Autistic Workers Can Thrive In High-Tech Jobs

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For those with Autism, the social isolation of staring at a computer screen all day may be a welcoming environment. NPR has an uplifting story about how engineers with the socially challenging Aspergers syndrome are thriving in technology jobs. “We’ve got this one guy, for example; his productivity is three times as productive as the person doing his job who did not have cognitive disabilities before him. And his error rate is 2 percent. He is 98 percent accurate. He’s a phenomenal worker,” explained Alliance Data Vice President, Jim Pierce, who has hired a dozen workers with intellectual disabilities.

Aspergers syndrome is considered a “high-functioning” disorder on the Autism spectrum; while those with Aspergers may have trouble recognizing emotions and acting in accord with social convention, the are more often able to hyper-focus on technical tasks. “They may really flourish at engineering type task or computer design, where their interaction with people is somewhat limited,” explains Dr. Patricia Evans says, a neurologist at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas.

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[Image Credit: nonPerell]