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Trucking and Autism

What is autism?

Autism is a rather broad spectrum that every person experiences differently. There are several areas in which autistic people might struggle:

  • Pragmatic language: Involves eye contact, body language, following the flow of a conversation, and the capacity to participate in small talk
  • Social awareness: figuring out social norms and forming healthy relationships
  • Monotropic mindset: gives the autistic person the ability to hyperfocus and concentrate on special interests, but often comes with a difficulty switching gears between tasks
  • Information processing: dealing with new information, situations and environments
  • Sensory processing: managing stimuli, including hyper- and hyposensitivity
  • Repetitive behaviours: help regulate emotions. The most common is stimming, which is a simple movement, such as pacing, finger tapping or playing with a stress ball
  • Neuro-motor differences: the capacity to co-ordinate and control the body

To match the diagnostic criteria, a person must face recurrent problems in most or each of AC_Logo_Tagline_Colour_Engthese categories. Not all autistic people have the same needs. Some have such motor difficulties that they cannot speak or control their body. Others might trip over their own feet when they walk but have excellent co-ordination and dexterity when it comes to driving or handwriting. A young adult who managed to graduate from school easily might seem perfectly able to live independently but could struggle to keep jobs as they have a poor understanding of social norms and indirect communication. A sensitivity to light and sound could also prevent someone from doing their grocery shopping.

The issues autistic people face change over time. As they get older, they learn to compensate with practice and experience for their natural lack of understanding in certain social fields. Finding a comfortable work environment and being offered some accommodations could also make a significant difference. Dim lights and headphones could help someone in an office setting, for example.

Advantages of trucking for autistic people

Being a trucker could be a perfect fit for an autistic person who loves to drive. Indeed, most autistics like to plan ahead and know what to expect. They can also hyperfocus, which means they can keep concentrated for very long periods of time if they enjoy what they’re doing. It’s also a self-directed job with limited, straightforward social interactions.

Advantages of autistic people for a transport company

Autistics tend to be very direct and honest with a strong sense of justice. They often have a hard time reading between the lines, but they thrive with clear instructions and are great as independent, objective-driven workers. It’s also common for autistics to go beyond the call of duty when they have a keen interest in something.

To learn more, please visit us at autismcanada.org.

 

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