The firm whose staff are all autistic

“‘People tend to hire people who are like themselves, and autistic people are not like you, they are like themselves’ (Steve Silberman, author of Neurotribes).”

Jane Wakefield reports for the BBC:

“Peter, Evan and Brian work at a small technology firm based by the beach in Santa Monica, testing software and fixing bugs.

On first inspection it seems like any other Los Angeles-based company, with tasteful art on the white walls and calm-inducing diffusers dotted about.

Peter describes the working atmosphere as ‘quiet, but fun’, and especially likes the fact that there is no pressure to socialise, while Evan says of his employers that they are ‘very accommodating and understanding’. Brian describes his office as ‘unique’.

Auticon is one of only a handful of companies that cater exclusively for employees who are on the autistic spectrum.

Formerly known as MindSpark before being acquired by German-based Auticon, the firm was founded by Gray Benoist who, as the father of two autistic sons, saw few options in the workplace that could cater for their needs.

‘Both are incredibly capable and smart and deserve an opportunity to be able to express that,’ he told the BBC on a recent visit to the company.

‘I felt that the gap had to be filled and there was no other way to fill it than by taking action myself.’

He started the firm in 2013 and it has now grown to more than 150 employees …”

Read more here.

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