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Press release SU

Published on: Mar 4, 2016

Transcripts - Press release SU

  • 1. ©  Start  Up  Autism  @  2014  Confidential  Information  –  may  not  be  reproduced  or  distributed  without  consent  of         To  Whom  It  May  Concern:             August,  2015   Start  Up  (www.startupautism.com),  an  organisation  that  supports  individuals  diagnosed  with  Asperger’s   Syndrome  (and  related  ASD  diagnoses)  in  finding  and  maintaining  appropriate  high-­‐end  employment   opportunities  as  well  as  educational  placement,  just  expanded  to  cover  all  of  South  Africa!     Autism  is  a  developmental  phenomenon,  meaning  that  it  begins  in  utero  and  is  affected  by  both  environment   and  genetics  throughout  early  childhood.  It  has  a  pervasive  influence  on  development,  on  multiple  levels,   through  the  lifespan.    Autism  produces  distinctive,  atypical  ways  of  thinking,  moving,  interaction,  and  sensory   and  cognitive  processing.    One  analogy  that  has  often  been  made  is  that  autistic  individuals  have  a  different   neurological  “operating  system”  than  non-­‐autistic  individuals;  and  as  such  their  perspective  and  interaction  with   the  world  is  different.     Asperger’s  Syndrome  (AS)  is  a  form  of  autism  characterized  by  normal  to  superior  IQ,  accompanied  by  social   and  communication  difficulties.  These  difficulties  stem  from  neurologically  based  sensory  and  information-­‐ processing  differences.  Even  though  individuals  diagnosed  with  AS  might  look  just  like  everybody  else,  their   mind  works  in  a  significantly  different  way,  and  sometimes  their  behaviour  and  reactions  will  not  be  typical.   Recent  research  from  Harvard  Business  School  and  others  showed  that  the  strengths  of  people  with  Asperger’s   and  high-­‐functioning  autism  actually  make  them  superior  at  career  paths;  such  as  IT  related  fields  and/or   creative  arts.    Their  ability  to  focus,  good  memory,  their  high  intelligence,  their  strong  technical  skills,  their   ability  to  detect  details  and  also  to  stay  focused  over  lengthy  periods  are  all  beneficial  qualities  to  them  as  well   as  employers.     Despite  underlying  neurological  commonalties,  autistic  individuals  are  vastly  different  from  one  another.    Some   autistic  individuals  exhibit  exceptional  cognitive  talents.    However,  in  the  context  of  a  society  designed  around   the  sensory,  cognitive,  developmental,  and  social  needs  of  non-­‐autistic  individuals,  autistic  individuals  are   almost  always  disabled  to  some  degree  –  sometimes  quite  obviously,  and  sometimes  more  subtly.     Autism  is  still  a  widely  regarded  as  a  “disorder”,  but  this  view  has  been  challenged  in  recent  years  by  proponents   of  the  Neurodiversity  Model,  which  holds  that  autism  and  other  neurocognitive  variants  are  simply  part  of  the   natural  spectrum  of  human  biodiversity,  like  variations  in  ethnicity.    Incidences  of  autism  has  increased  from  1   out  of  10  000  (1970)  to  1  out  of  68  people  with  an  autism  diagnosis  (2014).       Start  Up  offers  social  skills,  transitioning  and  workforce  etiquette  and  adaptation  training  to  individuals   diagnosed  with  Asperger's  syndrome.    Start  Up  also  offers  training  to  companies  and  institutions,  employees  and   employers  –  free  of  charge.    These  trainings  include  (but  is  not  limited  to):  “what  is  autism?”,  “benefits  of  being   a  “disability-­‐friendly”  organisation/institution”,  “adaptations  to  the  work  environment”  and   “successful  interaction  in  the  workforce.”     Research  suggests  autistic  individuals  can  have  heightened  abilities  in  pattern  recognition  and  logical  reasoning,   however  job  interviews  do  not  always  highlight  these  strengths  when  focusing  on  their  limited  social  skills  and   conventional  workplace  environments.       Start  Up  offers  the  training  to  individuals  with  Asperger’s  to  enable  them  to  become  successful  as  well  as   favourable  employees.       Kind  regards,       Karla  Pretorius   Director:  Start  Up   www.startupautism.com     karla@startupautism.com     Nanette  Botha   Senior  Job  Coach     www.startupautism.com     nanette@startupautism.com

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