I had the enjoyable time of chatting with Stacey Ford from nonPareil https://npusa.org/ about their program to teach autistic individuals the social and hard skills needed for career jobs. We also discussed the more general topic of autistic employment, company run programs, and differences in outcomes between those who were late diagnosed versus those diagnosed early and brought up through a system of special services and accommodations.
We found there was so much to talk about that it became 2 episodes of my podcast podcast.timgoldstein.com While much of the focus in employment for autistic individuals has been on programs run by individual companies and organizations such as those in the Neurodiversity at Work Employers Roundtable We are seeing many of those programs facing challenges in scaling beyond pilot programs, giving individuals hired through the programs the same opportunities for career growth as the companies...
Fate works in odd and mysterious ways. For a while I had been frustrated about having no clue about the impact my efforts in the adult autism world was having. Then I got an email which lead to a discussion. The outcome was Learning Tree is letting me build a neurodiversity course bases on my concepts and taking it mainstream into the tech and tech management space.
The course introduces neurodiversity and recognizes that among the neurodistinct it is not just autism. But the focus of the course is on the stereotypical tech geek that most autism at work programs focus on. I go far beyond "those people are this way" and into ways the autistic mind perceives, process, and thinks. Building on the foundation of understanding students are also give simple easy to implement tips which will improve their communication with everyone, not just the autistic.
While aimed at the tech department and tech management it is also a...
Disclosure is a complex subject. You don’t have to tell your co-workers. It is totally your choice and there are a number of areas to consider when making the choice. Even if you decide now is not the time you can always decide later it is the time. Following are some areas to consider and a few thoughts around them.
I believe the most important item to consider is the motivation and the potential benefits. I think motivation falls into a few categories, self-identity, understanding of co-workers about a large part of who you are which they may notice on their own, as a proactive approach to avoid negative interactions in the future, because it seems the right thing to do, to allow you to advocate for autistic adults openly, or any of a range of personal reasons. I don’t think the reason is of great importance on its own, but I think a solid assessment whether disclosing will accomplish the object. Some reasons take more thought than others to truly evaluate. Take...
What is the Autism at Work Playbook and where did it come from?
There is a loose collaboration between some of the worlds largest corporations focused on programs for sourcing, interviewing, onboarding, supporting, and retaining autistic workers. This effort is generically referred to as Autism at Work. The Autism at Work Playbook guides you through much of what needs to be considered for a successful program. It also includes the learnings from the programs of the various companies. The Playbook came from the direct effort of these companies:
Having Asperger's and taking words literally I find the title to be misleading. I think of a playbook as exact steps, patterns, or moves which is reinforced by the cover graphic of a football play. Once I got over the title not matching the content and started looking at the work as guided discussion of the many aspect to a comprehensive end to end program, I found it to be a great resource.
The points to consider and advice in the...
Managing the neurodiverse, technical, "A"SD Lister, or autistic employee can be a challenge to any manager. These advanced management tips will drastically improve your results. Even better, the same advanced approaches also improve your management of all employees.
Give a few of these tips a try regardless of the type of employees you manage and be ready to see some amazing results!
CLICK HERE to download a letter sized PDF of this tip sheet.
If you find these tips to be helpful, contact Neurodiverse Communication Specialist Tim Goldstein to learn how he can help your organization Engage the Tech Worker and reduce the turnover in this hard to hire segment.
Book by: Marcia Scheiner of Integrate with Joan Bogden
For anyone managing a logic leaning, frequently neurodiverse technical worker, this book is required reading. For anyone else, it is an excellent lesson in good old fashion, face to face management techniques plus a training about the neurodiverse rolled into one. What I learned from Marcia’s straight forward explanations and examples amazed me. This is particularly surprising considering I have Asperger’s and over 20 years of management experience. I applaud Marcia for the body of knowledge she has taken the effort to compile in an easy to read book.
Marcia begins by pointing out that 1/3 of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) graduate college and the vast majority are unable to find a job. The problem isn’t these individuals’ skills, but the employers lack of understanding of the neurodiverse worker. While these...
Contrary to recent coverage, autism already is at work in technology and I am proof. I have decades in both software and hardware engineering and I am autistic. I wasn’t diagnosed until well into my working life at age 54.
Once I learned the traits of Asperger’s, a mild form of autism, I began recognizing it in virtually every tech group I have worked with. Many undiagnosed adults in tech fields struggling with fitting their unique thinking into the rigid structure of most companies. The same approaches which help my autism spectrum companions land a job work just as well with us the hidden, maybe undiagnosed autistic workers.
Maybe if I had been understood, I might have made less of those “Honey, I just got fired” calls.
I had the great fortune to be introduced to Ed Thomson from Uptimize. Ed was in Denver and we got the chance to talk about Autism and Neurodiversity in the workplace.
Uptimize provides digital delivered training to help integrate the neurodiverse into the workplace. They have had great success with their materials being used by Microsoft, Google, JPMorgan Chase and more.
Ed and I discussed a number of areas where we deliver a better customer experience if we collaborate. Ed's a great guy and I am looking forward to working with him much closer.
Tim gives an overview of his experience in the tech workforce having Aspergers, quickly summarizes Autism, Aspergers, ASD, and HFA, then explains how this all fits under the concept of Neurodiversity.
Tim also describes "A"SD Listers. They are the tech equivalent of Hollywood A Listers. Temperamental babies who can be difficult, but without them, movies fail. Tim will help you recognize these key players in your organization.
Tim then teaches 3 points which can help you to connect with your "A"SD Lister employees.