Lonely. In a word, that's how you could best describe Molly's life when she first enrolled in Easterseals Midwest's Community Connections Employment First day program.
Back then, she had difficulty communicating with others—she has autism and she's completely nonverbal—and she would often spend time alone. Plus, she didn't enjoy learning new things out in the community or trying different work experiences.
That's all changed now.
Our staff worked with Molly to determine what type of job-readiness training would interest her, and through various techniques—including modeling, verbal and gestural prompting, and the use of assistive technology—we supported her as she discovered her abilities.
Now, Molly gladly volunteers out in the community almost every day, gaining job skills and helping out at various nonprofit organizations, including Circle of Concern and the YMCA.
By using sign language and an iPad, she's able to communicate more effectively, which has helped her make friends, feel more connected to others and the community, and reach her fullest potential.
When asked whether or not she would recommend our Community Connections Employment First day program to others, Molly happily gives a thumbs up!