How Employers Can Make Autistic Lives Easier
Yeah. I know this is rich coming from someone who has never had a job. Think about it like this. If an employer were to message me on, let’s say Twitter asking for feedback on how they can make the workplace easier for us, what should they do.
We wouldn’t struggle so much on jobs if you knew these things.
Understanding Autistic traits
Simply understanding autism traits. When I was in school, the teachers misunderstanding my autism traits caused me trouble. For instance, some autistic are sensitive to load noises. In the 4th grade, I had a sensitivity to the fire alarm. However, the teachers read it as not caring about fire drills. The lack of eye contact can be easily misread as being rude when not looking directly at you helps them focus more. Learn about autism traits to avoid unneeded misunderstandings.
Provided a space heater/fan
Provided a heater/fan for the person’s cubical so they can adjust their setting. Extreme heat/cold can be rough for people with sensory issues. I was shamed my entire life for my heat sensitives, especially when I was in the marching band. Band camp was in early August. The NT kids don’t have sensitivities like me but couldn’t respect that. What was a small meltdown from the extreme heat is seen as ‘complaining’ to outsiders, which causes them to shame me. The environment is important.
Allow Working From Home
Allow them to work from home. Ex e-mailing them the tasks for the day and they can do it from home. Some of us prefer working from home. Where we can go at our own pace. Obviously if it’s possible to work from home.
You can’t poorly train us then blame us/and or fire us for too many mistakes. Make sure we understand the job 100%. Some people learn slower than others and that is OK. Have Patience. Don’t be a jerk when they need to ask for transparency.
I found a Twitter thread that can be used as a guild.
Give clear understandable directions. Vauge unclear directions do not help. Don’t automatically expect them to know the rules and what is expected.
A predictable schedule
Have a predictable schedule. Everyone is different but a schedule all over the place can be overwhelming. Esepcally unexpectedly calling them in on off days. We need the off-days to recharge. Autism burnout.
Learning about burn out can be helpful.
Another Twitter post with feedback from autistics.
Have someone autistic on the HR staff.
Have regulations that protect autistics from bullying and discrimination.
Avoid lumping them in NT(Neurotypical) settings (like florescent lighting)
Everyone on the spectrum is different so understand how each person operates.
On the application, if they will be hopped around the store or whatever, state that. If they apply for a certain job, they will assume that said job will be their duty. Not random extra tasks etc.
Get feedback from the person themselves on what will make it easier for them.