This guest blog is the third in a series from my friend and colleague Dan E. Burns. Dan asks the tough questions to find answers related to young adults living with autism. Dan’s last guest post Touch, See, Feel, Move explored The Brookwood Community, the brain in relation to movement and exercise. In today's post, Dan interviews one of the founders of nonPareil Institute in Plano, Texas, to learn how the Institute his helping adults with autism find job success.
The Pinocchio Syndrome: nonPareil Institute and Jobs for Adults with Autism
by Dan E. Burns
Months before he graduated high school, Ben carried around his picture book, Jobs People Do, as if a diploma would transform him into a scuba diver, waiter, photographer, or nurse. “I believe,” his eyes said as he waited, capped and gowned, to cross the stage. Ben is pre-verbal and severely impaired. Like Geppetto, Pinocchio’s father, I awaited his transformation from a wooden puppet to a real boy with worth, autonomy, and a future.