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Calls to Action

Dr. Sanjay Gupta Discusses Autism and Employment in Everyday Health

June 17, 2014

(June 17, 2014) - In his column Health Matters with Sanjay Gupta today, Dr. Gupta discussed autism and employment and highlighted the stories of two adults with Asperger Syndrome and their struggles to find jobs. 

Phillip Griffin is a 23-year-old young man with Asperger Syndrome who works at AutonomyWorks, a Chicago-based technology company that trains and employs people with autism. AutonomyWorks was a featured business during the Autism Speaks Small Business Town Hall series last fall. Griffin excels at his job working on website maintenance, data entry and software testing.

Cynthia Kim is a 45-year-old woman who also has Asperger Syndrome. Kim is self-employed and independently publishes sports-related books. “Most of what I know about running a business is self-taught, and it's very fulfilling to look at what I've created and feel like it's an expression of me and my unique way of doing things,” she said.

The article quotes Autism Speaks Director of Adult Services Leslie Long. “We now know that people on the spectrum have incredible skills that in some cases nobody else does,” said Long. She pointed to “their abilities as visual thinkers, close attention to detail, and not socializing but paying attention to their job.”

Learn more about Autism Speaks employment initiatives here.