Working with People on the Autistic Spectrum

Working with People on the Autistic Spectrum

This week we wanted to talk about the aspects of working with people on the autistic spectrum.

If you’re not aware, about 20% of Moo Free’s employees are people who are on the autistic spectrum.

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disorder that affects social and communicative skills. ASD can affect both men and women in different ways hence the term ‘spectrum’. This is initially an ‘invisible’ disorder so it is really important to get to know the person concerned properly as the level of support and care needs are often different for each individual. Don’t think that because you know one person with ASD that you know all about the disorder. Always try and talk to someone who knows them well for support and advice.

Common disorders that fall under ASD include Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome and PDD-NOS (Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified).

Difficulties associated with Autism include.

  • Understanding expressions and body language.
  • Establishing and maintaining relationships.
  • In certain cases, trouble with abstract thinking e.g. organisation, planning ahead, ideas without a concrete/visible basis.

Despite the social and interactional difficulties, people diagnosed with autism have been shown to be exceptionally skilled, qualified and employable individuals possessing unique and, in some cases, elevated skills.

Common aspects that people on the autistic spectrum have shown to be exceptional in include:

  • Attention to detail and accuracy
  • Are reliable and dependable
  • Proficient technical skills
  • High concentration and focus
  • Excellent memory and ability for factual information

Not everyone on the autistic spectrum is going to meet all of these criteria but there is a high chance that they would be better suited for particular tasks than many other individuals without autism. The most difficult part for people on the spectrum is to overcome the stigma against them, usually originating from a lack of knowledge or focus on the more negative aspects.

Luckily more and more employers are committing to a more diverse workforce; employers are recognising the potential that people with autism have.

Moo Free can happily say we make sure that the working conditions are optimal for them to feel comfortable in the workplace, all our employees on the spectrum are hardworking, loyal and dedicated to their roles and it is a pleasure to have them working with us.