Celebrating Autism Acceptance Week: Building a More Inclusive Workplace

This Autism Acceptance Week, we at Space & Time want to champion inclusivity and highlight the valuable contributions autistic individuals bring to our team.

What is Autism?

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a developmental condition that can affect social interaction, communication, and sensory processing. People on the spectrum experience the world differently, often with heightened sensitivity to sound, light, and touch.

Heightened Sensitivity Can Lead to Anxiety

Autistic people are more likely to experience anxiety due to several factors:

  • Sensory Processing Differences: A heightened sensitivity to sights, sounds, smells, tastes, or textures can be overwhelming and lead to anxiety.
  • Social Interaction Challenges: Difficulties with social cues and understanding social norms can make social situations anxiety-provoking.
  • Difficulty with Change and Uncertainty: Unexpected changes or disruptions in routine can be very stressful for the autistic brain that thrives on predictability.
  • Communication Issues: Misunderstandings and frustration due to communication challenges can contribute to anxiety.
  • Executive Functioning Challenges: Difficulties with planning, organising, and managing time can lead to feeling overwhelmed and anxious about tasks and deadlines.

Supporting Autistic Employees

We’re committed to creating a welcoming and supportive environment for all. Here are some ways we can achieve this:

  • Structured Environment: Provide clear schedules, routines, and visual aids to help manage expectations and reduce anxiety.
  • Sensory Awareness: Offer quiet spaces and flexible lighting options to accommodate individual needs.
  • Clear Communication: Be direct and clear in your instructions, offer written materials, and allow for extra processing time.
  • Training: Educate staff on autism and how to best support their colleagues.

The Benefits of Inclusion

Space & Time support our neurodiverse colleagues by displaying the infinity rainbow which signifies that people experience and interact with the world around them in many different ways; there is no one “right” way of thinking, learning, and behaving.  We also have an Employee Support Group for our neurodiverse colleagues sharing resources and support. By being more aware, we foster a supportive workplace, we tap into the unique talents and perspectives of autistic employees, helping to build a stronger and more diverse team.