Georgia Brothers With Autism Overcome Challenges to Pursue Their Careers
While autism presents a wide range of social and behavioral challenges, many individuals on the spectrum can still thrive and excel. Nowhere is this better demonstrated than in the case of Alex and Elliott Smith, two Georgia natives both diagnosed with autism. The brothers are currently enrolled in Georgia Tech’s four-year Excel program, which caters to students with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Upon completion of the program, students receive a Certificate in Academic Enrichment, Social Fluency, and Career Exploration, and second certificate in Social Growth, Leadership, and Career Development.
According to a report this month by North Fulton.com, Alex, 22, is pursuing is interning with the City of Atlanta’s GIS department, with the goal of becoming a mapping technician or surveyor for a traveling company. Elliott, 24, is passionate about working with children with special needs, and is interning with the hopes of becoming a teacher’s assistant.
This past summer, the brothers also worked part-time at Alpharetta High School (of which they are both graduates) to further their work experience. Elliott worked as a camp counselor at Camp Happy Hearts, while Alex worked as a barista at BrewAble Café, which specializes in training and hiring adults with developmental disabilities.
““The goal is to hire adults with IDD, train them, give them a place to learn, grow, fail and succeed, build a community and confidence by working in a full café,” Isabelle Rudd, the Café Manager, was quoted as saying by North Fulton. “Alex is an extremely hard worker. He is dedicated, driven, and very intelligent… [He] is highly motivated and likes to be involved and busy in the community.”