FOSTERING THE CREATIVE ABILITIES OF PEOPLE WITH AUTISM
AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER
A NEURODEVELOPMENTAL DISORDER
WHAT IS AUTISM? WE, AT ANDOLSEK, SUGGEST FINDING ANSWERS TO YOUR QUESTIONS FROM THE FOLLOWING RESOURCES:
The CDC, NIH, NIMH, NINDS, NIEHS, and NHGRI are all government agencies overseen by the United States Department of Health and Human Services.
THE CORE OF OUR COMPANY
MICHAEL RYAN ANDOLSEK ANDOLSEK EXECUTIVE CREATOR
I once wrote that autism is at the core of our company, strong and proud. It seemed appropriate since I directly connect to every aspect of our company, and I have autism. At the time, however, that remark was about more than just me.
As we started our company, we pursued a particular goal: to provide employment opportunities to other people with autism. I thought that if I kept the circle tight on whom we employed, ensuring they were on the spectrum, we could rely on each other's strengths to build and succeed. We've undoubtedly had some success stories come from this mission, but in truth, it was naive to set such standards. To ensure ANDOLSEK thrives, I've had to concede that the qualified candidate to join the ANDOLSEK Team may not have autism, and that is alright. There are alternative ways to help people with ASD and now my team and I participate in many of those various occasions.
We're building new, meaningful relationships with organizations and individuals associated with autism that possess their own exciting ambitions and initiatives. I am continually surprised and honored by the generosity and trust that others put in our team by letting us join them in their aim to reach their goals. We are fostering internships and mentorships, collaborating on awareness campaigns, fundraisers, and other special events. We may have shifted our focus a little, but we have certainly not slowed our efforts to help out and encourage individuals with autism.
As we grow, so will the opportunities. It is a commitment of ANDOLSEK to be a respectable company with respectable business practices. For us, this includes helping and supporting others in the community when we can. That responsibility will never change-- no matter how many people, specifically with autism, we help.
Autism is a spectrum disorder, meaning there are very specific advantages and challenges to each individual, as well as general advantages and challenges that all persons with autism face to some degree. The advantages are often manifested in the form of special capabilities, while the disadvantages are manifested as serious setbacks in aspects of basic physical, emotional, and mental abilities.
One example of a general challenge is the inability to socialize in an uncalculated and natural manner. Many face difficulty with eating, anxiety, and depression, too. These, among other things, often cripple the individual, preventing them to reach his or her full potential, especially when considering the advantages they possess.
The capacity to focus on a task with almost unbreakable resolve is one example of a general advantage. Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) often select a subject and eventually excel at every element of that particular subject. This is a marvelous phenomenon, but sometimes equally tricky. The same concentration, enabling enhanced focus on a subject, can keep the person from interacting with others in a socially acceptable way. It can keep them from dealing with their frustrations, and they can easily become over stimulated in other settings. Their behavior can quickly separate them from the neurotypical population.
Because I have autism, I understand this all very well. Since I face these challenges myself, I have wondered: Why aren't there better, more effective options for me to use my focus and skills to gain meaningful employment? Why must I get a college degree even though I am already qualified to do a certain job?
Not everyone is aware of the challenges and the incredible skills people with autism have. Not all employers and educators are adequately informed. They don't all realize that by hiring an individual with autism, they are hiring someone who will concentrate on their work and excel at it. They will commit to their work with a strong determination to see things done correctly and efficiently. An employer is missing out by not employing a person like this. But as I have mentioned, those special skills come with delicate peculiarities. In order to perform well and sometimes in order to perform at all, special accommodations need to be made.
This led me to think: what if you gather together a group of people, find out their interests and skills, and then create jobs according to those interests and skills? Would it mean greater productivity or lead to greater problems? My theory was that it'd be a winning concept. So, by developing jobs around different individuals' skills, the ANDOLSEK Company started the journey of testing this hypothesis. It is my hope that if we discover success through this process, current and future employers of all industries will adopt such a method. It may require switching out fluorescent lights for incandescent or natural sources. It may require overlooking a person's refusal to engage in office small talk. And it may require faith to trust in new ideas for improvement. By working around their challenges to get to their strengths, you're doing something greater than you realize. You're giving them a chance to live without an unnecessary amount of stress, a chance to do what they love; to feel as every human being should: useful and valued.
MICHAEL RYAN ANDOLSEK
Michael Ryan Andolsek was born in Landstuhl, Germany, on June 20, 1991, to William and Mary Andolsek. As a child, he quickly developed a fixation with the fashion world that has lasted into adulthood with immense intensity. At age 17, he began studying all the basics of the industry at the Salt Lake Community College Fashion Institute.
Two years later, he moved on to study abroad with Parsons The New School For Design in Paris, France. He continued his mentorship in the art and practice of draping under Cecile Pelous, a retired Master Draper for notable couture houses like Christian Dior and Nina Ricci. He was then accepted to study at the prestigious École de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne.
Still not diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder at this point, a year in Paris proved to be too much for his unresolved personal difficulties. Throughout his childhood, no thought of autism was on anyone's mind, despite many clear indicators. He made a sudden move back from France to Salt Lake City, which prompted the Andolsek family to seek medical analysis. Immediately, mental health professionals at the University of Utah Neuropsychiatric Institute concluded that Michael Ryan Andolsek, 21 years old, was indeed a person with autism.
He claims that his diagnosis has only helped him, and does not necessarily wish he had received it sooner.
He vigorously continues to focus on his strength in creating. Composing music, drawing, painting, designing interiors, and building the Andolsek Company are what fill the days of MR ANDOLSEK.