The Kinds of Work a Person with Autism Can Do
People with autism are individuals, so the jobs and tasks for which they are suited will vary from person to person, just as it does for other members of the workforce.
They succeed in a huge range of different jobs as varied as sales assistant, computer programmer, gardener, journalist, catering assistant, statistician and photographic technician.
Although it is always difficult to generalise, there are areas where people with autism may excel. These include:
- tasks where attention to detail and accuracy is required eg: research work, data input or word processing
- tasks involving numbers, statistics and facts eg: finance or accounting
- tasks where there is a clear procedure to follow eg: dealing with incoming and outgoing post, archiving, library work or filing
- highly structured tasks with a right and a wrong way of doing something eg: IT support, computer programming or systems testing.
It is commonly thought that because people with autism typically experience problems with communication, social interaction and changes in routine, they are unlikely to do well in jobs which require these skills. However, while many people with autism don’t feel comfortable in environments where there are unexpected changes, or in jobs which involve a lot of face-to-face with customers, there are others who thrive in these roles, including some in senior positions. Examples of these include jobs such as tour assistant, project leader and after school club worker, all of which involve a high level of communication and adaptation.
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