Autism, while prevalent in our society, is often misunderstood. If you’re looking for ways to support and accommodate the people in your life who are affected by it, read on—you’ll quickly learn it’s easier when you have the right tools at your disposal.
Along with this improved understanding of autism has come better approaches for treating children with autism. While institutionalization was for decades the primary option for children with autism, new approaches opened doors to less dramatic treatments that allow children to stay with their families and in their communities.
One of the biggest challenges people with autism traditionally have faced is finding a job. Although many people with autism naturally possess some of the “soft skills” employers find so attractive – diligence, attention to detail and loyalty, as examples – a lack of appreciation for these attributes, a lack of understanding about autism and a shortage of accommodations too often serve as barriers to the workplace for many willing workers.
Most families would find it difficult to imagine the challenges facing a family when a child has a developmental disability. They might find it even harder to imagine being able to rally the relentless hope and perseverance that, sometimes, can help that child grow into a bright and energetic person. The Hovey Family knows that journey well: Their son Matt has come a long way and is now taking college classes … classes that he pays for in part by selling a joke book he wrote titled “1000 One-Liners.”
As Damar celebrates its 50th year, we look back on a lot of changes. It only makes sense: Simply surviving for a half century requires an organization to adapt, but an organization like Damar, which strives continually to innovate and improve, must do more than adapt. It must embrace change as a part of its mission.
From the entry-level employee to the clinical specialist, and from the Direct Care Technician to the Accountant, every one of us can say, “I don’t just work at Damar … I am Damar. I make a difference.”