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Dad opens car wash to employ autistic son. Now, it is thriving thanks to people on the spectrum.

He started the 'Rising Tide' to employ his son. Now, the business credits its success to its high-performing fellow autistic employees.

Dad opens car wash to employ autistic son. Now, it is thriving thanks to people on the spectrum.
Cover Image Source: Instagram| @risingtidecarwash

People diagnosed with autism are often deprived of opportunities and employment. They have commendable potential and talent but society lacks resources to accommodate their neurodivergence. So, when John D’Eri saw his son struggling to find a job, he decided to take matters into his own hands. He founded the "Rising Tide Car Wash" for his autistic son Andrew, per The Rising Tide Car Wash website. He wanted to help him and other people on the spectrum have an inclusive workspace and opportunity to excel.

Representative Image Source: Pexels| Tima Miroshnichenko
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Tima Miroshnichenko

“I think the vast majority of people with autism have wonderful skills and are capable of holding down employment. But often, they don't get the opportunity,” D’Eri told Forbes. He and his older son Thomas discovered that like Andrew, many brilliant people were shunned from regular jobs due to autism. With a 90% unemployment rate among autistic individuals, John and Thomas decided to employ others like Andrew and created a car wash company with fervent employees, ready to work enthusiastically.

Representative Image Source: Pexels| Tima Miroshnichenko
Representative Image Source: Pexels| Tima Miroshnichenko

D’Eri recalled what their initiative looked like at the beginning. While it was a space for Andrew to bloom, it became more than just that. “When we started, there was pretty limited research around this stuff and there still isn't great research, but through my own experience, and the people we've met with autism, I think they can do anything,” he exclaimed. He added that he trusted the vibrant potential people on the autism spectrum brought and strived to enhance the same. He explained that all the employees needed was a safe psychological space where they could thrive. Over the last few years, the car wash has seen an exceptional rise in growth, thanks to the keen stature of the employees.

From washing 35,000 cars in 2012, the energetic team has come to washing 150,000 cars per year, John credits this milestone to their “unique” team. It is because of their eagerness to help and get work done that the business thrives better than its competitors. What people view as a setback, John and his team have successfully transformed into a boon. The company’s Instagram page shares its growth and work. They also celebrate every employee and their personality with grandeur. They shared a post with one of their employees to celebrate Autism Awareness Acceptance Month.


 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Rising Tide Car Wash (@risingtidecarwash)


 

Their caption standing beside a gleaming employee read, "Inclusion, representation and opportunities matter. Celebrating our neurodiverse rock stars 365 days a year. Happy Autism Acceptance Month from team Rising Tide!” Several other posts of theirs include a celebration of one employee or another that is sure to highlight their potential, bringing smiles galore. One of the posts consisted of an employee, Oyvind, delighted and proud. The caption read, “Oyvind bringing all the vibes. Rising Tide, where legends & cars shine bright.”


 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Rising Tide Car Wash (@risingtidecarwash)


 

In another post, Thomas and Andrew pose proudly with their business. "Autism employment is at the core of our operational design & success. Andrew D'Eri inspired this enterprise," the caption read. John says that the boost these wonderful people offer encourages him to expand even more. He jovially pointed out, “Today we employ about 90 people with autism. All three of our locations are profitable and we're looking to continue growing the entity.”


 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Rising Tide Car Wash (@risingtidecarwash)


 

You can follow Rising Tide Car Wash (@risingtidecarwash) on Instagram for more wholesome content.

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