You might be surprised to hear that many young people with autism enjoy running their own small business or being self-employed.
There are many benefits to being your own boss such as working at your own pace and doing things your own way.
However, running your own business requires a broad range of skills and involves a lot of responsibility.
You will need good organisation and time management skills, some basic marketing and accounting skills and lots and lots of initiative and motivation!!
If this sounds like you or you have someone who is going to provide the assistance you will need, there is financial assistance available for young people who are setting up a business - The New Enterprise Incentive Scheme.
For more information on the support available to the self-employed have a look at ‘Accessing open or self employment and support’ on the Get Ready for Study and Work website here.
Click this link to watch an ABC report about Clay, a 16 year old boy on the spectrum who started his own bin-cleaning business.
Increasingly, parents are opting to take their child’s employment prospects into their own hands by investing in small businesses in which their son or daughter can participate.
This is particularly the case for parents of young people who have high support needs.
This can be a great option for some young people.
We have collected some examples we have heard about from Australia and overseas.
Jackson West and his support workers collect and deliver mail for businesses around central Canberra.
Tim is a young man with autism who draws a superhero called Laser Beak Man. Tim has won prestigious art prizes and now his Laser Beak Man superhero is hero of an ABC children’s program.
Watch a video about Tim on Youtube
This initiative involves a young man called Alex in a collaborative approach to art.
Ping Lian Yeak is a Malaysian-Australian artist who has become well known in recent years.
He has a stall at the Rocks Market in Sydney on Saturdays and Sundays.
There was a long article about Ping Lian Yeak in the
Good Weekend magazine in 2014, find it here.
Self-employment ideas from overseas
Check out these websites from overseas for ideas for setting up your own small business:
A mother has set up a chocolate making business with her son, and is now training other young people with developmental disabilities as chocolatiers.
A young Canadian man with a gift for building Ikea furniture has set up a small business with the help of his dad.
A young man in the USA is setting up a business selling antiques.
Jon has set up a voiceover business and is now branching into making interactive books.
This car wash company in Florida is run by people with an ASD. You can watch a Youtube video describing how the car wash is helping some young people with autism engage in meaningful employment.
This article from the US provides further information about how families are coming up with innovative approaches to employment for people with autism.
If your child on the spectrum has his own business feel free to email us with their business and we can add it in.