10 Common Challenges

Autism Network Scotland’s Employment Network has identified ten common challenges facing autistic people in relation to employment. These themes have guided the work of the Network to date, and continue to influence future focus areas and projects.

Support for the person when they are in employment

The focus needs to be not just on getting into work, but sustaining employment.

Educating employers

That autistic people have a lot to offer.

Reasonable adjustments

It often doesn’t take much to make the difference between failure and a successful workplace for an autistic person.

Understanding and flexibility in employment services, policy and systems

Although there are some examples of good practice, statutory employment services are often inflexible and difficult for autistic people to negotiate.

Atypical career pathways

Autistic people often don’t follow typical and expected career pathways.

Negative public perceptions

Shift the emphasis from autism being a problem in the workplace to autism being a positive solution.

Isolated initiatives / projects / good practice

There are many examples of great practice in autism and employment initiatives but they are not universally available and we are often unaware of what is available.

Complex policy / strategy context

Difficult for anyone to negotiate and understand.

Right person right job

If you get the right autistic person into the right job for them it will lead to success. This may require a more subtle approach to job finding than usual.

Over 25’s initiatives

Many strategies, funding and initiatives are focused on the ‘young unemployed’. Many autistic people over 25 have much to offer the workplace.