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Is Autism a Disability?

Is Autism a Disability?

Understanding how a neurodiverse mind works is extremely important, especially when wanting to utilise one’s strengths within the workplace.

When thinking about Specific Learning Differences such as Autism, so often our minds use a ‘medical’ perspective as we try to understand how this way of thinking affects the individual and those around them. Assumptions are made that often lead to individuals becoming disempowered to be at their best.

So what is disabling about Autism? An individual’s Autism or the expectations set by those around them? Could it be that everyone could be missing out on what an individual with Autism brings to the workplace, or for that matter any other Neurodiversity, purely because of a lack of understanding?

Autism works when understanding is in place.

The Autism and Disability question is quite frankly too simplistic.

Everyone is different and everyone has a broad range of strengths and weaknesses regardless of which labels that the ‘medical model’ has given them. Within the right context and in providing the right environment to work in and the best tools to help them work, everyone has the opportunity to unlock their potential.

I recently watched the video below from cellist Elisabeth Wiklander who at 28 received a diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome. As a celebrated musician in the London Philharmonic Orchestra, she also works as an activist to get people to understand more about Autism. In the video, Elisabeth shares her story but more importantly, shares how important it is to move away from the medical perspective and use a more positive approach when considering Autism.

Supporting Neurodiversity in the workplace with technology.

Everyone has different strengths and weaknesses and there is a wealth of technology available to provide support for tasks that play to the weaknesses of an individual.

The Access To Work Scheme which is a UK Government scheme to support individuals who experience neurodiversity as well as physical and mental disability provides assistive technology, coaching support as well as other more specific types of support.

If we consider ‘cognitive’ difficulties such as Autism, Dyslexia, ADHD/ADD, and more, there are many types of technology that are supplied to individuals as well as the relevant training however if that software is not immediately incorporated into daily activities, then it is easy to forget the training and lose the opportunity to work at one’s best.

To counter this situation, Aventido markets the software known as ‘atWork’ an electronic training product that provides that much-needed self-directed training for when the moments of one-to-one training have long passed. It brings about the confidence to utilise this valuable provision from the UK Government to support an individual in the workplace as they go about their daily tasks.

Would you like to know more about atWork? Click here to arrange a demonstration with our specialist Matt Dean.


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