Autism Spectrum Disorder

Having Autism Spectrum Disorder is not a barrier to communication.

In the community

  • Be patient. Communication may take longer than expected. Give people time to process information.
  • Use an age-appropriate tone of voice.
  • Making or keeping eye contact for some can be difficult.
  • Use visual cues where possible. For example when saying ‘Please take a seat’ point to the vacant chair.
  • Irony, sarcasm and other indirect forms of communication may be misinterpreted so use with caution.
  • Avoid open-ended questions. Some people are more comfortable giving short and direct responses.
  • Be aware that some people may repeat words or phrases but this may not always be a reflection of their opinion, choice or understanding.
  • Unusual physical movements such as hand flapping or rocking may be displayed. This is no cause for concern.

In the workplace

  • Be aware of how you communicate as some people can be very literal.
  • Encourage routine and avoid unnecessary or sudden changes as this may be difficult to deal with.
  • Keep instructions clear and simple. Give instructions one at a time or offer to write them down.
  • Work in areas that are quiet and do not have too many distractions.
  • Be prepared to communicate in a different way such as using visual cues.

Page last updated: Monday, 6 May 2019