Program helping adults with autism succeed in the work force

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala.- Ninety-four percent of adults with autism are unemployed. David Stidger is on a mission to change that.

"We want to get them job exposure, we want them to learn to assimilate in the work place, learn those base skills. Then when a job opportunity comes a long they'll be a little more prepared than they would have been," said Stidger.

Through his 'Open Door' program, Stidger provides one-on-one job training at places like the Huntsville-Madison County Library where his clients learn the skills they need to succeed in the work force.

"Scanning, data entry, they organize and shelve the DVDs and movies, some of them help the patrons," said Stidger.

And just like the rest of us, these guys are working for reinforcement. While it's not always monetary, they can earn rewards - like bowling trips.

Jeff comes once a week to learn on-the-job skills with some added social benefits.

"I really enjoy working with them, they are a delight. They don't mind learning; they don't mind doing," said Library Assistant Doris Foster.

Jeff's mom, Jacque Reeves says the change she's seen in her son since he started the program gives her hope for her son's bright future.

"I have seen great improvements in my son, and I expect he will find a job or career that will hopefully last for the rest of his life," said Reeves.

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