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Why you should hire an autistic person right now

Discussion in 'Education and Employment' started by Aeolienne, Jan 10, 2020.

  1. Aeolienne

    Aeolienne Well-Known Member

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    (Not written by me)

    Why you should hire an autistic person right now
    Autistic people have been overlooked too often because employers can't see past social skills. That is a big mistake

    By Simon Baron-Cohen
    Friday 3 January 2020

    In 2020, there will be a sea change in how autistic people are treated in professional settings. As companies are increasingly celebrate diversity in the workplace – diversity of gender, ethnicity and ability – this will extend to neurodiversity: different kinds of brains and minds.

    Autistic people’s disabilities are widely known, but one of their best-established strengths is their attention to detail. Anecdotally, there are autistic children who can complete 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzles with the picture-side face down, just through focusing on the shapes. This suggests a talent, sometimes called a savant skill, in both perception of and memory for detail.

    Group studies conducted by psychologists have confirmed these anecdotes. In the Embedded Figures Test, in which subjects have to find a target shape within a larger design, autistic people, both children and adults, perform faster and more accurately than non-autistic (“neurotypical”) people. In visual-search tests, where subjects have to find a target stimulus in a large display of close imposters (such as finding a letter T among a sea of letter Is), autistic people are also faster and more accurate than neurotypical people.

    This remarkable attention to detail is basically excellent pattern recognition and it appears to stem from systemising, an evolved function in the human brain that helps us understand how things work by analysing a system in terms of its underlying rules.

    Like any skill, systemising occurs on a bell curve in the population, with some people being faster at spotting patterns than others. Autistic people are often strong systemisers. Indeed their attention is often described as “obsessive” as they check and recheck the patterns of a system.

    This important skill has a number of benefits in the workplace. Autistic peoples’ excellent attention to detail means they may make fewer mistakes, and their narrow focus may mean that they are not satisfied until a task is completed. The high levels of honesty and loyalty that are closely associated with autism are obviously desirable qualities, too.

    Yet, despite these strengths, autistic people experience high levels of unemployment, primarily because many jobs require strong social and communication skills to get through the interview stage. In 2020 we will see companies encouraging autistic applicants to apply to work for them and recruitment processes being modified to meet their needs. There are several reasons why this will be a welcome development. Firstly, it extends the basic human right to work and employment. Secondly, employment is closely correlated with good mental health, and autistic people often suffer from poor mental health, most likely because of forms of social exclusion.

    Finally, teams in the workplace that are diverse are often more productive and more innovative.
    With the right support and reasonable adjustments, autistic people make wonderful employees. In 2020, their remarkable strengths in pattern recognition will be harnessed for their benefit and the benefit of all in society.

    Simon Baron-Cohen is professor of developmental psychopathology and director of the Autism Research Centre at Cambridge University

    Source: Wired
     
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  2. Nervous Rex

    Nervous Rex High-functioning autistic V.I.P Member

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    I hope this isn't taken the wrong way: I think this article uses invalid data to derive a valid conclusion.

    The valid conclusion: You should hire an autistic person. I 100% agree with this. You should hire anyone who can do the job you need done. Employers need to learn to look past traits that don't relate to getting the job done (e.g. social skills).

    The invalid data: Autistics perform better at certain visual tests, attention to detail, etc.
    These are stereotypes. You can cherry pick some autistic people and show that they have these traits. You can find many more autistics that don't have those traits. For example, I have great attention to details ... of certain systems of rules (math, programming, game rules, etc.). But I have very slow visual processing and no visual memory at all - I would fail miserably at those tasks mentioned above.

    Yet, I'm gainfully employed and valued by my employer. Why? Because my employer is looking for the skills that I have and understands that other people have the sales, marketing, scheduling, and management skills that I lack.

    So, I like the intent of this article. But I think the solution isn't to highlight what incredible skills that autistics have - because we all differ. The solution is to get employers to recognize that finding people who are good at a wide variety of activities is a pipe dream, and that they will do better to assemble a team of specialists.
     
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  3. Autistamatic

    Autistamatic He's just this guy, you know? V.I.P Member

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    SBC relates everything to systemising, "extreme male brain" or autistics lacking any sense of empathy.
    He's a very influential guy and I really wish he would catch up with everyone else in his field and drop these discredited theories, that way his influence would be a purely positive one.
    Apparently he also thinks it's possible that autistic women can ACTUALLY be OK as parents and put their children first. A lot of upset autistic mothers out there since this tweet yesterday:
    Capture.PNG
     
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  4. Schism

    Schism Authentic Alien

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    I can have incredible focus and attention to detail, being an obsessive & absolute perfectionist.

    I can also make many fundamental f*ck ups at the beginning of a learning phase & also repeatedly afterwards ☺
     
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  5. Wolf Prince

    Wolf Prince My future job title.

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    Ill do it right the second time. Need riom for mistakes.
     
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  6. Shamar

    Shamar Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I absolutely agree with the philosophy, conclusions, and need to hire autistics, and I hope employers start to pay attention to what we can do and accomplish.

    My gut feeling is that nothing is going to change.
     
  7. tducey

    tducey Well-Known Member

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    I agree with the article and will add that so much more needs to be done to hire more people like us. If we're qualified for the job then yes we should be hired for that job.
     
  8. Autistamatic

    Autistamatic He's just this guy, you know? V.I.P Member

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    Brings us back to this: