It’s difficult for most people to understand what life is like for people who have autism. How do they see the world? Why do they react to certain things? Can they see things the way I do?
Although autism is a little different for each affected individual, most people with autism process sensory information differently, and more slowly. Sensory information includes things you see, hear, feel, taste, smell, balance and body awareness. People can prioritize their senses and pay attention only to what’s important, and ignore what is not, but those with autism sometimes can’t. Autistic people can also under experience or over experience senses, like blurry vision and super sharp hearing.
People who have autism often find it hard to gain employment because they need more time to understand instructions, sometimes have trouble communicating with employers and customers, or simply because employers aren’t willing to work with them. Everyone needs to feel that they have a purpose, are accepted, and have something to contribute. These needs are no different for people with disabilities, like autism.
That’s why some autistic people have become entrepreneurs. Matt Cottle is a perfect example. He worked in a supermarket bagging groceries and collecting carts, but wanted to do more. He asked if could work in the store’s bakery and was rejected by his boss.
Today, he’s the owner of Stuttering King Bakery making baked goods for businesses and events that need catering. After trying to find jobs and being rejected from a culinary school, he finally found a pastry chef who agreed to mentor him. They met through Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center (SAARC). Once he started receiving orders, creating a company seemed like the obvious answer for him and his family.
Other autistic entrepreneurs have achieved success by designing livestock equipment, starting lawn care businesses and other endeavors. These business owners, with the help of family and friends are providing services to customers, while changing views on how autistic people can contribute to society.
Each person has unique abilities and desires, and finding the right type of work for yourself or a loved one can be a difficult, but worthwhile journey. These two organizations may be able to help you find the best occupation:
SAARC - www.autismcenter.org
Extraordinary Ventures - www.extraordinaryventures.org
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Please note that the organizations mentioned above are not affiliated or partnered with Autism Life Link, they’re simply helpful resources that we think you should know about!