Man with autism finds the right job by creating his own small business

Attica, Indiana -23 year-old autistic man Jake Mediate is opening up his own antique shop. The shop is called Jakes Collectables and will be open June 21st.

Mediate decided to open the shop in response to his difficulties of finding a full-time job and his love for antiques. He took four years preparing for the job by collecting and selling antiques and collectables at festivals and flea markets with the help of his father, family, and friends. He also volunteered his time at other antique shops to get a hands-on view of how a business operates.

Mediate was diagnosed with autism in kindergarten. Like most people within the spectrum, he found it hard to communicate and did not become verbal until the age of 2. Adolescence further delayed his development because he had trouble communicating effectively. He grew frustrated of the numerous times he had to repeat himself and simply shut down. Mediate’s mother Pamela Warner told Lafayette Journal& Courier:

 “Communication was always his biggest issue. A lot of people have a problem understanding him. (But) he’s come a long way”

While Mediate plans to sell many types of vintage items, he knows retro glassware will be a huge part of his stock. During his down time he peruses and absorbs many books of knowledge about a companies glassware-becoming the human index of Pyrex. If Mediate’s mental Google of glassware doesn’t know it, he knows the reference that will and is more then ready to share the information.

Champ Van Curen is owner of the storefront where Mediate plans to set up shop. He is letting Mediate use the space free-of-charge. Van Curan says,

“The kid is really bright. He knows his antiques and collectables.”

The shop will be located at 119 N. Perry St. in Attica, Indiana.

You can read the full article by Taya Flores on the JCOnline website here.