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5 Ways Companies Can Assist Autistic Employees

April is Autism Awareness month. Throughout the month organizations such as Autism Speaks, focuses on sharing stories and providing resources to increase the understanding and acceptance of people who are autistic. Additionally, this year’s focus is to help organizations, companies and communities create an inclusive place where all people can reach their full potential.

Here are 5 ways companies can assist their autistic employees.  

  1. Provide accommodations.
    1. Accommodations should be offered in the beginning of employment terms and adjusted annually or as needed as job descriptions evolve or new tasks are delegated. Examples of accommodations are having advocates in reviews, copies of meeting agendas before meetings, or extra training. 
  • Provide social support.
    • Take the time to get to know the employee. Weekly meetings or check-ins can help the employee feel more supported and provide ample time for questions to be answered. 
  • Provide extra time to complete deadlines.
    • Although not everyone will need extra time to meet deadlines, the flexibility to do so can give a sense of relief and provide less stress in completing deadlines. 
  • Give autonomy but also the option for extra structure if needed.
    • Allowing an individual to have say over their own schedule allows them time for self-regulation and meeting their own needs related to having autism. Employees may need a break from being over stimulated or need time to decompress after a deadline was met. Such time is important to ensure the persons success. A workplace must be flexible to allow for such autonomy in a schedule. Additional training as well as ongoing training may be needed to continue an effective workflow and time management. 
  • Job carving.
    • Creating a job based on an individuals strengths and adding job descriptions and promotions off of those strengths makes for exceptional work where an employee can share their strengths and succeed in their daily work. Incorporate what they are passionate about as much as possible into the job. 

When organizations put more into their employee’s well-being and success, the more the world around them will benefit from that wellbeing. The same applies to people on the spectrum. 

Alix Generous, MS, is a behavior analyst, mental health activist, consultant, and motivational speaker. Her TED talk “My inner life” has received over 2 million views and she has spoken around the world on her life experiences. She travels internationally consulting businesses, educating people on autism, neurodiversity, and raising awareness on the importance of ethical mental health care. Learn more about Alix Generous in her full company profile.

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