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Remote Work May Benefit People With Autism

An office. (Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash)
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Workplaces can be difficult to navigate for some people on the autism spectrum. When many offices became remote last year, they became, in some respects, more hospitable to employees who are not neurotypical.

People with disabilities and disability advocates have pushed for remote work options for years. But many found that many employers weren’t amenable until the COVID-19 pandemic forced the issue.

Crystal Lee, a clinical psychologist who specializes in adult autism and ADHD, said that for employees with those conditions, office environments can be overstimulating.

“For the majority of my clients, they really do enjoy the remote work and feel really comfortable in their space,” she said, “and not having all the sensory distractions that can come with many open plan work settings.”

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Working remotely may also improve the collaborative process, said Lee, because it allows for more time to think and process responses — an opportunity not necessarily granted in a room full of people.

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