You’re a working professional with autism. You enjoy your career but sometimes work and office relationships can be challenging for you. This causes miscommunications that may lead to anxiety, depression, poor self-confidence, and burnout.
Your struggles are valid. Navigating complex social dynamics and stimulation in your workplace is overwhelming and exhausting. It may feel like no one understands what you’re dealing with. Especially your neurotypical coworkers or your friends and family. These feelings may lead to a sense of loneliness. To combat those feelings, it important that you build a robust support network to support you when you’re feeling frustrated.
Ways You Can Build a Support System as a Working Professional with Autism
There are many ways you can build your support network and surround yourself with people who will care for your wellbeing and mental health. However, I feel that one of the most important things you can do is to join or build a community of neurodiverse peers. Your peers will understand your struggles from a perspective that only someone with autism could. Furthermore, they are able to offer you some unique insight into your problems. And, their advice or personal antidotes can help you navigate challenging situations.
Today we will discuss ways to work through your loneliness and build your community.
Create a Neurodiverse Working Professional Group in Your Workplace
This is a relatively new trend that I am seeing occurring in many companies in the Silicon Valley and throughout the United States. Especially in larger companies. These are frequently called inclusion groups or diversity pods. This is super exciting as it promotes autism acceptance in the workplace and puts you in contact with other neurodiverse colleagues.
I realize starting a group in your workplace isn’t an option for everyone. It can be intimidating to do this in certain corporate cultures. Or, perhaps you work for yourself or a small community and this is not applicable to you. If you’re looking for support, don’t fear there are other ways to build a community outside of your workplace.
Find a Social Skills Group in Your Area or Online
As an autism therapist, I have a passion for running social skills groups. I have seen how participating in a group can positively impact the lives of a neurodiverse individual. Not only do they have a safe place to learn and practice social skills, but they also are given a place to form friendships and bonds that carry on even after they stop participating in the group.
Consider Joining a (Safe) Online Community
When the world went online last year, the rise in online communities dedicated to supporting neurotypical individuals grew. I think this is great because it fills a void or a gap in care for many people who don’t have access to services in their area.
However, it’s very important that you do your due diligence and find a group that is actually dedicated to supporting autistic individuals with evidence-based and ethical practices. As wonderful as the internet is, it can also be full of scams. So please, before you join any group (especially if there’s a financial commitment involved) research who they are, their values, their mission statement, and read all legal documents.
Neurodiversity School Offers a Safe Place for Neurodiverse Individuals to Connect
An online community is a great and safe place for neurodiverse individuals to connect and discuss their concerns. That's why I chose to include discussion boards as an offering in some of my Neurodiversity School packages. Neurodiversity School offers a variety of e-courses for individuals touched by neurodiversity. In fact, there’s one for working professionals. These courses are designed by me and thoughtfully curated to contain information that is relevant and helpful to individuals living on the autism spectrum. You have the option to purchase a course that gives you access to a discussion board that allows you to discuss what you’re learning and any other things you’d like the other participants’ input on.
The e-course and subsequent discussion board can be a very useful tool in navigating workplace challenges as a working professional with autism. Especially if you work in an industry or environment that doesn’t allow you to connect with your neurodiverse co-workers. Furthermore, you may find that you’re more comfortable opening up when you don’t have to worry about negative repercussions in your work environment.
Want to learn about our e-courses, webinars, and online membership communities?
Our sister company, Neurodiversity School, is launching soon!
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Begin Autism Therapy in California or Enroll in an e-Course with Neurodiversity School
If you live in the state of California and are interested in online autism therapy or a social skills group, then please contact us. Our care coordinator would be happy to speak with you about our services and answer any questions you may have about counseling. To begin online autism therapy, follow these steps:
- Contact us for a free phone consult.
- Like us on Facebook. We update helpful info regarding our practice
- Sign up for our newsletter.
If you don’t live in California or are not interested in autism therapy, then an e-course offered by our sister company Neurodivesity School may be a great option for you. To get started follow these steps:
- Sign up for our newsletter
- Check your inbox for more information
- When the website launches, take the quiz and find out what course is right for you or your loved one!
Autism Therapy Services Offered at Open Doors Therapy:
Our autism therapy clinic located in the South Bay Area serves teens and adults on the autism spectrum. We help high functioning individuals who identify as having Aspergers, high functioning autism, undiagnosed ASD traits, and their families.
Right now, we are providing all our autism counseling services online. Our autism therapists offer a variety of counseling services including individual counseling for autistic teens and adults, parent counseling, and group therapy. Also, we run several different social skills groups for neurodiverse working professionals, college students with autistic traits, gifted youth & caregivers, neurodiverse adults, women who identify as neurodiverse, a summer social skills college transition training program for youth transitioning to college, teens & caregivers, and a mothers group. Contact our autism therapy office for more information on our services or to schedule a consultation.
About the Author
Dr. Tasha Oswald is a trained developmental and clinical psychologist. She is also is the founder and director of Open Doors Therapy, a private practice specializing in autism therapy services in the South Bay Area, near San Francisco, CA. Dr. Oswald specializes in helping neurodiverse teens and adults and facilitating social skills groups.