To help you understand how to support individuals with autism, we have outlined the top 6 ways you can change your culture for the better:
If your work colleague with autism often interrupts during meetings, the answer may be to add more structure to the meetings. Employees with autism (or any person with autism for that matter) usually values structure. You could also consider creating a compact guide for the business that clearly states the expected format for meetings.
Does your team member have difficulty responding and communicating face-to-face? If so, you could ask yourself if the same information could be shared via email instead, or as well as (clear bullet points are always good). The essential rule here is to focus on a person’s strengths; this includes communication styles.
How do you create processes that work for a diverse cognitive team? Rather than creating different systems for each individual (which is not cheap or easy), create a process that works for all. This way of working will give your company an advantage when hiring the best staff and keeping your retention level high.
Autism can heavily affect a person’s capability to follow the unspoken laws of social etiquette, particularly in a professional setting. Your fellow employee may be utterly indifferent to listening about your new shoes, but enthusiastic about the classic 1895 Bomberman on Nintendo’s NES console. Remember that they may not be able to help it. Always try to be understanding and adaptable.
Autism, while it can demonstrate hyper-focus in certain areas, it can prevent general focus and at times lead to lack of organisation, creating problems. We recommend using online systems like Slack or Monday.com to keep track of projects (it can also send timed reminders).
Think of autism as any other personal attribute you are born with, like blue eyes. Autism is something that you do not choose. You should never put someone down or ‘call them out’ because of characteristic they are born with.