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Autism and Employment
Autism assessments for employment are carried out by our expert psychologists. Our experience of carrying out assessments for individuals with ASD has included people who are architects, nurses, company directors, computer engineers and academics.
Many individuals who have autism have high intelligence and outstanding technical skills. There is a vast range of abilities in the autistic spectrum.
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17 Famous Autistic People Who Have Become Employers
Who are some of the famous autistic people who have employed others or made significant contributions to society? Some of the prominent individuals who are believed to have autism spectrum disorder are as follows:
Hans Christian Andersen
Sir Isaac Newton
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
How Difficult is it for People with Autism to Gain and Keep Employment?
Gaining and keeping employment is very difficult for some people with autism. In fact, it has been argued that there is a very high unemployment rate for people with ASD, which is estimated to be approximately 80 to 90 per cent. Many people with ASD are only able to gain part-time employment or jobs for which there are overqualified.
Individuals with autism may not understand the subtleties of recruitment questions and psychometric tests, and reasonable adjustments should be made for this by employers.
People on the autism spectrum, usually make precious employees. However, it is vital that they receive the support and guidance that they need to thrive in any given role. As previously mentioned, people with autism struggle with social communication, sensory issues, and lack of understanding for other people. It is crucial that organisations follow the Equality Act (2010) and The Northern Ireland Disability Discrimination Act when operating with employees with autism.
For more information on these acts, please click the link For more information on working with autistic employees, please click the link Find advice and resources for those with autism looking for work, by clicking this link
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What Are the Challenges Faced by People with ASD In Employment?
Some of the challenges faced by people with autism spectrum disorder in employment are:
Difficulties in working jointly with others in teams;
Some people may be rather inflexible;
Some people may exhibit social anxiety;
There might be challenges in handling criticism; and
There can be difficulties in managing sensory demands.
People with ASD make good employees, and by managing an employee with autism, you will become a better manager.
What Reasonable Adjustments Should I Make for an Autistic Employee?
The critical thing to remember is that everyone with Autism Spectrum Disorder is different.
“No two autistic individuals are alike; the key adage goes that if you have managed one autistic individual employee, you have managed one autistic employee.”
The core elements of supporting individuals with ASD in the workplace is generally good employment practice. Firstly, one needs to get to understand the individual. Secondly, it is important to focus on the employee and develop him or her on key job duties. Thirdly, it is critical that a supportive and friendly work environment is established (this may include training on disability for staff). Fourthly, ensure that the organisation's support structures are activated so that the individual has the necessary support. Fifthly, provide accurate and clear directions and give constructive feedback on performance.
Specifically, it is essential to provide unambiguous instructions, breaking processes down stage by stage and providing constructive feedback and clearly setting out where the employee has gone wrong. Written guides or pictures can often help.
As individuals with autism find it difficult to deal with change, it is helpful to inform the employee with autism of the change in advance. Additionally, it is advisable to make incremental change rather than radical changes to the employee's work schedule or environment.
The culture of the workplace should be explained clearly; and literal, language should be used. One should not expect the individual with ASD to make inferences and interpret subtleties quickly. It helps if the manager clearly articulates the intention behind actions and the perspectives of others.
The autistic employee should be made aware of the culture of the organisation and how it applies to them.
As people with autism are often sensitive to distractions, it is essential to provide a distraction-free work environment. Please bear in mind that people with ASD can often be sensitive to smell, sound and light. One should remember that additional rest breaks may be necessary.
Work with the autistic employee to find out where their skill set is. Some professionals with ASD that our expert psychologists have assessed prefer to leave presentations, and interpersonal negotiations to other staff in their team whilst they focus on the technical aspects. Some people with ASD that our psychologists have assessed prefer to work independently or remotely, and if this can be accommodated for it often brings huge benefits in terms of output and creativity for the employer.
What are the Benefits People with Autism Bring to the Workplace?
“Many employers are starting to recognise the substantial benefits of employing individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder. People with ASD add value to the workplace in many ways. For example, many autistic people are reliable and follow routines; they are very engaged in their work and focus on detail. It is also true that autistic individuals have outstanding skills in areas such as computing and mathematics. This combination of skills allows them to find innovative solutions to complex problems.”
Top 4 Employers of Autistic People
There is a specially designed recruitment programme in Microsoft which is designed to give people with autism job opportunities that match their skills, individuals have autism are well matched to computing jobs including Software Engineer, Data Analyst Service Engineer, and Build Engineer.
The individual with autism may encounter significant work-related problems in environments where employers are not aware of their symptoms and how to manage these in the workplace. Their social and communication skill difficulties are a key cause of concern for some autistic individuals. Life mapping, ability and personality tests along with job interest tests, can help the autistic employee plan for their ideal job.
The Ford Motor Company has a diversity programme which focuses on the recruitment and retention of employees who are on the autism spectrum.
The technology giant SAP has a diversity target to employ 650 People with ASD by 2020. The Organisation Has a strong commitment to employing people with ASD and has a work programme that underpins this initiative.
4. Ernst Young
The accounting firm Ernst & Young also has a program in which it has a target of recruiting more people with autism. Their goal is to retain and train individuals with autism.
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