ASD and finding solutions for workplace issues

For everyone in the workforce we experience days when things go wrong. It is how we manage it when things don’t go to plan or job requirements change that is important. As a person with ASD it is sometimes difficult to manage something when it goes wrong because your anxiety levels rise and you may find it difficult to find a solution or re-adjust to a new situation.


There are a number of ways to get help when things have the potential to go wrong or have gone wrong. Here are some:

  • Ask your boss when would it be appropriate to make a time to speak with them?
  • Think about what information you need to take to the meeting?
  • What is the best way for you to organise your thoughts?
  • What is your preferred way to discuss your issues?
  • What do you need to do next?

Here is a possible scenario:

You have only been in your current job for a month and have just received your work shifts for the next two weeks. You notice that the last shift is the day before your final exam for Maths and it is an evening shift. You really need this time to study but you also don’t want to let your boss down and you really enjoy having the money that your job gives you. What do you do?

  • Arrive early before your next work shift and go and see your boss to make a time to speak with him/her
  • Think about what information you need – your shifts for the next two weeks
  • If you organise your thoughts best visually – create a visual schedule of the shifts for the two weeks and your Maths exam
  • Can you find a solution? You could discuss with your co-workers a swap of shifts
  • Attend the appointment with your boss, show him your shifts on the visual schedule and identify the need to study the day before the exam and to get an early night’s sleep and any possible solutions you may have to manage the issue.

If you have a problem, remember to raise it with your boss in a proactive and positive way. Many problems have solutions that can be fixed immediately, some others may not be so easy and may take time and negotiation between people to gain a satisfactory outcome.

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