The last few months I’ve been traveling for speaking engagements and everywhere parents and educators are concerned about the future of their student or child. Whether it’s New York, Texas, Florida, California, Ohio, New Jersey or Maryland, there is concern: What will our youths do to earn a living when they transition out of school, and how can we best prepare them?

Starting today, as we head into the New Year, I would like to highlight on a regular basis people and organizations that are creating innovative opportunities for our young students to learn skills they can then apply to getting a job or earning money. I’ll also highlight those who are creating successful job and career opportunities for those on the spectrum.

If you have a story you would like to share, please send it in. We can all learn from each other.

Today I’m highlighting The Autistry Studios founded in 2008 with 4 students  by Janet Lawson and Dan Swearingen, the parents of Ian. When I wrote about them in the Social Relationships chapter  in  A Full Life with Autism (published in March 2012), they had about thirty students and workshops such as  a Build Stuff, Film, and Theater workshop. Now they have over 40 students.  Their mission was to provide a place where teens and young adults could create social relationships and develop skills based on their interests that could potentially lead to employment. Now, Autistry Sutdios’ next phase is to launch Autistry Enterprises, a manufacturing company creating unique works designed and made by Autistry students.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so watch this well-done ABC7 special. The Autistry Studios was recently  featured in their Profiles of Excellence.

Fell free to comment below, and don’t forget to send us your story of innovation!