Close Menu

Autism Spectrum

Accommodation and Compliance: Autism Spectrum

On This Page

About Autism Spectrum

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that is characterized by persistent deficits in social communication and social interaction across multiple contexts, including deficits in social reciprocity, nonverbal communicative behaviors used for social interaction, and skills in developing, maintaining, and understanding relationships. For the diagnosis, the presence of restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, or activities is required.

JAN's Accommodation Solutions: Executive Functioning Deficits is a publication detailing accommodations for limitations related to executive functioning. These ideas may be helpful in determining accommodations. 

Autism Spectrum and the Americans with Disabilities Act

The ADA does not contain a definitive list of medical conditions that constitute disabilities. Instead, the ADA defines a person with a disability as someone who (1) has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more "major life activities," (2) has a record of such an impairment, or (3) is regarded as having such an impairment. For more information about how to determine whether a person has a disability under the ADA, see How to Determine Whether a Person Has a Disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA).

Accommodating Employees with Autism Spectrum

Autism Spectrum Disorders may involve some of the limitations discussed below but seldom all of them. Also, the degree of limitation will vary from person to person. Be aware that not all people on the autism spectrum will need accommodations to perform their jobs and many others may only need a few accommodations. The following is only a sample of the possibilities available. Numerous other accommodation solutions may exist.

Questions to Consider:

  1. What limitations is the employee experiencing?
  2. How do these limitations affect the employee and the employee’s job performance?
  3. What specific job tasks are problematic as a result of these limitations?
  4. What accommodations are available to reduce or eliminate these problems? Are all possible resources being used to determine possible accommodations?
  5. Once accommodations are in place, would it be useful to meet with the employee to evaluate the effectiveness of the accommodations and to determine whether additional accommodations are needed?
  6. Do supervisory personnel and employees need training?

Accommodation Ideas:

Situations and Solutions:

The following situations and solutions are real-life examples of accommodations that were made by JAN customers. Because accommodations are made on a case-by-case basis, these examples may not be effective for every workplace but give you an idea about the types of accommodations that are possible.

Events Regarding Autism Spectrum

Other Information Regarding Autism Spectrum


AANE - Association for Autism and Neurodiversity
American Occupational Therapy Association
American Physical Therapy Association
American Pregnancy Association
American Psychiatric Association
American Psychological Association
Autism Society
Autism Speaks Inc
Autistic Self Advocacy Network
Brain & Behavior Research Foundation
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Charlie Foundation for Ketogenic Therapies
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)
Hyperacusis Network
International OCD Foundation Inc.
Jewish Association for Developmental Disabilities (J-ADD)
Job Accommodation Network
March of Dimes Foundation
Mayo Clinic
Mental Health America
National Alliance on Mental Illness
National Center for Biotechnology Information
National Human Genome Research Institute
National Institute of Mental Health
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
Pediatric Brain Foundation
Remedy's Health Communites
The Arc
The Enviromental Illness Resource
Tourette Syndrome "Plus"
West Virginia University Center for Excellence in Disabilities
World Health Organization