An Office Designed for Workers With Autism by Susan Dominus

The name MindSpark nicely matched the feel-good ingenuity of the business; Auticon, on the other hand, summons the image of an army of automatons, defined by their diagnoses and marketed to deliver maximum software efficiency. Auticon’s marketing material names “pattern recognition” and “uncompromised honesty” as valued skill sets in autistic people. In fact, research is mixed on whether people with autism actually do excel at visual pattern recognition, relative to peers of equivalent I.Q., and the range of talents (and honesty) is highly individual. Selling autism as a brand likely perpetuates some generalizations — even stereotypes — in the name of overcoming bias, a complicated compromise, if a strategic one.

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