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  1. #1
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    Thumbs up Startup company succeeds at hiring autistic adults

    Startup company succeeds at hiring autistic adults


    HIGHLAND PARK, Ill. (AP) — The software testers at Aspiritech are a collection of characters. Katie Levin talks nonstop. Brian Tozzo hates driving. Jamie Specht is bothered by bright lights, vacuum cleaners and the feel of carpeting against her skin. Rider Hallenstein draws cartoons of himself as a DeLorean sports car. Rick Alexander finds it unnerving to sit near other people.

    This is the unusual workforce of a U.S. startup that specializes in finding software bugs by harnessing the talents of young adults with autism.

    Traits that make great software testers — intense focus, comfort with repetition, memory for detail — also happen to be characteristics of autism. People with Asperger's syndrome, a mild form of autism, have normal to high intelligence and often are highly skilled with computers.

    Aspiritech, a nonprofit in Highland Park, Ill., nurtures these skills while forgiving the quirks that can make adults with autism unemployable: social awkwardness, poor eye contact, being easily overwhelmed. The company's name plays on the words "Asperger's," ''spirit" and "technology."

    Clients, nine companies in Aspiritech's first two years, have been pleased

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/...77f857855a554a
    What lies behind you and what lies in front of you pales in comparison to what lies inside of you....
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  2. #2
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    Asperger's syndrome gets in way of work? Not at this startup


    Think Asperger's syndrome makes it impossible to hold down a job? Meet the software testers at a new U.S. startup: Katie Levin talks nonstop. Brian Tozzo hates driving. Jamie Specht is bothered by bright lights, vacuum cleaners and the feel of carpeting against her skin. Rider Hallenstein draws cartoons of himself as a DeLorean sports car. Rick Alexander finds it unnerving to sit near other people.

    PICTURES - Autism: 24 signs your child is at risk

    And they all have the mild form of autism known as Asperger's syndrome.

    Turns out, traits that make great software testers - intense focus, comfort with repetition, and memory for detail - also happen to be characteristics of autism.

    Aspiritech, a nonprofit in Highland Park, Ill., nurtures these skills while forgiving the quirks that can make adults with autism unemployable: social awkwardness, poor eye contact, being easily overwhelmed. The company's name is a play on the words "Asperger's," "spirit" and "technology."

    After their 32-year-old autistic son, Oran, was fired from a job bagging groceries, Moshe and Brenda Weitzberg founded Aspiritech. "He went from failing at bagging groceries to being one of the best software testers on our team," said Brenda Weitzberg.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504763_1...-10391704.html
    What lies behind you and what lies in front of you pales in comparison to what lies inside of you....
    Ralph Waldo Emerson ~

  3. #3
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    Aspiritech, Chicago Nonprofit, Employs Solely Adults With Autism

    Finding a job when the unemployment rate hits 9.1 percent is challenging enough, but one Chicago-based nonprofit understands how much more difficult the quest becomes for adults with autism, the Associated Press reports.

    Aspiritech hires autistic individuals to complete software-testing tasks, since they often possess unique characteristics--such as paying close attention to detail--that make them prime candidates for such work.

    "Adults on the autism spectrum, especially in the high functioning area, can do a phenomenal job at work," Marc Lazar, the company's autism specialist, told the AP. "They have an amazing amount of talent and ability and that's really been going unnoticed for a long time."

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/0..._n_974101.html
    What lies behind you and what lies in front of you pales in comparison to what lies inside of you....
    Ralph Waldo Emerson ~

  4. #4
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    This made me smile. I like this company! Talk about seeing outside the box. Taking those qualities that some may consider cons and using them as big pros. Nicely done.
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  5. #5
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    Here is the companys website:

    http://www.aspiritech.org/
    What lies behind you and what lies in front of you pales in comparison to what lies inside of you....
    Ralph Waldo Emerson ~

  6. #6
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    justbeachy is offline "It's good to see me, isn't it? No need to respond; that was rhetorical."
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    What a wonderful company!!

  7. #7
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    This made my day. Thank you for sharing!
    “The essence of the Liberal outlook lies not in what opinions are held, but in how they are held: instead of being held dogmatically, they are held tentatively, and with a consciousness that new evidence may at any moment lead to their abandonment.” ~Bertrand Russell

  8. #8
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    As a high-functioning autistic young man myself I was delighted to read this story. Thank you mysticrose.

  9. #9
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    Finally.....something nice about my home town!

    Beautiful Rox.
    Sept. 18, 1997 - May 26 2012
    Rest peacefully my love I'll forever miss you.

  10. #10
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    It's nice to know that if you have a child that falls within the autism spectrum things don't have to look so dismal in the future. This gives me hope!
    "I am confident that, in the end, common sense and justice will prevail. I'm an optimist, brought up on the belief that if you wait to the end of the story, you get to see the good people live happily ever after."




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