Saturday, November 3 2012, 12:25 AM CDT
Local Man Aims to Change How Businesses Interact with Autistic Customers
CATLIN--This normal house in Catlin is home to a man with an extraordinary passion, and that passion comes from a dream where regressive autism is not only treatable, but preventable.
The passion comes from his son, Tanner.
"Tanner regressed and is no longer able to function in our world. And so that's the dramatic effect, that this is a hidden tsunami across the country.", said Autism Friendly Business Founder, Tim Welsh.
10 years ago was ago was the last time Tanner spoke.
Welsh admits, he spent nearly 10 years finding it difficult to cope with his son's regression, but now, he's turned that into finding ways to improve life for people with autism spectrum disorders.
"Our goal is to train every business in the world as far as what is the needs what is... out there to recognize the businesses that are doing a good job.", said Welsh.
Train businesses to be aware, develop values and attitudes, and give them a basic skill set.
"I can provide my business or service to families with autistic children or children on the autistic spectrum and I am more aware of their special needs.", said Jenny Lou Merrell, a small business owner who is a member of Welsh's organization.
It's important to provide business this training because a simple understanding would prevent uninformed overreactions to people with autism spectrum disorders Welsh says.
"A friend of mine with Aspergers, was told he could go to the store and buy a pair of shoes at 11. He expected that store to be open at 11. When he got to the store the doors were slightly open because the store meeting was going on a little bit longer. Because he was told in the ad he could get his shoes at 11, he swung the doors open, went in to get his shoes, and was tackled by security."
--Reported by David Ade