Autism - Strengths
Common Strengths and Talents - Individuals with autism spectrum disorders:
- Are often exceptionally honest
- Have deep passions and intense interests
- Can be very detail-oriented
- May have a very good memory
- Rarely have "hidden agendas"
- Are typically punctual and follows a schedule
- Often rule-bound, will not break laws
- Can be especially gifted in one or more subjects / topics
- May be very good at visual thinking
- Attention to detail
- Often highly skilled in a particular area
- Deep study resulting in encyclopedic knowledge on areas of interest
- Tendency to be logical (helpful in decision-making where emotions may interfere)
- Less concern for what others may think of them (can be a strength and a challenge). Also known as independent thinking. Often results in novel "big picture" insights due to different ways of looking at things, ideas, and concepts.
- Usually visual processing (thinking in pictures or video)
- Often very verbal (propensity of giving detailed descriptions may be useful in providing directions to lost persons)
- Direct communication
- Nonjudgemental listening
- Average to above average intelligence
- Grasping the "big" picture
- Uneven set of skills
- Difficulty in developing motivation to study areas not of interest
- Difficulty perceiving emotional states of others
- Perceiving unwritten rules of social interaction. But can learn these rules through direct instruction and social narratives
- Difficulty processing non-favorite modalities such as aural, kinesthetic, etc.
- Difficulty parsing out and summarizing important information for a conversation
- Sensory integration problems where input may register unevenly, distorted, and difficulty in screening out background noise.
- Generalization of skills and concepts
- Difficulty expressing empathy in ways that others expect or understand
- Executive functioning resulting in difficulties planning long-term tasks
Strengths: People with ASDs can be effective and highly valued empployees who can offer employers unique strengths that can benefit their organization.
- Excepetional concentration: People with ASDs can persist and focus on detailed work. They often find opportunities to concentrate on work for extended periods of time rewarding.
- Attention to detail: In addition to concentration, people with ASDs are very attuned to detail, and are often commended for their accuracy.
- Problem-solving skills: People with ASDs tend to be very logical, visual and structured thinkers and often enjoy the challenge of problem solving.
- Intelligence and aptitude: Many people with ASDs, particularly those with Asperger Syndrome or high-functioning autism - have average to above average intelligence levels.
- Specialized interests and skills: People with ASDs often develop specific areas of interest or skills.
- Good Memory: Their interest in certain areas often comes with an extensive knowledge of details, figures, and facts about that area
- Reliability: People with ASDs are very conscious of rules and employers often value their punctuality, low-absenteeism, honesty, and trustworthiness.
- Retention: People with ASDs thrive in a work environment that is structured, has routine and predictability. This often leads people with ASDs to stay in one role for significantly longer than other employees.
- Repetition: People with ASDs often enjoy repetitive tasks, and may appreciate tasks shunned by others due to their social isolation and repetitive nature.
Employing people with autism: untapped talent - People with autism have a great deal to offer the world of business and may have unique skills and abilities that will help an organization thrive. As well as their individual strengths and talents, candidates with autism may demonstrate above-average skills in some or all of the following areas:
- Problem-solving skills and attention to detail: people with autism tend to prefer logical and structured approaches to their work, and often think in a very visual way. They may enjoy problem-solving and can bring new ideas and take fresh approaches to their job.
- High levels of concentration: people with autism may often find focusing on detailed work rewarding, and can tend to work persistently and without being distracted, paying great attention to detail.
- Reliability and loyalty: people on the autism spectrum can be very conscientious and committed to their work, often with good levels of punctuality, honesty and integrity. For example, employers notice that absenteeism is lower.
- Technical ability and specialist skills and interests such as IT: people with autism may develoop highly specialized interests and skills, which can be very valuable in the workplace.
- Detailed factual knowledge and an excellent memory: people with autism may develop highly specialist interests, which will mean that they develop very detailed factual knowledge in that area.
- Retention: people with autism have a preference for routine and once settled in a job will often stay in that role considerably longer than others.
- Resourceful: people with autism may also have had to find ways to overcome challenges and so can be resourceful.
- superpowers: perceptive, determined, smart, cool-headed, dependable, disciplined
- strengths: nonjudgmental, curious, honest, loyal, sincere, principled, problem solver, optimist
- Their love is unconditional.
- When they show affection, it's the biggest deal.
- They don't judge anyone.
- Any progression is a huge feat.
- They take nothing in life for granted.
- Being unique makes them interesting and adorable.
- They see beauty in things that our hearts and mind have come to dismiss.
- There aren't any greedy or hurtful intentions within them.
- Hate does not exist in them and love flourishes within their souls.
- We are blessed just to have them and that should never be considered a bad thing because they were given to us to teach us the value of love and life.
talkative, curious, blunt, visual, loving, deliberate, focused, unique, funny, humorous, scientific, perceptive, solitary, accepting, motivated, diligent, intelligent, work-ethic, dependable, technological, philosopher, detail-oriented, non-competitive, logical, unmanipulative, unassuming, nondescriminatory, thinker, trustworthy, special-interests, genuine, just, three dimensional thinker, optimist, knowledgeable, unpretentious, integrity, vocabulary, animal lover, independent, perseverance, honest, problem solver, steadfast, innocent, passionate, conscientious, reliable, well-read, collector, enthusiastic, learned, direct, memorizer, nonhierarchical, unprejudiced, sensitive, loyal, creative
- can stick to routines
- are able to forgive others
- are accepting of others
- are gentle
- are honest
- are not bullies, con artists, or social manipulators
- are not inclined to steal
- are perfectly capable of entertaining themselves
- are smart, they study hard, and they respect authority
- are talented
- can make amazingly loyal friends
- don't discriminate against anyone based on race, gender, or age
- don't launch unprovoked attacks, verbal or otherwise
- don't play head games, and don't take advantage of other's weaknesses
- enjoy their own company, and can spend time alone
- have a child-like innocence, an exceptional memory, and have no interest in harming others
- notice fine details that others miss
- prefer talking about significant things that will enhance their knowledge-base rather than engaging in chit chat
- will not go along with the crowd if they know something is wrong
Employment dilemma for individuals with autism spectrum disorder
- Obstacles: verbal and non verbal communication, social relationships, social behaviors, special interests, heightened or subdued response to sensory stimulation
- Assets: accuracy in visual perception, concentration, long term memory, special interests, tolerance for repetitive activities
- Peer relationships characterized by absolute loyalty and impeccable dependability
- Bias free and able to take others at face value
- Determinded to seek the truth
- Hold conversations free of hidden meaning or agenda
- Advanced vocabulary and interest in words
- Fascination with word based humor, such as puns
- Original perspective on problem solving
- Exceptional memory and recollection of details
- Encyclopaedic knowledge of one or more topics
- Knowledge of routines and a focused desire to maintain order and accuracy
- Clarity of values and decision making
- Listening without continual judgement or assumption
- Enthusiasm for unique interests and topics
- Increased probability over general population of attending university after high school
- Often caring and helpful to people outside the range of typical development
- Full of trusting optimism and the belief in genuine friendship
Today's Top Tip: Unleash the power of the neuro-diverse brain. Work with your strengths and turn on the light!
If you got rid of all the autistic genetics, you'd have no future generation for the silicon valley. - Temple Grandin
Autism is our superpower.
I have autism. What's your superpower?