Smart Thinking Festival Parramatta > Articles by: Ben Cousins

Helping Your Team Member Who Has Autism Become More Productive

I’m Autistic. Two words, a lifetime of implications. People with Autism have hard enough lives without trying to get into the workforce. Or finding a job that suits them and their unique circumstances. People that have an Autism Spectrum Disorder need a little bit of help to assist them in doing their job. This can range from something as simple as more breaks to more complex things.

People with Autism work best without distractions

Have you considered putting your employee in the corner where they can’t see outside? People with Autism tend to become more distracted when they can see what’s going on outside. I worked in a Web Development firm at Stanmore for a short period, and I had a desk that overlooked the main stairway. I became distracted and didn’t get a lot of work done. It was not a fun experience and not one that I would recommend for anyone. Least of all if you’re on the spectrum.

Another thing is that Autistic People are quite good at focusing on one task, and are creative.

We like to do one thing at a time and get it sorted before we move onto the next task. We are also passionate about the work we do. We want to do it with perfection. But it needs to be within our interest areas.

Flexible Working Hours

Some people with Autism also need flexible working arrangements. So, for example, one day, they might be able to pump out 12 hours of work, but the next day, may not be able to come in at all. Or worse, they will burn out, and not be able to work at all. Learn about their strengths and weaknesses. Workaround them, and you’ll have a loyal employee that will work with you for a long time.

Learn more about working with people with Autism from Ben Cousins at the Smart Thinking Festival.

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