Creating an autism-friendly environment at work

April marks Autism Awareness Month – aka the perfect time to boost your understanding of autism and how you can better support those on the spectrum. Today, we thought we’d share our top tips for creating an autism-friendly environment at work. Carry on reading to find out more.

Training for all staff 

Education is key when it comes to creating an autism-friendly environment at work. Providing staff members with the knowledge they need e.g. insight into the autism spectrum, how it impacts people differently and how to make reasonable adjustments, can make a world of difference in helping your autistic colleagues feel comfortable and supported. 

Be clear and concise 

Try to avoid vague language when giving instructions, for example, idioms or sarcasm, as these kinds of language features can sometimes be hard for neurodivergent individuals to understand. It is important to communicate clearly and accurately with both colleagues and service users, as to avoid any confusion or unnecessary stress. 

Offer reasonable adjustments 

These might include:

  • A separate working space/desk
  • Reduced sensory stimuli e.g. provide noise cancelling headphones or room with dim lights 
  • Text-to-speech apps for non-verbal colleagues/service users
  • Flexible working options
  • Time off for appointments etc. 

Set routine

Where possible, make sure your autistic team members have a set routine at work i.e. lunch at the same time each day. This will help with stability and comfort as some atypical people may find working odd hours disruptive. 

Quiet room 

Sometimes people with autism may struggle with overstimulation in busy/loud environments. That’s why it’s crucial to provide a separate room where people can go to calm down when they feel overwhelmed. 

To find out more about autism in the workplace, click here

If you’re looking for a social work role, drop us an email via [email protected] or give us a call on 0203 8929 340. 

carlette Isaac

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