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Ann Jackson

Garland Special Education Examiner

February 12th, 2011 10:14 am CT


There is hope for the many parents of children who have been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and who have wondered how their children will ever become self-sufficient.  The national Autism Society reports that an overwhelming percent of adults with autism are unemployed.  ASD people may be average to above average IQ, and often possess marketable skills, especially in the technology arena, but are still unemployable.  This is because ASD people have difficulty with interpersonal relationships, specific environments, and may have other related debilitating conditions deemed unacceptable in the average workplace.


How does a society engage trainable, intelligent, and sometimes gifted people who are unable to adapt to standard work environments or traditional classrooms?  This may have stymied society as a whole, but founders of the nonPareil.Institute in Plano have met the challenge head-on.  www.npitx.org


‘Putting Autism to Work’ was an idea conceived by co-founders Dan Selec and Gary Moore, who worried about the futures of their autistic sons. Dan and Gary decided that living on welfare or on minimum wage were not acceptable options for their sons or for other unique and talent individuals on the autistic spectrum.  Recognizing that ASD students gravitate toward technology, they tested their idea of training ASD students to create software for video games and iPhone apps.  The first model for nonPariel was developed in Dan’s kitchen.


Read in Full: http://www.examiner.com/special-education-in-garland/autism-and-asperger-s-hope-for-employment-part-1-1



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