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Category: Blog

Sam at Peter Piper Pizza

Say Cheese! Hiring individuals with autism is something to smile about

By Nicole Ehrlich When Thomas Thorme, senior general manager, and Robert Mason, assistant manager, of Peter Piper Pizza in Greenacres, FL, heard about an opportunity to hire individuals on the autism spectrum, they welcomed the idea with open arms. Having family members with autism, the managers knew the impact they could make by employing someone […]

Emmy at Joey D Fitness

A Win-Win Employment Story

When adults graduate from the Els for Autism Foundation Work Experience Program and find the right job with the right business, it is a win-win for the employee and employer. Emmalee (Emmy) Bell graduated from The Learning Academy and attended the Work Experience Program in partnership with PGA Resort and Spa. During her Work Experience […]

Going Solo: An Introduction

By Merrick Egber It was an exciting day when I turned 30. For many people, the idea of spending what should be a celebratory event at the tragic site of Clear Lake, Iowa, in the Surf Ballroom where Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper played their last show before the “Day the Music […]

Gregory Chabollah

Autistic Woodworker, A Story about Gregory Chabollah

In 1998 when Gregory Chabollah was age three, he was diagnosed with a form of autism called the Pervasive Development Disorder not otherwise specified or PDD-NOS.  The diagnosis was estimated to impact one in every ten thousand children. “Growing up as a child was very difficult for Gregory and his family.” Gregory’s mother, Michelle said. […]

Role Models for Women with Autism: Gloria Mendoza and Rachel Barcellona

Author: Merrick Egber (October 2018) I would like to thank our Foundation, for having another great experience at the largest fundraising event of the year, our own Golf Challenge Grand Finale. I especially would like to congratulate our latest  Els for Autism Spectrum Award Winner, Adam Jones! It was great getting to meet him, and […]

All About my Mother (And I)

Author: Merrick Egber (September 2018) It wouldn’t be fair to just have an interview with one parent for this year, so since it was my mother’s birthday coming up, on September 18th, I decided to interview her for September’s blog article. Debra Egber is a role model for women who want to succeed in a […]

To Think like the Animals: A Review of Andrew Blitman’s Work and Mini-Interview

Author: Merrick Egber (August 2018) Being a representative of the autism community for a well-regarded Foundation means to put on the best face possible to showcase the talents within the community. Last month meant an article on one of the more common phenomena within the community, the gifted autistic pianist, but this month I want […]

james Williams Playing Piano

Q&A with Pianist Prodigy James Williams 

It was a typical day in the life of the Foundation. We were holding our third annual Awe in Autism event celebrating some of the best and brightest minds in the autism community showing off their talents and expertise, and I was there hosting the event. Shortly after I finished my speech, I introduced James […]

Merrick and his Father

My Father, Autism Advocate

Author: Merrick Egber (June 2018) While you’ve heard from me about my interpretations of ideas, entertainment, and historical origins, you’ve never heard from the people who brought me up from birth.  For Father’s Day, and my birthday, it was decided that one of the articles should focus on my relationship with my father and an interview with […]

Michael Verbeeck

The Story of Michael Verbeeck

This past weekend a remarkable young man named Michael Verbeeck once again proved that autism is not always a disability! If we can just focus on the amazing abilities this community has, we will be blown away.  This time he proved it in the horse world. Read More