Jobs can provide extra support to people with autism. Jobs can give them a sense of structure and help them feel more involved in their local communities. You can find out about job success for people with autism and autism support groups in Wake County at ShineLight.
Providing Support on the Job
Employers and other workers may be interested in ways that they can help support their teammates with autism. Below are eight ways to support an employee or coworker with autism:
- Predictability: When hiring a person with autism, it may be beneficial to keep them on a reoccurring schedule. It is common for someone with autism to get anxiety from changing schedules. That is why it is often good to give your coworker or employee with autism a schedule that does not often change.
- Routines: As with scheduling predictability, providing routines at work strengthens the structure people with autism commonly like. It also helps them reinforce their time management skills and better understand the concepts of time.
- Visual Supports: Using visual instructions, when possible, can be another huge benefit to your employee or coworker with autism. Use images to convey instructions when possible. Visual representations can help them better understand how a job, task, etc. can be done.
- Sensory supports: Take the time to understand what sensory issues your employee or coworker deals with such as noise sensitivity or sensitivity to smells. Sensory issues can be another cause of anxiety so it is beneficial to know what they don’t like and try your best to mitigate the issue.
- Clarity: When giving directions, make them clear and concise. Rules, expectations, and job responsibilities should be easy to understand and follow. This helps relieve the stress of understanding confusing directions.
- Response time: Give the employee or coworker time to process what was communicated and respond to what was said. People with autism sometimes have a delayed response time. They need to process what was said and think of their response – be patient.
- Communication: During communication, individuals with autism may have different mannerisms than neurotypical individuals. Know that eye contact may be difficult for a person with autism. Individuals with autism may also interrupt others or have differences with voice prosody. Learning and understanding their communication style will help you communicate better as a team.
- Preparation: When there are going to be changes in rules, procedures, or job responsibilities, prepare the employee for those changes in advance. Give them time to process those changes and ask any questions.
Learn More About Autism in The WorkForce and Look into Autism Support Groups
Supporting your employee or coworkers enhances your business environment and their comfortability and confidence. Living a fulfilling life with autism is possible, and the professionals at ShineLight work to give people with autism the skills and tools necessary for all aspects of life including job skills. If you have an employee or coworker with autism and want to know more about autism support groups in Wake County, contact ShineLight to learn more.