supporting employees with autism spectrum disorders

Employers are vital in creating an inclusive and autism-friendly workplace. Making simple and small adjustments and changes can be a big difference to an employee with autism. 


What is autism?


Autism is a complex, lifelong developmental disability, which appears in early childhood. Autism can affect various aspects of a person’s life, including their social skills, relationships, language skills, learning abilities, and behaviors in certain situations. Ultimately it affects how a person views and interacts with the world around them. 

But Autism is a spectrum condition, meaning people can sit at different points of the spectrum. Where they experience different difficulties, conditions, and therefore require different levels of support. 


Employing an Autistic person 


Most autistic people have exceptional skills which they can bring to the workplace. Meaning they can excel in certain roles and thrive in certain environments. But there can be a lack of understanding in how best to support autistic employees in the workplace, and this can discourage many autistic people from getting and staying in a job. 


Managing autistic employees 


Having autistic team members can add various skills and traits to a team that provides enrichment, and a new dynamic. Businesses can make small adjustments to overcome challenges for autistic employees and make the working relationship enjoyable and successful for both parties. These can include:


Provide training and monitoring 

Informal and formal training can prove helpful and useful for all. This can be regarding understanding, how to provide support, and lessons on wide issues. 


Be clear with expectations and job responsibilities

For an employee who is autistic, they may require clearer and more straightforward bullet points regarding what their responsibilities are, the rules of the workplace, and surrounding rules regarding their role. This is also relevant for giving daily instructions. Leaving less to inference, and providing super clear instructions with little need to interpret. 


Ensure good structure 

Many autistic people require structure in their work environment. With information on priorities, and how to organise their tasks, whether this is daily, weekly or monthly. The structure will also be important in terms of team structure, and who they report to. 


Review and check-in 

As with all employees, performance should be regularly reviewed and assessed. But shorter, more frequent reviews may be more suited. 


Contact Us 


For more information about making adjustments to a workplace or structure to support autistic employees, get in touch with our team. Call us on 01260 277797 or email us at

Want to know more about the Occupational Health services we provide at Acorn, and how they could benefit your business and your employees? Please get in touch.