Edmonton event showcases work of local entrepreneurs with autism

EDMONTON — A unique event held in Edmonton Sunday featured the incredible work done by a number of entrepreneurs who live with autism.

Brick Art by Aaron, Made by Brad, Autism Artistry, and Anthony At Your Service joined together to showcase their talents.

“We decided that we would try a pop up to try and get people aware of the fact that there are people with autism who do have businesses and would like to get the support of the public,” said Deborah Barrett, whose son, Anthony Barrett, runs the delivery business Anthony At Your Service.

READ MORE: Man with autism reaches business milestone

Aaron Bercovich, of Brick Art by Aaron, has an amazing ability to memorize movies. He’s always been a perfectionist and finds change difficult to deal with.

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After graduating from high school, Aaron’s parents wanted him to find a job but nothing really fit his skills and needs. That was, until he found LEGO.

“Kind of right up his alley. It’s very black and white, the pieces have to fit in a certain place,” said his mother, Marilyn Bercovich.

As a child, the little pieces helped Aaron learn to communicate.

“When he was building LEGO sets he would get really frustrated when something went wrong and he would just kind of pound the table or he’d walk away in frustration,” said Marilyn. “So we started teaching him, literally, to say, ‘I need help.'”

READ MORE: Families say finding employment is tricky for people with autism

Aaron’s passion led to a gig creating displays for the LEGO store. Now, the 21-year-old does custom portraits and signs. Aaron’s job has helped him become a bit more social and more flexible.

Watch below: Aaron Bercovich creates Lego masterpieces

Jade Nesvold, a spokesperson with Autism Edmonton, said there are many misconceptions about autism and the people who live with it.

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“Almost half of people on the autism spectrum have average or above-average intelligence,” she explained. “So we’re obligated, I think, to find them some room in our community to bring those talents, bring those skills to the table.”

“All of our adults have significant intellectual disabilities, but we’d like to get across to the general public the idea that, just because you have an intellectual disability doesn’t mean you can’t do something, that you can’t have a job, that you can’t be employable,” added Barrett.

For more information about autism and the different community programs in Edmonton, visit Autism Edmonton’s website.

With files from Su-Ling Goh, Lisa Wolansky, Global News.