Tuesday, July 8, 2008


These are some materials I'll be using for tomorrow's presentation on autism in the workplace as part of the APSE/Supported Employment conference in Louisville, KY.

"The case of the Imperfect Yeast Rolls" is a story I use to illustrate particular difficulties which can arise from sudden procedural changes in the workplace. Based on my own experience, this story explains how two simple and inexpensive accommodations could have prevented my leaving a job I had for seven years. It is a dramatic tale of deteriorating relationships with managers, as neither they nor I could understand why I was unable to adjust to the new requirements for making bread.

After a series of these "magazines" about misunderstandings on the job and how some of these can be addressed, it's important to note that autistic workers do not always require accommodations, and can in fact be among the most valuable employees in a company.

Finally, here's yet another way autism can look in the workplace. You may have autistic people working with you and not even know it!


  1. Heh. Just came out of a meeting in which, when it became my turn to say what I was doing with myself, I mumbled a bunch of jibberish and at one point couldn't come up with any words at all. Throughout the rest of the meeting, however (like when it was other people's turn to talk), I was super-responsive and able to interject "jokes" and the like. I hope my coworkers don't find this too obnoxious ("Well, heck, she was talking plenty fine just a minute ago!"). I'm one of those whose only requirements for "accommodations" are that I receive written rather than verbal instructions when it's reasonable and that folks don't get too exasperated when I go from chatty to word salad. Achieving the first was easy enough -- it involved a simple request, which my boss was kind enough to comply with. The second . . . well, that's simply a question of manners, I suppose. So far nobody's rolled their eyes too hard.

  2. I love the posters. I wish I could be there to hear you give the presentation.

  3. Good luck with the presentation. It would be great if you could put your presentations here as video clips. ;) I would love to see them as well.

  4. Brave woman. I could never speak in public.
    Best wishes

  5. Your posters say a lot.

    Good luck with the presentation.

  6. I can tell from what you've put up that your presentation will be filled with good, meaty reccommendations for those at the conference.

    Good luck, and thanks for going out and doing these things!


  7. The posters are fantastic! You always do excellent graphic work, Bev. My favorite is the last one with the man fixing cars. It is so true- you might be working with an autistic person and not know it. :-)

    Good luck with your presentation!! I wish, too, that I could be there to hear what you are going to present.


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