Greta Thunberg is facing attacks over her Asperger’s, but companies are keen to hire people on the autism spectrum.
Thunberg, 16, delivered a withering speech on climate change before the United Nations General Assembly on Monday, shaming world leaders for failing to take action. “How dare you,” she said. “You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words.”
The teen, who has spoken openly about her Asperger’s diagnosis, faced some mockery and personal attacks in response to her speech. One Fox News guest called her “a mentally ill Swedish child,” prompting the network to apologize to Thunberg and denounce the remark as “disgraceful.”
For adults who have autism, finding employment can be tough.
Conditions such as communication deficits and poor fine motor skills present significant challenges for working most jobs. And many of the resources for people with autism are geared toward children.
A recent study from the Drexel University Autism Institute found that only 14 percent of adults with autism have paying jobs by their mid-20s.
Lauri Love, Gary McKinnon and many other young people falling foul of the Computer Misuse Act have at least two things in common: They are talented coders – and they’re on the autistic spectrum. But what if Love and McKinnon and others like them were caught early and tasked with preventing cyber-attacks instead of orchestrating them?Read More
Getting a good job is hard, even if you have strong social skills like being able to network and make small talk with potential employers during interviews. But for individuals with autism who often have trouble with basic interactions, getting a foot in the door professionally can be even more daunting.Read More
Here are several strategies for attracting and retaining autistic job candidates, based on my experience working as a job recruiter and community manager for a U.S. technology company that provides employment for individuals on the autism spectrum.
Understand autism from different perspectives
Take time to read up on autism, including cultural and historical context by respected journalist. Examples of two well-received books are: NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity and In a Different Key: The Story of Autism. Consider professional accounts from well-known experts in the autism field, such as psychologist Tony Attwood and job coach Barbara Bissonnette.
To gain a greater understanding of autism from a personal perspective, review first-hand accounts from actual autistics, including videos, live presentations, blogs, and books.Read More
It’s all too common for people on the spectrum to struggle with getting and holding a job. In fact, people with autism are less likely to be employed than those with other different abilities. This is largely due to struggles with communication and social interactions, difficulties that are inherent to autism.
In a move to help remedy this situation, the car company Ford is partnering up with the Autism Alliance of Michigan to give individuals with ASD a chance at a fulfilling job.Read More
Frustrated by young employees who spend more time texting than doing their jobs? Want to find an employee who gets immersed in their work and pays close attention to details?
Then you might want to follow the lead of other businesses that have begun to actively recruit autistic employees. “They’re loyal and diligent and are a lower turnover risk,” said Tim Weiler, director, Eastern division, sales effectiveness and rewards, at Towers Watson, a human-resources consulting firm.
The company hired 18 autistic individuals for a pilot program in White Plains, New York, last year to assist with a review of compensation survey data submissions.Read More
(NDEAM). Congress designates this month as a time when businesses of all sizes and in all industries recognize the talents that people with disabilities add to their organizations and communities. Autism Speaks is celebrating NDEAM by focusing this month’s Community Connections on projects, community leaders and resources that are improving employment opportunities for individuals with autism.
Expert Interview: Dr. Paul Wehman, Ph.D
Dr. Paul Wehman, Director of the Virginia Commonwealth University Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (VCU-RRTC), has written an article specifically for this month’s Community Connections about employment for individuals with autism.
“Fortunately, today there is a growing body of research that indicates that with the right type, level, and intensity of support individuals with autism can work in a variety of jobs in their communities.”Read More
IT’S HARD getting a job when you’re autistic. If you don’t look people in the eye when you talk, they dismiss you.
Social interaction and communication skills can be a challenge for people with autism spectrum disorder, but companies looking to hire untapped talent for tech-related jobs are discovering that those with autism are unusually detail-oriented, highly analytical, and able to focus intensely on tasks, making them valuable employees. Last October, six companies—Ford Motor, DXCRead More
We like to think that good work is always rewarded. But what if some people who could do good work can’t get their foot in the door in the first place? That’s where recent hiring initiatives that look beyond unfair stereotypes come in, as Lee Cowan reports in our Cover Story (Originally broadcast on February 11, 2018):
Twenty-seven-year-old Christopher Pauley thought he had it all figured out when it came to looking for a job. He had a detailed spreadsheet of each and every position he applied for – at least 600.Read More
The Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders has published a new study showing that nearly 28% of 8-year-old children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) behave in ways that can lead to self-injury. These findings suggest that self-injurious behaviors, such as head banging, arm biting, and skin scratching, are common among children with ASD. More research is needed to determine factors that may cause self-injurious behaviors.Read More
Researchers have published new studies looking at the relationship between assisted reproductive technology (ART) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) among a group of children born in California between 1997 and 2007. The key findings from each study are highlighted below. These findings are important for researchers, healthcare providers, and public health professionals as we strive to better understand what factors put children at risk for ASD.Read More