The Meaning of Autism Awareness Month at Wicked Sheets

April is Autism Awareness Month. The CDC estimates autism exists in 1 in 68 children nationwide, 1 in 42 boys and 1 in 189 girls. “Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are characterized by social-interaction difficulties, communication challenges and a tendency to engage in repetitive behaviors,” writes Autism Speaks.

“However, symptoms and their severity vary widely across these three core areas. Taken together, they may result in relatively mild challenges for someone on the high functioning end of the Autism spectrum. For others, symptoms may be more severe, as when repetitive behaviors and lack of spoken language interfere with everyday life.”

At Wicked Sheets, Autism holds a special place in the heart of our founder and our employees. Before starting Wicked Sheets, CEO Alli Truttmann received her B.A. and M.A. in Psychology with a focus on health and human behavior. She found her passion in helping those diagnosed along the Autism spectrum and their families cope and manage the behavioral challenges that come along with ASD. Though she spends a lot of time running Wicked Sheets, she still makes time to visit with her former kiddos and their families.

As Wicked Sheets has continued to grow, Alli’s desire to help families affected by Autism has also grown. As seen in this clip from 2014 when WAVE3, the Louisville NBC affiliate, got wind of this desire and came to visit our former fulfillment center in Southern Indiana to see how our plans to hire parents of kids with disabilities panned out.

When we relocated to Jeffersontown, Kentucky, a suburb of Louisville, shortly after the WAVE3 story came out, we became neighbors with the Bluegrass Center for Autism (BCA). As fate would have it, when we were looking to hire a Product and Inventory Operations Manager we reached out to BCA to post the job to their parents. As with any parent of a child with a disability or learning difference, the perfect job is one that includes: flexibility, drivability, and a supportive team.

Enter Maureen.

Mother to a teenager on the spectrum, Maureen has quickly become part of the Wicked Sheets team and brought with her a valuable skill set, incredible work ethic, and even sewing experience. For April, we’re doing a two-part series on autism. This first is a glimpse into autism itself and our second part is an interview with Maureen about the important role of sleep in her son’s life.