Zoom Autism Magazine Issue12 - Page 14

Realizing the Benefits of Autistic


in the Workplace

By Steve Andrews Founder & CEO of Platinum Bay Technologies

If you were to ask the parents of an Autistic young adult what their number one concern for their child ’ s future was , what would they say ? “ Will they graduate high school ? Will they get a job ? Will they be able to support themselves ? Will they be able to live rich and fulfilling lives ?” The list of concerns and questions goes on and on .

They are often right to be concerned . Recent statistics suggest that there are millions of unemployed or underemployed Autistic individuals ( 70-90 % by some estimates ), yet these individuals tend to have wonderful skills , talents and gifts that we need in our workplaces , including different perspectives that bring innovation , attention to detail , focus , honesty and loyalty . Hiring Autistic people should not be viewed as a charity or feel-good effort . In fact , there are numerous business benefits that can positively affect a company ’ s bottom line . To realize these benefits , we must first understand the unique challenges Autistic people face in the workplace .

Challenges in the Workplace

It ’ s not laziness that keeps Autistic people out of the workplace . In fact , when Autistic people find their passions and purpose , lazy is the last descriptor anyone would use for them . Rather , it is the dynamics of the traditional workplace that often present tremendous barriers to employment . Here is a breakdown of some of the unique challenges Autistic people face in the workplace .
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