Last April, 50 big-name companies -- including JP Morgan, Ford and Ernst &Young -- came together for a summit on how to bring more autistic adults into the workforce.
It was hosted at the Silicon Valley campus of German software maker SAP, which was one of the first large companies to reach out to the autistic community.
It started its Autism at Work Program almost five years ago, and since then it's hired 128 people on the spectrum, with the goal of hiring more than 600.
"I have been in this industry for close to 30 years, and I can tell you it's probably the single most rewarding program that I have been involved with," said Jose Velasco, who heads the program.
The biggest surprise for him, he says, has been the variety of candidates applying. "Very quickly we started getting resumes from people that had degrees in history, and literature in graphic design, attorneys … the whole gamut of jobs," Velasco said.
"So really, you went into this thinking that people with autism would be good at certain jobs, and what you ended up discovering is they're good at all jobs?" asked Cowan.
"They are good at just about every role."