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Wednesday, December 11, 2019

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Autism doesn’t slow down local teen

Autism doesn’t slow down local teen

A young man has recently found his entrepreneurial spirit and is starting his own business detailing cars, despite the challenges he faces.

Anthony Gibbons is a local 15-year old from Lockport who struggles with Autism. With his disability, social interaction and communications are a challenge for Anthony and would make it difficult for him to find a steady job. His mother, Addie Gibbons, however, knew that it was important to teach Anthony good work ethics and self-sufficiency so from an early age she and her father Eugene Ryman, Jr. had Anthony helping with chores and working along side them.

One of the jobs that they gave him was cleaning the inside of his mother’s car. They soon realized that what Anthony lacked in social skills, he made up for with a keen meticulousness in his work.

“He gets the inside of a car completely spotless,” said Addie. “You can’t disturb him while he’s doing it, and it may take a while but he will get it perfectly.”

Anthony’s motivation for working so hard is his goal of one day owning a meerkat. After having watched documentaries on the interesting animals Anthony became adamant on having one. His family supports his goal as long as he is the one raising the money to buy one.

The goal will cost Anthony at least $5000 dollars. Meerkats are $2000 dollars each and their habitat enclosures are $3000 dollars. The cage is so expensive because meerkats are digging animals and one has the capability of digging through one’s home. An additional meerkat may be needed as well because meerkats are social animals and do not do well in solitude.

“He pays for all of his own stuff. Even when we stop for food he buys me a cup of coffee because he knows that there are no free rides in life,” said Eugene.

Anthony’s business is called Anthony’s Au-some Wash, making the best of his disorder. Anyone interested in having their car detailed can call and set up an appointment with his mother, Addie on her business line (985) 228-2322.

Anthony is charging $12 dollars for small cars for inside and out service and $15-$20 dollars for trucks and SUVs depending on the size of the vehicle. Customers are asked to be patient and leave Anthony to his work.

“You’ll have to drop your car off, but Anthony will have it spotless when you get back,” said Addie.

Anthony still needs supervision while he is working for now, but he is growing more and more self reliant in his work and in his life as time goes on. In many ways Anthony has learned to take care of himself such as cleaning up after himself and cooking small meals. Addie’s goal is for him to someday live in his own place nearby her.

The difficulty of the task ahead doesn’t seem to faze Anthony, as it appears to only strengthen his determination.

He is currently working on paying for a better set up for his business and he has no plans on quitting or slowing down even after he has his meerkat.