabulary? Does he like to "Play" with language?


<p>Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.</p>

<p>I think you also have to look at the memory and executive function issues. Verbal comprehension by itself may not point the way if there are other obstacles.</p>

<p>My husband had a stroke last year. he can read Nietzsche or ancient Greek and scored very high in intelligence and verbal abilities, but weak in executive function and certain types of memory.</p>

<p>The neuro-psych. concluded that he would not be able to do any job that required certain executive function skills (managing, planning, breaking things down, delegating etc.).</p>

<p>For anyone to give you any kind of legitimate answer, I would think they would need training in neuro-psych. and would have to see all the testing.</p>

<p>We are grappling with whether my husband can work at all, (and what kind of work) and his verbal comprehension was also very high.</p>

<p>I don't mean to be discouraging, I am just saying, a forum like this can't answer a question like that. Can you consult with the person who did the evaluation (this is often included in the price), or ask that person for a referral to someone who can do educational or vocational counseling? </p>

<p>Or maybe this is not something you have to think about or decide about yet. If your son goes to college, he can probably figure this out by doing stuff. If he is drawn to certain activities, and certain kinds of studies, couldn't he just follow those interests like anyone else, get a degree, and then worry about work, with increased self-knowledge from the schooling?</p>

<p>Are you thinking about this in order to help him choose where to apply?</p>

<p>Keep in mind that poor executive function might make it difficult for your son to complete long writing assignments and research papers. If he picks a major with a lot of that, then make sure he'd be accepting of some planning help (maybe from campus writing center or peer helpers).</p>

<p>I agree that executive function issues may make the typical English-type majors not work well...I'm trying to figure out what type of professional to consult. His psychologist is so impressed with his general intelligence that she has a "you can do whatever you want" attitude. He qualifies for DARS (state vocational rehab) services, but I've been told that our local folks are great at finding jobs for the mentally challenged but don't have a clue what to do with a gifted Aspie.</p>

<p>I think I'll try the local chapter of one of the autism societies. There is a private high school that has quite a few Aspies among the stupdent population and they may be able to tell me where they send their kids for career counseling.</p>

<p>program</a> | vip | NYIT</p>

<p>My friend's Aspie son attends this program. He loves it.<br>
He's in the track for students capable of handling college courses.</p>

<p>A father of a friend of mine is the retired head of a University Communications disorders program. My middle child had a fairly severe speech and language problem (mostly resolved). When he was little, my friend's father recommended consulting a vocational counselor to help guide us in career/college type decisions. </p>

<p>Perhaps look for a private one, rather than one that works for the state?</p>

<p>missypie, your question is a good and tough one. From the outside (i.e., without anything other than a stereotyped version of what your son is like), it would seem like the jobs that would make the most sense have a) structure; b) little complex interpersonal interaction; and research that feeds into reading/writing. For example, writing content to populate online sites. There's a Canadian guy who was one of the biggest contributors to Wikipedia before getting a job writing online content for some company. But, the danger of jobs with those criteria is that they can be outsourced, which depresses wages. How about being a speech writer? Not likely to be outsourced. That might depend on whether humor works for him and whether he has a sensitivity to the zeitgeist.</p>

<p>missypie, I know this is not what you asked, but have you had your son evaluated for a Non-Verbal Learning Disorder? My D2 (currently 9th grade) is very much like your son (super high verbal scores, Aspie, terrible at executive functioning). And an NVLD. This diagnosis has helped us better understand her executive functioning problems, and also helped her get to a point where she can ask for help and realize she needs some extgra support on these issues.</p>

<p>I certainly have the same questions you have regarding possible career paths! Fortunately D2 is pretty decent at math, too. One thing that struck me recently was when D1 was looking at government jobs is that there are some research jobs in the State Department that seemed like they could take some of D2's interests (she likes social studies & politics) and provide a career path for someone like her who isn't really keen on tons of people interaction. That is a pretty narrow job description, but it gave me some encouragement that there are possibilities out there.</p>

<p>Computer science? </p>

<p>A lot of people in this field are on the spectrum, so to speak. Interpersonal skills are optional. ;)</p>

<p>John Curley is a handsome, talkative fellow with some severe dyslexia . He and his family worried greatly about his career options during his school. What he is doing now? He is the television host for Northwest Backroads. Every week he's on TV, interviewing folks at little known festivals, towns, activities and high lighting what makes them special. He loves talking to people -- and it shows. Your challenge is different but there may be a hand in glove fit out there just as there was for John. </p>

<p>So, museum curator? crossword puzzle maker? Punster for Jay Leno? Speechwriter? TV script writer? Documentary researcher?</p>

<p>D1 fits the picture. precocious child because of very high verbal and reading skills. Hopeless at social interaction, no body coordination and very mediocre in subjects she wasn't interested in. Major depression at 20. Several suicide attempts. Mis-diagnosed as bi-polar. More depression. Dropped out of grad school.
3 years later, working as a T.A and finishing her PH.D in American History thanks to 2-3 sessions a week of cognitive therapy. Teaching at college level seems to be working out for her. Fingers crossed.</p>

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<p>Son saw Toy Story III *last night. Although it was midnight when he got home, I was treated to a full, detailed review, including the ties to Dante's *Divine Comedy. Movie critic? Son remembers everything about movies....we could not see *The Lord of the Rings *movies without him, because he remembered all the characters' names and would whisper to us when we got lost.</p>

<p>Reminds me of my brother, who is dyslexic but has no problem remembering what he sees/hears. He would come back from movies and give us scene by scene descriptions, with dialogue. We would beg him, "Just give us the details!"</p>

<p>I want to see Toy Story III with son while he's off this week, between camp jobs, but I keep hearing how heart-rending it is if you have a kid going off to college. :(</p>