Employment makes world a difference to those with autism

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Parents of children with autism or other disorders, see up close the challenges those children face.

It's a 24/7 commitment, and the parents immerse themselves into helping them through every step.

Watching a child struggle to learn basic things is heartbreaking for parents, but the moments of achievement are magnified when the lightbulb goes on, when that child meets and exceeds the challenge set before them. The moments when a child overcomes his disorder and learns another step toward meeting societal norms, those are moments worth celebrating.

As those children grow up, parents' fears and worries build as the children approach adulthood. And when businesses and workplaces open their doors for people with autism or other disorders, it makes a world of difference in the lives of those families.

Recently, the Southeast Missourian profiled Jackson's school district, which employs two individuals with autism in custodial roles at the district. Custodian supervisor Jefferson Fox said they're among his best employees.

Fox sees the value that these employees bring. They're dependable and task-driven, and he has learned that it's important for them to stick to plans. Communication with those with disorders is always a work in progress, and Fox has taken the time to understand how communication is most effective with these two individuals.

We're happy to see the district reaching out and embracing these individuals. The ability to earn a living is essential in gaining independence. These jobs and opportunities mean the world to these individuals and their families. We offer a special thank you to all those businesses who work with people just outside the norms.

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