Showing posts from August, 2020

Remote Possibilities: Autism and the Different Normal

Zoom photo of Exceptional Minds' staff and students during "Round Table." A pandemic wasn’t on the list of challenges for most young adults on the autism spectrum.  No one could have predicted that they would overcome so many social stigmas in the workplace, only to have the very foundation crumble beneath them.  And, yet, many individuals with autism are coming out the other side of COVID-19 stronger than before.  Now months into the largest unanticipated social experiment in the history of business, companies are discovering that employees with autism are adapting to working remotely.  Many, in fact, are good at it.   Companies report that their team members with autism excel at complex projects and communicate better in remote work settings, a new finding for a population that is twice as likely to be under- or unemployed than people without disabilities. At least one global IT firm has concluded that hiring more people with autism is the answer to

The Inclusion Factor and Autism

Walking Cycle created by Matthew Rade during Exceptional Minds Summer Workshop 2020 By Benjamin Maixner Exceptional Minds Director of Programs Behavior Analyst (MA ABA, BCBA) Imagine you’re at a party. This party is not your party or your friend’s party, but your friends’ friends from work, party. You happen to arrive a little early and your friend seems to be running late.    You are familiar with some of the names, but definitely not the faces. The longer you are there the more awkward it feels. You can feel that people are sensing your panic and they start to look you over, but no one comes to talk to you. It’s not that you’re not unwelcome, no one is going to kick you out, but you weren’t exactly invited. Now take a second to imagine that this anxious and lonely moment lasts for the rest of your life. That’s how one person on the spectrum described to me what it is like to have autism. Autism affects many aspects of daily living, the most likely well-known of which is social skill