The Right Brain For The Job, Ctd

Michael Schrage applauds software company SAP’s recently announced commitment to hiring more diagnosed autistics:

The firm told the BBC that by 2020 perhaps 1% of its global workforce of 65,000 would be people with autism. Though a medically recognized DSM-5 disorder, many diagnosed autistics apparently bring special cognitive flair to digital details and computational concentration. “We share a common belief that innovation comes from the edges,” said Luisa Delgado, an SAP HR director, who noted the company valued the ability of many autistic people to “think differently and spark innovation.” SAP’s Bangalore office saw its productivity increase after deploying autistic hires.

He wonders, however, “What happens as medicines and therapies for autistics improve?”

If drugs and/or medical intervention effectively treat the awkwardness and dysfunction associated with autism, might they also undermine the cognitive skills and abilities that originally got those autistics hired by SAP and other IT firms? Would autistics feel compelled to cling to their disabilities for fear of losing their jobs?

Previous Dish on autism in the workforce here.