Autism in the Workplace: Should I Tell My Boss?

It is always hard to determine when you should tell other people about your autism. This is especially challenging when you are applying for a new job. The decision making process that goes into deciding whether to disclose their diagnosis is a very personal one to those with autism.

One on hand, you know that you have the law and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) on your side that says your autism should not play a factor in their hiring process. However, on the other, there are those that underestimate and discriminate against those with autism. They think that being on the spectrum means that they cannot perform the job requirements adequately.

According to U.S. News, there are many factors that influence the performance of those with autism, from a sensitivity to light and sound to the inability to read social cues. However, it is clear that there are ways to limit these influences on an employee on the spectrum such as placing the employee in an area with low activity and foot traffic to reduce distraction and sensitivity.

It's a Personal Choice

If an individual feels that they are personally capable of doing the work without any special accommodations from the employer, then there is no reason to disclose their diagnosis. However, it should not be looked down upon to ask for accommodations as an employee. Regardless of if the person is on the spectrum, employees have the right to be in a safe and productive environment at their job.

You should disclose your diagnosis if you feel comfortable with the employer, and feel as if you can only perform at your top level with certain accommodations. There is no reason to be embarrassed by your diagnosis, as those with autism have just as many talents to offer an organization, it just may take more care to find them the perfect fit.