As our International Conference nears (May 4-7 in NYC), it makes us proud to see former keynote speakers have such an impact. Thorkil Sonne of Specialisterne is just one example.
Although he enjoyed his first job in software development when he left university in the late 1970s, Thomas Madar found difficulty in fitting in. Like many people on the autistic spectrum, the now 58-year-old had problems in the working world and was dismissed as a poor communicator.
Over the coming years, he went from courses in third-level education to jobs and back again, but sometimes struggled in interviews where, by his own admission, he would not sell himself as someone who was likable and who fitted into teams.
When he got his current position as a software tester at Ernst & Young last year, he says his social skills had improved over the years. Also at hand was Specialisterne (Danish for the Specialists), a company which strives to match up people with autism to jobs where characteristics such as attention to detail and a an adherence to structure act as a competitive advantage.