Bill was 18 years old when he came through Vocational Rehabilitation in search of a job. He had a diagnosis of Specific Learning Disabilities and was on the Autism spectrum. As a child, he had been seen by a psychiatrist after suffering abuse, neglect and prolonged domestic violence which resulted in PTSD and anxiety. His biological mother and father had died of drug overdoses. Bill had been told that much of his cognitive difficulties and his general physical condition had to do with his mother’s drinking during pregnancy and his subsequent diagnosis of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Bill did not talk much about what it was like living with his biological parents other than to say, “a lot of stuff had happened during that period of my life.” At age 10, Bill was placed with adoptive parents.
When Sharon, his Goodwill Employment Specialist, met Bill at intake, he was a shy young man with little work experience and no transportation other than his bicycle. He had a special diploma from an area high school and during high school, he worked at a local nursing home as a dishwasher. Bill dreamed of someday being a guitar player -- but right now he just wanted a job so that he could contribute to his parents’ income and save money for a car.
Bill and Sharon met weekly to work on improving Bill’s self-esteem and social anxiety. Sharon helped Bill practice his interview skills so that he would not get confused during his interviews or become overwhelmed. After several weeks, Bill was much more confident and thought that he would be able to do well in a simple interview. He did not want Sharon to come with him, but agreed to a follow up call after any interviews he had to talk about his outcomes.
Bill wanted to work afternoons and evenings in a part time position. He asked Sharon to help him find a job with more than 20 hours per week. Sharon knew of a Walmart that was very close to Bill’s house, which meant he would be able to get himself to and from work on his bicycle. Sharon asked Bill to stop there on his way home to apply for a stock position since that job would provide hours in the late afternoon and evenings. Bill stopped and got an application and then brought it to Sharon the next day to help him complete it. The next afternoon Bill submitted the application. He got a call within the week for an interview. Bill handled his interview beautifully and was offered a 30 hour a week position at $10 an hour.
Bill and his adoptive mother were very excited that Bill got a job that he could handle. They were even more excited when, after 90 days, Bill was offered a permanent position. When Sharon checked up on him following his permanent offer, Bill said he didn’t think he could have done it without help from Goodwill Manasota. It’s what we do…