Autism Experts Partner to Train Individuals with Autism to Code
Paramus, NJ Alpine Learning Group, an internationally-recognized leader in the treatment of autism spectrum disorders across the lifespan, has partnered with Yukōdit to launch a program that trains individuals with autism to code and prepare for jobs in technology. The program is being launched with generous support from ELLKAY, a healthcare technology company based in Elmwood Park, New Jersey.
“ELLKAY is proud to support the incredible work of Alpine and we hope to create internship opportunities for students who excel in this innovative program. Given our deep knowledge in the technology space and our recognition that this field will continue to grow, we see great potential in helping students with autism learn computer science skills to prepare them for future employment opportunities,” said Kamal Patel, ELLKAY Chief Information Offices.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) updated its autism prevalence estimate to 1 in 59 earlier this year. Advocates are quickly turning their attention to the future as these children transition into adulthood. A recent report on outcomes for adults with autism released by Drexel University’s Autism Institute indicated that only 14% of adults with autism held paid jobs in their communities. Several large employers, including Microsoft, have stepped up by making a commitment to hire individuals with autism. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, “employment of software developers is projected to grow 24 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all other occupations. Software developers will be needed to respond to an increased demand for computer software.”
Yukōdit opened as a private after-school learning center in Montclair, New Jersey in 2016. Started by two dads to expose their own children to computer science, the center has grown to serve over one hundred students. The founders quickly noticed a trend that kids with autism were not only enrolling but excelling in their program. With experience starting a charter school for kids with autism in New York City and developing special education software, co-founder Jamie Pagliaro was not surprised: “Coding requires an intense focus and attention to detail, along with a strong interest in technology. While these traits do not define autism, we envision opening many doors for individuals with autism through this partnership.”
Since a core symptom of autism is social-interaction difficulties, many service providers like Alpine focus on teaching social skills. Dr. Bridget Taylor, Executive Director at Alpine, is considered a leading expert on social skills training for individuals with autism. Having collaborated with Pagliaro in the past, the two began exploring how Alpine’s expertise in social skills training could be paired with Yukōdit’s curriculum to optimize the program for individuals with autism.
“As Alpine continues to focus on preparing young adults with autism for meaningful employment opportunities, this partnership makes perfect sense. Many students and their families have expressed interest in coding, and the job market for this skillset is growing rapidly,” said Dr. Taylor.
The result of their planning and collaboration is a new specialized program for teaching kids with autism to code, which will launch this September. The program will be offered at the Alpine Learning Group campus in Paramus, New Jersey. Two open house information sessions for parents will be held on Tuesday, August 14 at 4pm and 6pm in preparation for the fall semester.
Or contact for more information:
Jamie Martin, Parent Outreach Coordinator
Alpine Learning Group offers a full range of diagnostic and clinical services, along with established programs in education, in-home treatment, and adult services. We transform the lives of individuals with autism and their families by providing innovative, comprehensive and scientifically-validated services across the lifespan. For more information, visit www.alpinelearninggroup.org
Yukōdit equips children of all abilities, ages and backgrounds with the technical, collaborative and design thinking skills to succeed in their futures. In 2016 we opened our first inclusive learning center in Montclair, NJ, and are now expanding to the special needs community through partner site locations. Programs are offered after-school and weekends with mini-camp camp options during school breaks. For more information, visit www.yukodit.com
As a nationwide leader in healthcare connectivity, ELLKAY has been committed to making interoperability happen for over a decade. ELLKAY empowers diagnostic laboratories with cutting-edge technologies and solutions that add value to their services, assist physicians in delivering better outcomes, and improve bottom lines. With connectivity to over 600+ PM/EMR systems in 45,000+ physician practices, ELLKAY is the healthcare industry’s “Data Plumbers.” For more information, visit www.ellkay.com