WIRED Magazine

Post was published at WIRED Magazine by Camilla in Uncategorized.


Most occupations require people skills. But for some, a preternatural capacity for concentration and near-total recall matter more. Those jobs, entrepreneur Thorkil Sonne says, could use a little autism.
Sonne reached this conclusion six years ago, after his youngest son was diagnosed with the mysterious developmental disorder. “At first I was in agony and despair,” he recalls. “Then came the thought of what happens when he grows up.”
In Sonne’s native Denmark, as elsewhere, autistics are typically considered unemployable. But Sonne worked in IT, a field more suited to people with autism and related conditions like Asperger’s syndrome. “As a general view, they have excellent memory and strong attention to detail. They are persistent and good at following structures and routines,” he says. In other words, they’re born software engineers.
In 2004, Sonne quit his job at a telecom firm and founded Specialisterne (Danish for “Specialists”), an IT consultancy that hires mostly people with autism-spectrum disorders. Its nearly 60 consultants ferret out software errors for companies like Microsoft and Cisco Systems. Recently, the firm has expanded into other detail-centered work—like keeping track of Denmark’s fiber-optic network, so crews laying new lines don’t accidentally cut old ones.

Read more.

Connect with us

Spreading awareness of Specialisterne and our goal to enable one million jobs for people with autism and similar challenges is our top priority. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Recieve our jobs newsletter