World Autism Day: How to support autistic colleagues

Credit: Getty Images
Credit: Getty Images
World Autism Awareness Day is internationally marked on April 2, to encourage people to raise awareness and support those with Autism Spectrum Disorder

There is a clear diagnosis gap between men and women with autism, leaving many girls and women with late diagnosis, struggling to get the support they need. Various studies have highlighted that the ratio of autistic males to females ranges from 2:1 to 16:1, with the most-up-to-date estimate being 3:1.

Although there is still a long way to go to close the diagnosis gap, there are certain things that can be implemented in the world place to help those with autism feel more comfortable,  according to autism.org.uk.

 

Clarify instruction 

People with autism can often appreciate clear and concise expectations when starting new jobs or tasks. To make things easier and to avoid confusion, try to explain etiquette and any unwritten rules and clearly as possible. Also, ensure they feel comfortable by making 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. 

 

Provide support

Everyone needs support from time to time, and autistic people may benefit from having a mentor or buddy to call upon. Likewise, it’s important to have a supporting company culture, with managers, colleagues and mentors who are friendly, approachable and willing to help. In addition, ensure that individuals are provided with the correct training programmes so they feel confident in the work they’re completing. 

 

Help reduce stress 

Sometimes, autistic people can become anxious that their performance isn’t good enough, so particular situations may become triggering – for example, IT failures. To help matters, offer concrete solutions, such as, if they have an issue with their laptop, call the IT help desk who will assist them. 

 

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