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Make Yourselves Inclusive

How to Support an Autistic Employee

First of all let me explain that disclosing a disability is very nerve racking for the person with the disability.

Therefore when they do disclose know it is because they are trusting you.

You can help make this process easier by being more inclusive anyway and reinforcing often that you are an inclusive employer who is there for your employees. This makes it easier to confide.

Do not be dismissive. If you do not know about the disability that is fine. We do not expect you to be experts.

Also you must not discuss with other employees without the persons permission to do so. Even managers you must first ask. 

Do some research. There is a link on the picture to get you started and one my empoyer found helpful.

Have discussions with your employee and help them with reasonable adjustments. If you feel out of your depth do not be afraid to use Occupational Health.

Reasonable adjustments are necessary in order for an autistic person to be able to succeed at their job the same as anyone else. Work with the employee to see how you can support them and make it clear it is no trouble.

A seemingly small adjustment could make a massive difference to them and help them perform better and under less stress.

Examples of reasonable adjustments are:

- Noise Cancelling Headphones

- Dimmer lights

- Not being sat by foot traffic

- Notice to any desk changes where possible

- Not hot desking

- Allowing extra breaks if needed

- Having a person the employee trusts available if needed and an additional mentor if required.

- Helping an employee disclose to other employees if the autistic employee feels comfortable doing this.

- Keeping open a line of communication

- Regular reviews

- Providing clear boundaries on office etiquette and explaining the do's and don'ts

- Allow flexibility in workwear. Some autitsic people may not like the texture of certain clothes please be kind to this.

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