Social enterprise creates jobs for autistic people

| August 5, 2010
Social enterprise creates jobs for autistic people

A new social enterprise to help people with autism find jobs has launched in Scotland.

Specialisterne Scotland is set to recruit a dozen trainees with autism over the next six months.

Those chosen for the programme will undertake four months training before being given jobs as software testers for major Scottish companies.

These are jobs with a high degree of predictability and minimal stress, making them ideal for people with autism.

Currently, only 13% of autistic Scots are in full time employment.

Specialisterne aims to find employment for 50 people with autism by 2015.

The company found its inspiration from a Danish project set up by Thorkil Sonne in 2004 after his son Lars was diagnosed with autism.

Sonne said: “Lars has been my inspiration. We didn’t know anything about autism and thought we should have some advice about how to support his development.

“Instead of getting some good advice, we were told we have a disabled son.

“We were told, ‘Whatever plans you have made for your son’s future, throw them away.’

“Actually, it is not him who is the problem, it is society which is the problem.

“He is caring, sweet, clever, charming. He would be a wonderful employee.”

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  1. jean-marc says:

    I’m the father of a boy with the same disorder and I wish that some brilliant inititive like Mr.Thorkil Sonne and Specialisterne have done, may arrive here in Quebec, Canada. Those projects gives me hope in order to help people like my son Antoine. I’m very interested to do something to start the same kind of project in my contry (in french!).
    Thanks