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Is a web designer an ideal job for a person with Asperger’s?

Is a web designer an ideal job for a person with Asperger’s Syndrome? Dr. Temple Grandin, a leading autistic advocate, believes so, as identified in her 1999 Colorado State University paper Choosing the Right Job for People with Autism or Asperger's Syndrome.[1] She advised visual thinkers to consider “Web page design” as a career and to find a “good niche market [that] can be done as freelance work”.

Dr. Temple Grandin (specialising in cow farms) and Jason Anson (specialising in server farms) both Autistic.
Coincidently, when she wrote this article, I already had five years experience as a web designer as I was fortunate to catch the beginning wave of the Internet. It was at this time in 1994 that I became “hooked”. What I did not know at that time was that I had High-Functioning Asperger’s Syndrome, and as a youth who had dropped out of high school after grade 9, was overlooked by the education system - in other words, I was “missed”. It would not be until I was 38 years old that I would learn I had a form of Autism. This resulted when the undiagnosed disorder eventually caught up to me in life and I could not hide the symptoms anymore.

In 2004, after ten years work experience as a web designer, I would come to the conclusion that a “good niche” in my field was required. At the time, it appeared to me that web designers would need to become specialized in specific industries. I believe the reason for this at the time was that the Internet was beginning to develop “web 2.0 websites” which were more interactive and could help with mundane tasks in the workplace (as opposed to the first generation websites that acted more as an electronic brochure). In my particular journey, I would pursue the niche of amateur through to professional sport, but not as a web designer, instead as a Sport Technologist. I had a vision to develop performance technology software which would allow coaches and athletes to monitor their athlete’s training using a variety of devices, such as heart-rate monitors. I would “live” sport technology for a decade long in the field of research and development.  As each industry has its own specialities and nuances to its everyday workflow, it became clear to me at this time, that a specialization would be required.

This is a sample from the App & Web Pro iBook. The rest of this chapter can be read in the App & Web Pro iBook available on the iBooks store.

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