Saturday, March 24, 2012

What is the Dandelion Cooperative - Who are we?

At the heart of the Dandelion Cooperative is autism. We live and breathe autism on a daily basis.

The Dandelion Cooperative, LLC is a small grass roots business whose creation was initiated by the need to create an outlet and engagement for our son, Andrew, who is severely impacted by autism. Like many with autism, he needs a lot of help, direction and engagement, and those types of support are in short supply. With a weakened economy these children emerging into the teen  years  and young adult years, are being swept up in the lack of services with parents scrambling to figure it out quickly with little help.
Out of this difficult time for Andrew, a time of regression and backsliding to a very difficult and stressful place, the Dandelion Cooperative was born.
     Created specifically with the thought of fund raising and creative employment for Andrew in his own small business, I sped ahead not sure exactly how it would all work out in the end.
     What happened surprised even me. He liked it. He genuinely liked being involved, being given new tasks, being treated like he "can" versus he cannot and will not succeed.
   He reacted to new tasks initially with interest and better behaviors, so we felt we were on the right track.

We asked other craftspersons to join, we slowly built a small group of individuals willing to donate 20% of their sales toward fund raising for IPADS AND IPODS with communication software and so it started, and continues.   Products got better, Andrew became craftier and more helpful.
     The hope now is to grow and engage another individual to work in this tiny company. 
     We have talented soap makers, potters, candle makers, bee keepers, and graphic artists willing to help and we are so grateful.

Thanks to everyone on our autism listserv who made me feel anything was possible.


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