As someone who struggles with executive dysfunction, things like banter, sarcasm and small talk often throw me. I have a blank facial expression and can seem reserved, even though it is just me unmasked. I often space out and go into my own world to avoid the pressures of working life, though this is hard to explain to my colleagues.
Attention to tasks, switching between tasks and remembering minute details can all be affected when you have executive dysfunction, as well as the ability to speak eloquently and pick up on your colleague’s meanings/body language. Most workplaces, however, are designed so that you have to be well-spoken, have positive expressions, have good attention to detail and be able to pick up any task. No wonder so many autistic workers get burnout!
To accommodate an autistic employee in the workplace, employers can’t expect them to act neurotypical, as these expectations will lead to masking, and eventually burnout. Employers must see the disability for what it is, not an excuse but something that needs to be accommodated, and the correct accommodations will help your employee stay on task and produce good work.