Supporting individuals with autism to develop a career can be challenging, but also rewarding. One way to support individuals with autism in their career development is to help them tap into their unique strengths and interests. Many individuals with autism have strong skills in areas such as technology, math, and science. By identifying these strengths, it can be possible to help them find a career that utilizes those skills and that they are passionate about. Additionally, providing social skills training and helping individuals with autism practice interacting with potential employers and colleagues can also be beneficial. It is also important to be aware of any accommodations that may be needed in the workplace, such as a quiet workspace or extra time for completing tasks. 

Autism has always been associated with cognitive rigidity, literal thinking, behavior, and interpretation of speech, as well as somewhat restricted interests. 

This means their brain processes the information differently and heavily relies on logic, which is one of the reasons why students with autism tend to be far superior to their typical counterparts when it comes to math performance.  

But, is there a way to support people with autism to develop creativity that could help them with their careers? 

Autism and Creativity 

Contrary to popular belief, these logical skills don’t come at the expense of creativity. According to a study, there is a strong link between autism and creativity. 

In a nutshell, when presented with a tool and asked to list its uses, people with autism will come up with fewer suggestions, but their ideas will be more unusual and unique than that of their neurotypical peers. 

The study revealed that people with autism are divergent thinkers, which means that their problem-solving approach heavily relies on generating novel ideas – and what is creativity other than discovering new ideas, solutions, and possibilities? 

Here are some tips on how people with autism can use their creative and unique mind to their advantage and find a career path that will allow them to fulfill their tremendous potential. 

Artistic Careers 

Some sources claim that famous artists Vincent Van Gogh and Andy Warhol had autism.

Given that people on the autistic spectrum excel in arts, thanks to their ability to see things from another perspective, a career in this field can be very fulfilling for them. 

There are different options for people with autism who are artistically inclined, including the ones with non-verbal autism. For example, graphic design, web design, or video game design combine artistic talent and technical skills, and as such present people on the autistic spectrum with great career opportunities. 

Acting Career

The idea of immersing themselves in a character and performing on stage or screen is another creative career that some people with autism find tremendously appealing. 

As a matter of fact, some distinguished thespians, including Dan Aykroyd, Sir Anthony Hopkins, and Darryl Hannah, have been diagnosed with autism, which didn’t prevent them from building successful careers in acting. Together with acting, there are lots of poets.

Memorizing script and repeating the same (or similar) performance day after day is something that comes effortlessly to people on the autistic spectrum. If we add their attention to detail and the ability to laser focus on things that fascinate them, it’s clear that rehearsing and polishing their performance won’t be a problem for them. Also, music impacts creativity in the same way.

Animal-Related Careers 

Although working with animals doesn’t at first seem like it requires creativity at all, the thing is that people with autism feel calm and relaxed when they’re surrounded by animals. These careers can allow them to express themselves in an authentic way, and sleep better at night, as animals are known to provide friendship and companionship and reduce anxiety and loneliness

Some of these jobs include dog trainer, veterinarian, pet sitter, or livestock caretaker. Exceptional problem-solving skills and analytical thinking, both of which are strong points of people with autism, can be a great addition to expertise in these professions and can do wonders when it comes to making the right diagnosis or finding a way to communicate with an animal. 

If we bear in mind that people on the autistic spectrum find it easier to interact with animals than people, it’s obvious why these career paths could be exactly what they need.  

Encouraging kids and people with autism to find creative outlets and allowing them to find a way to express themselves authentically will result in their ability to build a fulfilled career and excel in it. Autism is no more than a label, and it doesn’t have to prevent people on the spectrum from establishing themselves as highly-regarded and successful professionals. 

What are the benefits of creativity?

  1. Problem-solving: Creativity allows individuals to come up with new and innovative solutions to problems, which can lead to improved efficiency, productivity, and effectiveness.

  2. Personal growth: Engaging in creative activities can help individuals develop their self-esteem, self-confidence, and self-awareness.

  3. Emotional well-being: Creativity can be a form of self-expression and can be a way for people to process their emotions and experiences, leading to improved mental health.

  4. Economic benefits: Creativity is often a driving force behind new ideas, products, and technologies, which can lead to economic growth and job creation.

  5. Cultural enrichment: Creativity contributes to the diversity and richness of culture by allowing for new forms of art, music, literature, and other forms of cultural expression.

  6. Social benefits: Creativity can foster collaboration, communication, and teamwork, which can be beneficial for both individuals and society as a whole.

  7. Educational benefits: encouraging creativity in education helps students to be more engaged, motivated, and excited about learning.

What are the 7 stages of creativity?

The 7 stages of creativity are a widely recognized model that describes the process of how new ideas and solutions are generated. These stages are:

  1. Preparation: This is the stage where an individual becomes aware of a problem or challenge and starts to gather information and resources.

  2. Incubation: This is the stage where the individual begins to unconsciously process the information and resources gathered in the preparation stage.

  3. Illumination: This is the “aha” moment where the individual has a breakthrough and comes up with a new idea or solution.

  4. Evaluation: In this stage, the individual evaluates the new idea or solution to determine if it is practical and feasible.

  5. Elaboration: This stage is where the individual develops and refines the new idea or solution.

  6. Implementation: This is the stage where the individual puts the new idea or solution into action.

  7. Verification: In this final stage, the individual evaluates the results of the implementation stage to determine if the new idea or solution was successful.

It is important to note that these stages are not always linear, and individuals may move back and forth between different stages in the creative process. Additionally, not all people go through all stages or may not be aware of all of them in their creative process.

Conclusion

Overall, the key to supporting individuals with autism in their career development is to help them tap into their unique strengths, provide them with the necessary skills and accommodations, and connect them with opportunities that align with their interests and passions.

Categories: General

Nicolas Desjardins

Hello everyone, I am the main writer for SIND Canada. I've been writing articles for more than 12 years and I like sharing my knowledge. I'm currently writing for many websites and newspapers. I always keep myself very informed to give you the best information. All my years as a computer scientist made me become an incredible researcher. You can contact me on our forum or by email at [email protected].

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