Workplace social challenges experienced by employees on the autism spectrum: an international exploratory study examining employee and supervisor perspectives Academic Article uri icon


  • Social challenges represent a significantly under-researched area when it comes to the poor employment outcomes in autism. In this exploratory study employees on the autism spectrum (N = 29) and supervisors (N = 15), representing seven continents, provided 128 written examples of workplace-based social challenges, their interpretation, consequences and resolution. Content analysis revealed that types of social challenges were individually oriented or associated with the work-environment. Social challenges were frequently attributed to internal or personal factors with direct consequences for the employee. Resolutions were more frequently targeted toward the individual than the workplace, and hindered employees' experience of work. This international study represents a first look at the types of social challenges that impact equitable work participation of autistic people.

publication date

  • 2020