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We can’t stop repeating that people with autism are truly special people. They are gifted and talented, each in their own way. To discover a talent in an autistic child may take longer, but their parents’ love and care makes miracles. The hero … Continue reading

New Companies Hiring Autistic People for Their Unique Skills

A new company called Meticulon is looking to specifically hire people with autism to be specialized information technology consultants.

The chief technical coach of the company, Michael D’Souza, explains that there are many benefits of hiring autistic people.

“They can focus strongly on a particular task and identify problems the rest of us might miss,” he said. “A neurotypical person’s brain can gloss over errors in repetitive tasks. An autistic person’s brain won’t.”

The company has financial support from Autism Calgary and Sinneave Family foundation, but strives to start generating a profit.

The company’s website explains its confidence in having the best services because its employees, who are all autistic, have “exceptional qualities”. Meticulon claims to therefore provide “the highest quality consultants in our industry”.

Similar companies have been previously founded in Europe and have done well, such as the Danish firm Specialisterne and the Belgian company Passewerk.

Finding a job with autism can be extremely difficult. Standard companies find it challenging to hire those with autism because of the unique resources and types of support they need. It’s difficult and costly for companies to build a support network for a person with autism.

But companies like Meticulon are seeking to change that situation, to make sure that autistic people are hired and also feel comfortable at their job. They provide the guidance and support in the work place that prevents autistic workers from becoming overwhelmed by difficult social situations they occasionally face in a job.

The application process to get employed by Meticulon is not easy, however. There’s an assessment process to figure out the applicant’s strengths and weaknesses and to measure their abilities, and then applicants go through a multi-week training program.

The company’s goal is to have employees who are extremely specialized, loyal and attentive workers. This is how they will compete in the consulting market. The company really believes that its employees will be the best.

By: Rachel Schranck

Housing Being Built Specifically for Autistic Young Adults

Studies have found that 79% of young adults with autism continue to live at home with their parents, and a majority of them have never looked for a job. But the truth is that they can’t stay at home forever, and therefore researchers, parents and architects have recently started searching for solutions.

Sweetwater Spectrum is one of these solutions. 16 adults who all range on the autism spectrum reside here, in Sonoma, California. This $10.4 million project opened in January and it is hoped that it will set an example, so other residences such as this can be built across the country.

This dream seems to be coming true, as new and prospective housing projects in Cape Cod, the Catskills, Phoenix and Minnesota are currently being created. One in Ramsey, N.J. called Airmount Woods, a new eight-unit residence developed using the latest concepts in building for autism, will be ready for tenants this coming November.

Sweetwater desires to inspire a “life with purpose”. The idea is that this community should accommodate people from various financial backgrounds. A big advantage is that residents can stay in this place that has so many resources for them—a library, an organic farm, a pool—while their personal attendants come to them.

Sweetwater is a place specifically designed for supportive living, with high-impact wall finishes, replaceable carpet tiles, floor drains in every bathroom, and induction cooktops in the kitchen.

The house is set up with autistic residents in mind—from the multiple seating options that depend on the individual resident’s comfort level of being involved with conversation and activities, to bedrooms that are spaced far apart in order to limit noise annoyance.

It is still a work and progress.

Sweetwater has many goals they hope to meet, and ideas they will experiment with for the benefit of the whole autism community. The question they are trying to answer is: how can daily experience for this population as a whole be improved?

Sweetwater is an open campus with parents coming and going, and many residents and their families feel as though it is like “an extended family”. They are happy that their kids can find a welcoming space for them and interact with people who understand them.

David Schoenbach who has a 23 year old daughter residing at Sweetwater explains how his daughter has found much more comfort living there, and interacting with her housemates. “They’re definitely her tribe,” he said. “And she recognizes it and is delighted to be around other people with autism.”


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