Supporting Employees with Autism in the Workplace

24 Nov '18

Supporting Employees with Autism in the Workplace

Employees can be an excellent asset to your business when properly supported. That is why it is essential that you support employees with autism in your business. Regardless of whether you are a business owner, manager or fellow employee, there are a number of key steps you can take to help employees with autism thrive in a workplace setting.

Arrange Staff Training

Many of your current employees may be unaware of what autism really is, and what it can mean for those with the condition. You should arrange a training session or attend an event that will inform employees of what this means, and how best to support the employee with autism.

Take time to understand

Autism is different in each and every person. The scale is broad, and some people display certain behaviours whilst others do not. It is vital to take the time to understand ow autism manifests in the employee you are taking on, so that you can take action to support this employee fully.

Tailor the working environment

One you understand what difficulties the employee faces as a result of their autism, take steps to mitigate these factors. For example, give them their own space in your open plan office where they won’t be disturbed. Make sure the lighting or noise isn’t too distracting, or that they will not be approached by visitors if they find social interactions challenging.

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Top Tips for Dealing with Autism Behaviours

13 Nov '18

Top Tips for Dealing with Autism Behaviours

Regardless of whether you are a teacher, social care worker, healthcare professional or from any other background, it is likely that you will at some point encounter someone with autism. This can be challenging if you are unsure of how to handle autism behaviours, but in reality there are some very simple strategies you can learn to assist you.

Be patient

It can take time for someone with autism to adapt to changes, and progress might seem slow. However, it is important that you are patient and supportive. Set small goals and track achievements.

Consistency

People with autism may find it difficult to understand social situations, and to adapt to new processes, rules or what is expected of them. Ensure that there is an element of consistency to the way you treat them, and as far as possible to their interactions with you.

Be sensitive to the sensory environment

Many people with autism find it difficult to focus where there is a lot of loud noise, and many may be alarmed by a fire drill or sudden loud noise. Try to anticipate these things and make the environment as comforting as possible for them.

Communicate well

What may seem straightforward to you or I may not be understood in the same way by a person with autism. Try to be very clear in your meaning and take the time to ensure they understand. In the same way, many people with autism struggle to communicate, particularly when they are anxious or upset. It can help not to make them feel overwhelmed, to give them space and time to consider how best to communicate what they are feeling.

Managing change

Some people with autism struggle to adapt when things change, but the best thing you can do support them is to prepare them and manage the transition. Let them know about any changes in advance and set out clearly what will happen.

Offer a safe space

If a person with autism is seeming to become anxious or distressed, offer them a quiet, safe space they can be alone and calm down. Even offer a calming activity.

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If you are interested in attending an inspirational Medica CPD event, where you will learn from world leading experts how to implement strategies for success, check out our events page. You can book our events online just for yourself, or for a group. For more information, you can also get in touch with us any time and we would be glad to tell you more about how our events can help you make a difference.