August 19, 2013 10:50 pm

Man with autism reaches business milestone

Anthony Barrett gives Julie Brown a high-five as his aide Mikey Hamm looks on.

Global News

EDMONTON – Business owners will often tell you that the first year is always the hardest. Well, one Edmonton man who has autism has managed to make it to his one-year anniversary with flying colours.

Anthony Barrett received a lot of attention after his aide, Mikey Hamm, posted a video of him on YouTube last August, introducing him and his new delivery business “Anthony At Your Service” to potential employers.

It was his mom who realized Anthony would be good at deliveries. But it was the video showcasing Anthony’s personality that gave his budding business a little boost. Many of the people who initially hired Anthony said they liked his story and simply wanted to meet him.

That’s something Anthony seems to enjoy, as well.

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“He loves going in and seeing new places, and I think he really likes meeting people and sort of just, I don’t know, being part of the community,” says Hamm, who gets paid to accompany Anthony through the provincial government’s Persons with Developmental Disabilities program.

“Every day we have this thing we can look forward to and we’ve gotten to meet so many people and Edmonton has been so, so encouraging and excited about this and that’s really great,” Hamm adds.

The delivery business also allows Anthony to make some pocket money as he serves dozens of clients, including about five regulars – like the ladies behind the Brown & Hone Orthodontic Laboratory.

“My sister and I knew a little bit about autism. We used to babysit a young boy that had autism and we knew that one of the strengths was routine,” says one of the co-owners, Julie Brown. “And if we were gonna have a great courier – someone that could build on that strength and utilize it, fantastic.”

She adds that she can’t imagine not having Anthony come into their lab every week.

“When he’s not vacation we miss him. But something fabulous that has extended from this, is that Anthony has not just made a career for himself, but he’s paying it forward in his community.”

When he’s away, another man in autism gets to fill in for him.

If you’re interested in Anthony’s delivery services, or just want to learn more about him, check out AnthonyAtYourService.com.

With files from Su-Ling Goh, Global News

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