Skip to content

Autism Awareness Month

This is my first April celebrating Autism Awareness / Acceptance month since I was formally diagnosed with autism myself. I believe self-diagnosis is perfectly valid, but I wanted to learn more. Not just for myself, but for my community. Last year I worked with an incredible neurodiversity affirming clinician. She was excited to dive in and learn about my wiring. She helped me understand more about how my neurocomplexity impacts my personal and professional life. In my professional life, in the accessibility space, I continue to encourage others to learn more about neurodivergence. And provide guidance about how to support neurodiversity in the workplace.

Two main tips:

  • Communicate as clearly as possible. Ellie Middleton posted a wonderful video on how to give neurodivergent friendly instructions. It’s short and simple! Please watch it.
  • Be accepting of autistic (or other) behaviors that might deviate from the norm. Personally, I used to expend SO much energy attempting to mask to fit in while in shared office spaces. Working remotely has allowed me to channel that energy to focus on the work itself. But not everyone is so lucky. To learn more about masking, check out autistic reporter Eric Garcia’s great interview with autistic social psychologist Devon Price, PhD. The timing worked out perfectly. I ordered a copy of Devon’s book, Unmasking Autism: Discovering the New Faces of Neurodiversity, and it arrived just now, on World Autism Day.

I’ve been working in tech for 30+ years at this point. But many autistic people experience high rates of unemployment and underemployment compared to adults with other disabilities and adults in the general population. This needs to change. Sustainable progress will require a real, measurable commitment to neuroinclusion. Which includes working with autistic and other neurodivergent people to foster lasting change.

A book resting on a yellow chair. The cover reads Discovering the New Faces of Neurodiversity, Unmasking Autism by Devon Price, PhD, author of Laziness Does Not Exist
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *