For adults with autism spectrum disorder, daily life often looks just like everyone else’s. You have responsibilities to take care of, hobbies you enjoy, and need a way to earn a living. While finding a job can often be easy, especially if it’s something you’re passionate about, figuring out the nuances of that job takes time. The biggest hurdle you’ll face when starting a new position is deciding whether you want to disclose your autism diagnosis. So, should you tell your boss that you’re on the spectrum or should you keep it to yourself?
Tell Them Only If You’re Comfortable Doing So
Adults with autism don’t have to disclose their diagnosis unless they want to or feel that it will benefit them at work in some way. If you think that telling your employer about your autism diagnosis will make it easier for you to do your job, it may be worth talking to them.
Remember, employers are legally required to provide reasonable accommodations for you to do your job. For many adults with autism, this may mean quieter work areas or more stable work schedules to provide you with a routine.
Remember Not to Be Embarrassed
Autism isn’t something you should feel ashamed of nor should you feel embarrassed to discuss it with your employer if you think it will benefit both yourself and the company. The best thing you can do is be honest with them if you choose to tell them about your diagnosis.
When you tell them, be clear about the types of accommodations you need. This will help you avoid uncomfortable situations during your shifts. When your employers know what you need, they’ll be better prepared to give it to you quickly.
Choose Your Timing Properly
While it might seem like a good idea for adults with autism to disclose their diagnosis during the interview process, it’s actually best not to. Disclosing your spectrum disorder during an interview is an easy way to get employers to hire a different applicant. You want them to see you as an asset and that means you need to tell them why you’re the best choice for the position. Your autism diagnosis doesn’t matter at this point and could end up distracting them from being able to focus on the strengths you bring to the job.
Get the Right Advice
For adults with autism, finding work can feel intimidating. Get advice on how to interview and deal with employer questions about your diagnosis before you start applying.