If you do wish to tell your employer or manager about your autism, the options for when to tell them include:
- In your application:
This will give an employer plenty of time to find out about autism and consider how an autistic person could bring benefits to the workplace. You can explain how the job you have applied for will suit your skills, why you feel that autism will not affect your ability to do the job. It may allow them to think in advance about tailoring both the recruitment process and the job to suit your needs and make appropriate adjustments. If the employer talks about being inclusive in the advert and on their company website, or if you know other autistic employees who are getting on well in that company it might give you more confidence to disclose early in the process. It will also give the employer the opportunity to think about the need to apply for Access to Work funding to support you in your work.
BUT not everyone understands autism or is prepared to take the time to adjust what they normally do. Therefore unfortunately your disclosure may lead an employer to reject your application.
- In advance of an interview or assessment:
This will allow the opportunity to request adjustments and for the employer to put these in place. Adjustments may include:
- Visiting the venue in advance of the interview
- Requesting the interview questions prior to the interview and responding in writing
- Bringing someone to support you
- Exploring the possibility of an alternative to an interview, such as a work trial
BUT the employer may not be open minded about autism in the workplace and reject your application.
- During the interview:
This will provide the opportunity to explain the impact of autism in person, describe your strengths and talk about adjustments that may be needed as part of the role.
BUT the employer may feel disconcerted by the unexpected information and will not have had time to prepare themselves.
All the above opportunities to disclose are during the recruitment and selection process. It may be important to you that your employer is aware of your autism PRIOR to offering you a role, in which case you will need to select the option above that you are most comfortable with.