Author’s note: April is Autism Awareness Month, a topic we take very seriously at Impact Publications and Impact Training Center. This is the first in a series of posts that will appear this month to note this observance.
Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) may have a variety of workplace problems. Some work-related issues arise when the job is not specific enough or the expectations are not clear. Clarity in terms of expectations and job descriptions are critical to supporting individuals with autism. There are a variety of workplace supports that may be effective for persons with ASD. The following are some of them:
* Gradual introduction into the work situation is often advised. It’s often better to teach portions of the job and build up to teaching the entire job in the first two weeks.
* As much as possible, individuals with ASD need to be provided with clear, specific job descriptions. For instance, a visual representation of a “chain of command” can be useful for a worker with autism, as he/she will better understand who to ask for help.
* Supervisors need to know that, initially; it is critical to provide immediate, clear, and open feedback for workers with ASD. Supervisors need to provide plenty of “front-end” supervision for employees with autism. Getting a worker with autism into good routines immediately benefits everyone.
In short, improving workplace supports includes: 1) establishing a clear line of management; 2) using visual checklists; and 3) having explicit rules.
Resources on autism include:
Autism Research Institute — http://www.autism.com
Autism Society of America — http://www.autism-society.org
Autism Speaks — http://www.autismspeaks.org
Sources: Behavioral consultant James Emmett and “Job Training and Placement Report.” Improving workplace outcomes for youth and adults with autism is discussed in the April 2015 issue of “Job Training and Placement Report” – http://www.impact-publications.com – while guidelines and strategies for enhancing educational success for children with autism is presented in the April 2015 “Child Care Support Network” training. For more information, call 1-800-350-4422.