Career Paths For Autistic People
Autism spectrum disorder isnt a one-size-fits-all diagnosis, and no two autistic people are alike. Also, people with ASD have a wide range of interests and skills just like everyone else.
Still, some autistic folks have distinct strengths that may help them excel in specific careers. According to 2021 research, characteristics often associated with autism and translate well into the work environment may include:
- creative and innovative thinking
- reduced concern with social pressure
- a strong sense of social justice and affective empathy
- intense interests in specific things
- enjoyment of tasks non-autistic people might find challenging
Still, autistic folks may experience challenges in the workplace due to differing abilities with social interactions, sensory processing issues, and learning styles. In addition, difficulties with processing speed and receptive and expressive language may create challenges in the work environment.
Managing these challenges is possible with the proper support. These supports might include job coaches, individualized training programs, and ensuring the employer has a comprehensive understanding of autism.
Whether youre autistic or nonautistic, career options are nearly unlimited. Still, for individuals with ASD, some genres of employment can be a better fit than others. Career paths to consider include:
Work Experience And Employment
Autistic young people want a chance to prove themselves in the workplace just like everybody else starting out in their career. But sadly we know that getting a foot on the employment ladder can be harder for these young people.
Around 700,000 people in the UK are autistic and yet just 21.7% of autistic adults are in full or part-time paid employment.
Increasingly employers are starting to understand the benefits of a neurodiverse workforce – and are seeking employees who can offer different ways of thinking and problem-solving.
Work experience is an important way for all young people to build an understanding of, and confidence in, the world of work. For autistic young people this is especially important in helping them adapt to and understand the ‘rules’ of different working environments.
Information Security Analyst: $104k
Keeping networks and data systems safe from viruses and hackers requires careful analysis and keen attention to detail, which may be strengths of yours. Information security analysts are responsible for identifying weaknesses that could result in security breaches and developing standards and policies to protect an organization’s data. Security-specific certifications can boost your employment potential.
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Specialisterne Employees Excel At Their Jobs In Consultants In Software Testing & Data Entry
Specialisterne is a Denmark based company where the majority of their employees are on the autism spectrum. Employees work as business consultants in STEM roles. They provide their unique perspective to fields like software testing, programming and data-entry for the public and private sectors. They have operations in many countries around the world. .
The Best Jobs For People With Autism
Grandin gives some great pointers for knowing what kind of jobs and careers for people with autism should look for. First, she explains that a good job should have a clearly defined goal, to avoid miscommunication or confusion. She also advises steering clear of jobs that might put stress on short-term memory, saying, Both high and low functioning people have a very poor short-term working memory, but they often have a better long-term memory than most normal people. This means jobs that require multitasking might be less suitable than a job that calls for high attention to detail or memorization.
As mentioned earlier, each person person with autism has unique needs, strengths, and abilities that will affect the type of job that fits them best. The following ideas are merely suggestionsareas of work that various people on the spectrum might perform well in. Please take into consideration the job candidates individuality.
- STEM jobs
- Jobs that require visual thinking
- Working with numbers
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Restocking Shelves In Stores:
Having Aspergers syndrome does not mean that the person is incapable of doing any task or has to be confined to the house at all times. Many people make the mistake of not allowing their loved ones with the syndrome to work and this does affect him or her adversely because as time passes by, he or she begins to feel useless.
Even a job at a retail store, involving him or her to restock empty shelves could most certainly give the person involved a sense of importance and identity.
People Who Can Help With Jobs For Teenagers With Disability Autism Or Other Additional Needs
A support network can help your child set employment goals and work towards them.
A support network for your child might include the following people:
- Mentor: a mentor can help by giving advice, being a role model, helping your child work out what they want to do and so on. Its great if you can find a mentor who understands disability, autism or additional needs. A mentor could be a family friend, a professional who works with your child, or someone from a disability support organisation.
- School teacher: if your child has a good connection with a teacher, this person can also be a mentor.
- Careers adviser: the careers adviser at your childs school will be able to help your child set goals and work out what they need to do to achieve them.
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Careers For People With Autism
People with autism perform best in positions that maximize their strengths and minimize their weaknesses. In general, they should seek jobs that provide structure, require attention to detail and avoid those that regularly involve intense interpersonal work or require a strong short-term memory. Here are eight types of occupations that may be a good fit for someone on the autism spectrum.
Whether your teen loves to draw or spends hours online, identifying and developing their skills is the key to a fulfilling career. Lexington Services specializes in helping children with autism and other learning challenges reach their full potential. to learn how Lexington Life Academy empowers its students to succeed academically, socially and professionally.
Best Employers For People With Autism 2020
Unbelievably, it is estimated that fewer than 1 in 6 adults on the Autism Spectrum have full-time work. The statistics recently released in the National Autism Indicators Report from Drexel University are even more disheartening. Less than 16% of those polled for the report had full-time paid work, while only 32% had paid work of any kind. Of those working, 51% insisted their skills are higher than what their current job offers. And most incredibly, 77% of those are unemployed say they want to work!
Fortunately, a growing number of small businesses, large companies, and vast corporations are realizing the value of hiring neurodiverse individuals. Indeed, the Autism at Work program at JPMorgan Chase found that as a whole, their more than 300 neurodiverse employees are 48% faster and 92% more productive than their neurotypical employees. For those on the Autism Spectrum who want to work, this shift in general corporate thinking is a big positive. And while there is certainly much more progress that needs to be made, its time to recognize those paving the way. Keep scrolling for the 30 best employers for people with autism.
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Transition To Future Employment
Individuals who are job ready can use digital badges to highlight their skill set. Additional transition supports to future employment are available through our Adult Programs Team. We work collaboratively with career practitioners and key contacts in individuals support networks towards the common goal of gaining employment after GO Group.
Seeking Workadvice & Support For:
Advice and help for autistic people on job-seeking, writing CVs and looking for appropriate work experience, internships and apprenticeships
We understand that looking for work can be stressful, particularly if youre autistic.
We offer a range of services and resources to help you look for work and have created a handy guide that offers information and support.
In the guide you will find information and advice about looking or applying for a job, whether or not you should disclose your autism diagnosis to a potential employer and local support that we offer.
This page gives you an overview. For more information, select from the menu above or the link below.
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Choosing The Right Job For People With Autism Or Asperger’s Syndrome
Temple Grandin, Ph.D. Assistant Professor Colorado State University Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA
Jobs need to be chosen that make use of the strengths of people with autism or Asperger’s syndrome. Both high and low functioning people have very poor short-term working memory, but they often have a better long-term memory than most normal people. I have great difficulty with tasks that put high demands on short-term working memory. I cannot handle multiple tasks at the same time. Table 1 is a list of BAD jobs that I would have great difficulty doing. Table 2 is a list of easy jobs for a visual thinker like me. I have difficulty doing abstract math such as algebra and most of the jobs on Table 2 do not require complex math. Many of the visual thinking jobs would also be good for people with dyslexia.
Some job tips for people with autism or Asperger’s syndrome:
- Jobs should have a well-defined goal or endpoint.
- Sell your work, not your personality. Make a portfolio of your work.
- The boss must recognize your social limitations.
Practical Application And Interviewing Skills
- Create a resume that includes the following:
- contact information
- work history
- any other unpaid or volunteer work
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Hidden Hiring Benefits Of Autism And Those With Disabilities
Hiring a diverse workforce including those with autism offers hidden benefits outside of longer tenure, less turnover and improved employee engagement. Ninety-two percent of people view companies who hire individuals with disabilities MORE favorably according to a 2005 study published in the Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation.
As companies look to diversify their talent pools, hiring programs like those you see above are an effective way to engage a very eager and engaged group of workers. Companies in the United States who are government contractors are seeing benefits specifically related to the OFCCP and their Affirmative Action Plan good faith efforts.
Best Jobs For People With Autism In 2022
If you have been told that you are on the autism spectrum, one of the concerns you might have is about how hard it will be getting a job with autism.
You or your family and friends might be wondering if there are jobs for autistic adults. Thankfully, there are a wide variety of positions for you to consider.
Some of them do not require any formal training, and others you can gain the skills to do in two years or less.
One of the best things you can do for yourself when you are thinking about autism employment opportunities is to consider your likes, dislikes, and skills.
Keep in mind that these are good jobs for people with autism, but you will find many others doing them who are not on the spectrum.
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Still Photographer And Videographer:
Becoming a photographer is an ideal job for any visual thinker even those who happen to suffer from Aspergers syndrome. In this case, being a still photographer or videographer would be a better option if the individual does not have very well developed motor skills to move around briskly.
This is indeed a well paying and rewarding jobs where he or she can simply sell the beautiful pictures to any magazine, online page or even to a company that could use the pictures on their calendar.
Autism Workforce Training And Employment Programs
- The Specialists Guild is a nonprofit social enterprise focused on working with people and companies so individuals with Autism can earn a living doing meaningful and fulfilling work based in San Francisco, CA. Click here to apply for training.
- The nonPareil Institute is dedicated to providing technical training, employment and housing to individuals who have been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. They train high-functioning adults with autism ages 18 and older on different aspects of video game and app design and development at a pace each student can manage. This non-profit is located in Texas.
- Exceptional Minds is a Sherman Oaks, CA, nonprofit vocational center and animation studio for young adults with autism. to learn more about their program.
- Aspiritech, a nonprofit based in Chicago has a program to train high-functioning people on the autism spectrum to test software for tech development companies.
- Nobis Works is a nonprofit organization in Georgia that specializes in job placement for people on the spectrum. They also offer training programs that last anywhere from three months to a year and are designed to teach the skills necessary to succeed in the workforce.
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What Companies Can Do To Help Autistic Employees
The journey into employment involves the autistic person and the employer. If youre considering adding an autistic employee to your team, there are things you can do to help ensure success for everyone involved.
It also involves finding the best ways to support your autistic workers needs and ensuring theyre matched to a job that aligns with their interests and skills.
If youre looking to hire an autistic employee, heres a list of resources that may help you build an inclusive work environment:
Levels Of Severity Of Autism
The level of autism severity greatly influences which jobs will work well for someone on the spectrum. The latest edition of the Diagnosticand Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders redefined a group of similar developmental diagnoses into a single diagnosis now called autism spectrum disorder.
The new comprehensive diagnosis highlights autism as being a spectrum. There are three identified levels of autism. They help to clarify how severe symptoms are in the domains of social skills and restrictive or repetitive behaviors.
The level of autism that someone has greatly impacts their ability to perform different jobs. Some people with Level 1 ASD have symptoms that are unnoticeable to the people around them. They can complete complicated jobs with minimal support or by using their own coping strategies.
More severe cases of autism have a greater impact on what jobs can be successfully completed. Again, however, there is a wide range of jobs available and many programs in search of people with ASD who can bring unique skills to the workplace.
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Preparing Adults With Autism For Employment Success
Written by Autism New Jersey and reprinted with permission.
In recent years, researchers examining employment outcomes have found that when young adults with autism have opportunities to participate in programs that both adequately prepare and support them as they enter the workforce, they can become successful and valuable employees.
For example, a study conducted by researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University showed that almost all high school students with autism who participated in an intensive job skills program gained and maintained meaningful part-time employment after graduation, with 90 percent of the participants acquiring competitive, part-time jobs three months after graduation, and 87 percent of the participants retaining their jobs a year after graduation. In contrast, a control group in the study who did not participate in the program had only 6 percent employed three months after graduation and only 12 percent employed a year later.
Other studies that looked at employment rates among young adults with autism show that there is still a great need for programs that strengthen employability skills and provide opportunities for young adults to practice them.
According to a report by the Life Course Outcomes Research Program , young adults with autism have the poorest employment outcomes among young adults with disabilities:
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Resources for Individuals, Families and Employers
New Jersey-Specific Resources
Global Research Company Sees Success In Hiring Adding Autistic Employees To Workforce
ZenithOptimedia is another company who has a commitment to hiring individuals with autism and experienced great success. They are continuing to grow these efforts and are working to increase opportunities for employees with autism in the future. Companies dont need a formal program autism at work program to hire great employees.
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Ask For What You Need
Under the terms of the Americans with Disabilities Act, employers are obligated to provide reasonable accommodations to help workers with disabilities succeed. So if you choose to self-identify as having ASD, some examples of reasonable accommodations you could ask for include:
- Instructions that are written or recorded so that you can review them whenever you need to
- Projects and tasks assigned in order of priority
- Frequent, direct, specific feedback on job performance
- Advance notice of meetings or changes in routine whenever possible
- The option to respond to queries or requests in writing rather than verbally
- A colleague or supervisor to be designated as a job mentor who can explain workplace social norms
- A workspace away from kitchens, restrooms, or other areas with strong odors
- Non-fluorescent lighting