Gumball machines provide work and social skills for teenagers with autism

Easter Seals

Image taken from Facebook

CHICAGO – Ronny, Dylan, Jack and Reshaun are teenagers with autism that have very interesting jobs. Through Easter Seals “Bubble 2 Work” program they work maintaining, re-filling and collecting money from gumball machines.

We have all seen the gumball and candy machines that have a logo stating the money goes to charity. What you didn’t know is that these machines provide jobs for teens on the autism spectrum with meaningful work.

Autism which is a developmental disability affecting social skills and interactions, is opening up more doors through Easter Seals employment training.

Kelly Anne Ohde of Easter Seals told Chicago Fox 32:

“It’s an opportunity to gain real world experience for them, for one day to leave Easter Seals prepared for their future,”

This training allows the youths to interact with each other as well as customers.  They have time to socialize with each other, talk about their jobs and different customers, when they gather to eat lunch together. There are gumball machines in over 17 southern suburban areas.

One gumball represents a step for someone diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, in order to build confidence, independence and the social skills needed for their future and the next employment opportunity.

FOX 32 News Chicago

The original story on the Chicago Fox 32 news website can be read here