What if Your Next Client is Autistic?

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This article should not be used for medical information. If you or anyone you know would like information about autism or any other condition, please consult a medical professional.

Whenever I talk to financial advisors about autism, the response I get is something like, “Sara, my clients are high net worth individuals. They are not autistic.”

Well, think again.

Autism, like any developmental condition, is a broad category and each individual experiences it differently. But instead of talking over autistic people – as is often the case – my two autistic friends Bernard and Burnett Grant have graciously shared with me how they experience the world and what this means for financial advisors who will be serving them.

Burnett is a lab technician who makes commercial flavors. Bernard is a writer and editor, and he just finished his PhD in English.

Here’s a video of my interview.

What is autism (according to autistic people)?

Let’s start with the basic definition of autism. It is not what neurotypical people define it to be (again, talking over), but what it really is – from the perspective of people who are autistic.

Look on any medical website and you’ll usually see definitions of autism like this one, from the CDC:

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability…People with ASD often have problems with social, emotional, and communication skills. They might repeat certain behaviors and might not want change in their daily activities.