PLEDGE NOW
Jobs For The Autistic

Rebroadcast: originally broadcast December 3, 2012.

They’re growing up.  They need work.  A life.  Maybe work the rest of us might fail at.

Specialisterne Consultants at work. (Specialisterne)

Specialisterne Consultants at work. (Specialisterne)

More and more Americans are being diagnosed with autism. One in 88 American children is the latest figure.  It’s been called a tsunami.

They will grow up and they will have lives to lead. But what kind of lives? And what about work?

A new push is on to recognize and apply the special talents, special character, of people with autism in the workplace. To structure jobs that autistic minds and temperaments may be especially good at. To find the workplace upside in autism.

This hour, On Point: the autism advantage, at work.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Gareth Cook, a columnist for the Boston Globe, his article in the Sunday New York Times is The Autism Advantage.

Thorkil Sonne, CEO and Founder of Specialisterne, which employs 35 people with autism as consultants to 19 companies in Denmark.

Randy Lewis, senior vice president of distribution and logistics, Walgreens.

Leslie Long, director of Adult Services for Autism Speaks.

From Tom’s Reading List

New York Times “When Thorkil Sonne and his wife, Annette, learned that their 3-year-old son, Lars, had autism, they did what any parent who has faith in reason and research would do: They started reading. At first they were relieved that so much was written on the topic. “Then came sadness,” Annette says. Lars would have difficulty navigating the social world, they learned, and might never be completely independent. The bleak accounts of autistic adults who had to rely on their parents made them fear the future.”

NBC News “Nationwide, only 35 percent of working-age Americans with disabilities had full- or part-time jobs in 2004, according to a survey by the National Organization on Disability. People without disabilities had an employment rate of 78 percent; in Anderson County, it is closer to 90 percent, according to county economic development figures.”

Washington Post “‘Next year, I turn 18 and I am in your [district],’ Fleischmann said to the senior senator during an October gathering hosted by the Nantucket Project, ‘How do I, someone with autism, pick the candidate that is right for me when a lot of the candidates don’t keep their word?'”

Nantucket Project Panel discussion on autism, moderated by Tom.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Jul 7, 2015
Supporters of the No vote celebrate after the results of the referendum in the northern Greek port city of Thessaloniki, Sunday, July 5, 2015. Greeks overwhelmingly rejected creditors’ demands for more austerity in return for rescue loans in a critical referendum Sunday, backing Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who insisted the vote would give him a stronger hand to reach a better deal.  (AP)

Greeks spoke and said no to the European ultimatum. Folly or bravery, these are uncharted waters for Europe and Greece.

Jul 7, 2015
Freddy Osborne, left, and teammate Nikolai Darken, second left, both from Fairfield, Conn., play a word against teammates Yanni Raymond, right, and Knox Daniel, second right, both from Charlottesville, Va., during the first round at the 2015 North American School SCRABBLE Championship at Hasbro headquarters in Pawtucket, R.I., Saturday, May 16, 2015.  (AP)

From the living room to world championships, Scrabble is fun—and fiercely competitive. We’ll dig in.

RECENT
SHOWS
Jul 6, 2015
A still from the upcoming documentary film, "Tough Love." (Courtesy PBS / The Filmmakers)

An intimate look at the foster care system from the perspective of two families struggling to reunite with their children.

 
Jul 6, 2015
President Barack Obama speaks during services honoring the life of Rev. Clementa Pinckney, Friday, June 26, 2015, in Charleston, S.C., at the College of Charleston TD Arena. Pinckney was one of the nine people killed in the shooting at Emanuel AME Church last week in Charleston.  (AP)

How should we talk about faith and God in these uncertain times? We put that tough question—and more—to a roundtable of religious thinkers.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: July 3, 2015
Friday, Jul 3, 2015

We made a lot of last-minute programming changes these past few weeks, and you stuck around with us through it all. Thanks!

More »
2 Comments
 
Election 2016: Who Exactly Is Running For President?
Tuesday, Jun 30, 2015

Who is running for President, anyway? We attempt to help you figure it out.

More »
9 Comments
 
Our Week In The Web: June 19, 2015
Friday, Jun 19, 2015

Why our broadcast changed in different markets this week, and a closer look at a puppet theatre vandalism in rural Norway. (Really).

More »
Comment