New study finds people with autism face difficulties landing jobs

Alberta, Canada – A new study reports that people with high-functioning autism have trouble landing jobs due to poor communication skills. The study was led by Wendy Mitchell a doctoral candidate in the faculty of rehabilitation medicine at the University of Alberta in Edmonton.

During the study Mitchell recorded 40 job interviews. Half of the people interviewing for work had autism. The other half did not. She then played the recorded interviews for 59 university students without telling them who was, or wasn’t on the spectrum and never showed their faces. All listeners rated communication skills during each interview by the second from a scale of 0-100, ending with a “job interview map” that showed the high and low points of each conversation. At the end listeners were asked if each interviewee should get a second interview. The response: 30% of interviewees with autism should get a second interview while 75% of interviewees without autism should get a second interview.

As Mitchell told news outlet U.S. News: Health Day:

“Our work focused on people with autism who test as well as those without autism when it comes to problem-solving and non-verbal IQ.Yet listeners, who had no experience whatsoever with autism, clearly picked up on communication impairment during job interviews.”

Mitchell and her team will present these findings this week in Salt Lake City at the International Meeting for Autism Research, though she has cautioned that until published in a respected journal, these findings are only preliminary.

Contributed by Audrey L. Hollingshead.

Source: Alan Mozes on the Health Day news website: Adults With Autism Fare Poorly in Job Interviews, Study Finds