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autism in the workplace

Autism Accommodations in the Workplace

March 3, 2024

Autism is a brain-based disorder that affects one in every 100 children. It is more common in boys than girls, and it has a wide range of symptoms. It may develop during childhood, or it may become apparent in adults. There is no known cause, but genetics and environmental factors are thought to play a role in the development of autism.
Accommodations in the workplace
There are many different kinds of accommodations that can help someone with autism succeed at work. Some of them are more obvious than others, but all of them are designed to make the person more comfortable and successful in their job.
First and foremost, the employer needs to make sure that the autistic employee knows about any policies or procedures regarding accommodations. This can be done through verbal explanations or a written document.
A reasonable accommodation is a change to the environment, procedure or technology that can allow an autistic employee to function on an equal footing with a non-disabled colleague. It might include offering flexible working hours, providing substitute tasks or providing training and workplace supports.
Another example of a reasonable accommodation is assigning a sponsor or mentor during a probationary period, so that the autistic employee can get to know a person who understands what it means to be autistic. This allows the autistic employee to gain insight into how their behavior and communication style might be perceived by others and to learn how to navigate the social expectations of the job.
Changing the location of the employee’s workspace can be a simple, effective, and cost-effective way to create a more welcoming and inclusive space for an autistic employee. By ensuring the space is familiar to the employee and that all aspects of the workspace are similar, the employer can avoid a lot of stress for the autistic employee.
This kind of accommodation enables the employee to focus on their task and ignore any other concerns they might have, while still allowing them to maintain a sense of normalcy in their life. It can be especially helpful when the employee is a new hire or has a long probationary period, because it allows the employer to get to know the autistic employee better and provide more support.
Second, a good manager will encourage the employee to seek out a mentor or sponsor during their time at the company. This can be a very rewarding experience for the individual, and it can also be a great benefit to the organization as a whole.
Third, a good manager will help the autistic employee develop skills to cope with stress and anxiety in the workplace. Often, this can be done through regular meetings with the employee to discuss their feelings and experiences at work.
Fourth, a good manager will work to develop the autistic employee’s social skills and understanding of social norms at work. Often, this is done through social skills

groups or mentoring programs.
The ability to communicate is an important skill that everyone needs to be able to use. Autistic people often have difficulty processing the different aspects of communication, so they might not be able to understand what you are saying and they might be struggling to make eye contact or read body language.

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