Thriving At Work

A Work Readiness Program

Supporting adults on the autism spectrum & their employers


Specialisterne Australia has teamed up with Doctor Michelle Garnett and Professor Tony Attwood to offer a work readiness program for adults on the autism spectrum. The program is designed to identify individual strengths and challenges in a work environment as well as successful strategies to address them.







For Employers

This program incorporates training modules for managers and mentors about autism within the workplace. The program content developed by Prof. Tony Attwood and Dr. Michelle Garnett help employers to understand and effectively support individuals on the autism spectrum.

After new employees complete Thriving at Work employers will have a comprehensive report on individual strengths and challenges with a focus on providing effective individual support. Decisions on what support is required will be made by individual employees with help and advice from Specialisterne staff.

For Employees on the autism spectrum

The Thriving at Work program run through Specialisterne is a five session program delivered within the workplace and is led by the Specialisterne team. Topics covered include, Stress Management & Sensory Tools, Organisational Tools, Thinking Tools, Social Communication Tools, and the Creation of a Support Plan in collaboration with Specialisterne staff.  The program helps autistic employees to transition to their new workplace by identifying individual strengths and challenges.

Identifying Strengths

This program has been designed to help individuals on the autism spectrum to spend time identifying their strengths and to discuss how these qualities can be an asset in their current or potential work environment. Individuals on the autism spectrum bring many awesome strengths to their work and these can include among many:

  • Attention to detail
  • Strong work commitment
  • Single minded focus on the work task
  • Extraordinary creativity
  • Creative problem-solving capacity
  • Loyalty

Identifying Challenges

Thriving at Work is also designed to support people on the autism spectrum to identify their individual challenges as well as strategies that may help to overcome them. Tony and Michelle also identify that there are some commonalities in the challenges faced by people on the autism spectrum at work. These can include:

  • High levels of anxiety and stress
  • Social communication problems ie. recognising the hierarchy at work, social chit chat with colleagues and being misunderstood by others
  • Challenges with managing a healthy sleep routine
  • A tendency to self blame

Developing a Support Plan

An important part of the Thriving at Work program is to share ideas and strategies that have helped the individual to succeed in the past as well as potential solutions that have a good chance of succeeding in the future. The small group nature of the program allows for discussion and sharing of strategies that have worked for other individuals on the autism spectrum as well as strategies identified by research and Michelle and Tony’s clinical experience.

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