Why Is The Unemployment Rate For Autistic Adults So High?

Unemployment is a crisis that many people in this country face. Especially considering we are still in the midst of a pandemic, many have unfortunately lost their jobs and are seeking out new opportunities. However, even before Covid made its way to the United States, unemployment was disproportionately impacting different communities. One of the most effected demographics in this respect are Autistic adults. It has been found that at least 80% of Autistic adults are unemployed. There are a few different reasons for this, and there are some ways to help.

What About People Who Can't Work?

The 80% statistic actually automatically excludes any people who are not capable of working, physically or otherwise. The issue of unemployment is not due to in-capabilities of Autistic adults, but instead it is the fact that the workplace and how we evaluate workers is a system made for neurotypical people. This often has nothing to do with the actual requirements of the job, but rather an evaluation of social norms. There isn't a lack of qualification either, as about 35% of Autistic adults go on to attend college. Yet, only 15% are employed. What is the reason for this?

Stigma

As there is for most things that don't perfectly fit into the social norm, there is a stigma around autism and those diagnosed with it. There seems to be a consensus that if you are an Autistic adult, you must be one of two things: a literal genius, or someone who is incapable of working at all. This stigma is often perpetuated in the media as well, through television shows and movies. This is just not true. Autistic adults are just as capable as neurotypical adults at most jobs. The problem is that most things that are used to evaluate if someone is capable of a particular job has nothing to do with performing that job. Things like interviews and other evaluations that directly depend on adhering to social norms can pose great difficulty for autistic adults. They can be qualified, able to the job perfectly, but may not do well in an interview. The stigma around autism is extremely harmful to not only children but adults with autism as it hinders their ability to work and to be perceived as human beings.

Accommodations

All too often, accommodations that Autistic adults need in the work place are not offered or available. In fact, there are often obstacles put in place that aren't relevant to the efficiency of the job- similar to the interviews described above-that can majorly impact Autistic adults. Again, all of these people are able to work, but sometimes they can benefit from accommodations in the workplace in order to thrive like their neurotypical counterparts.

Gender and Sexual Identity

According to Thinking Autism Guide, those diagnosed with Autism are seven times more likely to identify as transgender. When you consider the fact that Autistic adults are already disproportionately unemployed, and that transgender people suffer unemployment at three times the national average, it becomes clear that the intersection of the two identities subject people to discrimination and an even bigger risk of unemployment. While this applies to gender and sexuality most prevalence, intersectionality can also be considered for Autistic adults who are part of other marginalized groups that experience unemployment disproportionately as well.

Work Place Discrimination

Sometimes, even once Autistic adults are hired, they suffer from work place discrimination. Whether this is from co-workers or their boss, this can make the work environment very toxic and anxiety-inducing. This discrimination can result in career stagnation or even termination of employment. All work environments need to do better in being inclusive and tolerant in all respects.

What Can We Do?

So, how do we solve this problem? There is no one quick fix, but there are certainly ways to make a difference. Firstly, all workplaces need to become aware of how their hiring process may be discriminating against marginalized groups, and reflect on if their evaluation is really evaluating the ability to be efficient at the job. The next step is ensuring that work environments are inclusive and welcoming of everyone.

It is also important to recognize organizations such as Luv Michael-- a non-profit organization that only hires Autistic adults. Luv Michael makes gluten free granola in a variety of flavors. Since they are a non-profit, they sometimes need assistance. This is why they are running a fundraiser. I have my own account that you can donate to. The money goes directly to Luv Michael and hiring Autistic adults. Absolutely any amount is appreciated. If you donate $25 or more, you can even get some granola sent to you!

I will link the page to donate here, help me reach my goal!

As someone who is neurotypical, I feel I must stress that although I want to raise awareness for this cause, I certainly don't want to speak over voices of actual Autistic adults or people. So, if you are interested in learning more, I found this article by Maxwell Sparrow and this TED talk by Claire Bennett to be especially enlightening. It's always more important to listen to their voices.

If you donate, consider donating, or even just share this article--thank you! This is an issue that I do not see discussed enough; raising awareness and raising money for opportunities is an excellent first step.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Swoon

119 People Reveal How The Pandemic Has Affected Their Love Lives, And Honestly... Relatable

"I haven't been able to get out of the 'talking phase' with anyone."

The reality is, there's no part of life the pandemic hasn't affected. Whether it's your work life, your home life, your social life, or your love life, coronavirus (COVID-19) is wreaking havoc on just about everything — not to mention people's health.

When it comes to romance, in particular, people are all handling things differently and there's no "right way" of making it through, regardless of your relationship status (single, taken, married, divorced, you name it). So, some of Swoon's creators sought out to hear from various individuals on how exactly their love lives have been affected since quarantine began.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

If 'Hockey Is For Everyone,' Why Is Matt Dumba So Alone In Fighting For Racial Equality In The NHL?

If the NHL is using #WeSkateForEquality, why is Dumba alone in the fight for equality?

On Saturday, August 1, 2020, the National Hockey League resumed play for the first time since March 12, 2020. The season was paused due to the growing coronavirus (COVID-19) spread and a concern for the players contacting the virus and spreading it through the League. Fans and players sat and waited for the hockey season to resume, which took more than 140 days.

Keep Reading... Show less

- Though as a little girl, I had the silkiest, softest hair that would get compliments everywhere I went, since I turned about thirteen I've since had coarse, dry hair no amount of deep conditioning masks or sulfate-free shampoo could fix.

- I started using the Raincry's Condition Boar Bristle Brush several months ago, and while I noticed that my hair had been softer, silkier, and shinier than it had ever been, I didn't make the connection because I never thought a simple hairbrush could make any difference in my hair texture.

- I will be the first to admit that I thought it was ridiculous to spend nearly a hundred dollars on a hairbrush, but this one eliminates the need for me to use any heat tools or styling products on it.

- I put some oil or a serum in my hair when it's wet, brush my hair with the boar bristle brush once it's dry, and end up with the lowest maintenance, shiniest hair I've had since I was 8 years old.

@raincrybeauty

Keep Reading... Show less
YouTube

Bingeing a romantic comedy is always a good idea, and during this pandemic, these movies bring us one of the only elements of romance we can get. Through all the break-ups, obstacles, and struggles in our love lives, romantic comedies have always been there to make us laugh and keep us company while we cry.

While we love these movies for the beyond gorgeous male love interests, the female protagonists are still the ones we always remember. Although rom-coms are far from reality, it is always fun to imagine what our life would be like if a cinematic studio was behind our love life. So what does your favorite romantic comedies say about your dream guy?

Keep Reading... Show less

Whether you're in an unhealthy relationship currently, you know someone who is, or you just want to have these numbers saved just in case it could one day save someone's life (if not your own), this article is for you. Here are three numbers to save in your contacts ASAP so you can always be safe, both physically and mentally, in every relationship.

Keep Reading... Show less
Entertainment

7 Things You Need To Know About Our NEW Bachelorette, Tayshia Adams

Could THIS be the most dramatic season in "Bachelorette" history?

Bombshell news coming from Bachelor Nation today, Tayshia Adams is replacing Clare Crawley as the bachelorette!

Rumor has it that Clare found her person early on in the process and did not want to continue with the process of leading other men on throughout the season.

Keep Reading... Show less

The NBA is back, and for basketball fans, like myself, it has been the BEST news we have heard since COVID-19 shutdown play indefinitely. I mean, come on, we need to see if James Harden can once again perform so well he has back-to-back 50 point games, Kawhi can lead another team to the championship title, and whether Giannis is going to be back-to-back MVP... among like 500 other things running through our heads!

In the midst of all of the amazing statistics and records that these players are breaking, though, we also just love the NBA because well, there are some pretty good looking guys out there. Here are the 19 hottest NBA players (in no particular order) you would totally let slam dunk on you now that the NBA has returned.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Everything You Need To Know About Macronutrients, Because A Diet Should Be More Than Calories

Pay attention to what you're eating, not just how much you're eating.

Plenty of people are familiar with the "calories in, calories out" (CICO) method of dieting which can be used for losing, gaining, or maintaining weight. This method relies on calculating a person's total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) to ensure that they are not overeating or undereating to achieve their desired weight. TDEE considers a person's height, weight, age, gender, and level of activity to determine what their caloric intake should be — some calculators can factor in body fat percentage as well. When I used a TDEE calculator online, it said that my TDEE would be 1,990 calories if I was trying to maintain my weight, but are all calories created equal? I'd argue that they're not.

It might seem obvious to some of you that 1,990 calories of macaroni and cheese are not healthy at all compared to 1,990 calories of varied foods (fruit, veggies, meat, bread, etc.).

Keep Reading... Show less
Swoon

Just Because You're Asked To Be In A Wedding, Doesn't Always Mean You Should Say Yes

If you can't invest time, money, and YOURSELF, maybe say no to the offer for the bride's sake!

Being in a wedding is a really big commitment. I personally think if you've never been in one before, you don't understand the time, money, and energy that goes into being a part of it.

Keep Reading... Show less

As any poor college student, a little kick of caffeine for less than a dollar has always sounded great to me. So, naturally, AriZona Iced Tea has been a go-to for as long as I can remember.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

Dear Closeted Latina,

You were never alone.

Remember how the Latin world got rocked when Ricky Martin came out?

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments