General Article Employers may discriminate against autism without realising

Topic Selected: Disabilities
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Employers often think they’re communicating well, but they use ‘neurotypical’ standards of interacting, writes Brett Heasman, PhD student, Department of Psychological and Behavioural Science at the London School of Economics.

Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that affects how people connect and relate to others and also how they experience the world around them.

Most non-autistic people are not aware of the complex ways in which autistic people experience the world and are not adequately prepared for interacting or working with autistic people. Autism is a ‘hidden’ disability, with no external physical signs, and it encompasses a huge range of people, behaviours, abilities and challenges which, for many non-autistic people, takes time to appreciate and understand.

The gap in public understanding of autism has very real consequences for employment prospects. Only 16 per cent of autistic adults are in full-time work desp

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