The Morrison household can be a chaotic scene at any given time, but the family likes it that way.
Among many important titles in his life, Jack Morrison is a senior software engineer, a husband, and a loving father to four boys, two of whom are on the autism spectrum. Jack wasn't diagnosed with Autism until late into his adulthood.
Autism Acceptance to the Morrison family happens 365 days a year—multiple times a day. While every day is trying and challenging, it's a life filled with love, cool hobbies, and yes, a bit of chaos.
Here's a bit about Jack
Q: Who is Jack Morrison? Tell us about yourself!
Jack: I have an incredibly diverse set of interests, hobbies, and skills which makes staying focused difficult. I’d have to say 3D modeling, digital graphics, 3D printing, writing code, electronics, hardware, custom cars, and playing guitar are a few of my hobbies.
Basically, anything related to building or fabricating “things” tends to draw my attention.
I live out in a rural area east of Dallas where I have space to work on projects when I have time. I have a background in many different technologies all of which coincidentally are very relevant to what I do at RoboKind.
Q: Did you always know you were autistic?
Jack: I never realized I was. I was different, quirky, and couldn’t relate to what most would consider "normal kid stuff". I was never formally diagnosed since I had coping skills. Through school, I always seemed to "just get by" where nobody noticed my disability until it was hard not to notice. It wasn’t until I recognized similar behavior in my sons.
When they were identified on the spectrum, I realized I was.
Q: What is something you’re so good at that other people think that you’re lying?
Jack: Visualizing solutions to problems in a way where I’ve already formed a plan in my head. The robot platform and lesson system are a product of that. See below for a glimpse into my madness. I can also acquire new skills very quickly.
Your RoboKind Journey
Q: What lead you to RoboKind?
Jack: I saw a posting for an opening for a software developer for the company. I was already somewhat familiar with RoboKind as I’ve run into Richard Margolin, our founder, on several occasions during robotics or Kickstarter events.
When I did more research, I realized the job brought together a ton of skills I already had and knew I needed to work for the company. Two of my kids are on the spectrum and I felt I’d be a good fit given my background.
Q: What sort of accommodations help make your job easier?
Jack: Flexibility in my working location and schedule. Even before COVID-19 I had this amazing level of flexibility.
Q: What is your advice to employers considering neurodiverse candidates?
Jack: Get to know what they are about. Neurodiverse candidates don’t always perform well during the interview process, especially being put on the spot for coding or other improvised tasks.
Misinterpretations can really tank an otherwise awesome candidate.