Home » Reaction: The Target Post – Employing Autism
As I was going through recent stories on my Special Needs Parenting and Blogging Topic over on Scoop.It (just a little plug!) I came across a great little article by Huffington Post writer Jim Walter about his recent trip to Target. And it got me to thinking beyond his post a bit.
Here’s his original post on Facebook:
His updated post on The Huffington Post went over the kinds of comments and reaction he received, though I really think the viral nature of his post should tell us a little something more. His post, to date, has received 440, 911 likes and 11, 132 comments!
Why do we Care About Employing Autism
When I say “employing autism” I am thinking of adults and teenagers who have autism, at all points along the spectrum, who can be gainfully employed in any way … Target employing one autistic young man is but one example.
But that’s kind of the point.
We have three boys who are at different points on the autism spectrum. While Andy is very mildy autistic, Bobby is more moderately autistic, and Logan more severely. They all have their strengths and weaknesses. I’m sure that, given the right environment, the right interest, and the right (read: supportive) kind of employer each of them could find a job they love.
But to be employed, they must find an employer willing to hire them, work with them, and care that some things are more difficult than others for them. This might be one example of one employer who was willing to employ one young man with autism, but in this example I see hope for our three boys.
Yes, even Logan, who is still largely nonverbal.
As a society, how we treat those who need a little more help determines how we succeed, not just as a society, but as communities and individuals.
One employer at a time, one community at a time, we can see a world that is starting to accept our kids are just as awesome as we’ve always said they are.
Yes, it starts with this one young man, or the young woman I noticed at a store in Indianapolis, or the two young people with cerebral palsy I see often at my local grocery store. But the point is, it starts.
We can help that along by being the best advocates possible for our children. Employing autism might seem a trite way to say it, but in the same way that you employ any person, you are employing their strengths and weaknesses.
Society has mistakenly thought autism was only a weakness for too long.
Now, maybe others can start to see autism as a strength as well.
The Target PostHuffington Post (blog)After I tagged the picture (or failed to tag it), I searched for Target and figured I’d write a quick “kudos” to them and ask a few people I know in the autism blogging community to just go read and like it… See on www.huffingtonpost.com
What about you? Do you have a story about a special way society has started to accept those with autism? Or maybe you’re discouraged, hurt, or even scared about how society treats you and/or your child with special needs? Tell me about it – I’d love to hear from you in the comments!