Purpose: l’m am on the move to find those that have received labels, or diagnoses of some of developmental disability, and have actually made it into their greatest strength.
Goal: To take the stories of those that have had to overcome great adversity due to a diagnosis, and find common elements in their story in an effort to launch a company that specializes in placing them with high quality jobs they can perform better than those without a disability. I will be posting regularly on my blog of people I encounter, and what they did to find their niche.
Thoughts: Unemployment has in recent years been a dinner table topic of discussion for a number of years, but what about those on the spectrum are more than likely unable to find full-time meaningful employment? “Approximately one in 88 people are on the autism spectrum. Most have a milder form known as Asperger Syndrome (AS). Although people with AS are usually highly intelligent and gifted it is thought that over 85% are without full-time employment.” According to the census “…individuals with disabilities experienced an unemployment rate nearly 90% higher than people with no disabilities…according to non-seasonally adjusted data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.”
I was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome in high school, and that label came with various symptoms that matched the way I thought, or behaved. It wasn’t until college while chasing after a degree in International Business, where I was able to turn my alleged disability into a place where I found the greatest strength.
I was able to leverage my hyper- focused obsession of things like The Titanic,The Matrix, Fencing, and dozens of other random passions into a, substantially more practical, heart for Economics, monetary policy, micro finance, and learning Mandarin Chinese. It was in no way an easy road for me to walk, but I am so grateful for having Asperger’s Syndrome, because it makes me who I am, and it allows me to excel in areas my peers were left scratching their heads, asking how did she do that?
I know that I am not the only person out there that received a label from a doctor or counselor that could be paralyzing, but instead shattered the label presented to them to cultivate a future they can be excited about.
Some would argue we wouldn’t have Facebook, Craigslist, the iPhone, ect. if it were not for people on the Spectrum.
I’m looking for people like Temple Grandin
, or Daniel Tammet
that haven’t necessarily received any press for what they do, or how they do it, and shine light on how they conquered great challenges to inspire those locked in by walls of labels that have not yet learned to climb. It is for that reason why I want to get on this train to find those that have risen from their proverbial ashes to create companies, symphonies, or organizations that are changing the country we live in for the better.
Check out this Economist
article to see what I’m talking about