Here’s are some shocking statistics regarding employment figures in the UK for neurodivergent people, so brace yourselves…

Autistic people have the lowest level of full time employment of any disabled group. This isn’t just some one off newspaper article – this is a statistic that you will find everywhere you care to look. It’s real.

ADHDers change jobs frequently and earn far less than neurotypicals for doing the same job – here’s an article on ADHD and employment from ADDitude

In 2021, research and campaigning charity, Autistica, shared the latest ONS (Office for National Statistics) data on employment in the UK. The startling finding was that under 22% of autistic adults were in any paid employment at all. This compares to non-disabled employment rates of 80% and a general employment of 47% for other disabled people

Here are some statistics from Manchester-based charity I-am-autism:

16% of autistic people have full-time paid work.

40% of those autistics with part-time work want to work more hours.

53% of autistic people say they would like help in finding employment. Only 10% are actually getting that help.

77% of unemployed autistic people want to work.

So, where does that leave us?

The UK Government announced, in April 2023, that they were undertaking The Buckland Review (not a relative of mine, as far as I know!) to assess how autistic people’s access to work can be improved, and to identify the barriers to it by talking to autistic people to find out what employers need to do to make it more accessible for us. The report is due to be completed this month (September 2023) and I will update this page with that news as and when it is released.

The National Autistic Society has information on finding employment on their website. You can sign up to a free e-module on help with your application – cover letters, CVs etc. They also explain which companies they are working with to identify jobs for autistic people. They claim to advertise jobs on their page too, but, of the five advertised on there currently, all are in London and three are for road sweepers/refuse collectors. Nothing wrong with that job at all, but it hardly suggests an appreciation for our diversity of skills! At least they’re trying, as part of their Autism Employment Gap campaign.

It’s worth knowing that you are under no obligation to share that you are autistic on your job application form, during interview, or when you have started work there. You have the right to reveal it at any point and ask for ‘reasonable adjustments‘ to be made by your employer. Here’s some more information from the charity Scope including tips on responding to interview questions politely, whilst maintaining your right to privacy.

Finally, if you can get past the fact that a) this is an American website (so ignore all of the expected salaries if you’re in the UK) and b) this website promotes ABA, which makes me immediately uncomfortable. The trouble is they do have a really good list of the top 30 jobs that make the most of autistic people’s skillset.