Many employers have begun to realize the potential advantages of hiring autistic individuals, particularly for jobs that demand long hours of concentration, retaining large volumes of information, repetitive tasks, and strong coding or mathematics skills. Autistic individuals are finally being recognized as valuable additions to a workforce.
Technology companies, understandably, can offer the biggest scope for autism employment. Several tech companies have altered their human resource (HR) policies to accommodate more autistic individuals to the workforce. Companies from other industries are also opening up autism employment opportunities.
But notwithstanding what employers are doing to recruit more autistic individuals, the rate of unemployment still remains very high. This is because most companies have started recruiting autistic individuals as a test case and are yet to open full-scale hiring programs. For instance, in UK, only 15% of autistic adults are employed in full-time jobs. But that doesn’t prove the situation because a huge population of adult autistic adults want to work but don’t have enough opportunities.
According to Centers for Disease Control (CDC), one in every 68 kids in the US is on the autism spectrum. The number is 30% higher than the rate in 2008. According to a World Health Organization (WHO) report, one in every 168 children has autism spectrum disorder (ASD) that includes complex brain development disorders that are characterized by varying levels of difficulty with both nonverbal and verbal communication and social interaction. While autistic individuals may lack proper interpersonal skills they can be high functioning and quite intelligent.
But companies have to realize that they are missing out on a valuable talent pool by keeping autistic adults out of the employment ambit. Also, human resource (HR) policies of companies have to be adapted to suit the hiring of autistic individuals. Autistic people often find it hard to adjust to a typical office setting.
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