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Mindfulness: A Practical Asset for Working Autistics

Mindfulness: A Practical Asset for Working Autistics

When the likes of Forbes publishes an article entitled, “How To Practice Mindfulness At Work”[1], and the Harvard Business Review publishes “Mindfulness in the Age of Complexity”[2], you know that the concept of mindfulness has reached the corporate mainstream. Companies like Google, Apple, Target, Nike, Proctor & Gamble, General Mills, Deutsche Bank and others have all embraced the benefits of mindfulness. Whether your company has a mindfulness program or not, you can still engage in mindfulness on your own, at home and at work. How, you may ask, is this significant for those of us on the spectrum? Mindfulness, or ...
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Finding Your Inner Self-Advocate

Finding Your Inner Self-Advocate

About thirty years ago, a dear friend of mine from Portugal told me that you've not really visited a place until you've eaten at someone's home (I was at his home in Portugal. Eating). So I've not really visited Chattanooga. But I was there in July of this year for the Inaugural Tri-State Adult Autism Symposium, the only autism conference dedicated to adult issues east of the Mississippi. (I can't read that last phrase without a cowboy accent.) The Conference The conference, organized by the indefatigable Scott Kramer, was a wonderful success. Attendance was at capacity with more than 200 ...
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Capturing the Neurodiversity Market

Capturing the Neurodiversity Market

There are a number of reasons to expand your company's diversity and inclusion initiative to work with the neurodiverse — those of us who are autistic, have ADHD, dyslexia, dyscalculia, or some other type of neurological wiring that sets us apart from the neurologically typical. There is, of course, the ethical argument, recognizing that everyone deserves the same access to opportunity and quality of life. But that argument, important as it may be, is rarely sufficient for stakeholders to agree to policy changes. They want to know that such changes will also be good for the bottom line. So let's ...
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Autism in the Workplace. Honestly. Really Honestly.

Autism in the Workplace. Honestly. Really Honestly.

I think it's why I lost that job. Because I was honest. It was about a year later that I lost the job, so there's no direct link, but things changed after that moment. And they didn't have to. I was in the office, talking with a superior about the design of a particular application. The solution he was proposing had holes in it; I had found them earlier (which is why I had asked for the meeting). After he went over his approach again, I said: “But it won't work, the security's rubbish.” He stopped, tilted his head back ...
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How To Create A Successfully Neurodiverse Workplace

How To Create A Successfully Neurodiverse Workplace

Embracing any kind of diversity starts with one fundamental first step: awarenessYour place of work is diverse. You've got C-level executives, VPs, and top-level managers who are women, who are of diverse racial and religious backgrounds, who are from the LGBTQ+ community, who are in wheelchairs or otherwise physically disabled. If this is indeed the case, I applaud you. Fortunately, there are more and more companies embracing diversity. Unfortunately, there are still too few. That your company is more inclusive than most is laudable. So, let me ask you this question: how many people do you have at your company ...
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My wife and I, kissing

Awareness and Understanding — A Magical Combination

Okay, so ... the article after my last, Why Neurodiversity Matters at Work, was supposed to be about workplace accommodations for the neurodiverse. That one's coming, still in the works. But there was a moment today, a moment that perfectly illustrates how awareness and understanding are, by themselves, 90% of the battle for accommodations. When there is enlightened awareness in combination with compassion and understanding, the accommodations will come. This afternoon I was doing my physiotherapy (recovering from a titanium rod having been put in my left tibia, after a motorcycle accident in which the bike was totaled, making On ...
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Nikola Tesla and a productivity graph

Why Neurodiversity Matters At Work

If T.S. Eliot was right, and the world will end not with a bang but a whimper, at least we can safely say that the end of 2016 is not, fortunately, the end of the world — for not many would suggest that the transition from 2016 to 2017 will be anything like a whimper. Those of us for whom diversity and inclusion are important might be feeling a bit grim about the change in political climate as we enter the new year. But that's giving up too easily. Instead, now is the time to work even harder toward our ...
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/ Neurodiversity in the workplace

A Tale of Two Approaches to Neurodiversity Inclusion

Recently, I finished reading Janine Booth's Autism Equality in the Workplace (Jessica Kingsley Publishers, London and Philadelphia, 2016): what an inspiration! The content is clearly laid out, with a survey of the barriers to successful inclusion of autistic people in the workplace, and solid recommendations to remove those barriers. Throughout the book, Booth has included the perspectives and experiences of numerous autistic people she has interviewed. These things alone make the book a compelling and invaluable resource. What impressed me most of all, however, were two insightful distinctions that inform much of Booth's approach. First is the revealing contrast between ...
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/ Neurodiversity in the workplace

On The Road Again

I don't like cars. Nope, never really have. If I never had to get into the driver's seat again I'd be delighted. But, for most of us, it's unavoidable right? I mean, let's face it: either you commute to work, run errands during the day or somehow need your car (or, in our case, minivan). Heck, some of us may even drive for a living. There are exceptions, of course. when I lived in New York City I didn't drive (I didn't even own a car) but since moving south driving has become unavoidable. For the first few years in ...
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