Workplace Autism Assessments

Our Workplace Needs Assessments for Autism and Neurodiversity Assessments Help Employees With ASD Achieve Their Full Potential At Work

Occupational Psychologist Autism Assessments

Autism workplace needs assessments are carried out by our specially trained occupational psychologists, who can draw in a team of clinical psychologists and educational psychologists when required to provide a multidisciplinary view. Our business psychologists provide in-person autism workplace needs assessments in London, Nottingham and Birmingham. We provide online autism workplace needs assessments nationally throughout the UK.

People with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have skills which are in demand by many employers, such as attention to detail, and many are good at following routines. Thus, they can be dependable. Many have excellent technical abilities and work well with IT and computers. They often have high levels of concentration and can quickly identify errors. In addition, they have outstanding memories and can allow them to recall facts. There are many famous businesspeople with autism, such as Elon Musk, Chief Executive of Tesla Motors; Satoshi Tajiri, creator of Pokémon; Susan Boyle, singer; and Eminem, rapper. It was also widely believed that Steve Jobs, Apple founder, and Bill Gates, Microsoft founder have ASD. This demonstrates people with autism can have successful careers.

Autism is a disability under the Equality Act 2010, and autistic people need reasonable adjustments at work. These reasonable adjustments can include job coaches funded by Access to Work. Sometimes, people call ASD autism spectrum condition (ASC). Some people with ASC may need reasonable adjustments at work. They can experience difficulty understanding office politics, working in teams, and picking up on social cues. Our assessments can recommend adjustments to the workplace to help individuals with ASD manage these challenges.

Autism At Work

Autism diagnosis rates have increased as people become more confident about obtaining a diagnosis and as medical understanding of how autism manifests itself develops. The rising rates of autism can also be explained in part by the increased demand for autism assessments.

In the workplace, one must consider the following as a minimum to support people with autism in the workplace:

  • Communication and interaction
  • Sensory differences
  • Workplace stressors
  • Information processing

Sometimes, there can be problems with executive function, which is responsible for planning, time management, and shifting from one environment to another.

Eye Contact and Social Interaction

If someone with autism does not look people in the eye, this might be wrongly interpreted as rudeness, being distant or arrogant. Thus, an autistic person might struggle to get good marks in an interview or assessment centre for interpersonal interaction. Similarly, they might be misinterpreted as uninterested or engaged during meetings or work.

Some people with autism might be seen as insensitive, uncaring, and lacking interpersonal skills in roles where a high level of interpersonal interaction may be required. We can support people with ASD by coaching, mentoring, counselling and other reasonable adjustments.

People with ASD can often be quite honest and direct, and this can be misinterpreted as being hostile or blunt. Unfortunately, this can result in them being excluded from meetings and not being invited to social events or finding such social networking events challenging to cope with. In some instances, it may be appropriate, with the agreement of all concerned, for some tasks that involve a high level of interpersonal contact to be reallocated to other employees or for individuals with ASD to have coaching and support in these areas. Our occupational psychologists can assist employers with implementing these changes.

Sensory Issues

The problem with offices is that they can be very noisy. They can have bright fluorescent lights and high-pitched sounds or other destructive noises coming from office equipment that can make the environment very challenging for individuals with ASD. Lights in the office can also be a distraction. It might be helpful to control the lights and the temperature and reduce strong smells at work. Visual timetables can also be helpful for some people with ASD.

Individuals with ASD also need to be supported when they are engaged in self-soothing or self-stimulation, which can often be exhibited through rocking motions, wringing hands, or flapping or snapping fingers.

There can also be sensory overload because the multiple conversations that often happen in open-plan offices make it difficult for autistic people to cope with the noise and visual stimuli as well as the smells of the company’s offices.

Routine and Unpredictability

Many people with autism like to have routine and predictability. Therefore, when there is significant change and unpredictability in the work environment, this can result in a significant amount of stress. We have seen these changes, for example, when employees have been asked to work in a different client location or to move from home to work in the office result in occupational stress and absenteeism. These changes can cause performance problems at work. This is where our assessments and recommendations for workplace reasonable adjustments help. Flexible work and home working can often help individuals with autism. A relaxation space and a quiet room might also be very helpful.

It is important to communicate changes well before they are going to happen so that individuals with autism spectrum disorder can think these through and consider how to respond. It is also critical for managers to discuss what reasonable adjustments individuals with autism need with their employees with ASD.

Clear instructions and regular performance reviews can be helpful for some people with autism spectrum disorder and reduce their anxiety. This can help people cope with the conflicting demands and changing agendas that often occur within work but can be challenging for autistic individuals. Autism awareness training also helps ensure a better understanding and awareness of autism in the workplace and how autistic people can be supported and developed.

Our occupational psychologists can work with employers to ensure that harassment and bullying policies include provisions to eliminate or reduce bullying and harassment against autistic individuals. Similarly, our occupational psychologists can work with employers to ensure their recruitment processes are sensitive enough so that they do not inadvertently discriminate against people with autism, particularly in tasks which require high levels of interpersonal interaction. Specific interview questions may also get a better response than hypothetical interview questions. Employers should also anticipate that some people with autism may produce literal responses. Our occupational psychologists can work with you to ensure your performance and promotion criteria are reviewed to ensure that it does not inadvertently include criteria which may directly or indirectly discriminate against employees with ASD.

Further Reading

Autism Assessments

Autism at Work

Workplace Needs Assessments

Employing Autistic People

Autism Awareness in the Workplace

Increase in need for autism assessment.

Rising rates of autism

Autism Rates Increase

Neurodiversity Toolkit

Autism and Employment

Autism and Education

Autism and the Law

Occupational Health Psychology Assessments

Well-Being Assessments

Workplace ADHD Needs Assessments

We work with employers to improve neurodiversity in the workplace.

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Advanced Assessments - Psychologists for Legal, Education and Employment
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