As many will know, here at BYHP we are passionate about supporting young people into a better life, which often means helping them towards gaining employment, education or training. But as this week is World Autism Awareness Week, we have done a little research and it may come as a shock to realise- according to Autism.org.uk- that only 16% of autistic adults are in full-time paid employment.
This can come as terrible news, because autistic people (or ‘Aspies’ as they sometimes like to be known!) have so many things to offer- just because they may face many challenges that can make it harder to adapt to a workplace that is geared towards non-autistics, doesn’t mean that they don’t come equipped with many skills that could be hugely beneficial to any organisation. In fact, you could say that the world at large is missing out by failing to harness the talents of Aspies.
We know that some of the things that can be most problematic for many of those on the autistic spectrum in regards to employment, can be issues of sensory overload (fluorescent lighting and co-worker noise), difficulty in interpreting social cues, and a general lack of understanding or awareness about autism and an inability to adapt the workplace from employers and co-workers. But we also know that the right support and understanding can make all the difference.
At BYHP we don’t see autism as a ‘problem’ or ‘disease’ that should prevent a young person from leading a full-filling and independent life. However, we do not currently have any services that are specifically tailored to helping young people on the autistic spectrum into work, and we feel that we could benefit greatly by increasing our own understanding.
So we would like to ask, if you are autistic yourself or know someone who is, to share your stories, or give us feedback about of some of the particular challenges that you face and what strategies may be useful in helping someone adapt to employment. We look forward to hearing from you!
Our blog is a great way to stay up to date with current events and projects, stories from our young people and the general goings on at BYHP.