The following letter was sent to the EAST COBBER by East Cobb mom, Ivonne D.Hernández.
This school year I decided to look for a job for my 16-year-old son, Eric, diagnosed with autism to have the experience of working – not that he needs to get a salary but only to understand the concept of working and getting paid for his efforts. I started asking several places in the area such as, the library, book stores, pet stores, and retailers if they had any work opportunities for my special needs son.
I told them they did not have to give Eric a salary, the only thing that I was looking for was an opportunity for Eric to become part of the community where he lives and to learn the concept of working. All those places said they have never done it with a special needs child his age and that I have to escalate it to the corporate level in some cases and in other cases the response was “we can not do it.”
I regularly go to The Office Party on Johnson Ferry Road to drop off my mail, so I mentioned to the owner, Jay Doshi, owner of the gift store, about Eric and he immediately said to bring him. Eric started to work last August for a 2-hour shift, Eric was very happy clearing the shelves of the store, cleaning them and putting back things in the correct order, size, shape and/or color. Mr. Jay has been very nice and patient with him. Eric was very excited, while driving from the store to home he told me “I like my job, I like Mr. Jay!”
I just wanted to share my gratitude to Mr. Jay and to life for always putting in my path wonderful people like Mr. Jay.
(Reprinted from the October 2012 issue of EAST COBBER.)