As a result of this, your risk of health issues related to under-employment - loneliness, anxiety, depression and self-harm – is heightened.
"[Underemployment of the autistic community is] simply not right, not just because of the social injustice but because of the wasted talent.”
You may have never been in work; you may have, but are now out of the system due to a poor employment experience.
Imagine instead you are one of the lucky ones – one of the 16 per cent who are fully employed. Sure, you are perfectly capable (maybe more than that – the same UK study found 60 per cent of you have cognitive abilities as good or better than non-autistic people) at work.
But you may find it difficult to interact socially, struggle relating to people, face bullying or lack self confidence.
Now step back: If you are a man, you represent one in 150 Australian men. If you are a woman, one in 750. Research increasingly shows many women on the spectrum are ‘hiding in plain sight’ and diagnosis rates, while on the increase, are underrepresented.
Women typically present differently to men and this – alongside assumptions autism is a male disorder – disadvantage women with regards to receiving the support they need. Experts agree more needs to be done.
Autistic people make up the second-largest disability community – but are three times more likely to be unemployed than anyone else. It’s simply not right, not just because of the social injustice but because of the wasted talent which hurts the economy, businesses and broader society.