This year’s rAge, will welcome the Start Up organisation, which assists individuals diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome (AS) in finding and maintaining high-end employment opportunities as well as educational placement.
“AS is a form of autism characterised by normal to superior IQ, accompanied by social and communication difficulties,” explains Nanette Botha, senior job coach at Start Up. “These difficulties stem from neurologically based sensory and information-processing differences. Even though individuals diagnosed with AS might look like everybody else, their mind works in a significantly different way, and sometimes their behaviour and reactions will not be typical.”
Children with AS enjoy spending time with people they know well, but avoid crowds and busy, unpredictable places. They tend to be highly intelligent and are prepared to put all their energy into something that interests them, but somehow struggle to convey their thoughts. Noticing the slightest change in detail that others don’t even pay attention to while the “bigger picture” often goes by unnoticed is another marker in diagnosing AS.
“Those with AS have unique talents and are being actively sought out by companies both locally and internationally as their out of the box thinking styles give undeniable value to their employers,” says Nanette. “From a Corporate Social Responsibility as well as a business angle, it makes sense to hire these highly intelligent individuals.”
A career in gaming is highly appealing to those with AS and many of these individuals show remarkable talent in gaming, computers and game development.