Instead it is a difference in the human condition and many employers are realising that it can bring great benefits to the workplace in terms of diversity, inclusiveness and individual strengths if approached in the right way.
BDF has found that employers have an increasing interest in autism, with a growing list of companies launching schemes to specifically recruit people with autism. These include Microsoft, Bloomberg, Hewlett Packard, SAP and Willis Towers Watson.
These companies’ schemes are not charitable or medical – instead they aim to harness the specific strengths of employees with autism. Microsoft’s corporate vice president of worldwide operations, Mary Ellen Smith, has said: “People with autism bring strengths that we need.”
Daniel Wiles, disability consultant at BDF, said: “Companies are realising that they could be missing out on a large pool of untapped talent if they fail to approach autism in a constructive way.