Working with someone with autism

Reply Thu 25 Apr, 2019 04:07 pm
Hello, hopefully someone has some advice for me. I work in a job, have been there for about 4 months. I love my job. but there is a developer at my job who is autistic. I sometimes have to work with him and its very hard.

My best friend is a therapist who deals with autism spectrum disorders and has a son on the spectrum. this is how I know that my coworker is ASD. his behaviour is quite textbook. I don't think he has had a diagnosis or any treatment because my friend has advised me on strategies of how to talk to ASD people but these have not worked as this coworker has not been exposed repeatedly to these strategies and is not used to changing his behaviour based on the way someone speaks to him.

I have tried to be as patient as possible with him but his overexuberance to work with others has cost me time while on a tight deadline and even the loss of some files due to his acting too quickly without thinking while trying to operate my computer.

I do not want to work with him simply because I do not have time to manage him however I also don't think its a good idea to tell my boss this person is ASD because I am not a diagnostician. how do I make it clear I can't work with this guy during crunch time without getting him in trouble or making it seem like I am unable to work with my colleagues?
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Reply Thu 25 Apr, 2019 04:57 pm
Tell your boss that you work better with someone else during crunch times, and name that person or persons. Don't mention this guy at all (and for God's sake don't mention ASD). Your boss will be able to read between the lines.

This is not a guarantee that you will never have to work with him again, although hopefully your boss will mix up the teams more.

Find a way to work with this guy. Talk to him. Not to try some technique or anything. He is your peer and the company obviously values him or he would be out pounding the pavement. So treat him like a person and not a science experiment. Have a conversation.

"Dave (or whatever his name is), working too fast means there are more mistakes, so we lose time correcting them and it ends up taking longer and it gets frustrating. Can we work together on some quality control, some time when we're not on deadline?"

One of the hallmarks of work is adapting to as many eventualities as possible.

And BTW, if you are right and he's ASD, then your state (city, province, government, wherever you live) may very well require accommodations.
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Reply Fri 26 Apr, 2019 05:57 am
How to work with someone with autism

Avoid eye contact. Often colleagues with ASD will be uncomfortable making eye contact, so follow their lead. ...
Take their lack of expression in stride. ...
Listen patiently. ...
Embrace structure. ...
Minimize “social clutter.” ...
Embrace project management solutions. ...
Incorporate universal design.

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Reply Fri 26 Apr, 2019 11:04 am
Everyone is an individual, there's no catch all solution for everyone.

Generally speaking autistic people aren't very good at picking up on non verbal cues, you need to spell it out.

Talk to this person, tell him what the problem is and why. From what you've said it sounds like it's only at certain times of high pressure. Tell him that. If you don't tell him what's wrong how on earth can he fix it.

Talking to your supervisor shows that you can't deal with something simple like this yourself.

Talk to him.
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