Back in the fall, it came to the attention of one of our therapists that a former client of hers was making pinwheels and selling them. This client is a teenager with autism who has started his own business in order to provide a source of income, learn money management, and to give back (as a portion of his proceeds go to charity). This story was such an inspiration to us therapists and something we strive to work on with our clients as well. While some people may not ever hold a “typical” job, it is so important to teach them lifeskills that will allow them a level of independence, to earn money, and feel good about themselves.
As Aaron’s mom stated: “When you purchase a pinwheel you are not purchasing a pinwheel, per se. You are acknowledging that no matter the ability (or lack thereof) of an individual, he/she is a valuable asset and contributor to his/her community.”
Our kids are capable of so many things and often the focus is on what is hard or what they can’t do, that we forget there are many things they can do. Making pinwheels is hard work for Aaron, but he’s gaining so much from the experience. A step back from academics and a re-focus on functionality can make a big difference.