April/May 2017 (vol. 13/6)

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Self-advocacy in the workplace: the development of an employment support plan for adults with autism


Many working-age people have autism spectrum disorder, which can often create barriers to finding and sustaining employment. Oriana Morrison- Clarke and Avril Ishmael explain how the development of an employment support plan can help reduce those barriers.

People with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have distinctive abilities and ways of viewing the world around them. Studies suggest that adults with ASD experience challenges in finding and maintaining employment1. These include difficulties in understanding complex job applications, managing different job interview formats and responding to questions, adapting to new procedures and routines, reacting flexibly to unexpected situations, social interaction, and coping with sensory sensitivities in the work environment2. Moreover, people with ASD often face a lack of understanding and support in employment settings, despite having the capacity and willingness to work1. Consequently, people with ASD experience high levels of job turnover and poor career development,


Oriana Morrison-Clarke is a specialist speech and language therapist for the Swindon Specialist Autism Service.

 Avril Ishmael was a senior lecturer at the University of the West of England.


Author: Morrison-Clark O, Ishmael A


Occupational Health at Work April/May 2017 (vol. 13/6) pp25-28

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