Having an Autistic Employee

A woman hired an autistic man to load boxes. Her husband (co-owner of their business) would criticize this man for not paying attention, not being fast enough, etc. My friend observed that when her husband did that, the autistic man’s performance worsened, instead of improving.

She found it was most effective to make a daily list for him with a time frame for each task, and he usually met or exceeded the goals if presented in that way. She did find that if she had to change the goal unexpectedly that this threw his whole day out of whack, so she would come up with alternate tasks in that event. For example, if a truck arrived with a load of goods unexpectedly, she would send him to a quiet area in the back of the warehouse to count the number of boxes, pallets, they had in inventory.
Would you hire someone who’s Autistic?

Guest Submitted Post

Guest Submitted Post

Read some Guest Submitted Posts Below. Want to share your story? Read our Guidelines to Submit your Post: https://autisable.com/about-us/guest-post-guidelines/

7 thoughts on “Having an Autistic Employee

  • May 27, 2009 at 11:45 pm
    Permalink

    I would hire anyone that had the capacity to do the job/meet job requirements.  Recently I met a really nice, easy to communicate person with autism that is a better person than most people you meet hands down. 

    However, I also have a cousin who is aspergers, who has constant behaviour problems, can be very aggresive and physically abusive, I’m not sure he could be hired for anything other than “alone” jobs where he had litttle or no contact with anyone else so as to not invade his personal space.

  • May 26, 2009 at 3:23 pm
    Permalink

    I have, in the past, subcontracted jobs to all types of people – whatever job needed done, I was pretty good at finding the best candidate to perform the job; it was not whether the candidate was autistic, had prolonged developmental delays,or was operating a wheelchair; it was whether the employee was good at detail, could follow a pattern at work, had the skills to perform the task at hand, and knew how to ask for directions.

    On one job, I hadn’t realized that the three primary workers near me were not NT – until one spoke up, confidentially, from his custom-job wheelchair, to ask, “So…dumb question…why’d we get hired from the short bus?”

    I sort of blinked, didn’t know what to say; I honestly hadn’t thought about it. The one fella was great with organizing, meticulous, and always on time; the one girl was great at following A to B directions, and was never afraid to ask for clarification of instructions [unlike the other girl who had to be let go, the week before this girl’s arrival]… the one guy was a whiz on the keyboards, and on assembly…it never occurred to me until then that each of them were considered “special needs” – rather, they were each gifted with special abilities that got the job done [although there were quirks in personalities to deal with, but isn’t it the same way with every job?]

    Would I hire someone who is within the autistic spectrum? Someone whose need to complete a task at hand occludes any and all obstacles to completion – including [accidentally] social situations, etc. – and who follows instructions meticulously and without delay…all that had to be done was a print sheet of instructions with a time table attached, and he was good to go.

    I’d have been an idiot not to have, for that job!

  • May 26, 2009 at 2:51 pm
    Permalink

    This very short article almost makes autistic people seem retarded, hopefully it wasn’t meant to do that.  I’ve held a number of jobs for years and was told on every one of them I was the ‘best employee they ever had’, as far as the work went.  You give me work, tell me how to do it, I’m awesome.  But when you throw in coworkers who waste time and don’t follow rules, lots of surprises or change, and bosses talking down to me for having an attitude (what I’d consider a very strong work ethic), in the end, everyone was glad to see me go.  I wasn’t mouthy and in people’s faces, but I stood my ground, and deeply resented that other people didn’t take their jobs as seriously as I took mine.  Those people had no idea my IQ was higher than theirs, all they could focus on was me behaving differently from ‘normal’.  I worked very hard to hide not being normal, even earned customer service rewards, and was the most reliable person for many disagreeable jobs that other people couldn’t handle.  But all it takes is other people to really spoil a good job.

    @mynameisblueskye@xanga – What is your work ethic?

    @xjadersx@xanga – Thanx, I appreciate that.  But are you talking about the kind of autistic person who is in their own little world, or the kind who obsesses about how things are done, or the kind who…

    I learned from college and working that I need a schedule or I’m useless.  At home I have to make myself a list and a plan, I self motivate.  I’m glad there are people out there who care about autistics who are ‘deeper in’ themselves and need a little direction, but I would love that we not lump us all into a tiny little ‘handicap’ box.  This is NOTHING like Down syndrome, but I don’t think this article distinguishes that.

  • May 25, 2009 at 10:56 pm
    Permalink

    I think I would hire an autistic person. Everyone needs a chance. They could be a better worker than a lot of people out there. 

Leave a Reply