I live in this world with two mainstream children. Autism isn’t a reality my family of four has had to contend with, however we are directly affected by Autism. How can anyone not be? You may not be aware that you know someone with Autism, or that you know someone who has a family member with Autism. Why? Well, there’s so many different levels on this huge spectrum called Autism, it’s very hard to “see” Autism unless you know what you’re looking for. I’ve got friends, and cousins, with Autism. Friends of mine have children with Autism. In many cases, you’d never know any of these people have Autism, unless you know what to look for.
Ever witness a mother and child at the store, and the child appears to be having a tantrum? Well, more than likely, the child isn’t being disobedient, or acting like a brat. The child is probably having a reaction to a sound, a color, a certain cereal box, or almost anything. A child with Autism cannot always control their behavior. It’s not their fault, it’s not your fault, it’s not a parent’s fault. It just IS. Simple as that. It just IS.
Reacting with a certain behavior doesn’t make someone bad, or unable to be a part of our world. No one should feel the need to keep their child, or loved one, hidden from the world because of negative experiences with the public. Obviously, there’s no way to teach the entire public how to handle Autism, or behaviors stemming from a trigger. It’s just not feasible. However, business owners and their staff – well they sure can learn to accommodate EVERYONE. When you win over a family, especially a mom, with amazing customer service, you’ve got a patron for life.
When you win over a family who has been shunned by so many other businesses, because of negative reactions after their child has shown an undesired behavior in public, well I do believe you’ve got a very loyal family of customers! Meltdowns are a part of life, and when someone in your life has Autism, the meltdowns are a regular occurrence. Those with Autism don’t have control over the meltdown in their home, in the car, on a trip, in a hotel, at the dentist, at the doctor, at a park. It’s who they are, and it’s no fun for them, either. When a business understands the reasons behind the meltdowns, and knows the proper ways to help, instead of make the situation worse, well that could mean the world to a family.
Even better? When businesses go out of their way to make the environment Autism-friendly. Training staff to recognize someone who enters their doors as Autistic is beyond helpful to caregivers, and families of those with Autism. Going the extra mile to make sure the family can BE TOGETHER while patronizing a local business? WOW. Autism accepting businesses, and really, society, are so needed in this world. Who’s there to help make it happen?
Missing Piece Awareness
The answer to the aforementioned question? Missing Piece Awareness. I’m proud to say this company is headquartered on Long Island, which is the place I call home. It was started with a very focused goal in mind: help businesses become Autism Accepting. I’ve witnessed first-hand what the training is like for a business to become certified. It truly educates people without Autism, what it is like to not just identify and work with those with Autism, but also what it is like to HAVE Autism.
Missing Piece Awareness teaches people by using empathy. It takes mainstream people, puts them into Autistic minds and asks them to deal with a situation using their new “Autistic Minds.” Once staff walk out of the training, it’s definitely a wake-up call for all of them. Seeing how an Autistic brain works from the inside makes all the difference when working with any person with Autism.
The training process is unique, and for me, it was rather intense. I’ve been around people with Autism my entire life, and I still learned a lot from the training. It also reminded me of how amazing some of the younger generation is. Why? The training I went to was at the brand new Mt. Sinai location of Sky Zone. When the Missing Piece Awareness staff asked this freshly trained crop of young adults “How many of you would want to work during Sky Zone Cares nights each month?”, every hand was raised in that room. Twenty hands raised without even a moment of hesitation.
How are businesses, and society, going to become more Autism Accepting? It starts with an open mind, great training and a whole crop of young people who are our future. Missing Piece Awareness is going to change the world, and I’m proud to know them, and have them headquartered on Long Island. No matter how many states, countries and continents they travel to, they’ll always come back “home” to Long Island.
Plus, they’re training more than just Sky Zone staffers. So many businesses have been Autism Accepting certified!
Missing Piece Awareness is truly making Long Islanders proud!