Employment for the autistic person is a unique experience with challenges and advantages. Check out my fledgling webpage, The Employed Aspien, for resources for employees and employers who are on the spectrum. See the link in my bio.
During meetings, focus groups, etc., I try to stay as comfy as possible, so I change my sitting position often. Whenever it’s semiappropriate, I sit criss-cross in my chair. Otherwise, I hop between all kinds of positions. Maybe I seem a little fidgety, but at least I can focus and contribute!
If you’re shy to ask for workplace accommodations, an easier place to start is support with fluorescent lighting. Ask to turn off lights during staff meetings and rely on windows and lamps instead. Ask for lamps for your office or for an office with windows. Your work space environment shouldn’t cause you to suffer.
Social workplace environments can be emotionally and mentally taxing for autistic people. I’m so impressed by individuals on the spectrum who have harvested their skills and taken the leap to self-employment instead. Shout-out to all the self-made autistic people who’ve taken risks and started their own business.
What accommodations might an autistic person want at work? No two autistic people are alike, and they may need different supports (I prefer this word over accommodations). For myself, I need support around calm lighting, prescheduled breaks (this includes fifteens), and clearly stated instructions and expectations. Social supports would also be a great contribution to […]
If only we were royals and didn’t have to consider money and livelihood! With that in mind, many autistic people need to find work, and once we find it, we often struggle to hold a job down. From navigating relationships with employers to colleagues, customers to loiterers, there’s a lot to keep track of beyond […]
Stability is something that almost everyone craves, especially individuals on the spectrum. So what do we do when job security is one of the hardest things for autistic people to pin down? How to we stay balanced when our finances are out of order? And how do we manage a career when our biggest fears […]
Being autistic in the workplace can feel confusing on good days and downright overwhelming on harder days. Since autistic people often learn very slowly from trial and error, we can make social and professional mistakes at work multiple times before making the adequate changes. Even more, we often cannot connect one social rule to another, […]
For the autistic person whose disability is perceived as “invisible,” the idea of disclosing their ASD diagnosis can be daunting. Here are some general guidelines if you want to disclose in the workplace: 1) Consider the reasons for disclosure. Our employers most likely have little to no understanding of autism. If we disclose, we will […]
The workplace is a challenging arena for most autistic individuals. Securing a job may be a battle, but maintaining a career is the war. The social complexities of team meetings, conflicts with colleagues or supervisors, and small talk during the lunch break can all add up to either wanting to quit or getting fired! But […]