Susan's Blog

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


I visited Nat in his new classroom today, and I timed it to arrive during lunch, when he works at the counter, serving lunches to his peers. This is one of four part-time jobs Nat has (the other two of which are at Papa Gino’s, which I have told you about ad infinitum because I am just so proud of him.) At his school Nat serves lunches (he puts out the milk, puts a tray of the entree on each student’s tray, and then later he wipes clean the trays). The job coach prompts him with pictures of each task, only with a gesture, and only when Nat seems spacey. He has a high frequency of success with this job.

He smiled and bounced around, doing his puppet hand the whole time, but he knew what he had to do. Don’t be fooled by stims or self-talk; and watch what you say around your autistic loved one. I have learned that Nat listens to everything we say!

Nat’s other job is to take snack orders from the classrooms and to then go to the supplies closet and fill the orders and deliver them. He’s like the Good Humor man, I guess!

The third job, as you must know, is to make boxes of all sorts at Papa Gino’s. One person I talked to recently said that she would not want her son to work “in the back,” but I don’t see why not. Work is work. Nat is happy in the back. Chris the job coach told me today that Nat has among the highest box output in the place. They love him there. He even punches a time clock.

The fourth job is to hang coupons on doors of houses in the neighborhood. Another thing you must know about Nat is that he is always always moving. He is a skinny guy, with a lot of energy and a metabolism to match. Chris told me that Nat is extremely fast and productive in the neighborhoods. He said, “Nat can cover four streets in one hour!” He also is developing his street smarts, and he watches Chris to adjust his own speed. No one is as fast as my thoroughbred Nat.

So– next time you find one of these on your door, think about the person who may have delivered it, and smile!


Love it, Susan! Nat is very productive! 4 jobs, wow!

— added by Storkdok on Tuesday, February 9, 2010 at 4:51 pm

That's excellent!! Good for Nat. And I know what you mean about the always listening thing. My guy bops around like he's all in his own world and then will ask about something he overhead from my husband and I or the radio. He's very attuned.

I wish I had a Papa Gino's nearby!

— added by Stimey on Tuesday, February 9, 2010 at 5:29 pm

Very sweet:) I love those jobs.

— added by Michele on Tuesday, February 9, 2010 at 7:45 pm

I can just tell how proud you are of Nat through your words. I would be too. He has more jobs than most kids do at 20. He obviously is very proud of himself at work and quite happy. Bravo Nat!!

Yes, it may look like they are not listening, but they are. I always tell Nick's therapists "Don't let his autism fool you, he knows more than he lets on."

— added by Amy on Tuesday, February 9, 2010 at 9:17 pm

This is fabulous, Susan. I love the picture of you, proud mama!

— added by Niksmom on Tuesday, February 9, 2010 at 9:17 pm

4 jobs! I will be more than happy/relieved if Charlie has 1—- Kudos to Nat a couple times over!

— added by kristina on Wednesday, February 10, 2010 at 12:32 am

Fabulous Susan!

— added by Penny on Wednesday, February 10, 2010 at 7:43 am

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