Creative Employment for People with Autism, Down Syndrome, and Mental Health Issues
Imagine yourself as the parent of a child with Down Syndrome or another Special Need. Most parents go through a time of grief (for the child and experiences they had in their mind). Even early on as an infant or toddler the experience of parenting a child with Special Needs puts you in another category, not sharing the same experiences as other moms and dads in the community. Your child won’t go through their first steps, toilet training, speaking, writing or reading in the same time frame as the parents of a typical child. That can be very disheartening and challenging.
Even as the children get older as the differences loom larger, parents see there is less likelihood of their son or daughter getting married going to college and having a career. Trade school is also not an option for a child with Developmental Disabilities as something as simple as working a cash register would be impossible for a child with Down Syndrome due to the frequent absence of math skills.
So, to get back to Delicious Spoonfuls. Our “WHY”.
We adopted Adir as an infant (so cute!!) knowing he had Down Syndrome. His bio parents in NY left him at the hospital and an uncle had taken him in for a few weeks until we brought him home.
He has been a source of pride and amazement and like most kids, aggravation. My husband and I both love him to pieces. He has so much personality. At 28, he has worked at the same Goodwill for almost 7 years since High School. We have learned via work experience, parenting and learning from other parents and professionals the best way to teach someone with down Syndrome is through modeling. Show them how to do it, rather than put it on paper or just talk about it.
We will be modeling positive behaviors and customer service skills to our staff /hosts. We will work with them to get Serve safe certified to work in a commercial kitchen. (I am certified as a kitchen manager).. They will also be able to take these skills with them to work in another commercial kitchen. Adir has learned basic cooking skils from me and I realize that measuring 1/2 or 2/3 cup of some ingredient would be impossible to figure out. They will however, be able to find the right size scoop as we measure the correct weight of our different scoops, and amounts of toppings. I will also be utilizing a POS system with pictures to show one scoop, two or three, different toppings and respective prices, Cash ill be taken by one of the more abled staff members.
This will enable staff members to earn as much as they can without affecting their Social Security (Don’t get me started on how that system always keeps them disabled and needy).
So, how will you be helping the families if people with Special Needs? Help them get jobs where they will get the training appropriate to their skills and where they will be appreciated for their work!!
We will need some volunteers and some startup capital. Our non-profit is awaiting approval. Hopefully within the week!
Call Helen Gottesman 561-676-2078 or Robert Gottesman 561-676-2075