Recognizing Autism Awareness Month

April 24, 2017

By Jackie Helm, Service Coordinator

You may have seen that April is Autism Awareness Month. Autism Speaks is hosting their Light it up Blue campaign, landmarks across the world turned blue to create awareness, and Sesame Street debuted Julia, a character on the Autism Spectrum. Opportunity Partners, along with these organizations and others across the world, are happy to celebrate! Today I am happy to share the stories of three incredible individuals we support at Opportunity Partners – Karlins Center.

Eva may be one of the oldest people at Karlins Center, but she is young at heart. Eva enjoys watching The Wizard of Oz, lacing activities, cooking, Legos, drinking tea, community outings and puzzles. She has been with OP since 2004; over the years, she has developed trusting relationships with others and now advocates for herself. She also has learned how to share with her peers and has discovered the joy of friendship. Eva is kind, vibrant and energetic woman.

Corbin is a friendly young woman whose smile lights up a room. She enjoys sorting objects by color, movement activities, community outings, Barney and full house. Currently Corbin’s favorite community outings are Como Zoo, local parks and The Humane Society. Corbin has also been with us since 2004 and over years, she has increased her vocabulary, learned how to identify colors, began to advocate for the things she wants and needs and has begun to develop friendships with others.

Last year, Eric began showing an interest in community employment. Shortly after meeting with the OP job development team, he was offered a job at a Holiday Stationstore in Plymouth. Eric began his job earlier this year as a sales associate/food specialist. He works three times a week, taking care of the coffee and soda station. Eric’s manager describes him as a quick learner who consistently does his job well. The employees at Holiday state that Eric fits in perfectly and they are happy that he is part of the team. Working at Holiday has given Eric the confidence to develop positive relationships at work and at OP. He says that he loves his job at Holiday and enjoys earning his own money to buy items like movies and snacks.

We at Karlins-Center are so proud of Eva, Corbin and Eric’s accomplishments. It has been amazing watching their development and we cannot wait to see what happens next.

You can learn more about Autism Awareness Month on the Autism Society’s website.