Does Asperger’s make you a better software coder?

source ZDNet.

Aspiritech, a non-profit software testing firm hires people with Asperger’s syndrome exclusively, then trains and employs them as software testers. Though a non-profit, Aspiritech performs for-profit work for Websites, software developers and application designers. The company performs compatibility testing, functional testing, regression testing and test-case & test-script development.

Aspritech founder Brenda Weitzberg, told ERE’s Todd Raphael that employees with Asperger’s syndrome are the perfect software testers.

The proof of concept came from Danish company and recent research from Harvard Business School and others showed that the strengths of people with Aspergers and high-functioning autism actually make them superior at software testing. They’re ability to focus, good memory, their high intelligence, their strong technical skills, their ability to detect details and also to stay focused over lengthy periods, really makes them ideal for software testing work. People w/ Aspergers can become ideal software testers.

That’s not news. Researchers have speculated that some of the qualities and behaviors associated with Asperger’s syndrome can be benefits to have as a software developer. High intelligence, a strong memory, attention to detail and extreme focus are good traits to possess in the trade. And characteristics of a life studying and working in technology are appealing to those with Asperger’s. From a 2008 ComputerWorld article:

Why do Asperger’s individuals gravitate to technology? “Adults with Asperger’s have a social naiveté that prevents them from understanding how people relate. What draws them in is not parties and social interaction, but work that allows them to feel safe, to feel in control,” explains Steve Becker, a developmental disabilities therapist at Becker & Associates, a private practice in the Seattle suburb of Des Moines, Wash., that conducts ongoing small group sessions for adults with AS, among other services.

“What’s better for that than a video game or a software program?” Becker asks. “When you’re designing a software program, there are rules and protocols to be followed. In life, there is no manual.”

Rumors often fly about the high occurrence of Asperger’s among the children of Silicon Valley and even some of it’s greatest stars are rumored to be afflicted.

But other behaviors like an inability to multi-task or read non-verbal cues were seen as unfit for the workplace and unwelcome on a job interview, Weitzberg told ERE.

It’s illegal to ask an applicant about a medical condition including mental health conditions, hiring managers are attuned to behavior during the interview. While many may be turned off by what they see while interviewing someone with Apserger’s, if the job is in software, the interviewer should think again, said Barbara Bissonnette in the same ERE Podcast.

From a recruiter’s perspective, people w/ Asperger’s really are the specialists and technicians in the workplace. There are lots of jobs where you need skills methodical detail, oriented in their work. We’re predicting a real shortage in the next decade of skilled workers. Here we have a talent pool that is underutilized of people who can be filling in some of the gaps in the right kind of jobs with the right kind of support.

Rhythmic Movement Training

Rhythmic Movement Training (RMT) is dedicated to bringing integration and balance to children and adults with specific learning challenges (including ADD/ADHD, dyslexia and autism), motor problems, postural imbalances, emotional and behavioural problems and general life overwhelm.
Developed by Dr Harald Blomberg a psychiatrist in Stockholm, Sweden after studying with Kirsten Linde, a self taught therapist in Stockholm, and Peter Blythe from INPP in Chester, England – these gentle rocking and rolling movements are based on the developmental movements babies naturally make before birth and during the first year of life. These movements are combines with the powerful kinesiology balancing techniques to promote integration of structural and emotional challenges in a safe, gentle way.
We are glad that Henry Remanlay came to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia last month to conduct RMT Level 1 & 2 at our centre.
Rhythmic Movement Training works at integrating infant reflex patterns through replicating developmental movements, gentle isometric pressure and self awareness.
Rhythmic movements comprise gentle rocking and rolling movements that stimulate the neural pathways, to make connections that promote ease of movement and learning.
We are also honoured to have Moira Dempsey to conduct RMT Level 3 and FPR for us in Malaysia this year at our centre (BEST Centre). Click here for schedule and info on the international website.
For latest RMT Class schedule, please refer to our Academy website at:
Training Location:
Breakthru Academy
71-2, 2nd Floor, Block D, Platinum Walk
Jalan Langkawi, Taman Danau Kota,
53300 Kuala Lumpur
Please contact Phoebe Long +60123292681 or email for registration details. Seats are limited.

US students stressed out: study

First-year students on US campuses are experiencing record levels of stress, according to a study showing increasing financial and academic pressures on young people entering university.

By Agence France-Presse, 27 Jan 2011.

The University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) study, which surveyed 200,000 students entering their freshman year on American campuses last year, was released Thursday and found that just under 52 percent reported their emotional health was very good or “above average.”

That figure represents a major decline from 1985, the first year of the self-ratings survey, when nearly two-thirds of incoming freshmen placed themselves in those categories. It’s also a decline of 3.4 percentage points from 2009.

Female freshmen were more likely than their male peers to report feeling stressed. The UCLA researchers said just under 46 percent of females ranked their emotional health as very good, compared to 59 percent of males.

Women were more than twice as likely to frequently feel “overwhelmed by all I had to do” as high school seniors preparing for their first year of university.

“Stress is a major concern when dealing with college students,” said John Pryor, lead author of the report.

“If students are arriving in college already overwhelmed and with lower reserves of emotional health, faculty, deans and administrators should expect to see more consequences of stress, such as higher levels of poor judgment around time management, alcohol consumption and academic motivation.”

America’s economic crisis adds to the stress, according to the study, which said 53 percent of students rely on loans to help pay for college. In addition, nearly three-quarters of students reported receiving grants and scholarships, representing a nine-year high.

“The increasing cost of higher education poses a significant barrier to college access for today’s students,” said Sylvia Hurtado, co-author of the report.

“Students and families are now charged with the task of becoming more resourceful and strategic in finding new and creative ways to pay for college,” she added.

Parents of students are also more likely to be unemployed: nearly five percent said their father was out out of work — a record high; and the rate of unemployed mothers, nearing nine percent, continued to increase.

Economic concerns seem to have influenced students’ political views. Nearly two-thirds of students said wealthy people should pay more taxes, compared to just half of the students surveyed in 2002.

via msn

What Participant Says about Brain Gym 101 Course

Year 2011 Classes

I especially liked applying the skills learned straightaway by working with partners to create balancing movements.  The instructor adopts a personal approach and is very knowledgeable.  I loved the snacks, too!

Through self-reflection, I learned that I have more confidence now.  I am better able to change the way I think, feel and act. Brain Gym is more than just music and movements. It involves scientific evidence that proves we can learn (grow and change) through a series of coordinated movements.

– Jeni Nelson
Kindergarten teacher


I learned that I  am able to achieve my goals easily. The movements help me to improve myself.

I am also able to understand brain functions better. Brain Gym has helped me to identify the aspects of life that I can change.

This course is not only about doing exercises for the brain. Most importantly, it helps one to achieve his or her goals in a simple way yet successful way.

Melodie Lim
Secondary school student


I’m calmer and more positive in my outlook now. Brain Gym is a useful course for me as well as others.

Ho Yee Noi
Retired teacher


I noticed much improvement after going through the Brain Gym movements.  I feel I know myself better now. It is an amazing course.

Lo Siew Yung
Senior executive


I learned how to set positive goals and to use Brain Gym in my everyday life. My reading has improved a lot and I am more focused now. This is a good course that can help in many aspects of life.

Secondary school student


We attended the Brain Gym 101 course recently. We practised the Brain Gym movements with our sons three times a day. Within a week, I noticed that my 7-year-old son, who has learning and behavioural challenges, was able to spell all the words correctly in his spelling test at school. He is able to remember his lessons easily, too. He also performs the Brain Gym movements on his own in school whenever he feels down.  He says that he feels better after doing the movements.

Mr and Mrs Thein


Learning how the brain functions is the best part of the Brain Gym course. It is a very good and helpful course.

College student


I enjoy doing the Brain Gym activities. I notice positive changes in me because I feel more relaxed and comfortable after attending the Brain Gym course. This course can really help people.



I gained the knowledge of performing the Brain Gym movements and how to become a better person. I am more comfortable in setting my goals and able to do the activities easily.


Brain Gym® for Parents, Child and Trainers



How can I experience
Brain Gym ® ?

You can experience Brain Gym in private sessions with a licensed Brain Gym ® practitioner, or in classes such as the introductory Brain Gym ® 101 course.

You will find Brain Gym ® 101 course to be a movement-based educational experience centered around 26 simple activities that recall the movements children naturally do during their first years of life as they learn to coordinate their eyes, ears, hands and whole body.

No matter what challenges you or children may face, this course will help you to awaken your natural abilities, freeing you to move, learn, grow and succeed as well as to support your children’s learning process.

You’ll find the content of this course to be immediately valuable not only to yourself but to the friends, colleagues, and family members you may share it with.

Brain Gym International website



Who can benefit from


Parents!   Teachers! Teenagers!
Athletes!  Professionals!

Take charge of your learning, parenting and working style! Learn specific hands-on movements and balances that will:

*Promotes efficient communication,

*Increases in creativity,

*Alleviates stress

*Enhances performance in study, work, sports etc.

*Brings more ease and joy in your teaching your children / students, including those with behavioural or learning difficulties.

Find out more about:



What will I learn ?

This 24-hour course introduces you to using Brain Gym to benefit yourself and others. You will learn how to draw out potential in all areas of life by using powerful Brain Gym tools, including :

4 Steps to Get Ready – This four minute Brain Gym warm-up helps you feel focused, relaxed and ready to begin any new task or challenge.

26 Specific Movement Activities – Quick, simple physical movements that enhance specific skills, such as memory, math reading, writing and communication, while improving creativity, energy levels, athletic performance, and school and business success.

The 5-Step Balance – this process targets a goal of your choice. You will learn how to select and do the Brain Gym activities that best support achieving the goal.

2 Re-patterning Sequences – Dennison Laterality Re-patterning and Three Dimension Re-patterning “remind” different areas of your brain to work together synergistically. They are specially useful for improving focus, participation, and organization, and for the greater case in everyday tasks and physical activities.

Event held in:


Date and Time:

Check out our online registration for list of upcoming classes and register online:



Breakthru Enrichment Station
70-2, 2nd Floor, Block H, Platinum Walk, Taman Danau Kota, 53300 Kuala Lumpur

Tel: 012-3292681
Email :


Download map:
PDF format

View map in Google Map:
Google Map

Brain Gym BG101 Fees :

One participant: RM1,100

Review student: RM550

Couple fees: RM1,800 (for 2)
Applicable for parents and /or care giver, 1 set of BG101 manual & ‘Brain Gym and Me’ book will be provided only.

** Full payment Early Bird discount RM100 – 4 weeks before course commence is applicable to all the fee types above.

3+1 Special Group Early Bird:
Applicable for registration of 3 participants – RM3,200 and the 4th participant FREE.

Fees inclusive of  BG101 manual, International Certificate and light refreshments.

Phoebe Long

Brain Gym® Instructor/Consultant

International Registered
Touch for Health™ Instructor

Phoebe and Dr. Paul Dennison, the Founder of Brain Gym International

She has the privilege of hands-on learning and experiencing Brain Gym with Dr. Paul Dennison (Founder of Brain Gym International), Dr. Carla Hannaford (Author of various books i.e. Smart Moves, The Dominance Factor, Awakening the Child Heart and Playing in the Unified Field), Cecilia Koester (Author of Interfacing Brain Gym with Children who have Special Needs)  and many other dedicated and passionate instructors.

Brain Gym® is a program of easy physical movements that synchronize body and mind to optimize how we learn and perform in all areas of our lives at…

School.. Arts.. Athletics.. Social skills..

The movements are easy to do and enjoyable for adults, children, and seniors, and they bring about rapid and lasting changes in fundamental abilities, including : focus, organization, comprehension, physical coordination, social and communication skills, memory, attentiveness, and more.

“Brain Gym began as breakthrough for overcoming learning disabilities, but soon expanded into a program for drawing out potential at every level of skill and achievement.”

When Dr. Peter Cox, former U.S. Fencing Team gold medallist, was preparing for the Olympics, his training schedule included Brain Gym. “I was amazed at the results,” he wrote, “and so were my opponents.”

In the 1970s, educational therapist Paul E. Dennison, PhD, began drawing from and building on this knowledge to create a group of movement that, with the eventual collaboration of his wife and partner, Gail E. Dennison, would become the Brain Gym movements and the cornerstone of the field of Educational Kinesiology (“enhanced learning through movement”).

“What is particularly noteworthy about the Brain Gym results is that the changes are rapid, far-reaching, and lasting… Within a year, a surprising number of those students were transferred into classes for gifted students.”

said Svetlana Masgutova, PhD, a psychologist in Russia, used Brain Gym with ‘learning disabled’ high school students who had been placed in remedial classes.

Developmental experts have known for more than 80 years that physical movement activates the brain and enhances learning

These early versions of the Brain Gym movements achieved their first success in California’s Valley Remedial Group learning centres. There they enabled many children and adults who had been identified as “dyslexic,” “ADD,” “hyperactive,” or “learning disabled” to discover and develop their true potential. Subsequent studies published in North America, Germany, Australia and elsewhere confirmed that the Brain Gym movements produced measurable gains in physical skills, learning skills, and academic performances.

Learning Difficulties Caused by Dyslexia

Children with dyslexia experience many learning difficulties. Most of the learning difficulties vary from child to child in types and levels. However, a common behaviour of these children, without proper guidance and acceptance, are a lack of self confidence and have very low self-esteem.

The following are some of the learning difficulties caused by dyslexia experience by many dyslexic children:

1. Difficulties with spelling.
Dyslexic children have difficulty with phonological processing. They have difficulties in identifying sounds, knowing how many sounds there are, and knowing the order in which sounds occur in words. They tend to spell with sensible phonic but wrong i.e. jerney for journey. They also experience difficulties with visual memory when they show jumbled spellings i.e. thron for thorn

2. Difficulties with reading.
Some dyslexic children have difficulties with visual tracking when they have difficulties to decode words, read fluently from left to right and therefore have difficulties to comprehend what they have just read.

Read more “Learning Difficulties Caused by Dyslexia”

Behavioural Experience

Journal – 14 Jan

One of our kids in the centre came crying. After enquiring what was happening, the boy was upset because some else press on the lift button. He refuse to go into the centre. His dad brought him to the ground floor and allow him to press the lift button again, he was settled and willing to enter the centre door. Later he snatched a toy from his peer and refuse to say sorry. I led him to a quiet room and allow him to have some space. I explain to him the situation and consequences of his action. This time, he settled down quickly and willing to apologise for his snatching behaviour.

What I learn – It is important to stay calm in dealing with behaviour situation. Allow time and space for a child with behavioural issue to cool down. In doing so, he would be able to choose and be responsible for his behaviour more willingly.

Acquired her sense of responsibility

Journal – 13 Jan

An 11 years old ADHD boy (CY) commented “I remembered Thursday is free play. I liked today the best!”

The children were so happy that they were encouraged to bring any of the play materials and invite friends to play along for an hour.

(Child can be creative during unstructured play session)

I noticed our 9 years old Autistic girl (CQ) responded very well with this free play session. She took out a box of threading boards and started threading. Later, she went over and played with another friends on the ‘Thumbling Monkeys’. When she was asked to keep her previous threading board, she did it immediately and then returned to her monkey’s game. Wow, it’s amazing to witness that CQ has acquired her sense of responsibility.

Foundation Skill Development


The parents of a 3-old-boy came to us for guidance. Their son had not started speaking and did not respond to others.  He watched television a lot and still wore diapers. The boy was referred to us by a kindergarten because it did not have the necessary expertise to help him. Many parents come to us to seek support and guidance for their children’s early development needs.

Within three months, the boy could say the word “grandma”. He also attempts to communicate with others. His parents are happy that he is responding well to instructions and that he is slowly learning to wean himself from wearing diapers. What joy!

Our foundation development programme aims to support younger children in bridging the gap in their developmental stages by using movements-based learning therapies like Brain Gym, Rhythmic Movement Training, Castilo Method, Padovan Method and sensory integration activities. In addition, we also employ free play, interpersonal communication and provide a conducive environment to tap into the children’s natural self-learning ability.

Parents are strongly encouraged to get involved in the development of their children. Through the Individualised Educational Programme, they constantly communicate with our facilitator to follow up on their children’s development and behavioural changes.

If you notice that your child is missing out on his or her developmental milestone, please don’t wait until he or she is much older to take action. It’s best to support him or her at the earliest stage possible.

Do email or call us to find out how we may support your child.

Parent-Child Early Intervention Class (Now Breakthru Saturday)



(Parent and child learning breakthrough session)

Every Thursdays, 2.30pm-4.30pm

Today is the 1st day of the Parent Child Intervention Class. 4 parents brought along their children to the class. We have 2 families that has attended at least 9 sessions last year while 2 families came for the 1st time.

It’s amazing how our parents who have attended the sessions before are more confident and positive towards training their children. The other 2 new parents displayed similar anxiety of the 2 of the existing mothers on their 1st session with us. Parents learnt skull tapping and rhythmic movement and apply the techniques on each other. We noticed that one of the parents had difficulties in following the rhythm and sequence of tapping the correct position. The parents shared and encouraged one another.

It was a beautiful sight to see parents supporting and encouraging one another.

(Parents and child warming-up prior to therapy session)

Today, the children experienced a safe and playful environment. Our desire is that with the environment, children of different challenges enjoy playing with each other just like any normal children.

We will have this session on every Thursday from 2.30pm to 4.30pm. Our consultants will help each family and provide parents with intervention techniques  so that they can apply to their own child. Prior booking is required. You may find our contacts at the bottom of this page.


Parent-Child Early Intervention Class is now being converted into Breakthru Saturday with a new format and more great activities.


Welcome to BEST.

My name is Phoebe Long and I am an educationist.

This site is created to introduce Breakthru Enrichment Station and for me to share my experience in aiding children with learning difficulties to breakthru in their difficulties. I was a kindergarten teacher since 1999, and has been working with many children since then, guiding them to learn and building their interest in learning. My past experiences including being a principal of InTouch kindergarten along Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur, using the well known Fungates System. Teaching is a joy to me especially seeing the child is able to breakthru in their learning.

I am also a licensed Brain Gym instructor, and Touch for Health instructor.

Breakthru Enrichment Station is the sequel to our well known BreakthruKids services. We hope with this expansion we could serve more families with children with special needs in a greater way, with bigger space, more facilities and more special need educators!


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