Man with autism learns to drive, gets job decorating cakes

Michael Holtzclaw enjoys the total process of decorating grocery store cakes, including just being able to get in his automobile and come to work to get started.

The 22-year-old with autism seemed unlikely a few years ago to be able to enjoy such an independent existence. But through the help of the United Way-funded Goodwill Industries, he was able to get his driver’s license and find employment.

“The driving instructor said he was a natural,” said his mother, Linda Holtzclaw, with a laugh.

via Beating driving fears takes the cake for man with autism » Knoxville News Sentinel.

Knoxville program helps employ adults with autism

Adults with autism are getting job training and better acquainted with their community in Knoxville, Tennessee, thanks to Breakthrough Knoxville. The parent-started organization also provides housing, social groups, respite care and other services for autistic people age 18 and older. Breakthrough Knoxville is also working on developing a neighborhood for adults with autism!

Here’s a local news story on the employment program. We wish there were job opportunities for adults with autism in every community!

Every Tuesday, Jennifer Wilkerson helps “Scrappin in the City” open up shop.

“She vacuums. She dusts. She mops,” says Yvette Morris, co-owner of Scrappin In The City.

Not only is she a real go getter, Jennifer is perhaps the store’s most pleasant employee.

“Just a week ago, she started giggling and laughing,” says Sarah Preston, co-owner of Scrappin In The City. Jennifer is autistic. Thanks to a program called Breakthrough Knoxville, she landed a job at Scrappin In The City back in August.

“Breakthrough by design is to help improve the lives of adults with Autism,” says William Brown with Breakthrough Knoxville. “That’s our motto.”

via Knoxville program helps employ adults with autism |

Art therapy for autism

Here’s a post by a blogger who visited a Memphis museum with a staff art therapist to talk about art therapy and autism. Very interesting and exciting for those of you in Tennessee!

Yesterday my husband and I went on a field trip. Yes, grown ups still go on field trips. This one was very special to us. We are the founders of a non-profit for children and families affected by autism and we received an email from the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art. Sidebar: what a wonderful place! Anyway, they were thinking of putting of putting on an exhibit in the fall that focused on autism therapy. And, they thought of The Dockery Foundation! We were thrilled, to say the very least!

via Art Therapy for Autism | autisable.