When it comes to employment, people with autism spectrum disorder cut a sorry figure. It is estimated that only 16% of those with autism are employed in any full-time work. While not all autistic people will be able to find work because of obvious reasons, they are many who sincerely want a job that reflects their interests and talents. The key, of course, is creating more autism employment opportunities and attracting this ignored section of the society.
Opening up autism employment opportunities
With a little adjustment to the hiring process, people with autism can turn out to become real assets of a company.
Ensuring a diverse workforce
Companies that fail to harness the talent of autistic people, miss out on several key skills like attention to detail, thinking differently, and tenacity. Of late, however, some companies have opened up autism employment opportunities and are recognizing their skills. Arts is one of the most favorite sector for autistic people followed by IT.
Offering volunteering opportunities, work experience or apprenticeship can be a good way to extend autism employment opportunities to the targeted section of the population. But it’s the peer mindset which is usually the biggest barrier for autistic people in their workplace.
Many autistic people complain of a lack of support in their office. Even the employers are worried about getting things wrong regarding support to autistic employees. In majority of the cases they don’t know where to knock for support and advice.
While most companies acknowledge the fact that people on the autism spectrum can make a big contribution towards the economy and society, they are often failed by the government programs. Misconception about autism is a major worry for employees on the spectrum.
Support for those on the spectrum
Employers don’t have to make any big adjustment to the workplace to accommodate autistic employees. Job training for autistic adults can be of immense help. Small changes that foster better communication, like allowing employees to wear headphones, or ear plugs, if they are overwhelmed with the noise, can serve the purpose. Autistic employees should also be aware of the various government schemes available for them.
The most important part is that organizations should open up to create autism employment opportunities. Human resource departments should be equipped with professionals who have an understanding of the wants of an autistic employee. The number of unemployed autistic individuals is growing alarmingly which is not very good for the society.