The Autism Spectrum in Hospitality

1st April, 2022 in Industry

What is The Autism Spectrum?

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) refers to a broad band of identity that all autistic people share.

Similar to a scatter graph, the 'Autism Spectrum' represents the infinite, unique, complex, and often fluctuating, identities and experiences of autistic people.

The Spectrum does not go from least to most autistic or low to high functioning.

Autism in Hospitality

Autistic people make up a large proportion of our population yet they are often missed out of employment in the hospitality sector.

Why?

Some autistic people have a different way of understanding feelings and emotions, they can also have a heightened sensitivity to stimuli. Hospitality, being a people focused and often noisy trade, has led employees to believe it is not a suitable environment for those of the Autism Spectrum.

However, Autistic people have an abundance of gifts which can make them excellent employers in the industry. Such as...

Autistic Strengths  For Hospitality: 1.  determination, resilience, self-motivation 2. conscientiousness, reliability, being trustworthy 3.  attention to detail. identifying patterns, high levels of concentration 4. kindness to others, acceptance of difference 5. detailed factual knowledge, excellent memory 6. creativity, a unique way of problems solving

Not everyone on the Autism Spectrum will have every trait listed; traits also fluctuate depending on circumstance.

If you're hoping to diversify your team, something which is, quite frankly, the right thing to do, here are some ways you can support employees on the Autism Spectrum.

Ways To Support Autistic Employees

  • Train neurotypical employees in sensitivity awareness to better understand their neurodivergent co-workers
  • Provide advanced notice of meeting discussions
  • Provide praise and reinforcement for quality job performance and behaviour
  • Allow them to focus on areas in which they have a high level of interest, aptitude or skill

Vocabulary Check

Vocabulary check: The Autism Spectrum - A term to describe the broad band that all Autistic people are a part of. No person lies on one point, and it does not go from least to most Autistic. Neurodivergent - A person whose neurotype is divergent of the majority of society. Includes autism, ADHD, dyslexia, dyspraxia, etc. Neurotyopical - A person whose neurotupe is typical of the majority of society. Autistic - A type of Neurodiver- gent person whose entire identity consists of different ways of thinking, communicating, understanding, being, and feeling. The brain is wired differently.

If you'd like to find out more, we recommend the amazing @myautisticsoul (they/them) on Instagram who make informative, accessible and beautiful resources and insights. You can support their work via the link in their bio. ⁠

#inclusivity #diversitymatters #worldautismawarenessday ⁠

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Sources cited: ⁠

www.whglawfirm.com/blog/2020/02/accommodating-workers-with-autism-in-the-hospitality-industry/⁠

www.autism.org.uk/advice-and-guidance/topics/employment/employing-autistic-people/employers⁠

www.ebtc.ie/what-is-autism/⁠

@myautisticsoul ⁠