As an autistic adult I have both strengths which come from my neurodivergence and things I find challenging. All autistic people are different so here's some info and insight into what it's like for me and how you can help me if you work with me.
I am very, very organised and am almost never late.
I'm also very consistent in how I do things (hello, naming conventions!).
I will finish most projects ahead of time. I can be prone to 'hyperfocus' which can be useful.
I have been described as "ridiculously creative" - I'm good at coming up with ideas and I can make stuff look pretty.
I work very hard but find it equally hard to relax... That should go on challenges too.
I am really motivated and can work independently very efficiently, often when contributing to a much larger project or event.
I feel strong personal responsibility for my work even if my contribution is for someone else’s event or project which I’m not that invested in.
I tend not to cut corners and I try to do things to a very high standard every time.
I sometimes find it difficult to say no.
When I have a large amount of work to do I sometimes hold my breath and don't breath properly which can give me chest pains.
I'm not confident with directions and finding my way. This applies inside buildings as well as outside of them and it stresses me out. I've got a driving licence but haven't driven for a very long time because of this.
I sometimes experience face blindness which can be awkward when it's with people I've met before.
If there aren't enough hours in the (working) day I'll often work in my own time until something is finished. This could be seen as a strength but if you give me loads to do for a prolonged period I'll probably burn myself out and not tell you that I've got too much on my plate. Sometimes I spend my weekends not doing much apart from recovering from work.
I'm not great at expressing how I'm feeling, particularly if I'm overwhelmed. Similarly, I find it difficult to read and respond to verbal and non verbal cues from other people.
I struggle with things that don't make logical sense or aren't fair, just or reasonable.
I'm no good at lying and I can overshare a bit.
Sometimes my face doesn't 'update' to show my feelings. I can look really serious when I'm actually happy and masking can lead me to laugh when I'm actually feeling uncomfortable. If I say something is 'fine' it's often anything but.
Work: Helpful Stuff
If you've got loads of stuff you want me to do, either stagger it or give me a clear set of deadlines so I can plan and manage everything I've got to do rather than plate spinning. I'm a big fan of a Kanban and visual organising systems to work collaboratively.
Let me work somewhere quiet. I get really disturbed in noisy offices and have discovered how much more productive I am working from home. If there's people chatting around me I'll lose concentration and find it very difficult not to join in and waste my going day down chatter rabbit holes.
Tell me when I've done a good job. Everyone likes this whether they are neurodivergent or neurotypical and I prefer it when I'm acknowledged for my own contribution by name rather than generically being referred to as 'team'.
Give me clear feedback; if I need to alter how I'm doing something then explain why you need the change so I can understand the specifics of why it's required.
Let me problem solve, work out how to do things myself and have the autonomy to get on with my own work. I'm really good at getting stuff done unsupervised using my own initiative.
If I need to come into the office then give me a regular desk that I can work at so I know there will be a place for me. Hot desking causes huge anxiety for me and I really prefer using my own things.
Work: Unhelpful Stuff
If possible, don't interrupt when I'm in the middle of something to ask me a random thing about a different project which I'll then have to stop and think about. With hyperfocus that can be really jarring. If it's urgent then that's understandable but if not, I'd rather you messaged me via email or Slack rather than shout across the desk at me. I don't ignore messages so I will get back to you.
Don't give me everything you want me to work on at once or overload me. This will make me feel anxious and I will try to get all of it done (to a high standard) as promptly as possible to stop myself feeling overwhelmed. This can be a dream for bosses but it leaves me exhausted.
If other team members are falling behind or can't get their work done for some reason don't automatically reassign their backlog to me. I'll be happy to help where I can but over the years, I've sometimes ended up doing much more than my fair share because I plough through work and find it hard to say no when asked to do more.
I've got the stamina (and hyperfocus) to do large amounts of repetitive work really consistently but that doesn't mean I don't find it boring and would prefer to use my brain for complex thinky stuff - so make sure I get a balance of both.
Finally, feel free to ask me what it's like to be autistic or how I'm feeling about things. For years I assumed everyone felt pretty much the same way about environmental and sensory stuff as I do - and I imagine that works both ways. Some of my autistic traits make no sense to others (or me!) but by sharing experiences we can have a better awareness of how we all tick.