April 12, 2012
By Paperworks Studio
Individuals on the autism spectrum are compelled to be rule abiders - it is not a choice. Rules and routine bring comfort.
There are many written rules you have to follow at work, but there are also many unwritten rules that you must follow in order to be successful in your job. Unwritten rules are social rules that you may not be aware of, but you are expected to follow them anyway because everyone else follows those rules as well.
These written and unwritten rules have to do with many aspects of the work environment including:
• Wearing appropriate work attire
• Practicing appropriate grooming and hygiene habits
• Following instructions
• Accepting feedback from a supervisor
• Asking for help
• Dealing with interruptions
• Dealing with changes in routines and procedures
• Greetings and goodbyes
• Making small talk with co-workers
• Keeping appropriate personal space
• Private versus public behaviors
• Making friends at work
• Dealing with customers
• Coping strategies to manage stress, frustration and anxiety
• Time management and organizational strategies
• Following a work schedule
• Completing work on time
• Break time
• Bullying and workplace harassment
When faced with a new situation, you may not know how to behave. You may not “feel” social situations. Therefore, you have to memorize the appropriate response. This memorization takes practice. Before starting a job, the list above should be something you are familiar with and have practiced with another person. Ask your friend, a teacher or a relative to help you learn about these written and unwritten rules – in fact, ask them all to practice with you! Try to remember that, even with practice, unexpected and unfamiliar situations may arise. It is important to know that practice may not make you perfect in every situation, but it will certainly make you more prepared for success on the job! Good luck!
The Autism Society has teamed up with Goodwill’s Paperworks Studio, a mission-based, social enterprise that employs artists with disabilities to create unique greeting cards from recycled materials like blue jeans, coffee, wool sweaters and flowers. For every pack of greeting cards sold, the company will donate a portion to the Autism Society. The quality of the cards is impeccable and the love and inspiration is unmatched. Purchase the cards here!
Topics:Living with Autism
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