“The most interesting people you’ll find are ones that don’t fit into your average cardboard box. They’ll make what they need, they’ll make their own boxes.” - Dr. Temple Grandin
The Autism Spectrum Disorder is a complex developmental condition which involves continual challenges in social interaction, speech and communication, and restricted or repetitive behaviors. It is a highly nuanced disorder and manifests itself differently in different people. Thus, there is ongoing research and awareness about the disorder. Autism is a highly underrecognized disorder, especially in the sphere of workplaces. Therefore, the Autism Awareness Month is celebrated in April to spread credible awareness about the disorder and its nuances. She Jobs would love to support the cause and explore some contributions of autistic people to their workplaces. Neurodiversity has taken a long way to take form in modern workplaces. Workplaces have denied the neurodiverse population their working rights for far too long despite their amazing contributions to workplace growth.
Some Inspiring Stories of Autism in Workplaces
Angela Andrews is a Data Integrity Manager at Janssen Research and Development, Johnson & Johnson. She believes that her having Autism is a big reason for her professional success. Her whole life, she was belittled to believe there was something ‘abnormal’ about her, but she never gave in to the negativity. She always looked out for the benefits of having her brain being wired a little differently. Her work in data has to be precise, and she believes her autism helps her keep it in perfection. She believes having a neurodiverse workplace that embraces “someone to be who they are, no matter what that form takes” can be a formula to success.
Jennifer Malia is an English Professor at Norfolk State University and runs the Facebook page Moms With Autism. She is an avid vocalist and writer for Autismrights in workplaces and society. She navigates workplaces with a similar approach as Angela, by believing that Autism is not a disability but a difference. She embraces that difference with utmost respect and dignity. She overcame a lot of challenges at work, just by having an understanding environment and brilliant students. It took a while, but she learned how to make autism her strength.
What We Can Learn From Autism
People with Autism have taken into stride their differences and used it as a power of strength in life. They have fought their challenges using their difference as a weapon and have far exceeded society’s expectations of them. These two stories are just an example of thousands of more such stories.
Autistic people, especially women, have inspired so many workplace dedicated stories and added so much respect to the community of work. It is only fair we learn from their grit, dedication, merit, and rigour. Their capabilities of overcoming challenges, their understanding of creative aspects of work, and their determination to work head on is something we must all learn from and employ in our own lives.
This Autism Awareness Month, spread awareness about autism, share their inspiring stories, learn from their difficulties, and celebrate their amazing lives