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What Do Neurodiverse Individuals Need to Succeed at Work?

Rangam Sep 18, 2023 12:13:38 AM

When the work environment is conducive for an individual with autism to spread their wings and fly, they can soar. This is one of the valuable lessons we have learned by working with many of our clients and seeing the differences in how our SourceAbled program succeeds.

Environment and Expectations

When an autism-friendly company has the right environment and has set correct expectations, the success that we see is much greater than what we see in locations where managers may not have the time or understanding to help neurodiverse workers grow. Sure, there are individuals who can walk into a position and work as everyone else. However, there are other individuals who may need a bit more training and encouragement to truly succeed. For the latter group, a less conducive environment seems to only “clip their wings” and in doing so, affect their confidence and growth.


When we see managers who are enthusiastic about the individual’s success and focused on meeting their needs to help them shine at work, the outcomes are astounding. It results in LIFE-CHANGING freedom—freedom to live on your own and take care of yourself and your needs, without the constant support of your family. This is the type of freedom that most of us take for granted.

Best Practices

In less than three years from the launch of SourceAbled, we have been fortunate to work with some of the finest organizations that recognize what autism can bring to their reputation and bottom line. We placed individuals who went on to become outstanding employees in their respective companies. Our observations, derived from on-site experiences and client reports, are as follows:

  1. Hiring managers play a key role in providing the training necessary for contractors to do well.
  2. Hiring managers need to identify the individual needs of each contractor and work with them in different ways to help them learn and grow.
  3. It is imperative that organizations regularly communicate with workforce solutions providers about the needs of each neurodiverse employee and the mutually acceptable solutions that best meet those needs.
  4. Vertical promotions should be considered and encouraged at all times.
  5. Hiring managers and employee resource groups need to pass on their knowledge of working with individuals on the spectrum to their peers.
  6. A never-ending treadmill of “busy” tasks, or projects that require a lot of coordination and multitasking, can be overwhelming for neurodiverse workers. They usually do well in tasks that require thorough thinking and specific skill sets. It is, therefore, important to identify their core skills and ask them to work on appropriate projects.
  7. Success is possible when companies start looking at inclusive hiring as a solution and make it a priority.

Final Thoughts

Not every environment is built for every individual with autism. As a human resource and workforce solutions provider, our job is to find the right match and create a culture of encouragement, empathy, and education.

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