Tailor Institute continues to help those with autism

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

What started as one man's vision now continues without the founder leading the way.

Earlier this year Dr. David Crowe died after fighting brain cancer. Crowe was a local orthodontist who also had a gift for photography. But he's often remembered foremost as the founder of the Tailor Institute, an organization that helps those with autism develop their gifts. Beyond the services provided, it's also been an avenue to help others know more about autism.

As we've written about before, Crowe's vision came from his son Taylor who is autistic. Taylor is an accomplished young man. Southeast Missourian readers are familiar with his cartoons, which periodically run on the Opinion page, and his artwork, which has been featured.

The Tailor Institute had no bigger champion than David Crowe. However, his work continues as the organization looks to help more children and young adults who are on the autism spectrum.

Reporter Samantha Rinehart wrote about what's happening in a story that appeared in the newspaper last month.

The institute has a new executive director, Carrie Tracy, and the former director, Jenny Knoderer, continues to work with the organization.

Among the ways the organization helps is through Project Life Experience, which provides the chance for 10 upperclassman in high school on the autism spectrum to live independently and get an idea of a college experience. Participants stay overnight in a residence hall and receive various tours.

The organization has reached out to businesses in an effort to help them understand more about autism and how autistic people can be good employees in the workplace.

There are other services, and we encourage you read more on semissourian.com.

"This concept of being beyond the Tailor Institute, that came from David, and it stands very firm with our board of directors," Knoderer said. "We're not just for Tailor Institute. This is about raising awareness in our community."

We applaud the Tailor Institute for its work and thank its supporters for helping meet a need in this area.

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