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Asking All Autistics!




July 31, 2023





Maisie asks her followers:  What is an autistic skill that is overlooked or undervalued in the workplace?

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For myself – and I know this is true from my work with autistic kids and adolescents – I have excellent observational learning skills. Meaning, that if you show me how to do something then I will remember it forever.  In fact, it’s even better if the demonstration is delivered without any verbal instructions, as the excess of auditory input actually  disrupts my processing of the information I am receiving.

Beyond that, I am curious by nature and a patient learner and I know many of my fellow neurodivergents also learn quickly through modeling and hands-on styles of training.  I believe that my autism traits have actually been of great benefit to me and my professional career, so this inspired me to ask my autistic Instagram followers for their thoughts on the question:

“What kinds of skills do you have that others have said you excel at, or that you see in yourself that you know would be highly valued in a workplace setting?

Some of those who responded pointed out the elevated analytic abilities traditionally attributed to autistics.  @christinakeebleconsulting says that her skill is “seeing the ‘problems’ with ideas presented by others. I see it as an opportunity to be proactive, while pointing out it can be interpreted as me being negative”.   @martysaurus_27 agrees, citing his ability to provide “…honest and useful feedback (not pointless buzzwords, unclear instructions, pretending issues don’t exist…”

Some respondents were quick to point out a heightened degree of work efficiency due to their lack of need to engage in the usual water-cooler socializing common to many office spaces.   @markpalmerwriter sees his talents in   “….cutting through pointless corporate nonsense to identify and focus on the real issues. Not wanting to be paid to socialize through spending hours every day in unnecessary meetings.”

@miserytohappiness takes the opposite view, saying  “It’s assumed that Autistic people are introverts however many of us – like me – love having connections with people and consider a person a friend after just one nice personal interaction. So many of us are very friendly”

Wanderlust_427 points out another trait that is often attributed to neurodivergent workers, citing her attention to detail and their …. ability to edit and correct any document for grammar, etc. quickly and efficiently. It’s like second nature to me…”

@Rc_custom_4wd lists several classic autistic traits that have helped him in his career, including “…the ability to simplify overly complicated processes and make them (autistics)  more efficient. Adherence to rules. Respect business hierarchy. Critical thinking. Good with numbers and memory recollection”.

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