Thursday, November 29, 2012

When your CEO has autism

When I first started this little venture it was for the sole purpose of saving my son's life.  Coming from a place of deep despair it was necessary to think outside the box and reinvent a reason for him to get up - to engage in the world - and to want to live in a world that for him is astoundingly confusing, loud, and frustrating. He is nonverbal and severely autistic.  There is no really nice way to say it, except to say he is one of those hard hit kids from the beginning of this epidemic who has struggled through every phase of his life.

This phase has proven to be the most difficult. Whatever came before at ages 8 or 9 or 10 pale in comparison. 

So to say the business has been successful in pulling him up and out of a very dark place would be accurate, and I think for many people with autism being meaningfully engaged is the key to getting through the day.

The idiosyncracies that accompany autism make it nearly impossible to hold down a job of any kind or to interact with the typical features of the world we live in,.

Noises, lights, demands are too much for many and Andrew is no exception.

We reinvent the wheel daily sometimes, creating jobs, refining jobs and modifying jobs. He has proven that he is pretty good at most that is presented despite his level of disability. Creative arts are interesting to him and because they are he stays engaged for the time he is devoting himself to his job.

But having a CEO with autism presenets its challenges.  At one point we made a bunch of pretty cool paperclips, complete with an autism puzzle piece on the back - hand stamped by Andrew. He willingly placed them in envelopes and assisted with the packaging ---- until one day all of the decorations needed to come off and they needed to be returned to their naked metal selves.  So much for that endeavor. So that job is not his anymore we found him a new one...

So here's to coloring outside the lines and a bravo to those who do!

cate : )

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