The added value of autistic workers
At Specialisterne they help adults who are autistic or have Asperger’s syndrome to find a job, making the best use of their special abilities, such as being able to concentrate continuously for long periods of time even when performing very repetitive tasks.
Specialisterne is a social initiative that offers a wide range of consultancy services for all kinds of organisations around the world. What makes them different is that they do this with people who suffer from autism, Asperger’s syndrome and similar disorders. All of their consultants have been diagnosed as being within the range of autism. However, far from being an impediment, this is an advantage when carrying out their jobs.
Everis, a consultancy firm with over two thousand employees, knows this well. They have taken on four people suffering from these disorders. Their tasks are focused on treating and reviewing documents. The company’s management are very satisfied with these workers. Maria Mansilla, the manager of Everis Barcelona, explains: “once they get into a work rhythm they don’t get tired of doing repetitive tasks and their level of attention doesn’t diminish. They keep quality high and they are very motivated.
Even so, Oriol Puertas, one of the Specialisterne consultants who has been working at Everis for the last four months, admits that they had to make allowances for his hypersensitivity to noise: “Everyone is bothered by the noise, but I didn’t realise and I froze up for a long while. They solved the problem by getting me some earplugs, and I’ve made a list of what I have to do when it happens”. Specialisterne makes a tutor available to their consultants. She monitors them and helps them once a week in their workplace integration.
Specialisterne has been operating in Barcelona for a year, and they offer a training course for adults suffering from these disorders, with the aim of creating forty jobs a year.