What is autism?

Autism Europe describes autism as "a complex lifelong disability where people on the autism spectrum experience persistent difficulties with social communication and social interaction, and might display restricted and repetitive patterns of behaviours, activities or interests." [1]

What are the main symptoms?

  •         Deficits in social communication and social interaction;
  •         Restricted, repetitive patterns of behaviour, interests or activities.

Prevalence rate of autism

According to more recent studies, autism affects around 1 in 100 people.[2]

Advantages of autism

When talking about autism, we mostly focus on deficits and difficulties that people on the spectrum face. It is also important to see the possible advantages or positive sides of autism.

People with autism:

  •         Pay attention to detail
  •         Can be really focused
  •         Have a very good memory
  •         Can have an expertise in special interests
  •         Can have a different world view
  •         Can be very loyal
  •         Can be very honest
  •         Etc …

Autism and employment

According to the European Economic and Social Committee, less than 10% of people with autism spectrum disorders are employed.[3] We have to work towards an inclusive Europe Europe and remove obstacles faced by people with autism in everyday life, including in finding employment.

For that it is important to not only pay attention to obstacles, but to highlight possible assets of employees with autism:

  •         Logical thinking and problem analysis
  •         Attention to detail and accuracy
  •         Concentration
  •         Inquisitiveness and an excellent memory
  •         Reliability and loyalty
  •         Specific technical skills and knowledge
  •         Work motivation
  •         Result orientation and sense of responsibility
  •         Sincerity and honesty
  •         Routines and tenacity
  •         Creativity[4]

The most important thing to remember is that every person with autism is different and experiences different difficulties but also talents. When you know a person with autism, you only know one person with autism.

[2] lsabbagh et al. 2012; Fombonne, 2011; ADDM 2012; Mattila et al. 2011; Saemundsen et al. 2013; Baird et al. 2011.