I was doing some light reading last night on the Autism spectrum by way of a few articles about the changes
to the Autism entries in the DSM V, and it occurred to me that:
- Autistic individuals don’t need to be cured
- People are still looking at autism incorrectly, because
- Autistic people are still useful, at least in the working world
Look, there are still jobs that humans need to be doing because of the limitations of tech, yes? Employers, just think of people with autism as “specialists”.
There are at least a couple of potentially useful things happening with auties. First, this is likely an untapped work force that is genetically wired to obsess over whatever it is their neurons are hyper-firing about. That means that not only are they very less likely to walk out on the job, if it pushes their autistic button the right way, but, given the ridiculous stigma still being put on these people, they’ll probably happily work for less just to have a place to “belong” AND an occupation that tickles their amped up neurons.
Secondly, no non-austistic person could possibly compete with the level of attention and detail to a given task that an autie has a genetic predisposition to excel in. Employers, TAP INTO THAT while the tech is still too undeveloped to replace your human workforce with machines.
Accounting? Mathematics? Legal Documentation and Verification, as examples? Who the hell is more suited for that kind of anal retentive attention to detail than someone whose autism manifests itself as a perfect match for the job??? Hire these people!
The trick, of course, is that you have to build environments that suit your autie’s disposition and removes his/her mind from anything but its obsesssion. Some may not want to be around people, some may need quiet spaces to work their magic.
Seriously, you’ll never see more devotion, to the point that any distractions like social lives will be utterly brushed aside, to getting the job done than devotion from someone whose brain is genetically wired to do that thinking and do it outstandingly.
I found an interesting statistic that suggested that 1 in 88 people (or was it kids) is autistic, which is a huge rise from the 70’s or 80’s when it was 1 in 150.
Think about that for a second (and put your tin foil hat on). A labor force comprised of humans who care little for anything/anyone outside their internal psychological realm of comfort. They may not argue or fight about their working conditions as long as their psychological need is being stimulated consistently. That means less attrition, less talk about raises and other revenue risks.
I’m telling you, oh captains of industry, start building your work environments to better accommodate the needs of functioning autistic people, and your work force will be unmatched in your industry. Just do the rest of us a favour, and keep a lot of them out of management roles and roles that involve social interaction, because nothing ruins a perfectly happy working environment like needlessly anal retentive bosses.