Autism in the Workplace

Fewer than 1 in 6 of all adults on the Autism spectrum—about 15%—have full time work. Further, among young adults with autism, only 58% held employment at some point following high school, compared to 74% of those with an intellectual disability and 91% of those with an emotional disturbance.*

Fortunately, an increasing amount of research shows the business benefits of hiring people with autism. For example, through its Autism at Work initiative JPMorgan Chase found that their 300+ neurodiverse employees are, as a whole, 48% faster and 92% more productive than their neurotypical employees.

Hiring individuals with autism is not without challenges. Individuals on the spectrum often have trouble with social interactions and communications; co-workers may not understand how to interact with a person with autism without some sort of employee training, Individuals on the spectrum may also have sensory sensitivities or difficulties adapting to change, and could benefit from accommodations such as noise-reducing headphones and advance notice of changes in the workplace or work activities.

To support employers, workplace managers, vocational specialists and others, additional information and resources are available from a range of organizations including OCALI (Ohio Center for Autism and Low Incidence), the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), and the U.S. Department of Labor.

Linden Grove School is grateful to the increasing number of businesses—large and small—who have initiated efforts to attract and support employees with autism. Applied Behavior Analysis Programs Guide recently compiled a list of the 30 best employers for people with autism.

 

*National Autism Indicators Report, Drexel University, https://drexel.edu/autisminstitute/research-projects/research/ResearchPrograminLifeCourseOutcomes/IndicatorsReport/)

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