Autistic Workers Find Niche in IT

US company takes cue from Danish firm and trains software testers
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 11, 2010 1:02 PM CST
Visitors test a video game.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Inspired by a Danish company and the lack of employment opportunities for her son with Asperger’s, an Illinois woman has brought the trend of IT training for those with autism spectrum disorders to American shores. Aspiritech has trained 8 people so far to test computer programs, a skill many say is perfectly suited to high-functioning autistic people, and now has its first contract. "They’re very focused on detail,” the founder tells NPR.

Aspiritech founder Brenda Weitzberg says a salary is just one benefit of a job. “It is structure to the day. It is sense of self-worth, value.” Her students appear to relish the work. “Hooray!” exclaimed one when an application passed his test. Another was more philosophical. “I'm seeing how my computer skills can be potentially useful to society.”

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