PRINCETON — As children with autism grow into adults with the developmental disorder, their skills are often downplayed in the workplace as they’re pigeonholed into positions with minimal social interaction, said Peter Bell, president and CEO of Eden Autism Services.
With autism diagnoses more than 10 times what they were decades ago, about 500,000 individuals with the disorder nationwide are on pace to enter the work force over the next decade, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Employers—particularly those in New Jersey where rates are highest—should be eager to embrace the valuable assets this population has to offer, Bell said.
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“Employing people with autism is good for business. It’s not just a matter of charity,” Bell told a group of about more than 40 business leaders in Princeton today at a Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce breakfast. “They’re very good workers. They’re very dependable. They have a hard time lying—which is really a great attribute. They’ll be on time, and they’ll be very proud of working.”