Autism, Neurodiversity and Employment: Working Together for Positive Futures by Barb Cook, M.Aut., Dip. HSc.

Autistic people are confronted with an array of barriers in many situations throughout their life. These situations centralise around what general society expects of all people, a one size fits all model, without the distinct consideration of disability, difference and inclusion. With the added individual challenges of effective communication skills, lack of self-advocacy and self-determination skills, and the overall impact of anxiety, feeling inadequate and little self-confidence, autistic people are desperate for their voices to be heard (Paradiz, Kelso, Nelson & Earl, 2018). These voices must therefore be acknowledged, respected and acted upon in educational and employment settings, as these aspects of life heavily decide the outcome of the future for the autistic person. If these individuals are not set up for success, given the tools and strategies that they can implement to support and advocate for themselves, then we, as a society are failing at providing pathways to include and value them….

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