Accommodating employees with asperger syndrome

While an employee may have difficulty holding a conversation, he is neither mentally challenged nor unable to understand directions.Through therapy and training, adults with Asperger’s syndrome can overcome many difficulties and only occasionally exhibit symptoms.Those with AS are predisposed to see the detail in any given situation, and are acutely aware of fine environmental stimuli; colours, sounds, people and location of objects, so changes to that situation or environment will affect that person disproportionately more than someone who does not greatly attend to detail.This expression of liking for routine was described as both problematic and as a strength by line managers, as Asperger’s employees will adhere conscientiously to the task set and complete it as instructed.

For these reasons, many managers are not aware that they may have employees with Asperger’s.What is interesting about AS is that it is both a disability protected by law, and at the same time is also a diversity, a form of difference.What's even more curious is that you may not easily see these differences, as diversity is most often talked about in terms of the differences we can see - a person's gender, race, ethnic origin and cultural background are usually quite visible.Screened earlier this year, The 'A' Word was a critically acclaimed TV drama following the lives of a family with an autistic child, Joe.Joe's autism was depicted as a condition which gives him strengths as well as difficulties.

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