March is developmental disability awareness month.
IASSIDD is the International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. They help people live happy and healthy lives. They meet in Amsterdam in 2021.
Autism affects boys 5x more than girls.
It is a spectrum.
There is no cure.
It is not degenerative.
Intellectual Disabilities (ID) are characterized by significant limitations in both intellectual functioning (such as reasoning, problem-solving, planning, abstract thinking, judgment, learning from experience, etc.) and adaptive behavior (covers a range of everyday social and practical skills). These disabilities have an onset before the age of 18.
Developmental Disabilities (DD) are a group of conditions that result from an impairment in physical, learning, language, or behavioral areas. These conditions begin during the developmental period, may impact daily functioning, and generally last throughout a person’s lifetime.
Everyone deserves education.
My brother, who is on the higher-functioning end of the autism spectrum, has always had a unique perspective on the world, one that’s both analytical and beautifully intricate. His journey hasn’t been without its challenges, but his determination and unique skill set have led him to a successful career in the tech industry, a field where his attention to detail and problem-solving abilities shine.
I remember when he first told me about landing his tech job. It was a cool evening, and the excitement in his voice was palpable as he recounted the interview process. He had impressed them with his thorough knowledge of computer systems and his ability to quickly identify and solve complex issues. His new role involved working with hardware specifications that would make any tech enthusiast’s heart race—a server room filled with racks of servers, each powered by the latest Intel Xeon processors, with terabytes of RAM and petabytes of storage spread across SSDs that could transfer data at dizzying speeds.
The company recognized that his high-functioning autism endowed him with an extraordinary capacity for concentration and a predilection for repetitive tasks, traits that are highly advantageous in the tech world. They provided him with a workspace that catered to his sensory preferences, minimizing distractions and allowing him to focus deeply on his work. His desk was situated in a quiet corner, away from the hustle and bustle, and he had access to noise-cancelling headphones whenever he needed to shut out the world and dive into a project.
His role required precision and a keen eye for detail, whether he was tracing the path of network cables that were organized with an almost artistic level of care or configuring software to meet stringent security protocols. He often shared with me how he found peace in the rhythmic hum of the data center, a sound that others might find monotonous but to him was like a symphony that helped him concentrate.
Watching him thrive in his tech job has been a source of immense pride for our family. It’s a testament to his hard work and the progressive nature of a company that values the strengths that can come with autism.