We have been to Alicante (Spain) to create new methods of support for people with Autism Asperger’s (project WOTICS). People with Asperger’s Syndrome encounter countless difficulties at work and are often penalized, despite their great skills.
Because what few people know is that when we talk about autism, we are actually talking about a rather broad spectrum of possible conditions.
Asperger’s Syndrome is called “highly functioning”, precisely because it does not involve delays on a linguistic and intellectual level. Indeed, very often people with Asperger’s Syndrome have an ability to grasp out of the ordinary details.
Precisely because it is “high functioning”, often the diagnosis that is made is late or wrong. Indeed, some experts fail to recognize this condition.
Furthermore, the world of work is organized precisely in order not to be inclusive towards them. Few business management experts have the skills to understand neurodiversity and recognize its value.
And it is a missed opportunity, not only for people with Asperger’s Syndrome but also for the companies themselves.
People with Asperger’s Syndrome:
- have difficulty using eye contact
- don’t often use reciprocity
- they mean the meanings literally
- lack of common goals
- have narrow and high intensity elements of interest (which are perceived by others as bizarre)
All these elements are in contrast with the corporate strategies:
think of all the clichés and practices that are used in personnel selection contexts. Imagine what conclusions the average interviewer makes when interviewing a person who never uses eye contact.
imagine all the elements of social cohesion and team building
think about how often, people with Asperger’s can be bullied (and this often happens even earlier – at school)
We started in Alicante, Spain, to create support methods for people with Asperger’s Syndrome
in fact, from 12 to 14 February we were convened as part of the WOTICS project. A project headed by Aspali, the main association supporting people with Asperger’s Syndrome in Alicante.
The partnership includes the cooperation of organizations from Spain, Austria, Italy and Romania.
AIJU, Aspali, Psihoforworld, ALP are with us.
The ultimate goal is to create a Virtual Reality simulator dedicated to people with Asperger’s Autism.
The simulator will be able to propose hypothetical problematic work situations to the person whose solution is required, thanks to social skills.
We believe that the training of people must pass above all through practice.
But it’s terrible to have to do it at your own risk.
The difficulties at work of people with Asperger’s Syndrome
Work settings are often designed for neurotypical people and not accepting neurodiversity is a real risk for people with Asperger’s Syndrome.
The Virtual Reality simulator will allow people with Asperger’s Autism to develop the social skills necessary to be successful at work.
They will therefore finally be able to face the work experience to the fullest and develop their potential.
During the experience we shared in Alicante, at the University headquarters, we drew the conclusions for the production of the following results. The results will be free for everyone:
guide for people with Asperger’s Syndrome to increase their social skills. These are essential skills to enter and remain in the world of work
chatbot. It is a virtual assistant capable of communicating automatically with the person and suggesting effective work behaviors
Virtual reality: it is a simulator of work contexts in which the person can experiment with new skills
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