To the Employers of Autistic people,
You control our work environment, you are who has expectations that we cannot always meet, you are who make judgements on us without a full understanding of who we are or what makes us tick.
Take a moment from staring into the abyss of your assumptions of how the world turns and consider for a moment that there is another way, a way that may suit one or more of your employees and make them not only more productive, but also make them healthier people mentally and physically.
After all, that philosophy of ‘work harder’, it applies to us. We are working harder. We are working so damned hard it is breaking us over and over again. You just don’t see it.
If you know, or you suspect, you have an Autistic employee, talk to them.
Reassure them that there is nothing to fear from asking for help, assure them that you want them to be as happy at work as they can be.
Assure them they are safe, that they are valued not because they are proving their worth, but because of who they are, not who they think that you want them to be.
And know that we don’t always know how to express our needs well. That trust and respect is something for YOU to earn from us, as well as us from you. If you have over 30 people working in your business, the chances are at least one of them is Autistic, the greater chance is that they don’t know it. The chances are doubled that you have Neurodiverse employees, for whom the world doesn’t work as ‘normal’.
Take this as an opportunity to empower your workforce, ask them honestly what could help them. Ask them if the lights are hurting them, ask them if they need somewhere to go Spin, ask them to explore themselves and find what they need. Be that person who genuinely gives a shit about the people working them, not just because a happy employee is a productive, but because you’re Human too; and the bottom line is not your bottom line.
Help them unMask.