Autism & the Workplace
There are many strengths that a person with ASD has and can bring to a workplace.
Individuals with ASD often have skills of; long-lasting concentration in routine work, identifying logical rules and patterns, an ability to give attention to detail and having impeccable memory of facts and information they are interested in. These strengths are advantageous to professions, and it makes sense that it would be prosperous to integrate individuals with ASD into the workplace more.
Tips for Individual’s with ASD on Starting or Maintaining Employment
AsIAm, an Irish based charity supporting the Irish Autistic community a offers careers service that can offer you information, support, and guidance for working, volunteering or education. Visit their website https://asiam.ie/ for further information.
Disclosing Your Autism Diagnosis at Work
It can be hard to open about ASD to people who aren’t close to you. You also might be unaware of some of the advantages of disclosing this information to your employer. Some of these benefits include:
1. Not having to hide or mask that you are autistic
2. Employers are legally obliged to support you and make necessary adjustments
3. There may be a better understanding between you and your employer
4. Your work environment could be altered to be less over-stimulating
Interacting at Work
It is a good idea to ask your manager or HR team about assigning a workplace mentor to you. A mentor would be helpful to talk to if you are unsure about any unwritten instructions or any other issue you may have in general in work.
Advice for Employers
- Provide training and monitoring
- Make sure instructions are concise and specific
- Ensure the work environment is well structured
- Regularly review performance
- Provide sensitive but direct feedback
- Provide reassurance in stressful situations
- Support your staff member to prepare for changes
- Ask about sensory distractions
- Help other staff to be more aware