There are many different reasons why you might want to disclose to potential employers that you are autistic. It won’t necessarily disqualify you for the position and might even help you get the job if you are able to impress upon them that you are qualified, capable, and friendly.
You Need Specific Accommodations
Under the Americans with Disabilities Act you are not obligated to disclose that you are autistic. Employers can’t even ask. Even if the interviewer has figured it out on his or her own they can’t take any actions with the assumption that you are autistic.
If they do treat you as if you are autistic without you specifically disclosing that you have autism that leaves them open to a potential civil suit.
So, what does all that mean?
It means that you won’t get any specific accommodations if you don’t disclose that you are autistic. If you need “reasonable accommodations” then you should disclose before accepting the position. However, you are well within your rights to disclose at any point during or after the hiring process.
To Reassure Them That You Are Capable
If you are worried that your employers will figure out that you are autistic on their own then it might be in your best interest to disclose and reassure them that you are capable of doing the job.
Many companies have favorable experiences with people with autism and some have internal employment data that gives them a great understanding of the potential benefits of hiring someone with autism.
Walgreens and AMC have published favorable reports about their employees with autism. Specifically they state that the turnover rate is lower and that people with autism often excel at tasks that require detail and repetition.
Some Companies Need Autistic Workers Specifically
If you don’t specifically disclose that you are autistic you might just miss out on a training program that is tailored towards your specific skills.
TIAA-CREF, Walgreens, and AMC are just a few of the many companies that have training programs for autistic workers. They’ve found that people with autism are often a good fit for their companies.
Some companies are specifically looking for autistic workers because they need people who can memorize large amounts of data. Many database administrators without autism are often overloaded by all the data that they have to keep up with. It’s often stressful and tedious work for most people. For some people with autism it’s a cake walk.
Specialisterne recruits mostly people with autism for companies like Microsoft for that specific reason.