Are you on the autism spectrum?
The ‘Autism Spectrum Quotient’ was developed by the Autism Research Centre (ARC) at the University of Cambridge. It gives a useful first insight into whether someone may qualify for a formal diagnosis, but please bear in mind that the test itself is by no means diagnostic. Take the test here.
Please visit the ARC website for further information.
Autism affects each individual differently, thus we refer to autism as being along a spectrum. Autistic people possess varying capabilities and personalities, therefore we see unique diversity within the autism spectrum. For this reason, auticon takes a person-centric approach: we want to create workplaces that are suitable for people as individuals, rather than applying a one-size-fits-all approach.
There have been changes to how autism has been defined and diagnosed. Currently, those receiving a diagnosis will be given the diagnostic term autism spectrum condition. This replaces previous diagnostic categories such as Asperger syndrome. Due to these changes, we recognise the complexities surrounding diagnostic terms and accept any term an individual uses to describe their experience of autism.
Despite tangible differences in social communication, interaction and sensory processing, many autistic people have cognitive strengths which can be applied to the workplace.
Some cognitive strengths tend to be more prevalent in the autism community include:
- enhanced logical and analytical abilities
- sustained attention and concentration
- impartial and honest communication
- an affinity for attending to detail, spotting errors and enhanced accuracy
- enhanced retention of information (long-term memory)
Typical workplaces, however, can often produce barriers for autistic people, resulting in unduly high unemployment rates. Some of these workplace challenges include:
- the sensory environment
- vague or ambiguous communication
- small talk, and “connecting” with colleagues and/or the wider team
auticon employs qualified job coaches in order to create work environments that work well for both our consultants and our clients.
auticon job coaches
- prepare consultants for future workplaces and deliver briefings regarding specific corporate cultures associated with each assignment
- meet with future client team-members to explain autism and convey any specific requests their new autistic colleague may have
- offer initial support to consultants with their travelling to and from work
- facilitate reasonable workplace adjustments
- mediate feedback between client and consultant
- offer the individual support that consultants may need in order to be productive at work
Neurodiversity as a competitive advantage
Working with people who think differently has obvious advantages when it comes to innovation, and when it comes to finding solutions to complex tasks and issues. Neurodiversity in teams (i.e. the collaborative effect of working with different cognitive styles) can also have an astonishing effect on a work culture: communication becomes clearer and more efficient, team spirit gains new momentum and employees feel valued for their unique and individual selves.
- Exceptional cognitive skills
- Fast work pace
- Unbiased evaluations
- Innovative solutions for unsolvable problems
- Improved team work
- Improved communication
- Openness and honesty
- Genuine inclusion and diversity