After attending my first Month of Inclusion event, I am thrilled about the opportunity to engage and learn
more. Today, I joined the external speaker talk “Social Thinking,” with Michelle Garcia Winner.

As a well-known therapist for people with social-cognitive challenges, she shared with us the meaning of

autism and the success of her social thinking approach.

    

“Social is a judgment not a test score.” — Michelle Garcia
Winner. This was a great quote to explain her Social Thinking strategy. It
means that people with autism cannot be tested for it as we do with other
disorders. Professionals like her, to determine the level and the treatment
necessary, must assess it.

MichelleWinner.jpeg

    

Michelle was thorough in explaining that people with autism
are born with this social disability, it starts with how they process
information. She gave lighthearted examples that people could relate to, such
as sitting in the CEO’s office chair as a new employee, and feeling that it is
perfectly acceptable. The room of SAP employees chuckled at this example,
understanding (as socially aware people) that this could lead to a very
uncomfortable situation.

    

She went into detail about Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD),
which is much more complex than most people probably realize. The level or
severity or autism can be high and visible, or low and you could never know
that person was dealing with ASD. People with autism, depending on the spectrum
as she explained, see and understand situations much differently than others.
This was a great lesson to take away from this event.

    

Another thing that sparked my interest was the discussion
about the SAP
Autism at Work
program. I was proud to learn that this program was
initiated here in the Silicon Valley, and I hope to follow its continued
success for many years to come.

    

The session ended with a great discussion between Michelle
and audience members. She was funny, engaging and very approachable. This made
for a great event, and I look forward to more of these engaging sessions during
February.

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