Why Hiring Those on the Spectrum is Good for Your Company

 
7.21.16

According to Disability Scoop, an estimated 50,000 students with autism graduate from high school each year, entering into the scary realm of adulthood. However, now that they are adults and no longer children, they enter into a world where they may not have access to the support systems they were given in childhood. Thus, more than one third of these individuals find themselves not working, and not receiving the life skills or vocational training during such a critical time in their lives.

Those with autism are not given the same opportunities as those without. They are expected to adapt to the standards of the “neurotypical,” making it very difficult to achieve the same levels of success as those without autism let alone allow them to rise to positions of influence or power. What most people fail to realize however, is that individuals with autism can bring immense value to organizations.

For instance, autistic minds thrive and even enjoy performing tasks that may be repetitive and structured; tasks that may be less dependent on social graces than a detail-oriented and focused mind (intense focus comes naturally to those with autism). Those with the neurotypical mind often have a very difficult time focusing on routine, unvaried tasks, they get easily distracted and bored quickly, hence making the turnover rate in those types of jobs relatively high. However, for those with autism, the job may light a path to the future, and the turnover rate is less than ten percent.

Those on the spectrum have many incredible strengths that employers may want to tap into. Not only are they hyper-focused, but they can also bring an enormous degree of creativity, as their brains are wired differently than your neurotypical one. Their imaginations can be boundless! Beyond their potential for extreme creativity, they can also be incredibly driven, especially if they are working on something that ignites their passionate side; their focus and work ethic become nearly unsurpassable.

Microsoft for example, who recently launched a small pilot program last year in an effort to hire more people with autism for full time positions is leading the way in the “neurodiversification” of their workforce. They see the potential and benefits of hiring individuals on the spectrum. Northeastern University also recently hired its very first employee from Project SEARCH, a program that places young adults with autism in a 10-week internship program in universities. With the right programs in place, these employees can thrive!

One of the first steps towards a more neurodiverse workforce is educating managers and those who have hiring power. The DirectCourse College of Employment Services courses explore many ways in which those affected by autism, or any disability, can find meaningful, fulfilling jobs. Its training programs ensure that everyone at an organization delivers the best guidance throughout finding and maintaining meaningful employment.

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