Autismo e saúde ocupacional

Translated title of the contribution: Autism and occupational health

M. Santos, C. Lopes, T. Oliveira, A. Almeida

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review



Introduction/ objectives The prevalence of the various pathologies inserted in the autism framework has been increasing in several countries. Some of these individuals are already on active age (or short time will be needed to enter it), so the issues raised in relation to Occupational Health Vocational Training will be increasingly relevant. In addition, the characteristics in Autists are very diverse, reason why it becomes relevant that the professionals that work within the Teams of Occupational Health have some knowledge in this area. Methodology This is an Scoping Review, initiated through a survey conducted in April 2019 in the databases “CINALH plus with full text, Medline with full text, Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Cochrane Methodology Register, Nursing and Allied Health Collection: comprehensive, MedicLatina, Academic Search Ultimate, Science Direct, Web of Science, SCOPUS and RCAAP. Content Autism can be defined as a neurological disorder characterized by changes in speech and language, as well as significant differences in the way people interact with objects and events; is a neurodevelopmental change that hinders independent living, social relations and quality of life. It is characterized by the difficulty existing in social interaction/ verbal and non-verbal communication, as well as repetitive behaviors and specific/ restricted interests. However, the severity varies greatly. It becomes noticeable during childhood (usually up to three years) and remains throughout life. However, there are researchers who consider that it is possible that some behavioural and linguistic issues may fade over time. Individuals with Asperger’s usually do not present limitations in language or cognitive processes; there is even the designation of “High Function Autism Spectrum Disorder” (HFASD) for elements with an Intelligence Quotient at or above average. Discussion / Conclusions Most of the published studies focus on small and/ or skewed samples, that is, in most cases including only the individuals with the least limitations, so the findings may not be generalized to all. In any case there are jobs that can be performed by these individuals (even those with some specific limitations), and there are also work tasks in which some can perform excellent, totally above the neurotypical employees, due to their particular characteristics and interests. It would be pertinent to have access to up-to-date national statistics on the percentage of Autistic workers, which jobs/ tasks they have, how they perform and what the advantages and disadvantages that peers and employers feel. If the Occupational Health Teams are minimally familiar with the subject, they can more easily address this issue with some employers and create more jobs for these individuals with all the inherent human, social and economic benefits (for themselves, family members and society in general).
Translated title of the contributionAutism and occupational health
Original languagePortuguese
Number of pages14
JournalRevista Portuguesa de Saúde Ocupacional
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jul 2019


  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Autism
  • Occupational health
  • Occupational medicine


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