We are focused on finding jobs for people with Autism.
"Do you want an old vending machine? "
Alex's 6th grade special ed teacher asked me. "Um, I guess, OK." I responded.
We cleaned, fixed and stocked the machine. We wrote some basic programs for restocking and counting the money, and jumped in.
6 months later, I was blown away. Counting change? Fluent. Stocking independently? Yep. Filling out the inventory sheets? No problem. Going to the machine independently and doing the entire job himself? Yep.
"What's going on here?" I said to myself.
For the past year we had been struggling. After years of intensive therapies and 1:1 work Alex was getting resistant. Is this puberty, am I programming incorrectly, is his classroom wrong? I was rethinking everything. Then Jennifer suggested we look for more jobs (the one we had was working well), OK I said, lets give it a try.
3 years later, I can't quite believe it. Alex is in his community, doing meaningful work. He is having work on his language and social skills in real environments. The people around him are learning about what Autism does and doesn't look like. Most of all, Alex seems proud of himself.
I have a short term goal and a long term goal for this website. The short term goal is to share what were doing with others. I think this model has value to the community. I'd like to let other parents/caregivers see how it this can be done. My longer term goal is to turn this into a non profit that helps support other young adults looking to build their skill set by working in the community.