With approximately 0.7% of Australians affected by autism to some degree, it’s more common than people generally think. Autism is also far more common in males than it is in females, with younger people being more likely to be affected.
When it comes to job prospects and being gainfully employed, can a person living with autism get a job and hold down a job? Are there any jobs for people with autism?
Let’s take a closer look at the employment prospects for someone living with autism and what types of jobs an individual might be best suited to.
Diversity In the Workplace
There has been a big push in Australia in recent years for diversity in the workplace. This includes things like employing both men and women, people from different cultures and ethnic backgrounds, hiring people with a physical disability, and finding job roles for individuals who have autism.
There are many advantages to employers by hiring with diversity in mind, as having a broader mix of people adds to the skillset of the entire employee base, along with many different minds being capable of different things. This leads to better group problem-solving skills.
Diversity is also good for branding, as it paints a company in a positive light. Image has always been important, but even more so these days.
Employment and Autism
There’s no question that a job seeker who has autism is going to face more challenges than a regular job seeker, but that doesn’t make the quest impossible. Far from it. Understanding and awareness of autism are much more widespread today than it was in years gone by. More importantly, employers have a far greater understanding of what autism is and what an employee with autism can potentially do.
We talked about diversity in the workplace in the section above. Well, there is another category known as “neurodiversity”, which autism is a part of. Just like any mind has its strengths and weaknesses, so does the autism mind, and employers have recognised the incredible cognitive value an employee with autism can have for their business. People with autism or some form of disability often tend to remain in their jobs for longer too, rather than jumping ship all the time.
Not every instance of autism is the same. It varies from person to person. The way individuals communicate and interact can vary considerably. One characteristic quite common among people with autism is their innate ability to intensely remain focused on any task that’s of interest to them. Use this ability in the right way in the workplace and it’s a massive benefit and skill.
Which Job Roles Suit Someone With Autism?
Ideal job roles will be largely dependent on how an individual is affected by their autism. As mentioned earlier, it can vary quite a lot. Many people with autism are often very good with animals, as they can relate to animals better than to people. Animals often have more trust in the gentle and unassuming nature of a person with autism. Any job where an individual is working around animals is a good possibility.
Quite often, autism leads to having incredible problem-solving skills. An individual with this asset is well-suited to roles in IT, or any field where solving complex problems is required. A regular person can often get easily frustrated when trying to problem solve, but it can be the opposite for someone with autism.
The ability to perform repetitive tasks for very long periods of time is also a common trait in people with autism. This makes that person well-suited to working in areas like manufacturing and production, such as on a production line, where repetitive tasks are the norm. A lack of frustration and the ability to do the same thing over and over again makes a person with autism a real asset.
To truly discover which job roles would suit an individual with autism, it’s important to have a professional assessment made to define this. It will enable a far clearer picture of an individual’s strengths and weaknesses.
Someone with autism can certainly find gainful employment and hold down a job. There is support available to achieve this goal and it’s a matter of discovering which type of job would suit that person the best.