Posted by: Jo Farmer - The Autistic Mouse | July 7, 2020

Accessing the Autistic Skill Set 3. Ripening and Growing Part 2

I have previously given some ideas how to further understand and respect autistic people and their unique skill and build on this further. Here are some further tips to help ripen and grow them.

4. Build mutual trust and respect

By getting to know us as we are, by working with us from where we actually are, rather than where you think we are, and understanding where we are we will trust you more, and communication will increase.

Consistency in your performance and instructions, to all staff will help. I have seen inconsistencies and decided to put off feeling trust in management as a result of inconsistency in instructions given, differing responses given to differing staff and directly conflicting instructions from different bosses. This made it impossible to grow and improve efficiently, and reduced trust within the team, where it was noticed.

5. Mentoring and other support

This should be with a trusted person, not automatically any line management, but could be from Human Resources (especially if experienced with disabilites), or other person, with clear, mutually agreed goals. If there is no trust or respect between the parties, sit down meetings, clear goals and reports the chances of success are quite low. The autistic person should have a say in the appropriate person, and feel able to trust them totally.

When done well, there should be mutual trust and respect relations will succeed and there will be freedom of communication, and increased trust and respect on both sides.

6. Building up confidence

The actions above should help with

a/ SMART, clear goals – clear, measurable goals

b/ Clear, positive feedback, stating why the action was good, when. Comments like ‘At times’ with little specific information as to when and little or no indication of remedial action, or chance to discuss generally reduce confidence.

c/ Constructive feedback where there were issues –

Good/Bad/Good, so it ends on a positive, all issues having been clearly discussed, with clear goals for improvement.

Another approach which encourages discussion of areas of challenge could be – ‘I noticed you did this at this point, and it lead to this happening. Maybe if you try it that way, it might work better. What do you think?

This opens dialogue more than ‘You did this, which was wrong, do it better/differently in future’. This ends on a negative note, and is more likely to reduce/shut down future communication where low levels of confidence already exist as a result of previous experience.

I have had my confidence destroyed as a result of some of the actions above, leading to lack of clarity of expectations as I felt unable to communicate with management. As a result I have told you can build on the confidence of the person with autism, to avoid this happening to others.

Please contact me if you have any questions or would like more information. Look out for my next post. It will be worth it.


  1. I’m finding your posts really useful Jo – so clear and informative. Great to see the idea of a mentor here (I would also call this a coach) for ongoing support and development, and also absolutely agree with the ‘I notice’ form of giving constructive feedback. Even better would be to be invited to share your own thoughts on what happened (what worked, what you could have done differently) and your ideas for next steps – I’m sure you would have some!

    Liked by 2 people

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