Autistic Workers Fit into Tasks

Article excerpt

An estimated 1.5 million people in the United States have autism spectrum disorder, so chances are you may be affected by autism in some way.

Your child, a relative or even a friend may be dealing with the disorder.

But chances are good you soon may start to deal with autism in the workplace. The most visible generation with autism is getting ready to graduate from high school and will be looking for jobs, says Scott Standifer, a University of Missouri researcher who studies employment issues affecting adults with autism.

During interviews and on the job, one of the greatest challenges for those along the autism spectrum is reading social cues.

Job applicants who are told to answer questions honestly may be so blunt that they are considered rude or somehow socially unacceptable.

That's why social skills training and more detailed explanations of workplace culture can be helpful to those with autism, he says.

Jobs in noisy, hectic environments; positions with a lot of unstructured social contact with the public; and tasks with little or no routine often are not good fits for those with autism. …