Australian social scientist Judy Singer coined the word "neurodiversity" in her theses paper. It was a great advance in viewing the relationship of an individual with certain traits or group of traits to the to the larger group, the maker of societal norms. Her concept uses terminology which, while appropriate in the academic setting of her work, is hard to approach for the average person, confusing in how the items fits in the whole, does not align with how we speak of other human capability challenges, and uses a word that make groups of people sound bad. Judy's concept has created a movement of seeing people with distinctly different perceiving, processing, and thinking patterns as normal human variation, not as broken human needing to be fixed to be "normal".
In science, concept mature and develop as others add to the idea. This has happened with neurodiversity as it has moved from academic discussion to real life identities. As with much science, the academic body of...
For those of you familiar with the Autism at Work, you have most likely heard the name Uptimize. For those of you who are new to the movement to offer the neurodiverse the same opportunities as the neurotypical worker, Uptimize may be a resource you need.
Uptimize is the world's premier source for just in time, micro training modules on integrating the neurodiverse and autistic into the workplace. Their training is packaged into "toolkits" which focus on specific roles and what they need to know to work with or lead the neurodiverse. While others including myself offer a range of digital training, Uptimize has done a tremendous job creating well balanced training in the micro learning style which is now in vogue. Their training is a perfect solution for both the organization looking to develop and retain talent as well as groups wanting to create an end to end neurodiverse employment process.
I was recently asked to join Uptimize as a Subject Matter Expert on their advisor...
Book by: Marcia Scheiner of Integrate with Joan Bogden
For anyone managing a logic leaning, frequently neurodiverse technical worker, this book is required reading. For anyone else, it is an excellent lesson in good old fashion, face to face management techniques plus a training about the neurodiverse rolled into one. What I learned from Marcia’s straight forward explanations and examples amazed me. This is particularly surprising considering I have Asperger’s and over 20 years of management experience. I applaud Marcia for the body of knowledge she has taken the effort to compile in an easy to read book.
Marcia begins by pointing out that 1/3 of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) graduate college and the vast majority are unable to find a job. The problem isn’t these individuals’ skills, but the employers lack of understanding of the neurodiverse worker. While these...
Contrary to recent coverage, autism already is at work in technology and I am proof. I have decades in both software and hardware engineering and I am autistic. I wasn’t diagnosed until well into my working life at age 54.
Once I learned the traits of Asperger’s, a mild form of autism, I began recognizing it in virtually every tech group I have worked with. Many undiagnosed adults in tech fields struggling with fitting their unique thinking into the rigid structure of most companies. The same approaches which help my autism spectrum companions land a job work just as well with us the hidden, maybe undiagnosed autistic workers.
Maybe if I had been understood, I might have made less of those “Honey, I just got fired” calls.
I had the great fortune to be introduced to Ed Thomson from Uptimize. Ed was in Denver and we got the chance to talk about Autism and Neurodiversity in the workplace.
Uptimize provides digital delivered training to help integrate the neurodiverse into the workplace. They have had great success with their materials being used by Microsoft, Google, JPMorgan Chase and more.
Ed and I discussed a number of areas where we deliver a better customer experience if we collaborate. Ed's a great guy and I am looking forward to working with him much closer.
Amazing what can happen when you start down a path on nothing but faith. When Karen, my wife, and I started down this path to become part of the information/education business we had no idea where it would lead. The path has been more rugged and the commitments and opportunity grow every day.
This is something I never imagined. I grew up not too far from Cornell so it was always a big name. I am also a community college dropout. Being able to teach a class and share my life experiences with a new generation was a privilege.
My dad valued education highly even though he never had the option of pursuing it himself. I think the opportunity I was given would make him proud.
Tim gives an overview of his experience in the tech workforce having Aspergers, quickly summarizes Autism, Aspergers, ASD, and HFA, then explains how this all fits under the concept of Neurodiversity.
Tim also describes "A"SD Listers. They are the tech equivalent of Hollywood A Listers. Temperamental babies who can be difficult, but without them, movies fail. Tim will help you recognize these key players in your organization.
Tim then teaches 3 points which can help you to connect with your "A"SD Lister employees.
Just getting over the red eye flight home from the Autism at Work summit held at SAP’s Palo Alto facility. Though held at SAP, this movement is being driven by a collaboration of 4 major corporations, SAP, Microsoft, HPE (Hewlett Packard Enterprise), and EY (Ernst Young) in combination with universities, partners, and other companies beginning their involvement. Autism at Work is the name wrapped around these and other major companies’ efforts to integrate autistic workers into their normal business environment and culture. Amazingly, this is not being done just to be good corporate citizens, but because it is proving to be a business case that is very good for the business.
What these companies have recognized is, within the autistic population are people whose traits and strategies aid them to be tremendous performing employees when in the right job. But, these same people can’t get through the normal hiring process due to social or communication...
How many times have you heard “There is no “I” in TEAM.” This is wrong. I believe there is a very important “I”, which is hidden in plain sight. Before we finish, I will show you the “I”. But, I am doing tell & show instead of the conventional direction. Now about the missing “I” in TEAM and some unique people this important “I” represents.
I will start with myself as an example. In the normal diversity buckets I am a majority white male. Missing is I am autistic with Asperger’s. I’ve worked 20+ years with computer databases and as a product design engineer for 10. The traits of being an Aspie (someone who has Asperger’s) gave me the mental disposition to excel in technical pursuits. Other Asperger’s traits caused me to ineffectively communicate with neurotypically minded employees. My biggest Asperger’s strength is my ability to view patterns and relationships and...
Let's face it, the business environment is competitive. We are looking for ways to create shareholder value, increase efficiency, and boost employee productivity. There are many traditional methods, out sourcing, down sizing, restructuring, and merging. These approaches often cause brand damage. They also create stinging reputations on Glassdoor.com. I'm suggesting another possibility a few cutting edge companies are trying. This is crazy, but what you need is more people with Asperger's in your company.
What is Asperger's and why do I want it? Asperger's is a developmental disorder, the result of structural and or physiological differences in the brain, not bad parents or lack of control. Think of it as how the brain is hardwired. It creates a brain that processes differently.
Now frequently diagnosed during childhood, it was virtually unknown in the USA until the early 90's. If you were out of school before then, you are likely undiagnosed. Symptom are diverse as it is a...