439

Full disclosure: I am autistic (Asperger's syndrome) and I have fought hard not to be the guy you are describing. BE BLUNT, BE DIRECT, BE FACTUAL, STAY ON POINT We have a great deal of difficulty understanding why something that is true (or something we see as true) would cause offense, so trying to make a "how would you feel if..." style argument would ...


121

Full disclosure: I am a high-functioning autistic. I'm going to offer a few ideas that will benefit the greater workforce as well as the autistic employee, that way, everyone benefits. Since autism is a spectrum, it varies, but: Don't call anything a "safe space", it's insulting. We don't need safety, we need a good work environment. Lights that don't ...


115

If you're dealing with someone that has problems with social interaction and social cues, one thing to do is ask yourself: Do they comply with instructions? The reason I ask that is because... well, some people are just jerks. It's not that they can't understand interpersonal aspects - they simply don't care. However, from the sounds of it, your coworker ...


108

Friendly neighborhood autist here, so I know how nightmarish "We just go with the flow" can sound. First change your approach slightly. Where are we going? change that to: "Do they have a venue picked out yet?" How many people are going? Change to: "Who usually goes?" When will it start? For this one, ask someone who you get along with: "How ...


66

OK I know this isn't what you wanted to hear, but my answer is that the time to bring this up specifically is never. To be clear, I am not suggesting that you hide your needs or quirks, but making any big points about a personal situation that does not require accomodation is quite awkward when it's done without context, and it is not likely to accomplish ...


62

I'm autistic, and by coincidence our workplace autism support group recently discussed this kind of issue. As a generalisation, autistic people are often prone to accidental rudeness, because we don't understand norms and have difficulty anticipating how our actions might affect others. But we aren't intentionally rude, and when we learn that some specific ...


49

As the OP and other answers have acknowledged, autistic people vary tremendously and there's no one-size fits all approach, but some things that are often worth considering: Reduce intrusive stimuli. Noise and flickering lights have already been mentioned, but think also about the other senses. Scents (perfume, air "fresheners", tuna fish) can be problems ...


38

You should see these interviews and the outcome as experience you have gained. You have learned that your skills were highly regarded. You have learned that you did well in the interviews. This should strengthen your self-confidence for future job applications. Unfortunately it is not all about skills and contents of communication. People are consciously ...


37

How can I request to be accommodated for this without embarrassing myself or making a bad first impression with the staff there? First, ask what is the uniform color you will be assigned. If it's blue then problem solved. If it's not blue, proceed to ask if they wouldn't mind giving you a blue one. If they agree great for you. If that is not possible, ...


36

If the employee was not autistic, you could point out facts and lead them to the conclusion you want: When all those people read that it was Mark who caused the problems, that lowered Mark's reputation with them. This causes Mark pain and it can cause our whole team pain if the customer starts to think we have people on the team who don't know what they ...


31

You need to be preemptive and tell interviewers from the outset that you have Asperger's and educate them as to what Asperger's does to your voice. If you are expecting them to guess that you have Asperger's and to implicitly know what Asperger's does to your voice, then you are expecting a bit much. If you don't tell, they won't know - Worse, they won't ...


28

I have Asperger's Syndrome and many of the same difficulties. The first way to do damage control is to limit the damage being done. Get friends or family to do mock interviews with you and record them on video. That way you can learn what you're doing wrong and correct the things that you can. I know that not everything can be fixed from personal ...


27

Most of the other answers advise disclosing your condition at the beginning of the interview. I disagree with that advice. I'm writing from the perspective of having been a hiring manager (though I am not presently) and having had oodles of mandatory corporate anti-discrimination training in the US. (I also have a disability that requires some ...


27

headphones with noise-canceling provided to reduce the noise disturbances of an office environment. That's a cheap crappy workaround which doesn't even work that well. Noise cancelling headphones are good at blocking the sound of someone outside with a pneumatic drill, but not at blocking the sound of colleagues talking. The real solution is to go back ...


22

Non-expert opinion: Be direct about wanting to keep him and your willingness to be supportive. Don't address the worrying behaviour directly. This allows you to communicate the information quickly, clearly, and with minimum fuss. Something like... "Hi, I've brought you in for a quick one on one because we haven't had chance to catch up recently. I ...


20

First of all, don't assume it's aspergers. Autism is a very broad-range social/mental disorder, and very difficult to diagnose even for experts. You, I assume, are not an expert on neuroscience, psychology, or sociology, so you should not assume that this person's behavior is necessarily aspergers, or even autistic. Second, don't assume they'd want to ...


20

I'm in the same boat as you, the difference is that I told my employer during the interview process, and I really wished that I hadn't. I thought the same as you, that they would see the strengths that I bring and it would help the process. But, it ended up being a pity party that made me feel like I was different, and not in a good way. Needless to say, I ...


19

Definitely read about Temple Grandin, Anthony Burroughs and John Elder Robison, who will give more practical advice than Dale Carnegie on how to relate to people when you are on the spectrum. Carnegie's books focus on what, not how, which is the more common roadblock for people with difficulties picking up social cues. If you make a general statement that ...


16

I'm not autistic (I don't think), but I'm definitely pretty far over on the social-anxiety side of things. I learned over the years to deal with these parties in a few ways: I always try to go with someone, rather than on my own. Meaning, I walk over with a coworker that I'm comfortable with, and hang around with them. Often, this person tends to be much ...


16

I'm an autistic, verbal woman. Here are some ideas based on what I need to have at work to be able to work properly and from what I read in literature and found to be useful but have never tried myself. What I use: noise-cancelling headphones are more than a nice to have, it's vital to me. Getting the company to invest in good sets for every employee is a ...


15

Personally, I don't think this, or any other medical condition should come up, because it just shouldn't matter - unless it will have a significant and obvious impact on the job. Employers might not want to hear about it, because if they fail to hire you, they might worry that you'll accuse them of discrimination based on your condition.


14

According to Adults With ASD: Deciding When To Disclose they warn: Unfortunately, there is evidence that revealing a disability during the application phase can have a negative impact. While How to Disclose Asperger's Syndrome in an Interview leaves the area of the interview in the gray area and only warns that: Generally speaking, it is not advisable ...


14

Autism comes in many different characteristics, but most Autists understand objective rules very well but have problems understanding the fine points of social rules. To help your team mate, you should formulate clear, objective rules and explain them to him like the rulebook of a game or like the instructions that make up software. Some examples are: If ...


13

I was described by a psychologist to have autism. Should I declare that to my employer? I'm afraid that might fire me. You can declare it to your employer if you want to, but what's your end goal for doing this? Do you want extra measures to be taken in any particular situation? If so then sure, declare it and ask, politely. If you're just declaring it for ...


12

As someone who's not on the Spectrum but who's worked with and been friends with quite a number of people with social difficulties over the years, I can (only) offer a perspective from the "other side": As a colleague / team member, I would find something similar to your first strategy helpful (if you trust me enough to disclose this vulnerability): ...


12

It doesn't sound like you're being singled out for wearing headphones, it sounds like you're being singled out because your wearing headphones caused a customer to feel ignored by a store employee. That's really not a good look for a retail store. Also, you can't be singled out for a behavior which you are the only one doing. The customer who complained had ...


12

You are discriminating against your employee because you think he is autistic (you don't mention that he has been diagnosed with any documented disability, so this just your armchair diagnosis to begin with). As an autist and a manager myself, you have to treat your autistic employee the same as your neurotypical employees. Instead, you appear to be giving ...


11

I am an Asperger. In addition to the very good answers by Richard and Geoffrey, consider sending him to an interpersonal skills course of some kind, as a corollary to the How to win friends and influence people book that RichardUs excellent answer refers to. I hope he is open to the possibility — the fact that you know he is autistic (I assume he told you ...


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