Autism an ad­van­tage

EM­PLOYER SEES THE BEN­E­FITS

Fremantle Gazette - - NEWS - Jes­sica Nico

LIV­ING on the autism spec­trum can make it dif­fi­cult for some to find and re­tain em­ploy­ment, but that is some­thing Matt Sch­nei­der is work­ing to change.

Mr Sch­nei­der, who is the manag­ing direc­tor and co­founder of Perth data science and prod­uct de­vel­op­ment busi­ness Op­tika So­lu­tions, said he ac­tively looked to em­ploy autis­tic peo­ple.

“We have found that the na­ture of our work re­quires our staff to have ex­treme at­ten­tion to de­tail and need to be highly mo­ti­vated on solv­ing very com­plex prob­lems,” he said.

“Over time we have found that those peo­ple who are on the spec­trum have a fan­tas­tic ca­pac­ity to solve the types of prob­lems that we deal with on a daily ba­sis.”

Mr Sch­nei­der will be in Fre­man­tle this week­end for the 2017 Autism West Sym­po­sium, where he will talk about the ben­e­fits of em­ploy­ing those with autism.

“I was ap­proached by Autism West to dis­cuss what it is like to be an em­ployer of autis­tic peo­ple and what sug­ges­tions I have for those look­ing at find­ing em­ploy­ment, sug­ges­tions I have for those who are in the process of or al­ready have em­ployed an autis­tic per­son, as well as in­for­ma­tion for their par­ents about what types of chal­lenges their child may face com­ing into the work­force and how they can pre­pare for it,” he said.

“I am go­ing to be talk­ing about my ex­pe­ri­ence of em­ploy­ing those who are autis­tic, what it can be like, what the chal­lenges are as well as what I have learnt over the past 10 years in my role.”

He said it was im­por­tant for other busi­nesses to sup­port and help peo­ple liv­ing with autism who wanted to get into the work­force.

“I am a great be­liever in that ev­ery­one has a right to be able to con­trib­ute to the so­ci­ety in which we live,” he said.

“Autis­tic peo­ple can pro­vide a huge amount of value to our so­ci­ety and rep­re­sent some of the most amaz­ing peo­ple our world has seen.

“For ex­am­ple, Al­bert Ein­stein, Sir Isaac New­ton, Tim Bur­ton, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs – all of th­ese peo­ple were pro­vided with the chance to be part of the work­force and achieved truly great things in their fields.”

The 2017 Autism West Sym­po­sium will be at the Es­planade Ho­tel on Novem­ber 3 and 4.

Visit www.autismwest.org.au for more in­for­ma­tion.

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