Everyone deserves equal opportunity, no matter where they come from. There is a potential in all of us. With the right mentoring & guidance, every individual will shine.
Meet Manu, Chief Mentor and Founder of “HashHackCode”, a Tech Initiative that guides adults and teens with autism to explore the world of coding. He believes that with the right kind of support, individuals with autism can achieve a successful career in Tech . For those unaware, Autism is a neuro-developmental disorder characterized by impaired social interaction, verbal and non-verbal communication, and restricted and repetitive behaviour.
Can such Young Adults on the Autism Spectrum seek Tech Careers? This new chip on the block demonstrates how coding can improve cognitive ability, logical thinking and mentor them to carve a path for the future, if you choose to decode their way!
Why programming and technology for Individuals with Autism?
Well, because the characteristics that define an individual with autism can turn out to be great virtues and assets for programming: laser-like focus on a singular task, affinity for repetition, intense attention to detail, uncanny ability to recognize and remember complex patterns, and a relentless drive to solve a puzzle and navigate challenging levels. Coding and visualising the backend of an output builds confidence in their ability to create and gives them a sense of pride and accomplishment that they yearn for. Moreover, most autistics are a powerhouse of contradictions – They may appear to follow rules, but are also the most likely people to come up with a revolutionary new ideas. And what better than the world of Technology to accommodate them all. It is not uncommon that young adults with autism are directed to find respite in vocational courses to fetch themselves a job in an inclusive employment. Isn’t it high-time that we looked beyond vocational courses?
What is HashHackCode course structured like?
The aim of the course is to combine art & programming together, with a curriculum that focuses on not just teaching the principles of programming but rather how to use it and express themselves through it. The course has been designed to be delivered in 3 stages – Induction, Foundation and Specialisation. In the Induction stage, they are introduced to the world of coding through an interactive and a fun session where they are grooved, and instilled with a sense of curiosity. In the Foundation stage, they delve into the core of programming, with code challenges that help grasp the fundamentals and visualise the output. In the Specialisation stage, they would be specialising in their area of interest as identified from Foundation stage. Considering that every individual with autism is different, each stage is customised to suit the needs and ability of the individual after an initial assessment. HashHackCode has successfully completed its first stage of the course where the young adults with autism even designed their own logos for their certificate of completion.
Speaking of Milestones…
HashHackCode held the first of its many to come open discussion forums and award ceremony for its students recently. The event witnessed a diverse interactive participation from different cross-sections and economic backgrounds – from parents who narrated their first-hand experience with HashHackCode programming course for their children, to single-mothers and Tech professionals, who were willing to collaborate and share their views to lay the roadmap for the path ahead. Most importantly, the emphasis was to view career opportunities for adults with autism not as just yet another corporate social responsibility but as opportunities for self-reliant and capable individual contributing members of society.
What is the way forward?
The first step is to push back stereotypes and not allow anyone to be restricted by their diagnosis. What do we all want? We want to be able to work at a place where we are valued as an asset for our ability to perform our job.
HashHackCode is helping build just that! Inspiring the NEXT Generation of Coders and building an inclusive and progressive community, HashHackCode has set the stakes high! Ready to code?
To get in touch with the Team, visit their website – www.hashhackcode.com.
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