Hello. This is my first post. Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Paula Powers and I am a single full-time working mom to a 4 1/2 year old son that is on the autism spectrum. I am an avid member of MyAutismTeam and do a lot of independent internet research concerning autism.
I’ve come to learn over the past several weeks that young adults on the spectrum that are coming out of high school or college programs are having trouble finding work or are working for extremely low wages. I know when my son grows up and is ready to enter the working world I don’t want him to struggle like that.
Recently, I’ve read that companies such as Ultra Testing and SAP are starting to hire adults on the spectrum to do debugging and software testing. Jodi, founder of Geek Club Books, inspired me by her own story of how and why she started her company. This led me to want to start my own company as well.
Being in the IT industry for over 10 years, I have a wealth of knowledge in computer repair and support. I want to incorporate apprentice computer repair training for young adults on the spectrum and work with such organizations as the Arc to empower these individuals and give them new skills to take into the workforce, including earning a paycheck. I want to make navigating this journey called life a little easier for individuals with autism.
I first came to know of the Arc when my son started in the Early Intervention program with ABA, occupational and speech therapies. My son continued with the Arc programs for almost two years until he aged out at 3 and started the Pre-K program in our local public school system. Every administrator and therapist from the Arc that worked with our family and my son on attaining and reaching new goals were always so helpful and pleasant. The Arc is a valued asset to families and the autism communities that they serve. To be able to work with them to give back to the community would be a great honor.
Working with organizations such as the Arc will give me an inside look at the programs that are offered to consumers in the community and hopefully will give me the opportunity to help to expand and improve upon them.
Starting my own business will also enable me to spend more time with my son and be more active in his therapies at school and activities going on at his school, something that I’m not always able to do now working full-time for a private company.
The first thing on my to do list along this journey of starting my new business is to take a course at my local community college business center on running and owning a business since this is all new to me. I’m sure I will hit a few bumps in the road along the way but I am looking forward to the experiences and sharing it with you along the way. Thank you for letting me share my story. Until next time, be well and prosper.