I found something on the internet today which makes me think about autism, society and inclusion all over again. It also makes me quite angry. A German firm called auticon GmbH is looking for new employees who know their stuff in the IT business. Nothing wrong with that. They want to employ autists. Okay. But they are only looking for people with the diagnosis Asperger Syndrom. No others need to apply. So let me get this straight, if you are a neurotypical person and you excell in IT you cannot get the job? No Asperger Syndrom, no job. Well, I have the Syndrom alright but I am crap at IT. So I guess I am out too. But what about Elijah in 10 years time? What if he was great in IT? He is autistic but lacks the Asperger diagnosis. So he is out too. He is also nonverbal, so at auticon where only the "clever" walking talking Aspies seem to be welcome he would stand no chance at all. Just as well that he has to go to a school for the mentally challenged. That was an ironic comment or was it sarcasm? Sorry, I am not too good at that either. So what would happen, I wonder, if a firm advertised jobs but made it quite clear that no autists or people with Asperger Syndrom need to apply? I am sure there would be outrage!
What surprises me is that the little CNN film about auticon starts with a clip from Rainman. Now neither Raymond Babbitt nor Kim Peek had an Asperger Diagnosis, so they would also not be elegible for a job at auticon. Is this the right direction we are heading in here? We are now separating the autists into Asperger and what... the rest of them no good autists. auticon you are seriously missing the point. And what is this about Asperger and IT all the time? Cliché thinking. Tunnel vision. I realise that there is still a lot of work that we have to do here. I am glad that as an autistic person I am now getting the chances to do that. If you need a consulting autist...you know where to find me now.
PS I can walk and talk and my social skills are quite good too but I am crap at IT.