#TW Trigger Warning
People who have Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or Asperger’s Syndrome, like anyone else, have their strengths as well as weaknesses. It’s a spectrum disorder, so ranges from high (verbal) to low (nonverbal) functioning and everything in between. For many, it’s an invisible disability and individuals may be keeping it as a deep dark secret, only to find themselves unsuccessful in their social interactions at work.
>>> Please read to the end with my call to action. <<<
When high functioning employees do not reveal their disability, they may get admonished for needing to improve their soft skills and hear comments like these:
“We wish you would do this more … “
“We wish you would do this better …”
“We wish you wouldn’t do this…”
However, when employers strive to employ people on the spectrum (since employees typically do not reveal their status), employers may qualify for a tax benefit or deduction on IRS Form 8826 by accommodating someone with a disability.
Employees with disabilities are no different than anyone else when it comes to feelings. They want to be accepted and feel like they are needed. Therefore, it is important that they choose the right job and are also hired for the right job.
Both employers and employees, as well as their advocates, should work together to help these employees be successful at work. Some local organizations include: SpArc Philadelphia and Autism Society of Greater Philadelphia.
With a little extra patience, understanding, and additional mentoring, coaching, or explaining, the benefits that the employers will gain may far outweigh the extra time spent to support employees with disabilities.
If you are one of those employers with a kind heart and open mind, I thank you as a former K-12 special education teacher and wife of a man who had autism (but died of cancer before diagnosis), and now a parent of an autistic adult.
As an Executive Director of an all-inclusive and diverse nonprofit, we welcome everyone to our organization. We are a group of diverse business professionals and provide career education, support, and resources to all. Please read this Call to Action:
- Everyone is welcome to attend our free LinkedIn workshops at the Chester County Library each month to learn tips, tricks, and best practices. There are other LinkedIn workshops and many other career management workshops available in the region.
- If you are an employer willing to hire people with disabilities, we invite you to post jobs in our LinkedIn group. You may also email us jobs to have this posted on our Facebook page (where we also post the Vista.today jobs for that extra reach to our jobseekers). State that you are open to hiring individuals with disabilities. You can also send me a private message, if desired. Here are a few autism-friendly employers and another recent post to back up #5 EY.
- Are you interested in hiring one of our autistic members who are current jobseekers? If you seek any of the following, please send us an email: 1) video editor, 2) MOS certified Excel & Access | Data Analysis, and 3) Product Manager & Business Analyst (with a photographic memory to remember details).
- We invite employment attorneys or other specialists to contact us if they want to speak on employment law and the Do’s and Don’ts for this population. This is an extremely important topic where we could all benefit from more knowledge, not to mention patience, compassion, and better understanding. It would be great to have links to other helpful resources in the suburbs of Philadelphia.
- If you would like to co-chair a chapter in the Elkins Park area for career support, for employed and unemployed individuals with autism, we want to hear from you.
- Share your comments on this article on this post on our LinkedIn company page or on my LinkedIn profile.
Also, read this article and note that only 12% of the number of high functioning people with autism in Britain have full-time employment – only 12%. Although I am unaware of the percentage in our area, I champion employers to hire some quirky talent. It may be mutually rewarding!
Originally published in vista.today