Eric attends Abilities’ Hackettstown program, and not long ago Eric went to the program supervisor’s office, and with difficulty explained that he was lonely and there were only a few people he felt comfortable talking to. Marcie, his supervisor, decided to challenge Eric by asking him to be a team leader and take on some responsibilities. He agreed and was connected to Abilities staff member Megan, to be his mentor. Eric was put in charge of decorating the Hackettstown program’s bulletin board with the theme of Developmental Disability Month for March, and Autism Awareness Month for April.
Enthused, Eric immediately returned to his work area and began planning. The staff saw an immediate change in him, as Eric appeared more relaxed as he worked on his project. The center’s newest person, Splash, offered to help, and soon the pair had created a beautiful bulletin board. In the process they both learned about teamwork, and by the end of the project they were both more independent and confident. Eric’s smile says it all: at Abilities we identify an individual’s strengths, reinforce positive behaviors, and watch them grow. Eric is unique, as is Splash and everyone else at Abilities, but their stories of finding success are similar to that of many Abilities’ service recipients with autism.
For more information about Abilities ACES, a comprehensive and innovative service designed to address the vocational and societal needs of the ever-growing population of adults with autism, visit www.abilitiesnw.com/aces.php