The skills and abilities of those on the Autism Spectrum vary as widely as those without ASD. Best-suited roles for any person on the spectrum depend on the individual’s interests and capabilities.
Autism Spectrum Disorder has the highest unemployment rate of any other disability.
People with ASD can be up to 140% more productive than someone without ASD.
It has been found that persons with ASD have superior problem-solving abilities.
People on the spectrum may have unusual or unique body language.
Autism is a neurological difference.
All jobs for people with ASD must be repetitive with structured tasks.
People with Autism pose a safety risk to the employer.
All people on the Spectrum require accommodations and modifications to the job.
People with ASD don’t want friends.
Autism is a mental health or intellectual impairment.
Talent for detail
Perseverance & tenacity
Heightened pattern recognition
Ability to spot deviances
Will follow the rules
Willing and able to learn in-depth information
What You May Observe
Avoids direct eye contact while in conversation with you. Because they may need to use one sensory channel at a time, they are choosing to listen to you rather than look at you.
Does not initiate conversations or favours specific topics.
Does not engage in small talk.
Does not understand intonation, irony, sarcasm, and jokes.
Does not “read between the lines”.
Lacks non-verbal response; facial expression remains the same although their internal emotional experience is in the same range of response as non-ASD individuals.
Difficulty observing and following non-visible rules and team behaviours which can result in their feeling embarrassed, awkward, and anxious.
Takes longer to respond due to complex neurological processing of verbal communications.
Avoids social activities even when they desire to participate.
Does not intuit other people’s feelings, but when the other person’s feelings are explained the person on the spectrum will experience the full range of emotional response others feel.
Unaware of the impact of their behaviour on others, but when explained they feel the same range of emotions as non-ASD individuals.
Anxious due to overwhelming sensory input, social situations, or performance expectations. The ASD individual may be very aware of their challenging social interactions and may avoid situations as a result.
Communicate directly and respectfully to get the best results.
Provide performance feedback often.
Communicate prioritization of given tasks.
Provide as much advance notice of change as you can.
Be curious and ask yourself why someone may be acting a certain way rather than drawing conclusions that may, in fact, be wrong and reflect your bias.
Allow for compensatory behaviours when overwhelmed (a quiet place to regroup, something to fidget with, a walk around the block, the need to bring in support).
Ensure they know they are welcome to participate in social opportunities, such as going for coffee and group events, without applying pressure on them.
Tap into your local employment service providers for assistance when hiring, onboarding and retaining neurodiverse talent.