Tip : Find Nonverbal Ways To Connect
Connecting with a child with ASD can be challenging, but you dont need to talkor even touchin order to communicate and bond. You communicate by the way you look at your child, by the tone of your voice, your body language and possibly the way you touch your child. Your child is also communicating with you, even if he or she never speaks. You just need to learn the language.
Look for nonverbal cues. If you are observant and aware, you can learn to pick up on the nonverbal cues that children with ASD use to communicate. Pay attention to the kinds of sounds they make, their facial expressions, and the gestures they use when theyre tired, hungry, or want something.
Figure out the motivation behind the tantrum. Its only natural to feel upset when you are misunderstood or ignored, and its no different for children with ASD. When children with ASD act out, its often because youre not picking up on their nonverbal cues. Throwing a tantrum is their way of communicating their frustration and getting your attention.
Make Sure Instructions Are Concise And Specific
Try to give your employee clear instructions right from the start about exactly how to carry out each task, from start to finish, as this will lay the foundations for good working practices. Dont assume the person will infer your meaning from informal instructions for example, rather than saying ‘Give everybody a copy of this’, say ‘Make three photocopies of this, and give one each to Sam, Mary and Ahmed’. You may also choose to provide written instructions. It can be helpful to ask the person to repeat back instructions so you are sure they have understood.
Autism And Your Ability To Perform Physical Work
Autism does not directly affect your ability to perform physical tasks, but it does generally affect your ability to concentrate on those tasks or to receive the instructions needed to learn new tasks in the first place. While this is sometimes overcome for those with milder autistic spectrum disorders in workplaces where supervisors are trained to deal with employees with autistic disorders, many adults with autism are unable to perform any kind of substantial gainful activity. To be considered completely disabled by autism for Social Security Disability purposes, you must meet the following criteria:
- Obvious and significant impairment in social function.
- Obvious and significant impairment in concentrating.
- Obvious and significant impairment in comprehending communication or communicating.
- Obvious and significant impairment in cognitive functioning.
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Vision Therapy For Children With Autism
Vision therapy is a proven treatment that strengthens the neurological connections between the brain and eyes to improve visual abilities.
A vision therapy program for an autistic child will help them improve visual processing, which in turn, will help them better understand their surroundings and improve associated behaviors, like anxiety.
Each vision therapy program is tailored to the child’s specific needs and includes age-appropriate exercises and activities.
Vision therapy tends to focus on improving the following skills in autistic kids:
- Central vision
- Visual information processing
Social Security Disability Claims On The Basis Of Autism
Social Security updated its disability listing for autism in 2017. Listing 112.10, “Autistic disorder and other pervasive developmental disorders,” is now titled “Autism spectrum disorder.” The listing requires that all of the following are documented in a child’s medical records:
- deficits in social interaction
- deficits in verbal and nonverbal communication, and
- significantly restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, or activities.
If all three items are documented , Social Security will look to see whether the child’s functioning is severely limited by autism. The child must either have an extreme limitation in one of the following areas or a “marked” limitation in two of the following areas:
- understanding, remembering, or using information
- interacting with others
- focusing on activities , and
- adapting or managing oneself .
Cognitive and communicative functioning can be measured through the use of standardized testing that is appropriate for a claimant’s age and special tests for language development or speech pattern development. Regarding the measurement of cognition itself, a primary sign of limited function is a valid IQ score of 70 or less.
Focus is the ability to concentrate on a task, to stick with it, and to maintain a pace at the task that would be considered an age-appropriate level. This is measured both by observing the child and also measured by results obtained from standardized testing.
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People With Autism Struggle With Social Imagination
In many cases, adults with autism are very uncomfortable with change. Consequently, they might struggle with planning ahead or preparing themselves for the uncertainties of the future. These traits can alienate them from potential employers during job interviews if theyre asked about time management and how they handle change.
Careers For People With Autism
- Animal-related Jobs Dog Trainer, Vet Tech, etc.
- Computer Programming and Software
- Scientist, Lab Technician, or Researcher
- Assembly-line Manufacturing
There was once a time when those with autism were often considered broken and completely unemployable, but that is certainly no longer the case. Many people who have been diagnosed with autism have gone on to enjoy great success in a wide range of careers, and you can too.
Because each individual with autism has different strengths and limitations, its very important that you choose a career that is in alignment with your natural interests and skills. With assistance from a school counselor, the affected individuals be able to determine what type of career that may be best suited for them, and here are just a few options.
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Applying For Social Security Disability Benefits Based On Autism
If you have autism or an autistic spectrum disorder and are considering applying for Social Security disability benefits, you should start by consulting with a Social Security disability lawyer. While this is good advice for anyone who is applying for benefits, it is especially important for those with disabilities which affect your ability to concentrate or stay focused and persistent.
When the Social Security Administration evaluates a disability claim based on autism, they look at how the disorder affects the claimants ability to function at a workplace. In addition to medical documentation showing that you have been diagnosed with autism or an autism spectrum disorder, they will need evidence that your disability significantly limits the activities you can do, affects your social interactions, and affects your ability to communicate verbally and non-verbally.
You will need to show that these limitations are severe enough that they would make it unreasonable to expect the autistic person to function on the job site. The SSA will generally require statements from doctors, teachers, and others who are familiar with the extent to which the claimants autism affects his abilities to concentrate, communicate, and interact socially.
Fill out the form on this site for a free evaluation of your disability claim by an attorney or advocate in your area.
Don’t Make It Too Easy
It may seem counterintuitive, given that many children on the spectrum struggle with learning challenges, but it’s important to avoid making things too easy. For instance, you may know from the child’s behavior she wants a snack. Instead of just giving her the snack and continuing with the lesson, place the snack just out of reach and show her how to gesture or ask for it. With higher functioning children, you can do this with a favorite book or game and more complicated language. Reward the communication immediately.
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Eeoc V Jax Llc D/b/a Golden Corral
The EEOC sued Jax, LLC, which operates the Golden Corral Restaurant, on behalf of an employee with ASD who argued that he was subject to a hostile work environment based on his disability. Although the employee filed an internal complaint, the company did not investigate, the harassment did not stop, and the employee ultimately resigned. An investigation by the EEOC found that the employee, who had limitations in communication and interaction with others, was repeatedly called retard and stupid by the assistant manager of the restaurant. After failing to resolve the issue, the EEOC filed a federal court complaint. The employer settled and agreed to pay the employee $85,000 and implement training of all managers and employees.
Helping Your Child With Autism Thrive Tip : Provide Structure And Safety
Learning all you can about autism and getting involved in treatment will go a long way toward helping your child. Additionally, the following tips will make daily home life easier for both you and your child with ASD:
Be consistent. Children with ASD have a hard time applying what theyve learned in one setting to others, including the home. For example, your child may use sign language at school to communicate, but never think to do so at home. Creating consistency in your childs environment is the best way to reinforce learning. Find out what your childs therapists are doing and continue their techniques at home. Explore the possibility of having therapy take place in more than one place in order to encourage your child to transfer what he or she has learned from one environment to another. Its also important to be consistent in the way you interact with your child and deal with challenging behaviors.
Stick to a schedule. Children with ASD tend to do best when they have a highly-structured schedule or routine. Again, this goes back to the consistency they both need and crave. Set up a schedule for your child, with regular times for meals, therapy, school, and bedtime. Try to keep disruptions to this routine to a minimum. If there is an unavoidable schedule change, prepare your child for it in advance.
Dont Wait For A Diagnosis
As the parent of a child with ASD or related developmental delays, the best thing you can do is to start treatment right away. Seek help as soon as you suspect somethings wrong. Dont wait to see if your child will catch up later or outgrow the problem. Dont even wait for an official diagnosis. The earlier children with autism spectrum disorder get help, the greater their chance of treatment success. Early intervention is the most effective way to speed up your childs development and reduce the symptoms of autism over the lifespan.
When your child has autism
Learn about autism. The more you know about autism spectrum disorder, the better equipped youll be to make informed decisions for your child. Educate yourself about the treatment options, ask questions, and participate in all treatment decisions.
Become an expert on your child. Figure out what triggers your kids challenging or disruptive behaviors and what elicits a positive response. What does your child find stressful or frightening? Calming? Uncomfortable? Enjoyable? If you understand what affects your child, youll be better at troubleshooting problems and preventing or modifying situations that cause difficulties.
Dont give up. Its impossible to predict the course of autism spectrum disorder. Dont jump to conclusions about what life is going to be like for your child. Like everyone else, people with autism have an entire lifetime to grow and develop their abilities.
Managing An Autistic Employee
Working with an autistic person can be an enriching experience for managers and colleagues alike, however support is important to make it successful.
Your organisation can avoid and overcome challenges in order to ensure enjoyable and effective working relationships via:
- formal activities –from job coaches to state-funded initiatives to help with extra costs such as adaptations in the workplace
- ourEmployment Training Service can provide information about state-funded initiatives and the training and consultancy we provide
- Autism at Work programme may be of interest if you are thinking about recruiting autistic people for a new role
- informal activities such as making sure communicationis clear,that the environment takes account ofsensory needs,and the necessary support is at hand.
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Clarify Expectations Of The Job
You may need to be more explicit about your expectations for an autisticmember of staff. As well as the job description, you need to explain the etiquette and unwritten rules of the workplace. Make it clear that any adaptations for them in the workplace are there to help them keep doing their job well, not because they are not good enough.
Becoming A Certified Autism Specialist
To become a certified autism specialist, you need to get additional education on the specific needs of individuals with ASD, as well as on the most effective therapeutic strategies to help them, including their educational, behavioral, social, and emotional needs.
National University is one of the top San Diego universities and colleges offering this certification. The Graduate Certificate in Autism at National University consists of four courses, which can each be completed in four weeks. The courses are designed to be taken sequentially, so the program can be finished in as little as four months, making it especially convenient for working professionals to complete.
This program, in particular, is designed for teachers who have some special education electives and are working with children who have special needs, Rago says. First, the program gives them a foundational understanding of what autism is and what it looks like in students, and then it gives them the practical methods and strategies to address their needs.
Rago says the program teaches students how to design lessons and curriculum to meet the particular learning needs of students with ASD, as well as strategies to help them overcome their emotional and social challenges.
At National,s possible for teachers who are being asked to get it by their district to get it done in one school year, he says.
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Autism Spectrum And The Americans With Disabilities Act
The ADA does not contain a list of medical conditions that constitute disabilities. Instead, the ADA has a general definition of disability that each person must meet. A person has a disability if he/she has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a record of such an impairment, or is regarded as having an impairment. For more information about how to determine whether a person has a disability under the ADA, see How to Determine Whether a Person Has a Disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act .
Acting Like A Team Player
Another symptom that a person with autism can exhibit is a lack of interest in sharing enjoyment, interests, or achievements with other people. In business speak, managers might say that this person isnt a team player. Teamwork is important, but is it an essential function of a job? Does congratulating a coworker on a big achievement make the difference between a positive or negative performance review?
Additionally, an autistic employee may have difficulty understanding another persons feelings. What an autistic person sees as straightforward, may be received by another person as rude and inappropriate. This can boil down to what looks like a cultural difference, and it can be cultural, but it can also be related to how your brain processes information.
A manager may say, I want to thank you for all of your hard work on that project, but I was hoping that next time you could think about doing that in another way. Shes trying to speak nicely, but some autistic employees arent going to get the message that the boss wants a change.
When managing employees with autism, try the direct approach. Good job. Next time, do this instead of that.
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Our Hospitality Work Experience Programme
HelmsBriscoe is our hospitality employment programme offering autistic people the opportunity to gain work experience opportunities within the hotel hospitality industry. The programme comprises of:
- an eight-week work experience placement for autistic adults
- free autism awareness training for your staff from our team
- free in-work support from one of our Job Coaches for your organisation and the work experience candidate
If your organisation would be interested in our programme, please contact us.
Companies That Aim To Hire People With Autism
As awareness grows about boosting neurodiversity in the workplace in 2021, an increasing number of companies are proactively hiring employees on the autism spectrum.
Companies can benefit greatly from strengths that are specific to autistic individuals, such as intense focus, strong commitment, creative abilities, and passionate productivity. These attributes in employees can be a boon to any company when they are directed appropriately.
Here is a selection of companies participating in the Autism at Work and other neurodiversity initiatives:
These companies have been public about their intentions to hire more people with autism.
The list is always changing and growing, shares Autism Speaks. Each year, new companies and organizations join the effort to support autism awareness and inclusion.
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What Is A Certified Autism Specialist
Certified Autism Specialists offer services and support for people who have some form of autism. These services are available in all sorts of environments such as educational settings, therapist offices, and non-profit organizations. Working with individuals with autism could mean working at schools, to help autistic children succeed academically, or working at residential centers to help patients become more independent. Professionals like teachers, doctors, psychologists, counselors, physical therapists, and speech/language pathologists can all benefit from being a CAS.
Employing Autistic People A Guide For Employers
As an employer, you can help make the world a more autism-friendly place. We know that many of you are leading the way and making great progress in adapting your practice and making small adjustments that make a big difference to autistic employees.
In this guide we explain the benefits of employing an autistic person, offer tips for recruitment and interviewing, and provide advice for managing an autistic employee.
Autistic people have some very valuable skills which can be applied in the workplace. They might have very good attention to detail, or be really good at sticking to routines and timetables. Therefore, they are likely to be very punctual and reliable. Everyone has different skills but there will always be something.” An autistic job seeker
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