April is National Autism Awareness Month. Within the range of the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), one person may have a high level of intelligence but not have the basic social skills required to navigate everyday life. In contrast, another person may have delayed learning of language skills. Overall, ASD affects each individual differently with a range of symptoms occurring at varying intensities from mild to severe in relation to social and communication skills.
Today, employers are increasingly finding that individuals with ASD are productive employees who have specialized skills, detail oriented, and excel at meeting deadlines. The support of families often help play a critical role to establish that healthy foundation. The following resources are listed to increase awareness on how providing the proper support, people with ASD can find meaningful work while employers also benefit from their unique skills in the workplace.
- OSEP Fast Facts – Children Identified with Autism - The Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) from the U.S. Department of Education developed an interactive infographic on students with Autism. The information displays data collected as part of the IDEA’s Section 618 requirement for states to submit data about infants, toddlers, and youth with disabilities birth through age 21.
Tools to Support Employers
- Accommodation Ideas for Autism Spectrum - Job Accommodation Network (JAN) resource on accommodation ideas to support individuals with autism succeed in the workplace.
- Understanding Autism: An Employer’s Guide – The Organization for Autism Research developed a guide to help front line supervisors know the strategies they can use to orient, train, and support the professional growth of their employees with autism.
- Employing Individuals with Autism – The Ohio Center for Autism and Low Incidence Disabilities developed a video outlining the benefits Walgreens has seen in hiring employees on the autism spectrum.
Tools to Support Individuals
- Unlocked Potential: An Employment Guide for People with Autism - Guidebook sharing strategies for job search, self-disclosure, and workplace management authored by Autism Society of Minnesota in collaboration with the state's Vocational Rehabilitation office.
- American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACP) – AACP developed an Autism Resource Center page to support families understand Autism.
- Advocating for Students on the Autism Spectrum – Article posted by Just Great Lawyers on providing tips for parents of children with autism on navigating the educational system and helpful strategies to advocate.