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You Bet Your Life

March 15, 2023

This week's heroes are the people who choose to open businesses that specialize in serving individuals with autism. To look at the field of disability and choose to make those with autism the focus of your business is remarkable. Individuals with autism are a group with almost no tradition of funding for services, relatively little research into treatments and little acceptance in society. Their behaviors and lack of ability to communicate make the liabilities high and with a history of dependence on “natural supports” the pay is low. From a business perspective, the only redeeming quality that this group has is their consistent growth. The rate of autism continues to skyrocket for unknown reasons. However, most business professionals will tell you that a high liability, low funding business is not sustainable regardless of the need for the services. There are those who have tried to serve this population based on their growth alone, but they usually fail quickly proving business professionals right. Without an advanced degree and years of experience working with this complicated population the liability cannot be lowered enough to run a successful business. The lack of funding still makes this a less appealing group to serve especially for people who have lots of career options because they have advanced degrees and years of experience. Despite these business concerns and the more lucrative options available to them, this group of heroes still choose to make it their life quest to serve individuals with autism. Some even choose to serve those more severely affected by this disorder. This chosen group of heroes look at the world and choose to advocate for the most vulnerable amongst us seeing a world of possibility instead of the world of impossibilities that the rest of us see. To imagine a world where individuals with severe autism are fully integrated in society and risk your livelihood on this dream is something awe inspiring. A Bible quote comes to mind, John 15:13, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”