Tuesday, February 24, 2015

What A Man Did For His Son

Why must individuals with autism suffer with an unemployment rate of 90%?

Why, indeed. As the sister in law of a man in his 50's with autism, who has spent much of his working life in a sheltered workshop environment, I ask that question a lot.  At some point, my brother in law may be facing unemployment, with the closing of these workshops in New York State due to withdrawal of funding. 

A father and a brother decided to take matters into their own hands.

They caught the Rising Tide.

The son of a friend sent me a link on Facebook a couple of days ago - a link to a video about a car wash in Florida - a car wash called Rising Tide.  

This car wash employs mainly individuals with autism.  In other words, this venture came out of the love of a father for his son, and the love of a brother for his brother with autism.  The two brothers work there together at the business.

I hope that their "CanDo Business Ventures" doesn't mind if I quote from their website, as I feel their message is so important.  People with autism, in the correct environment, have a lot to contribute to our society.  And, why should my brother in law's disability be such that he ends up in a job where he, and his co workers, make less than the minimum wage?  How can someone ever strive towards independence if they are kept down by the inability to earn a living wage?

The owner of Rising Tide asks, on his website:

"Is someone in your family affected by Autism? Have you ever asked yourself the question,“What will my family member with autism do when I am no longer around to take care of them?” If you’re like us, this question has not only crossed your mind but is a concern that keeps you up at night. This simple fact is the inspiration behind CanDo Business Ventures.

John’s son, Tom’s younger brother, Andrew, has autism. ...Although a vibrant, light hearted young man, Andrew’s disability is a clear competitive disadvantage when it comes to securing gainful employment. We believe that Andrew and others like him have difficulty getting a job, not because people don’t want to help, but rather because businesses are simply not set up to accommodate the needs of people like Andrew."
 This is their philosophy:
" More than just a job, our plan is to have the businesses we build be a cornerstone to create supportive communities of individuals with autism where we teach them the skills needed to live independently and self advocate."

I wish them much success, because I believe this father and son duo can help to transform the world of employment for people like my brother in law.  And, we could sure use a good carwash with all of our salt-encrusted cars in New York State.

If you live anywhere near Parkland, Florida - why don't you catch the Rising Tide and give them a try? 


  1. I didn't realize the unemployment rate was so high for that demographic. That's a shame, autism doesn't have to be a life sentence.

    1. I didn't either, Scott, but it does not surprise me. It is a shame.

  2. Hi Alana,

    Great post! Inspiring :) Thanks for sharing, enjoyed reading

    1. Thank you-I am inspired by this father and son.

  3. Wonderful post and great idea. My sister and niece both are autistic and go to day programs where they do some work so very small stipends. While neither of them could work in a car wash, I do know many who could.

  4. Hi Alana,
    These things matter to me. My niece worked with those with Autism for several years and made their struggle come alive to me. Glad they have made this business! I, too, lie awake and, at times, wonder how I will earn a living with my disability and then I let that fear go. I believe God will provide (whatever the disability) whether it be through individuals like the one you mention or through other means.
    Thank you for sharing such helpful content!
    Amy :)


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