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
May 5, 2016
Detroit teachers march outside the district headquarters, Monday, May 2, 2016, in Detroit. Detroit Public Schools transition manager Steven Rhodes says 45,628 of approximately 46,000 students were forced to miss classes Monday as 1,562 teachers called in sick. The mass sick-out has forced the district to close 94 of its 97 schools. Detroit's schools are expected to be out of cash starting July 1. The state earlier gave the district $48.7 million in emergency funding to keep it open through June 30 as the Legislature considers a $720 million restructuring plan. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Fixing Michigan- from Flint’s water crisis to failing schools in Detroit. Are state takeovers the answers or the problem?

May 5, 2016
Rob Reiner with his son, Nick. [Courtesy: Paladin]

Filmmaker, actor Rob Reiner and his son, Nick, get personal in their new film “Being Charlie,” which takes on drug addiction.

RECENT
SHOWS
May 4, 2016
Leslie Stahl with her grandchild Jordan. (Courtesy: Leslie Stahl)

Trailblazing journalist Lesley Stahl on her new book Becoming Grandma, and the joys, the science, the struggles, the evolution of being a grandparent today.

 
May 4, 2016
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is joined by his wife Melania, right, and daughter Ivanka, left, as he arrives for a primary night news conference, Tuesday, May 3, 2016, in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Results from the 2016 Indiana primary. Does it cement two pathways to the nominations?

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Devoured: We Are What (And How) We Eat
Tuesday, May 3, 2016

From chicken wings to kale smoothies, we look at what we eat, and how challenging it is to eat well in America.

More »
Comment
 
‘Embedded’: How Violent Gangs Are Terrorizing El Salvador
Thursday, Apr 14, 2016

NPR’s Kelly McEvers on her reporting in El Salvador for the podcast Embedded, and how gang killings brought San Salvador’s bus service to a halt.

More »
Comment
 
That Cheap Dress On Facebook? It Isn't Worth It
Monday, Apr 11, 2016

Know those shockingly cheap clothes you see advertised on Facebook? There’s a catch.

More »
Comment