Autism in the Workplace
1 in 68 are diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder.
People diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders report difficulties in vocal communication, and difficulties in "typical" social interactions beginning in early childhood (though they can communicate and interact socially individually).
What Can We Do?
For the individuals we support, we have to “think outside the box” as far as developing, and maintaining employment opportunities. One of the main challenges we see is having companies be open to hiring and supporting adults diagnosed with autism in the workplace.
Over the years, I have gotten to know many individuals diagnosed with autism. With all, I've seen unique interests and strengths, that could be turned in to employment opportunities, if people were able to think of the possibilities, or how individual skills could fit in to the organizational structure.
Many individuals are directed to specific work, even though it may not be something they are interested in doing. Often, this can manifest lead to behavior issues, when really it is because the individual is not in an environment that supports them, or provides activities of interest. The challenge lies in communication, and if communication styles do not match our own, these can be seen as behavior problems.
Ultimately, we need to look at new ways we can support individuals with autism in the workplace, and find ways to support their interests as employment opportunities.
Have a suggestion on how we can support individuals diagnosed with autism in the workplace? Leave a comment below!
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