If you’re autistic like me, it means your brain is wired differently. And that can make us see, hear and feel the world in a different way to other people. Sometimes we find everything overwhelming. It’s like all our senses are firing, all at once. Like we have no filter. Like we’re getting too much information. Sometimes it can mean we’re skilled in things that other people aren’t. Sometimes it means the things everyone else finds so easy are the most unbearable challenges we could imagine.
We’ve put together three top tips for a more autism-friendly workplace. These suggestions have been put together by autism experts and autistic people.
Some autistic people need a little more time. If you ask a question and don’t get a response straightaway, count to 10 and be patient. Still no answer? Try rephrasing it a bit.
If you write instructions down as well as talking them through, most autistic people will better understand what you’re saying, too.
Sudden changes in plans or routines can feel like too much information and can cause people to have a meltdown.
If you need to cancel a meeting, give your colleague as much notice as you can and offer new dates. Put proper descriptions in for your meetings, and set agendas so there are no surprises.
Every autistic person is different so learn more about autism so get to know the person so you can understand how to avoid the overload of too much information for them. With a bit of understanding, everyone can be happier. Just remember, it doesn't matter if your autistic colleague doesn't participate in the tea round – they're great at their job.
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