Autism in the Workplace: Things Changing for the Better

While it’s true that people with autism spectrum disorder often find it difficult to adjust themselves in a workplace, it’s heartening to note that some of the leading multinational companies across the world have changed their human resource (HR) policies. These companies are trying on their part to forge a conducive environment for autistic people in their corporate structure. While discrimination and prejudice still dominate the mindset of majority of the HR managers regarding the recruitment of people with autism, some of the recent developments are undeniably encouraging.

All over the world, business processes have largely become tech-oriented. For instance, the benefits of hiring people who may excel in data processing, has become apparent. Many autistic persons excel in such kind of jobs also known as “autism savants”. The Silicon Valley is already employing a more the average numbers of autistic persons, because such people are known to excel in their tech jobs.

Experts are of the opinion that the time has come for companies and organizations to recognize the skills of the neglected class of prospective employees. Some multinational companies have already recognized the untapped talent pool and have incorporated the changes in their manual. Experts say that if the changes bear fruit, they may further open up the job market for autistic people and also help the companies realize the technical ability of these people.

In most cases, it doesn’t take much to become a bit more inclusive. It’s often just as simple as empowering an individual so that he/she can feel more comfortable to share their feelings as well as listening to them patiently.

Studies into autism employment trends have revealed that a minimum of 50,000 individuals will become autism adults every year. This not only includes autism but other special needs condition like Asperger’s and Down syndrome. Autism spectrum disorder is taken as an umbrella condition. People with Asperger’s syndrome, the mildest form of autism spectrum disorder, usually show some perceptible symptoms beyond the social awkwardness. Those at the far end of the spectrum may lack verbal skills. They may also be hypersensitive to sensory activities. Worse still, many of them are prone to self-inflicted injuries. While the latter section of people with autism spectrum disorder may find it difficult to land gainful employment, the former section may find it relatively easy.

But the fact remains that more companies have to open up hiring for autistic people. Else, a large section of people will be kept out of the ambit of successful contribution to the society.