According to a report by Autism Speaks, 80-85% of adults with autism are unemployed or underemployed 1. This number highlights the need for more job opportunities for people with autism.
Finding a job can be challenging for anyone, but it presents different obstacles for people with autism. However, employing someone with autism can be beneficial for companies. According to a report by Spectrum, some autistic people have exceptional abilities in five categories: calendar calculation, mathematics, art, music, and mechanical skills 1. However, there are many other strengths that autistic people possess. For example, some autistic people have heightened sensory sensitivity, obsessional behaviors, systemizing (the drive to analyze or construct systems), and technical and/or spatial abilities – making them an exceptional resource for companies in those fields. Individuals with autism are often quite focused and passionate about their work. They can also be very attentive to detail and strict with a routine. Bringing a different perspective, a person with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), may be able to easily point out the solution to a problem that their colleagues would never have noticed or thought of. Adding these diverse ways of thinking can be an asset to any team.
However, finding a job fitting for an individual on the spectrum may prove difficult, but it’s far from impossible. There are many benefits of employing someone with autism. Many companies are starting to recognize this and are actively seeking out individuals on the spectrum.
To help adults with autism find employment, there are many resources available. Autism Speaks has an Employment Tool Kit including extensive tips and resources for finding a job as an individual with autism. The Spectrum Careers is a free job search website designed by and for adults with autism. It also includes tools to help create a resume. Additionally, vocational training programs teach and practice skills such as job application and interviewing, punctuality and clocking in and out, professional behavior in the workplace, and getting along with coworkers.
There is a need for more job opportunities for people with autism. Employing someone with autism can benefit companies as they bring diverse ways of thinking to the table. There are many resources available to help adults with autism find employment.