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Research Findings Reveal the Lack of Support Currently Being Given to Young Adults with High Functioning Autism within higher education and the workforce.
The NAO robot, made by French company Aldebaran Robotics, is a humanoid about the size of a 1-year old that walks, talks and plays games. Kids seem to like interacting with the robot, and researchers are now using it to teach communication and empathy skills to ASD children. More info on the ASK NAO (Autism Solution for Kids) project at the Aldebaran Robotics website. Video from NBC via the Aldebaran Robotics Youtube channel.
The nonPareil Institute in Plano, Texas (USA) is a non-profit that teaches programming skills to adults with autism, and helps them find work making games, apps and other software products. Many of the students are employed by nonPareil itself, through its contracting arm. Some autistics are gifted programmers, but lack the social aptitude to fit into a typical workplace. nonPareil fills the gap by offering both training and an autistic-friendly workplace. Apart from imparting skills, the Institute also allows students to interact with like-minded peers in a supportive environment. nonPareil is planning to expand to other cities in the US, and welcomes donations. The Institute was recently featured on NBC Nightly News, and there are more videos (like the one below) on the nonPareil Youtube channel. BTW, if you’re wondering about the odd spelling of the name, ‘nonpareil’ is a French term meaning ‘none equal’ (apparently, the French don’t capitalise quite like the rest of us!).