Chelsia Potts, a successful college administrator, found out she had autism when she took her daughter for testing. At first, she was confused and kept it to herself because she didn’t fit the stereotype of what she thought someone with autism looked like. Over the years, she had been masking her disability by trying to appear as a model employee, even though it was challenging for her to navigate group settings and social interactions.

After struggling with her diagnosis for six months, Ms. Potts decided to seek workplace accommodations. She had to have a difficult conversation with a university official about her autism, which was a significant moment for her.

As the number of autism diagnoses increases, big companies like Microsoft are making efforts to support autistic employees better. They want to create an environment where autistic workers can thrive without having to mask their true selves. This initiative is crucial in ensuring that people like Ms. Potts can feel comfortable and supported in the workplace.

Providing accommodations and understanding the unique needs of employees with autism is essential for creating an inclusive work environment. Companies are starting to recognize the value that neurodiverse individuals bring to the table and are taking steps to make their workplaces more welcoming for everyone.

By sharing stories like Ms. Potts’, we can raise awareness about the challenges faced by individuals with autism in the workplace and the importance of creating a more inclusive and supportive environment for all employees. It’s a step in the right direction towards building a more diverse and accepting workforce where everyone has the opportunity to succeed.