Thursday, February 9, 2012

Workers with Autism Have Much to Offer

Column by Samantha J. Herrick, PhD, CRC, NCC, is assistant professor for the Department of Psychiatric Rehabilitation and Counseling Professions at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.

Autism. In recent years, the word has attracted considerable attention, often relating to children with autism. What about adolescents and adults who have been diagnosed with a condition on the autism spectrum, which includes Autistic Disorder, Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified, and Asperger’s Disorder? Can they be productive, successful employees?
Yes, and in fact they are often valuable and loyal employees if their strengths are recognized and they are given the opportunity to demonstrate their skills. Very often, people with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) are honest, dedicated, and detail oriented. They may have a unique sense of humor, thrive on routine, are able to persevere on challenges, possess a creative perspective, and are often experts in their area of interest. On the right job, with the right support, people on the spectrum have the potential to be successful at work.

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