What Do You Want?

Non-Autistics and Neurotypicals – what do you want? Out of life, your career, and relationships? Let’s focus on career for now, (because I want to and because it’s my day to post business process, haha).

The basics are relatively straightforward. A good job, which has good pay and benefits. So you apply to the job, have one or two interviews, and often it’s a decent percentage of a chance that you’ll get the job.

It’s not that easy for someone on the Autism Spectrum.

Situation 1: Many times when a workplace isn’t disclosed on our diagnosis, they might hire and then find that you’re “not the right fit” because of ASD differences. These differences might be misunderstandings with coworkers due to taking statements literally when they weren’t literal, misreading body language, or being “needy”. Other differences could be sensory challenges or lack of confidence (or even overconfidence), or even being socially unacceptable. There may even be an issue with being “too slow” compared to other workers, or needing more breaks than the average worker, and even a lack of socializing with coworkers or customers! Volume control of the voice, necessity of stimming (fidgeting as the short description, but it’s much more than that).

Situation 2: In the event that a workplace knows of your diagnosis prior to hiring, there is a large chance that they will not hire said Autistic, expecting that you are “low functioning”, or if you are “high functioning” they might feel the applicant is lying about their needs, or feel that they are simply a “special snowflake” wanting excuses to be what they think is lazy.

Situation 3: In the event that a workplace knows of your diagnosis after hiring, they may find any reason to fire said Autistic, since firing for such a disability is protected in most places.

Preferably, the best happens in any of those given situations:

-The applicant is kept and the management and coworkers are accepting of the employee’s differences. Perhaps even willing to find out why the employee is that way.

-The applicant is hired and placed according to their skills and accommodated per their needs.

-The applicant is kept on and management is accepting, and willing to work with the newly discovered fact about the employee, making adjustments as needed.

I have personally been through the first situation multiple times (of non-disclosure due to pre-diagnosis). The second situation I have been through only a couple of times. The third situation, I have never personally experienced.

I hope this was helpful to understanding what an Autistic job applicant/employee may go through in the search for a job or career, in comparison to someone who is not Autistic.

 

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