She Has Worked Hard at Her Job for 20 Years. She Has Autism.

Jeanine Lazili, an administrative assistant, preparing documents at her desk.

Jeanine Lazili, 48, is an administrative assistant at Sun Life Financial in Wellesley, Mass.

You attended The New England Center for Children, a school and research institute that helps children with autism spectrum disorders. What was that school experience like?

My mother enrolled me on Tuesday, June 23, 1987, when I was 17. I’m good at remembering dates.

I lived in a home there with other students while I went to school and took vocational and other courses. I liked the vo-tech courses and I liked going to the public library.

When I finished school, N.E.C.C. helped me get a job.

What do you do at Sun Life Financial?

Every morning, one of my co-workers drops off a package to me that contains photocopies of policyholders’ checks and other documents like address update forms. I get the documents ready to be scanned.

I remove any staples and tape any rips. I check to see if there’s a work item, like a new address on an address update form. If there is, I put a red dot by that field.

Then I make a copy and put the copy in a bin for a co-worker to pick up and scan. I put the original with the red dot in a file that an N.E.C.C. job coach reviews to check my work.

How many documents do you work on every day?

I don’t know. But I do a lot of work, and I do it the right way — no making mistakes.

I’ve been here 20 years. I started here October 20, 1997. I used to do filing and document scanning here. Before that I had a job at another company putting files in order by A, B, C.

What’s a typical day?

At 8 o’clock a.m., I leave for work. I ride in a minivan with a housemate who also works here. I bring lunch from home. I say hello to everyone.

One of my job coaches, or Rachel, my N.E.C.C. program coordinator, comes back to the house with me after work. I still live in an N.E.C.C. residence.

I don’t always know when it’s my turn to cook dinner. Sometimes I watch “Jeopardy” and “Wheel of Fortune” at night.

What do you like about your job and your time outside of work?

I have my own desk and phone. I like preparing the files and seeing my co-workers.

Also, I like vacations. I work like everyone else and go on vacation. I’m going to Vermont in August with my mother. You have to put sunscreen on.

Here, I like going out to dinner at Bertucci’s. Friday nights I like going for Starbucks coffee. On the weekends I like to go out for ice cream. I usually go with a staff member from my house and my housemates.

Do you learn new parts of the job from other people at work?

Yes, my co-worker Amanda teaches me. And if I have questions afterward, I ask Brian.

Do you talk about work with people at the New England Center for Children?

Yes, Rachel asked me if I feel productive at the end of the day. I said yes.

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