It may be difficult to find a job in this market today, but think of how it would be much more difficult to find a job if you were an adult living with autism. You have a degree in computer science, but no company will hire you because you do not have the advanced communication skills needed to pass through the first interview. Thankfully, Moshe and Brenda Weitzberg have set out to change that.
In an article published by the Highland Park Patch, the Weitzbergs were highlighted for their creation of Aspiritech, a software testing company that hires adults with high-functioning autism. They started it with their son, Oran, in mind. He has Asperger’s syndrome, a mild form of autism and was forced to take a job bagging groceries because no company would hire him even though he had a solid college degree. Instead of blaming companies and being upset about the fact that their son couldn’t find a job, they did research and looked up the characteristics of people with autism. What they found- sharp attention to details, ability to concentrate on repetitive tasks and technical aptitude- seemed to coincide well with software testing. With that, they built their company.
Mark Lazar, an autism specialist, is an integral part of the company as he “helps maximize the abilities of the individuals on this special team.” He explains that reducing the stress of individuals with autism is the key to having them perform well. To help with this he organizes team-building activities for the employees at Aspiritech which also works to improve their social skills.
Aspiritech started in the Weitzberg’s basement but now operates from offices in downtown Highland Park and employs 15 software testers. The company has so far been very successful with Moshe Weitzberg being quoted saying, “the companies that gave us a chance are very happy.” On top of that, he says that “clients have found that his team discovered up to 50 percent more bugs than typical software testers.”
This story is a true testament that even though jobs may be scarce and it may be difficult to find what you are looking for, there is always a way.