Reaching potencial in working enviroment


Jasmina Troshanka: Companies to create a working environment where people on the autism spectrum will reach their potential.

The Blue Fireflies Association (North Macedonia) will work on research, methodology, curriculum, and educational platform for entrepreneurs by 1st April 2024. Together with international partners, they will work on research, methodology, curriculum, and educational platform for entrepreneurs, who might have the aim to employ people with autism disorders.

Radio MOF spoke to special educator and Professor Jasmina Troshanka, who says their Association sees the need for companies to create conditions for more effective inclusion in the labour market.

In our country, she says, we have no record of employees with autism at all. Additionally, high-functional people of the autism spectrum are undiagnosed. They are often unrecognized by employers and colleagues, who do not know their condition, such as Asperger’s syndrome, but instead, they think they have a “strange” colleague at work, with “specific behaviours” etc.

“Although these persons are often successful in their profession, and capable, they are unhappy in the workplace. Many times, our companies require great flexibility, and that is precisely the main problem of people with autism disorders. This means constantly changing the schedule of obligations, working conditions, additional working hours, ‘come tomorrow another time’, or ‘come early tomorrow’. The whole environment affects them to not being able to express the strengths, to express their potentials in real light,” Troshanka points out.

Labor Inclusion for People with Autism (LIPS) project aims to create protocols, workplace organization, and an environment that will not generate stress. A working environment that will be accepted and appropriate for all equally.

“This is not about creating new jobs, it is about the way the workplace works. So, an accurate plan of activities, tasks, and introducing order. Protocols are needed, as persons with violations of the spectrum of autism respect order and rules, which is valor. These rules can be useful for all employees of companies to raise the level of work and reduce the possibility of saturating and professional burn-out” Troshanka points out.

At the same time, she stresses, in addition to protocols that would exclude the unpredictability of the working day, they would also reduce the possibility of manipulation of persons on the spectrum. This comes from the fact that these individuals do not recognize if someone wants to use them or if someone has hindering intentions. They don’t recognize lies, irony, sarcasm, cynicism… They’re honest and valuable.

“Often people who are high-functioning and on the spectrum, from an early age in schools, suffer from bullying. They can’t interpret the bad intentions of classmates. This is also transferred to the labour market, in companies. For example, someone works at a computer technology company and creates animated films and is a world-level award winner. But this kind of person, that is on the autism spectrum when he goes to negotiate a job – cannot recognize the employer’s intention. He can be manipulated. Influence from other people can change their careers,” Troshanka explains.

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