UC San Diego Internship Offers Adults With Autism Experience in Tech Field – NBC 7 San Diego

Adults who are on the autism spectrum will have the chance
to participate in an internship program designed to help them succeed in the
tech field thanks to a $2.6 million grant given to a team of researchers from
the University of California San Diego.

The Power of NeuroGaming Center Summer Internship, or PoNG, is
an 8-week program that will combine digital arts, neuroscience, cognitive
science and education to develop interactive video games and tools. The program
is seeking 25 individuals who will work with coaches and clients during the
internship.

“We’re trying to create an environment where young adults
with different ways of interacting can interact, practically, functionally, and
show that they have these skills,” said Leanne Chukoskie, Assistant Research
Scientist at Qualcomm Institute.

Autism spectrum disorder is a common disorder that can affect
social skills, communication and behavior. PoNG aims to help individuals on the
spectrum strengthen their skills in technology so they could get a career in
the field.

“I think there’s a lot of mistaken information out there
about the autism spectrum, and yes, a lot of people are introverted, but that
doesn’t necessarily mean that they don’t want to or can’t work with other
people,” Chukoskie said. “It’s just that in the loud interactions that we
normally have, or a lot of the extroverted world expects, is different.

Interns who complete the program will be given a stipend and
real-world experience.

The deadline for PoNG is March 15. Anyone who is interested in applying for the program can click here.

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