+ We are very Busy. Is Starting work with Mind Shift going to take a lot of time?
Mind Shift understands that peope are busy, and that starting something new needs to be done efficiently. While working with Mind Shift means that the typical on-boarding process will be a little different, the support and facilitation we provide ensures that on-boarding a Specialist is no more involved than on-boarding any other new employee.
+ What accommodations need to be made in the workplace to support the Specialists?
A structured environment, quiet workstation and clear instructions, preferably in writing, are ideal. ASD individuals are literal thinkers, so specific instructions such as “Be ready to start working at 8” are more meaningful than “Don’t be late.”
Some companies choose to embrace a clearer communication style as a best practice strategy. Under this ‘universal design’ model, companies ensure that communications with all employees are expressed as unambiguously as possible. A focus on clear communication encourages greater compliance with workplace policies and promotes a workforce that communicates effectively within the business as well as with customers.
+ How do the Specialists fit in with other employees?
Like all new employees, there is a “getting-to-know-you” time with Specialists. However, with the support of Mind Shift staff, this time will be shorter and easier than with other new employees.
+ How do performance expectations for employees on the spectrum compare to those for typical employees?
Performance expectations should be the same for employees on the spectrum as for other employees. Specialists‘ work, however, often exceeds performance expectations. Additionally, with support of professional staff from Mind Shift, Specialists will have more frequent performance evaluation and performance encouragement than the non-Mind Shift employee.
+ What are some common personal characteristics of employees with ASD?
The autism spectrum is surprisingly broad and individual personalities vary, as they do with typical populations. Generally, however, individuals on the spectrum tend to find social interaction and social communication challenging. They may miss social cues or interpret language very literally, so clear instructions are essential.
On the positive side, the tendency to be literal thinkers translates into exceptional attention to detail and remarkable accuracy and precision on tasks. This structured way of thinking also allows spectrum employees to excel at managing schedules and deadlines.
+ Who trains, manages and pays the Specialists?
Specialists are recruited, assessed for workability and work readiness, assessed for technical skills and trained at the start of the job task by Mind Shift. They are then hired by Mind Shift and paid through contract by the business partner.
While working, Specialists are trained and managed on tasks by a supervisor at the business in partnership with a personnel supervisor from Mind Shift.
+ What type of support can I expect from Mind Shift once the Specialists have begun working?
At first, Mind Shift will have someone on-site to ensure that questions and concerns are immediately addressed. This can last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. During this time deeper relationships develop between the front-line supervisor and Mind Shift staff.
As work continues, much less support is needed, and clients typically ask for more space to work without Mind Shift staff present. Mind Shift will continue to check in both in-person and remotely to make sure that Specialist performance meets business partner expectations.
+ What does it cost to onboard a Specialist?
It does not cost more to onboard a Specialist than it does to onboard a typical employee. Mind Shift will do the recruiting, assessment, and initial training.
Coordinating with the assessment and training staff of Mind Shift will take up to 10 hours to help ensure that the individuals recruited are well-matched to their assigned tasks.
+ Is there scientific evidence supporting the superior information processing capabilities of ASD individuals?
Yes. Numerous peer-reviewed scientific studies validate the superiority of local processing capabilities of ASD individuals. Excerpts from two publications follow:
“A review of over 50 empirical studies of coherence suggests robust findings of local bias in ASD. There is a strong and growing body of evidence that people with ASD are characterized by superior performance on tasks requiring detail-focused processing.”
Detail-Focused Cognitive Style in Autism Spectrum Disorders, JADD, February 1, 2006
“Autistics manifest a visuo-spatial processing advantage. We propose that this superior performance may originate from autistics' efficacy at extracting recurring complex regularities from noisy arrays of information.” Increased Sensitivity to Mirror Symmetry in Autism, PLoS One, April 29, 2011
+ Will partnering with Mind Shift help us meet compliance requirements?
Specialists can help you meet compliance requirements related to hiring people with disabilities. At the very minimum, working with Mind Shift is a stepping stone. Mind Shift provides excellent workers and supports both the employer and the employee. Once you experience the benefits of employing someone with Autism and are ready to hire a Specialist directly, we will help you with the transition.