How to support autistic people through change

Posted by: alisrowe, June 22, 2018

I’ve learned a lot through running my businesses. An idea I’ve come across is The Kubler-Ross Change Curve* (this is actually the same idea as the 5 stages of grief, which I’ve talked about before but in a different way).

The Change Curve is used to understand how people might respond to and move through a period of a change. It’s helpful when businesses are undergoing organisational change but it’s helpful for people personally too. I was wondering how this curve might differ for autistic people and whether there are particular things we can do to better support autistic people when change happens.

This curve is used when thinking about big difficult changes, such as: getting a new job, leaving a job, moving house, moving to a new school, relationship breakup, suffering from serious illness, organisational changes inside the workplace that affect team members, etc. Even receiving your ASD diagnosis could fit this curve (‘the loss of being neurotypical’).

Here is a simple version of The Change Curve that shows how most neurotypical people (green) will generally respond to change. This is the curve widely documentated.

*The Change Curve is based on a model originally developed in the 1960s by psychiatrist Elisabeth Kubler-Ross to explain the grieving process

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