Baristas Helps Man with Autism Develop Speaking Skills

(Photo: Lancaster Online)

Aaron Seldomridge, 22, of Ephrata, Pennsylvania, has autism. It's very difficult for him to communicate verbally--especially with strangers. When his mother takes him to restaurants to interact with people, Seldomridge generally uses a picture menu rather than speaking.

The baristas at his local Starbucks have a picture menu, but were willing to go further. They worked with him to develop his social skills so that he could order his chai independently. Seldomridge began by coming in with his mother and using a picture menu to get chai. Now he comes in by himself and speaks his order out loud.

(Video Link)

It's made a difference to him and his parents. Lancaster Online reports:

Aaron’s regular chai runs take just minutes, but they leave a lasting impact: He gets a chance to practice new skills and feel connected to a green-aproned community committed to helping him grow.

Aaron’s parents, Janiece and Jeffrey, of Narvon, especially appreciate seeing their son treated like a “regular” by people who don’t look at him strangely if he flaps his arms or shrieks with excitement.

-via Huffington Post

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