Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) information

National Autistic Society definition:

"Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that affects how a person communicates with, and relates to, other people. It also affects how they make sense of the world around them."

"Asperger syndrome is a form of autism, which is a lifelong disability that affects how a person makes sense of the world, processes information and relates to other people.  Autism is often described as a 'spectrum disorder' because the condition affects people in many different ways and to varying degrees.  Asperger syndrome is mostly a 'hidden disability'."

Department of Work & Pensions - guidance on ASD

EHRC workplace guidelines

Adjustment: An employer makes sure that a worker with autism has a structured working day as a reasonable adjustment. As part of the reasonable adjustment, it is the responsibility of the employer to make sure that other workers co-operate with this arrangement.

Discrimination: An employer uses a person specification for an accountant’s post that states ‘employees must be confident in dealing with external clients’ when in fact the job in question does not involve liaising directly with external clients. This requirement is unnecessary and could lead to discrimination against disabled people who have difficulty interacting with others, such as some people with autism. 

TUC (May 2014) guidance 'Making workplaces autism friendly'

Reasonable adjustments for individual autistic workers might include:

  • paid time off when needed
  • fixed hours rather than variable shifts
  • reducing specific sensory stimuli in the workplace, e.g. locating that individual’s workstation in a quieter or less bright part of the office
  • change of work location, for example to be nearer home, or nearer support facilities, or to a work location which is quieter or less over-stimulating
  • extra breaks to enable relaxation
  • providing a mentor
  • individual support where schedules are unavoidably disrupted and when changes are introduced
  • adjustment to the way in which assessments are carried out
  • a clear routine and work schedule
  • a personal workstation (rather than sharing a workstation or ‘hot-desking’) specific tools to aid work organisation, such as a visual timetable or organiser app
  • relaxation of triggers for disciplinary action for matters such as sickness absence or mistakes arising from executive function impairment
  • additional training time off for treatment/appointments, as part of a policy for disability leave
  • re-allocating some work to colleagues, with their agreement