15-year-old with Asperger Syndrome completes computer networking course at BU

Posted on Thursday, July 25 2013

Ben Robertson with Professor Jim Roach

A 15-year-old with a form of autism is thought to be the youngest in the country to have completed an industry-accredited computer networking course.

Ben Robertson completed the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) course in Network Fundamentals at Bournemouth University.

Ben, who has Asperger Syndrome, is a pupil at Southlands School, a residential specialist school for children with Asperger Syndrome and other associated difficulties, based in Lymington.

He completed the industry-accredited course in 15 weeks, visiting Bournemouth University’s Talbot Campus on a Wednesday afternoon to work alongside staff and students.

The qualification is normally intended for network professionals and certifies the ability to install, operate, and troubleshoot medium-sized computer networks.

“I thought the course sounded interesting,” said Ben, who is about to finish Year 10.

“I enjoyed most of it, but it was difficult.

“I know now how to link up computers and get them to work, and more about how the internet works.”

He added that computer networking is now something that he would possibly like to go into as a career.

“I liked the practical side of it – having to link up different computers to a network and making sure that they all actually work,” he said.

“It feels pretty good to have completed the course, and everyone is proud of me.”

Ben was presented with a certificate for completing the course by Professor Jim Roach, Dean of BU’s School of Design, Engineering and Computing.

Professor Roach said: “It’s a qualification that is recognised across the industry, and you can take it wherever you want to go.

“It’s a really useful qualification, it’s worthwhile and it is something to be proud of.”