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June 5, 2014

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June 5, 2014

My son Emnet who is 14 is on the Autism spectrum. Nonpareil give hope for my son . With the help of Nonpareil my son will be a productive. Nonpareil will be built a confidence for my son. Nonpareil help my son not to be a burden of the society. It will be great if we have a training institute in our area. (Washington DC) this is the only organization I know , It gives a positive learning place for Auistic kids.

Makeda

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Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Likely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

June 5, 2014

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June 5, 2014

nonPareil understands. nonPareil cares. nonPareil is hopeful. nonPareil is needed. What a concept! A win win! Help for those who are on the Autism Spectrum that have no other resource but mindless, no or low pay work. nonPareil is allowing these deserving individuals a chance to be productive. To have a purpose. To be creative. To put their talents to use. The concept of allowing individuals to learn and work at their pace with the goal of the Team producing a product that will support their company. nonPareil's Crew will, one day, produce "The App" everyone is talking about. And nonPareil plans to open up more possible careers for those that don't lean toward technology. It's very exciting!

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

nonPareil only needs the resources to expand. This would help their clients, the parents of the clients and the community at large.

More feedback...

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Quite well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

June 5, 2014

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1 previous review
June 26, 2013

My son, Ethan, and my wife’s son, Trey, are on the autism spectrum. We just found out eight months ago that our son, three-year old Luke, also has autism. One out of every 50 children today has som... more

June 5, 2014

My 14-year old son, Ethan, and my wife’s 14-year old son, Trey, are on the autism spectrum. We just found out early last year that our son, four-year old Luke, also has autism. One out of every 68 children today has some form of autism.

Because of Ethan and Trey’s autism affliction, five
years ago I worked with the co-founders, Dan Selec and Gary Moore, to start nonPareil Institute -- for training young adults with autism to work in the technology industry, specifically in developing gaming applications and gaming software -- at that time on a "campus" that consisted of Dan's breakfast nook in his home serving three students.

Since then, we have grown to over 150 students on Southern Methodist University's Plano Campus. The students have developed numerous apps for the iPhone and similar devices, and have also developed several computer games – from start to finish. And we just signed an agreement with Nintendo to develop games!

We literally have received emails from all over the world asking about the work we're doing and if we can help children all over the country and around the globe.

For more on nonPareil:

http://www.npitx.org

A profile of the amazing work being done at nonPareil Institute is featured in the Spring/Summer 2014 issue of NTX Magazine (the magazine of the North Texas Commission): http://www.joomag.com/magazine/ntx-magazine-spring-summer-2014/0643373001396990159

And Family Circle last month (April is World Autism Awareness Month) did a story profiling nonPareil Institute: http://www.familycircle.com/family-fun/volunteering/career-training-for-autistic-young-adults/

nP was featured in USA TODAY in September: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/09/28/autism-jobs-parents/2839027/#!

nP was featured on CNN in July: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qjZq-oiv5uw

nP was also featured last June on NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams: http://www.nbcnews.com/video/nightly-news/52162262/#52162262

And, a second trailer for the documentary being made about nP has been released: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-5j-3fjmuNc

More feedback...

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

June 26, 2013
1 person found this review helpful

My son, Ethan, and my wife’s son, Trey, are on the autism spectrum. We just found out eight months ago that our son, three-year old Luke, also has autism. One out of every 50 children today has some form of autism.

Because of Ethan and Trey’s autism affliction, four years ago I co-founded
nonPareil Institute -- for training young adults with autism to work in the technology industry, specifically in developing gaming applications and gaming software -- at that time on a "campus" that consisted of one of the co-founder's breakfast nooks in his home serving three students.

Since then, we have grown to 125 students and have opened offices and classroom space on Southern Methodist University's Plano Campus. The students have developed numerous apps for the iPhone and similar devices, and have also developed several computer games – from start to finish.

We literally have received emails from all over the world asking about the work we're doing and if we can help children all over the country and around the globe.

nonPareil has just signed an agreement with Sony to produce games for their Playstation game console (so exciting) and we're about to release "Lightwire" -- a visually stunning gaming app for the iPhone and iPad. We also just released a fun gaming app called "Dots & Boxes."

We were also featured recently on NBC Nightly News: http://www.nbcnews.com/video/nightly-news/52162262/#52162262

For more on nonPareil:

http://www.npitx.org
KERA Radio in Dallas, part of the NPR digital networks, profiled nonPareil Institute on air and on its Website in the story "Young Adults With Autism Find Work In Tech":

http://keranews.org/post/young-adults-autism-find-work-tech

A job training and autism briefing at Dallas City Hall early last month featured my fellow co-founders at nonPareil Institute:

http://cityhallblog.dallasnews.com/2013/02/job-training-and-autism-briefing-at-dallas-city-hall.html/?goback=%2Egde_3268263_member_214205878

nonPareil was highlighted in the November 30th print and online issue of the Dallas Business Journal:
nonPareil's tech training gives solid future to adults with autism Premium content from Dallas Business Journal by Bill Hethcock, Staff Writer
Date: Friday, November 30, 2012, 5:00am CST - Last Modified: Thursday, November 29, 2012, 3:24pm CST Aaron Winston and Cheryl O’Brien spend much of their day in a darkened room, staring at a computer screen, developing gaming apps for iPhones, iPads, Androids and other smartphone and tablet devices.

In one of Winston’s apps, called Spaceape, a Cosmonaut ape named Dmitri flies around outer space, scooping up bananas and dodging asteroids, comets and aliens. One of O’Brien’s apps, called npiSoroban, is an abacus for the iPad and other devices. The apps are available for 99 cents at app stores.

Winston and O’Brien are former students and current staff programmers at nonPareil Institute, a nonprofit technology company housed on Southern Methodist University’s campus in Plano. Like all of nonPareil’s students and more than half of its 23 staffers, Winston and O’Brien have autism.

The three-year-old institute provides technical training for adults on the autism spectrum, teaching teamwork and skills that enable students and staff to create products, like Spaceape and npiSoroban, for market release.

The institute is growing fast, said Gary Moore, president and co-founder. It had eight students when it opened on the SMU-Plano campus two years ago. Today, it has 93 students and a waiting list of more than 50.

The institute is looking to add a campus in Fort Worth in the next year and ultimately expand nationwide and around the world, Moore said. Word of the institute and its work has spread fast in the autism community, he said.

“There is a tidal wave coming,” Moore said. “From all over the world, we are getting phone calls. There’s nothing else for these adults.”

‘People understand how I’m made up’
Soaring autism rates are driving much of the growth of nonPareil (which means “no equal”), Moore said. The condition is now believed to affect one in 88 children — up from one in 150 just 10 years ago, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. During the next 10 years, more than 500,000 people with autism will turn 18, according to the nonprofit Autism Speaks.

Because people with autism may think and act differently, many don’t fit into a typical corporate workplace, so they end up unemployed or in part-time, minimum-wage jobs, Moore said.

“Many of the high-functioning guys are brilliant, but they can’t get a job because they’re different,” Moore said. “We’re trying to build a future for them.”

Winston, who wasn’t working or in school when his mother took him to interview for a student slot at nonPareil, said the institute is a perfect fit for him. After graduating from a North Dallas high school in 2010, Winston signed up for a composition class at Richland College, but never went because he had “too much anxiety,” he said.

“(nonPareil) gave me the skills I needed,” he said. “There is less pressure here and great camaraderie. People understand how I’m made up.”

The institute has proven transformational for O’Brien as well. O’Brien, who has a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Houston, was throwing papers, working as a crossing guard and doing part-time clerical work when she heard about nonPareil. She traded those jobs to be a student at nonPareil, and has worked her way into a position as a staff programmer and instructor.

“I like programming and I like making apps,” O’Brien said. “It’s fun.”
Building corporate partnerships
Students at nonPareil pay $600 a month to take classes. The money is used to help keep the nonprofit business running. Revenue from apps goes back to the institute, although so far the apps haven’t racked up big sales, in part because the institute doesn’t have much of a marketing budget, its founders say. App sales totaled about $500 last year.

The goal is for mobile app revenue to sustain nonPareil’s operating budget, CEO Dan Selec said. Selec and Moore co-founded nonPareil along with John Eix in July 2009, and the organization’s first classes were held in Selec’s kitchen. Selec, Moore and Eix, a nonPareil board member who works in business development for Dallas law firm Hunton & Williams LLP, all have sons with autism.

“The thing that the three of us were so passionate about when we began was, once school systems were done with the kids at 18 years old, it’s very difficult for them to move into a corporate environment,” Eix said. “They don’t process information that way and they don’t process emotion that way. But if you put them in an environment where they’re working together, where they appreciate one another because they know what the other one is going through, they just absolutely thrive.”

The institute is building corporate partnerships with companies such as Google, Selec said. That company has a “Google Spectrum Team” which engages people with autism nationwide to work on projects, he said. Google provides licensing to nonPareil for some of its software products, Selec said. The company also uses donated software from Microsoft, Valve and other corporations, he said.

Texas Instruments, Vision2 Systems, Accent Networks and Cinemark Theaters are among the corporate supporters of nonPareil as well, Eix said.

The institute has four apps in the Apple iTunes store, three apps in the Google Play store and another 10 in the pipeline, Selec said. While sales of nonPareil products haven’t taken off yet, it only takes one breakout app — an Angry Birds, for example — to dramatically change a company’s revenue picture, he said.

The institute tries to take a market-driven approach to the employment challenges faced by people with autism, Selec said.

“If we can consistently get product on the market, instead of having this tidal wave of individuals look for a welfare answer or a governmental answer, what we’re focused on is getting them resources they need to learn and earn their own way in their lives,” he said. “Let’s help them live fulfilled lives through the work that they can do.

“We’re committed to giving them the skills that they need to build great products and compete in the marketplace.”
APPS AND AUTISM
NAME: nonPareil Institute
BUSINESS: App and game development
HEADQUARTERS: 5240 Tennyson Pkwy., Ste. 105, Plano 75024
OWNERSHIP: Nonprofit
TOP EXECUTIVE: Dan Selec, CEO
EMPLOYEES: 23
PHONE: 972-473-3593
WEB: npitx.org

The Huffington Post profiled nonPareil Institute in its online issue recently:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/27/autism-employment-white-collar-jobs_n_1916611.html

nonPareil was featured in a recent ComputerWorld article:
http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9225562/Institute_s_mobile_apps_are_built_by_hands_of_those_with_autism?taxonomyId=77

We were also just highlighted as part of a story that ran a few months ago on Channel 8 (the ABC affiliate in Dallas):
http://www.wfaa.com/community/autism/Parents-of-children-with-autism-greatest-fear--What-happens-when-the-school-bus-stops-coming-151788515.html

Also, the documentary filmmaker has been filming a documentary profiling nonPareil. He provided us this trailer in advance of the film’s release later this year:
www.creektreefilms.com/programminghopevideo.html

And also, I made The Dallas Morning News' op-ed section over a year ago:
http://letterstotheeditorblog.dallasnews.com/archives/2012/04/what-can-we-do.html

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Find it more space both locally and nationally.

More feedback...

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

June 5, 2014

more

June 5, 2014

nonPareil Institute is ONE OF A KIND! It is an organization where the talents of those diagnosed on the autistic spectrum can achieve their dreams. This non-profit offers a positive work and learning environment that caters to the special needs of those brilliant young adults who have been seeking an unique opportunity to take their gifts and apply them as a contribution to society. If you know someone, or are someone struggling with a young adult on the spectrum, the unfortunate realization is that after high school graduation the boundless opportunities available for the typical graduate are simply not an option for these individuals. nonPareil, like it's name, is second to none, surpassing all expectations as far as autism is concerned. The goal is to have enough support to build multiple campuses across the country. One location simply is not enough to fulfill the HUGE demand. My son has a purpose and passion for his future, which honestly, is an anomaly for most on the spectrum.

More feedback...

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

June 5, 2014

more

June 5, 2014

This is a great training institute for folks who are autistic. They are training and enabling a community of autistic adults to be a productive part of our society by giving them a place to learn and to build confidence in their abilities to create great applications for our smart phones and write books for our creative reading. They also offer an avenue for the adults to bring out and enhance their creativeness in a non-threatening environment. The opportunity that NonPareil is giving these adults is incredible. And the result of the work that has been created to date has been just as incredible. There is such a demand for this kind of training institute in our communities, and it's great to have one of the training centers in the Dallas area. It's also great to see them working to expand into other markets. There is such an incredible need as the autism population continues to grow for place like this. This kind of learning institute will give them the opportunity in life to help them succeed. The owners of the non-profit have done an incredible job to date and continue to look at future opportunities to grow the training center to include other interest for autistic adults that want to learn and grow a specific skill set. NonPareil certainly deserves to be known as a number one Great Nonprofit organization for the help they are giving families with autistic adults.

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Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

June 5, 2014

more

June 5, 2014

We love NonPareil! The work they do with adults on the austin spectrum is without equal. They not only find acceptance, but an incredible sense of accomplishment as they learn to work in a field they love. We are so anxious for our son to be accepted into this program... He is counting the days until he receives that call. My prayer is that more people hear about the amazing work they do and that they receive the funding they need to increase their availability.

More feedback...

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

June 5, 2014

more

June 5, 2014

NONPARIEL INSTITUTE is a great organization that gives students/adults with autism opportunities to showcase their abilities in areas of interest and learn to be contributing citizens in their communities.

I have referred adult students the the program and seen great growth and success
for them.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

help it grow bigger and stronger and incorporate more social skills activities and independent living opportunities for the crew members sooner. I plan to work there as a voilunteer or employee when I retire from the school district.

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How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

February 15, 2014

more

February 15, 2014

This institute is fantastic! Their crew members are very happy there, and the staff is very involved and caring.

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Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

September 21, 2013

more


1 previous review
November 25, 2012

What will my child do when I'm gone? How will he support himself? These questions were answered at nPI. My son has been given the gift of respect, a chance to be himself. He is being taught the ski... more

September 21, 2013

Since finding out about nPI about a year ago, my Son has found acceptance in a workplace setting that truly encourages his uniqueness and God given talents. Thank you, thank you for unconditionally loving these young adults and inspiring them to greatness!!! nPI values my Son as much as I do -- who could ask for more? How blessed we are to have found nPI.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Clone it in every city!

More feedback...

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

November 25, 2012
1 person found this review helpful

What will my child do when I'm gone? How will he support himself? These questions were answered at nPI. My son has been given the gift of respect, a chance to be himself. He is being taught the skills that will enable him to have hope for a future of independence. His gifts and talents are welcomed and he is accepted at nPI. The staff members are friendly, kind and truly understand my son because he is a lot like their own. We feel blessed to have found nPI. What more could a parent ask?

More feedback...

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

September 19, 2013

more


1 previous review
November 24, 2012

I am a special educator that also has a son with Asperger's, age 20. We attended the Open House in Plano, Texas and are in the process of enrolling in nonPareil/Spring 2013. I have been searching fo... more

September 19, 2013

My son, Christian, attends this institute. We visited in Nov. 2012, then he was accepted in Feb. 2013. We are 100% committed to this group, as they are providing trainig for autistic individuals. Founded by men who have sons affected by ASD, training is hands on/computer generated. Need more like this, and they are looking to expand, so support them with funds so we can reach more people. The need is growing exponentially!

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Help them with funding so they can add to the campus with dorm/living facilities!

More feedback...

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

November 24, 2012

I am a special educator that also has a son with Asperger's, age 20. We attended the Open House in Plano, Texas and are in the process of enrolling in nonPareil/Spring 2013. I have been searching for a program that will provide training in the type of setting that will allow true learning (translate "hands-on"), versus "book learning" (written tests, chapter reading, etc.). The former will result in a person that can actually do something/hold a job, versus a piece of paper that indicates someone has completed courses, but still not able to actually perform work of any kind. This program is SO NEEDED, and will only become moreso as we see the number of Autism incidence change from 1 in 150 individuals, to present numbers of 1 in 88. Stay tuned for the next revision; if you don't know someone now with an Autistic child, you will soon.

More feedback...

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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