WHY IS THIS GERMAN COMPANY RECRUITING TECH STAFF WITH AUTISM?
BERLIN (TheBlaze/AP) — German software giant SAP AG said Tuesday it plans to recruit people with autism to take make full use of their talents to process information.
Autism is a developmental disorder characterized by difficulties in communicating, emotional detachment and rigid or repetitive behavior. But some people with mild autism can perform complex mathematical tasks much better than the average population.
Rather than write a novella on his wall, I thought I'd post about it and ask for input.
I personally, think it's a kind of catch-22. People who have ID/DD's are historically underemployed. So, opportunities for competitive, employment is a good thing. Provided of course that the jobs are inclusive (not a special "Autism Only" building to put "them") in, and the pay/working conditions are appropriate.
However.... (you knew there was one or you wouldn't have asked, lol) my problem with the practice of "recruiting" people with Autism is that any time you make an assumption about a group of people, it is problematic.
It's like saying all people with Down syndrome are ALWAYS loving, docile, and friendly. (Just not true) They are human beings with a range of emotions just like the rest of us. This stereotype may seem harmless, but when people expect a group to be one way they have a hard time processing the fact that someone doesn't fit that mold... yes, I'm referring to the death of Ethan Saylor here.
By assuming that "some people with mild autism can perform complex mathematical tasks much better than the average population" what are we saying about those who identify with that label, but have average, or below average math skills? Seems to me that the company would want to hire anyone with superior math skills. if they happen to identify themselves as having a disability does that matter?
Then, there's the issue of the BUT in the statement. They basically said these people are defective, but we think they have super-human math skills so we want them anyway. Not cool!
I'm all for better employment opportunities for everyone.
I'm all for acknowledging everyone's special gifts (we all have them but they are not associated with any label).
I do have a problem with stereotypes.