A Guest blog by Bill Sitter
There are a lot of misconceptions about Autism, especially in the workplace.
There is a stereotype that folks on the spectrum are only good at menial jobs or computers. I think that’s because some people’s ideas of Autism come from the movie Rain Man. Or worse, people think that all people with Autism are the same.
In reality, this isn’t the case. Every one of us is unique and has different skills. For example, I am a highly verbal person on the Autism Spectrum and someone who has become very social. I like to interact in the workplace at social events.
I am currently working at PeopleScout, the world’s largest Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) Company. My responsibilities are helping candidate sourcing, talent pipeline management and helping with job fairs and walkthroughs.
Having a job gives me purpose, allows for financial independence and gives me the opportunity to improve on skills and learn new ones. In order to help me be successful my employer allows me to sit in a row by myself, which makes me feel less micromanaged. My coworkers support me by reviewing my screens to minimize errors. The work I do involves a lot of repetitive work and organizational spreadsheet work, which also helps me be successful.
Autism does not necessarily limit what kind of job someone on the spectrum can do. However, there are some things about a job that help me and might help other people with Autism be successful at work:
- Repetitive tasks
- Keen interest in a topic
- Intense focus
- Independent work without a lot of complex social interactions or distractions
These aspects are common with people who have Autism and thus can serve as guidelines for finding worthwhile employment for folks with Autism.