Highland Park News: Highland Park nonprofit taps skills, strengths of those with autism

Autism specialist Mark Lazar, left, stops to talk to software test engineer Brad Burton as Burton works on a project for Aspiritech (Judy Fidkowski / Pioneer Press)

By Karen Berkowitz * Contact Reporter

Aspiritech founder Brenda Weitzberg says there’s a misconception that high-functioning adults with autism don’t need support once they leave high school and graduate from college.

The reality is that many fall through the cracks once they finish their schooling while trying to find and hold down a job, she said.  They’ll often describe their experience as “falling off the cliff,” she said.

“Higher-functioning young adults on the autism spectrum are actually three times more likely to have no daytime activities at all, as opposed to those who have autism with lower cognitive ability,” Weitzberg said.

Brenda Weitzberg founded Highland Park-based Aspiritech as a way to employ adults on the autism spectrum. (Judy Fidkowski / Pioneer Press)

She and her husband Moshe Weitzberg set out to create stable employment for their own son, and ended up founding Aspiritech, which currently employs 31 adults on the autism spectrum at its office in downtown Highland Park.

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