Or a programmer. Or most IT guys-- The CNN headline reads, "I hired someone with Asperger's -- now what?"
Twenty years ago or earlier, many techies were just shy, awkward geeks. Nobody told 'em they had a "syndrome" or expected them to, I don't know, freak out and start chewing up the carpet. Nor did anyone think they were all that odd for not being especially sociable (outside their specialty) or athletic.
The writer of the CNN article offers a well-informed layman's look at the topic and describes very high-functioning "Aspies" -- at which point, unless one has the empathy and breadth of friends of a slug, they're merely nerds. Uber-nerds, perhaps, but still-- Not exotic space-aliens.
As someone who comes painfully close to fitting the profile and who just spent over a dozen years working for a guy who manifestly did not (and wasn't comfy with folks who did), I'm both pleased and dismayed to read the CNN article. As far as I know, I'm just a pretty typical example of Nerdus Technicalis; there's a jillion of us, mumblers who aren't good at eye contact but are happy to spend the day digging into and solving obscure problems that would bore most people to tears. When did being detail-oriented become a "disability?"
Some disability. Without nerds, our modern, high-tech world would grind to a halt. Even low-tech doesn't fare so well -- what kind of personalities made armor for the knights of yore, do you suppose?
6 months ago