Anastasya Serta, the first researcher to investigate the more prosaic job-search processes of people with autism, reported Tuesday that she’s found neurolinguistic programming (NLP) can help autistic people with specific skill sets land a more varied range of jobs.

Earlier studies have noted that sometimes there can be benefits to augmenting people’s abilities through NLP, in instances like therapy-style tutoring. But Serta, who is working in Prague, believes that in highly skilled autistic individuals, NLP could help on a more practical level.

“We have found that there are skills in the autism spectrum that people, who are not formally diagnosed, are not using and that is what is appropriate for this kind of intervention,” Serta said.

She added: “Within job coaching, we are able to simulate talking more, being more extroverted, getting better social skills, speaking more to your job title — to get the functional information.”

Specifically, Serta has designed NLP software that works in a system that compares initial job interview questions and the phrasing those answers generate with an applicant’s own past data and a nudge from the brain — a system that so far has worked perfectly for one worker, and who said he’s planning to start looking for jobs after a year of work.

It’s unclear how much funding, if any, financial rewards, Serbian-born Serta’s work has received so far. With one in 89 children now diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, the field is still relatively underexplored compared to other research areas. But with a lot of work to be done, Serta believes something new is needed to move the work forward.

Read the full story at CBS News.

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