Training industry and individuals to access and retain the added workplace value of neurodiversity.

Diversity enhances marketing, operations and innovation through a greater range of talent. But, the talents of neuro-diversity remain under-recognized and un-integrated in the workplace.

Optimizing Autism training programs show how to remove unintentional barriers in hiring practices, to create a culture of belonging, and to communicate effectively to the benefit of all employees and productivity.

The lived experience and insights of our consultants who provide training for HR personnel, managers, and co-workers, and offer guidance for autistic employees, will add to your workplace the understanding and value of those who think and create differently.

In addition to providing seminars, Optimizing Autism also serves as a point of contact for organizations and businesses looking to hire autists or expand their neurodiversity integration and offerings. By providing access to presenters and consultants from all autistic life experiences we can help organizations evaluate their workplaces and procedures for autism friendliness and neurodiverse compatibility

In partnership with the Utah Neurodiversity Workforce Program and the University of Utah Department of Psychiatry’s Autism Community Outreach Program, Optimizing Autism has begun the development of online training materials and recommendations that employers and managers can access at will to help their staff better understand neurodiversity in general and autism in particular. These materials will serve as a guideline and support for on-site trainings and presentations by autists and the UNWP.

Our Team

Elliot Francis

Founder & Managing Autist

Elliot is a Senior Software Design Engineer and graduate of the Multi-Disciplinary Design program at the University of Utah. Diagnosed with ASD when he was 18 Elliot has been working for over 15 years to develop and implement success strategies for using autism as a positive difference in the world.

William McMahon, Ph.D

Senior Strategist

Dr. McMahon is board certified in psychiatry with a subspecialty in child and adolescent psychiatry. He obtained his medical degree from University of Kansas Medical Center and has extensive experience as a clinician, research scientist, educator, and advocate for addressing the needs of children, adolescents, adults, and families challenged with autism and related disabilities.

Valerie Anne D’Astous

Director of the UNWP

Valerie D’Astous received her PhD from King’s College London, England exploring the support needs of autistic adults. She developed and directed the Utah Neurodiversity Workforce Program at the University of Utah. Valerie is an instrumental autism advocate raising awareness and understanding of the added value of a neurodiverse workforce.

Cagney Smullin

Administrative Manager

Cagney Smullin is the Administrative Manager for the College of Social Work, a recent graduate from the Executive Master of Public Administration program at the University of Utah, and an autist. Her focus is on improving employer knowledge and skills in regards to employing a neurodiverse workforce.

To contact Optimizing Autism about presentations and training opportunities or to review some of our training materials please click on the button below.

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