Working with people with autism: the autistic perspective (11 minutes)

In this film, we see how Scott, a man with autism and learning disabilities, and Marie, a professor with Asperger’s Syndrome, learn to make sense of society, with the support of colleagues and family members. Scott’s parents speak of the rituals he employs to cope with daily life and the behaviours that are triggered when the world does not make sense to him. Marie talks of the challenges she faces in learning the rules of professional communication and the techniques she uses to interact with others and manage her anxieties. She makes the point, however, that these anxieties come about because society does not yet understand people with autism, and disables them as a result.

With thanks to the National Autistic Society, Research Autism, and Joe Powell for their support in advising on this film.

Messages for practice

  1. Autism affects people in a huge variety of ways.
  2. Professionals and others need to have empathy and to understand the perspective of the person with autism.
  3. People with autism who are in employment often need some additional support.
  4. Professionals should use the expertise of the person with autism and their family when providing support.
  5. Good communication with people with autism is vital. This includes recognising behaviour triggers, using visual prompts and speaking in short, clear sentences.
  6. Society disables people with autism, so we all need to make adjustments to include them.

Who will find this useful?

People with autism and Asperger’s syndrome; carers of people with autism; front-line care workers; social workers.