Nat and Pat after receiving his high school diploma!
Our story begins 20 years ago when I found out I had to share the spotlight with a new baby brother. Pat was diagnosed with Autism at the age of 2 in the 1990s, when resources were far and few between. Over the last two decades, our family has navigated the world of Autism with lots of laughs (and tears) along the way. Pat is now a high school graduate, absolute rockstar guitar player, and employed young man with a killer smile.
The CDC says that 1% of the US population - or three million people are on the Autism spectrum. The prevalence of Autism has increased to 1 in every 68 children... there are very few people who have not been impacted by Autism.
Despite all of this, the employment rate of young adults between 21 - 25 years old is staggeringly low and only half have ever held a paid job outside the home, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Navigating the job hunt for adults with Autism is hard!
Autism Works was created in my hope to aggregate resources that other families may find helpful, encourage discussions, share our story, and help everyone live their life to the fullest.
I have been active in the Autism community for as long as I can remember. Being involved in the community gave me a great sense of belonging and a way to channel my energy towards something I care about deeply, especially as it impacts the #1 person in my life.
I was appointed to the Commission for Persons with Disabilities by the Mayor of Medford, serve on the Greater Boston Autism Speaks Committee, manage Pat's Pals - a team I founded that has raised tens of thousands of dollars for Autism research, and also published multiple articles about my experience with Autism in both local and national publications. Sharing my story - the good, the bad, and the ugly - is my passion. I love to talk to other families (especially siblings) and educate people. My end goal is this site be used to aggregate Autism resources for people in Boston.