Meaningful activity

We use the terms ‘work’ and ’employment’ on this website to encompass any kind of activity which is meaningful to the person undertaking it and which contributes to their wellbeing.

We want every autistic person who wants to work to be able to work.

Work is one of the ways that people find structure and meaning in life. It contributes to a sense of wellbeing and provides a daily routine, a sense of purpose and opportunities for social connection and contribution. Working can allow people to earn income and to be financially independent. However, not all work is paid. Some work is unpaid or done on a voluntary basis.

There are other activities that bring a sense of meaning to an individual that do not include work. What is meaningful for one person may not be the same for another, especially if they are autistic. To be sure what is a meaningful activity for someone, you have to know them well and ask. Whether the activity is meaningful depends not only on what the activity is, but in how and where it is done, and who delivers it. It may be voluntary or paid, full or part time, undertaken independently or supported and it may vary over time. It can include physical, social and leisure activities that are tailored to the person’s needs and preferences.


National Institute for Health and Care Excellence:

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