This is what Autism acceptance in employment looks like

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ASPartOfMe
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02 May 2019, 1:46 am

Man with autism finds joy in unusual job

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Brent McGavock owns McGavock Nissan Auto Dealership. He told me, “I look up and see a guy in a suit cleaning the counter, handing out cookies. I knew he wasn’t employed here. He said ‘I thought I would help out while I was getting my car serviced.’ I hired him on the spot."

Brent is talking about Brandon Buzzank, who has since become the frog mascot for the dealership.
When Brandon puts on the frog suit, he makes everybody happy.

Abbie Ancell, an employee, says with a smile, “He likes to go everywhere in the frog suit, even places he shouldn’t go.”

Katy Sanders, another employee adds, “He’s so much fun around here. All the little kids love him."
What you can’t see beneath the costume is a brilliant mind.

Brent says he learned something about Brandon when he converted to Catholicism. He says, “They checked his IQ and it was over 160. So, he’s a genius."

At the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Sherry Sancibrian is a speech and language pathologist with a special interest in the communication problems that come with the Autism Spectrum Disorder.
She says, "Some people have significant deficits, but so many in the ASD are able to go to college or find employment that fits them.”

Brandon has taken classes at Texas Tech University. For now, he is pouring his interest into his job at McGavock. Basically, he does what they ask him to do and more.

Jorge Arguelles works with him in Inventory Management. He says Brandon developed a system where customers can scan a vehicle code with their iPhone which takes them to that vehicle on the McGavock website.

Brandon also figured out how to put graphics on the cards printed with the scan codes. Jorge adds, “Previously we had no idea how to do that.”

Jorge and I watched Brandon as he demonstrated the sticker process. It was a lengthy job. We must have looked like we were ready to move to something else, because Brandon said while he worked, “I’m almost done. I just have 5 more.” And Jorge explained, “Sometimes you just have to let him do his thing."

Brandon understands his disorder enough to want to improve. He says, “Anytime I see research on autism, I jump on it and try to get involved.” That’s why he is currently in a clinical trial testing a drug called Balovaptan. He flies to Austin regularly to participate in that drug study.

He says in the beginning, he didn’t know if he was getting the real drug or a placebo, but he has since learned that he is getting the real thing. And he believes he is seeing some improvement in his social skills.
However, he says he has also learned there is something more important than that. He says, “Drugs are good if they help you a little bit, but support means more than any drug. If nobody ever gets to take this drug, Balovaptan, life goes on. You don’t need a drug to change who you are."

Ironically, he and Sherry both told me the same thing, that more than Autism Awareness, the idea should be Autism Acceptance. And he says instead of a month, the effort should continue throughout the year.


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Joe90
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02 May 2019, 5:25 am

Good for him.


I want that drug.


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AquaineBay
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02 May 2019, 1:11 pm

Quote:
Some people have significant deficits, but so many in the ASD are able to go to college or find employment that fits them.


Ummm...does she know about the autism community? There are more that are unemployed or working in employment that DOESN'T fit them. Many of us struggle cause we can't find employment that fits us! Many areas don't have access to services that can help you with that.



ASPartOfMe
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02 May 2019, 5:15 pm

AquaineBay wrote:
Quote:
Some people have significant deficits, but so many in the ASD are able to go to college or find employment that fits them.


Ummm...does she know about the autism community? There are more that are unemployed or working in employment that DOESN'T fit them. Many of us struggle cause we can't find employment that fits us! Many areas don't have access to services that can help you with that.

Most employers and people in general do not accept differences, they fear them, they don't and misunderstand them.


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Identified and joined WP August 26, 2013
DSM 5: Autism Spectrum Disorder, DSM IV: Aspergers Moderate Severity

"The lunatics have taken over the asylum" - The Specials