I spent 3 years in depression after I was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome. While I now (4 years later) take pride in being autistic, it was very crushing to me at the time. I normally have a very strong immune system, but the depression weakened it enough for me to contract mononucleosis (mono), which then turned into chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). I was pretty much bedridden for those 3 years.
Even now, at 23, I still suffer from CFS. I sleep more than I'm awake, and I'm constantly told by my peers and father that I don't "pull my own weight". For the first time, I finally have a job, but it's 3 hours a week and my peers still don't count it. I feel like I truly have a valid reason to feel worthless.
If it weren't for my new friends and co-workers at nonPareil Institute, I don't know where I'd be. NonPareil Institute is non-profit corporation that trains adults with autism in game development. All the training is one-on-one, there are no tests, no grades, and no deadlines. I'm judged against myself, and not anyone else. It's amazing and so freeing. I now have the strength to brush off the negative comments from my neuro-typical peers.
Sure, I have a long way to go. But now I have a path to get there. :)
nonPareil Institute has completely changed my daughter's life. Her jr. high and high school experiences were filled with nothing but social failure and she struggled with the executive functioning necessary to complete and turn in assignments. She is now a happy and thriving young adult because of the environment that nonPareil provides. She has friends for the first time, a purpose in life, and success like she has never been able to experience before. I don't have enough positive adjectives in my vocabulary to adequately describe nonPareil Institute.
My high-functioning Asperger's daughter always struggled to find a place where she felt comfortable and could fit in. It is not an overstatement to say that nonPareil Institute has completely changed her life for the better. She has friends and a purpose for the first time in her life. I cannot imagine how empty her life would be if she were not able to attend nonPareil. Dan Selec and Gary Moore have an incredible vision for persons on the autism spectrum, and I am grateful beyond words that my daughter has the opportunity to participate in the program.There are not enough superlatives in my vocabulary to explain what nonPareil Institute means to our whole family.
I learned about nonPariel while serving on the board of The Achievement Center of Texas, another excellent non-profit caring for mobility and other types of disabled individuals. My high functioning autistic 18 year old grandson Jonathan was interviewed by Gary Moore for the nP program; my husband and I were incredibly impressed by every aspect of their approach to the students, what they had to offer, and their life changing organization. We wanted Jonathan to attend; Jonathan was over the moon in love with the program and was eager to start immediately. Regrettably his parents live in Florida and did not want him living away from home so he has been unable to attend. We still think nP is the best place for Jonathan and keep trying to convince his parents to allow him to attend. Darlene S. Taylor-Thompson, M.D.
nonPareil is a ground breaking and LIFE CHANGING organization that is working with adults with Asperger’s in order to help them build technologies to support them in the future. WhiIe working for them as the AD, I see on a daily basis the impact and overwhelming change a little affirmation and love can do for those that have been discarded by the traditional system of education and work that neurotypical adults face with general ease. We are cutting edge with our technology, which few other nonprofits can match. Our crew members are making the apps, and on every level they are responding to our challenges and are growing and maturing from them. This is how to change the world. We are doing it one crew member at a time.
My high functioning autistic son attends nonpareil. He has a BS in computer science but was paralyzed with the idea of finding a job. In the year that he has been at nonpareil my son has had a boost of self confidence that has made an enormous difference in his life. Chris is living his dream of programming games and couldn't be happier. He fits in regardless of the fact that he is not very social. The acceptance and love expressed by the staff and crew is amazing!
My son is a high functioning autistic young man in his 20's. After graduating with a Bachelors degree in Computer Science last spring, he had overwhelming anxiety related to actually putting into practice what he had learned. The thought of applying for a job was incapacitating. After we heard about nonPareil, I scheduled an appointment with Gary to see what it was all about. What an amazing place! Gary and the crew made my son and I feel welcomed. It is a safe environment with great opportunities for anyone on the autistic spectrum. My son has gained confidence and has decreased anxiety overall. He now lives on his own in the Plano area and takes a bus to travel to nonPareil. The staff is outstanding! They have been incredibly helpful with any problems he has encountered and have been kind, nonjudgemental, and patient as well as being excellent communicators. The crew at nonPareil are free to be themselves to learn and produce products in a field that is a favorite pastime for most of them. It is an opportunity that I never thought would be available to my son.
Our daughter has been attending nonPareil for a year now and we could not be happier. Of course before we found nonPareil we were uncertain what the future held for her. We were confident she would find employment but knew that probably meant a lifetime of menial labor jobs and that was very upsetting to us. We really wanted her to be able to find work doing something she enjoyed. Thanks to nonPareil Institute she is on her way to doing just that.
The incredible bonus we've received with her attending nonPareil has been her social growth. She has absolutely blossomed in a year. Her fears of crowds and noisy rooms has decreased significantly and we can point to the environment of respect, love and attention that nonPareil Institute fosters as a prime factor in her change.
We look forward to her future with as much excitement as we do our other daughter who is a senior in college. Who knows she may develop the next Angry Birds and buy Mom & Dad their retirement island!
I am a donor but my grandson is a student at nonPareil and I feel we are blessed to be a part of this wonderful opportunity. Eric because he has a future thanks to the hard work and dedication of the founders and staff. For my part I feel honored to contribute a small part to what I know will be the start of something wonderful for adults with autism. This concept is one that is long overdue and should lead to
changes in how training for young adults with limited capabilities is provided. The future of this country depends on creative ideas for those who do not fit into the main stream. They should be allowed to develop skills to enable them to be a productive part of our world.
This organization is a tremendous help to my son and others with Autism. It teaches people on the autism spectrum how to work in real jobs and gives them a great sense of accomplishment.
A truly amazing group of people passionate about making a better world for an under serviced group of adults.
It has been an absolute privilege to be part of this much needed and very successful organization. The founders Dan and Gary made a leap of faith and commitment few would dare. The result is an organization that is helping hundreds and will soon be thousands of individuals, students and family members alike, providing skills training, a community like no other, and above all hope to those who have few options. The organization deserves the recognition and support to further that vision. The people working there provide selflessly of themselves for the single purpose of providing an opportunity to those who might not be afforded those chances in life we so easily accept for ourselves. And the students are instinctively drawn into the community and opportunity provided. The grand dream of expanding that vision to include housing, work training, life training and work opportunities will be a reality in time.
Amazing is an understatement. My son Neal has flourished in this program. He began as a student and continues to learn but has progressed to teaching others as a paid position. The program simply works, it take the strengths of these young indivials and allows them show the world what the can do. It builds character and confidence.
This is only the beginning for this team as there is far more demand than they can currently serve. We are so lucky to live close enough to take advantage of what this program offers and I support the growth strategy and vision that Dan and Gary have as there are so many that need this program yet cannot take advantage until the program expands its reach.
The nonPariel Institute in Plano, Texas is the only place like it in the whole world that works to train adults with autism how to develop their video game programing skills. I sought out this tremendous program 3 years prior to my son becoming a Crew member. This program has changed his life in many ways. He is so proud to have the opprotunuity to follow his lifelong passion for video games and learn to be a developer. The people that founded nonPariel and their staff have nothing but care and compassion for these Crew member's development. You can't help but smile when you are there. The nonPariel motto " Amor vincit Omnia. Auxillio ab alto" "Love conques all. With help from on high." is truly present. My son looks forward to a future of success and lifelong friendships and one day a place to call home. We are truly blessed by nonPariel, it is not a place it is a family.
I'm so thankful that nonPareil is available to help our son develop skills he is interested in and possibly provide a position for him later on. He gets exactly the kind of training he needs and the staff gives him the personal attention he requires. This is an answer to prayer.
nonPareil is hands-on! They are not just giving people job skills to people on the Autism spectrum, they are helping them work together in productive design teams by providing a specialized environment for learning and working on REAL products. Their students/employees are extremely talented but find it hard, if not impossible, to function in most workplaces. NonPareil, has given my son a fulfilling career path that takes advantage of his talent, skill, and focus. Without nonPareil, he would have been locked into minimum-wage, unskilled jobs. Now he can take pride in doing high quality work with highly skilled team members. He is on the path to being self sufficient.
My son, Bobby is learning skills to work in a field that he is passionate about, in an environment that is disigned to take advantage of his unique talents. nonPareil is the only organization that understands and appreciates his creativity, and can channel it in a way that is building his self esteme, his skills, and his opportunity for an independent future. nonPareil's gaming and phone app products are highly competitive in the marketplace. Bobby is proud to be part of a growing company, one that happens to embrace his talents as an adult on the autism spectrum.
NonPareil Institute has given my son opportunity to be productive, live a life of growth and fulfillment.
There are no words to express my appreciation for what NonPareil means to my son and our family.
Volunteering at non-Pareil is the best part of my week. I have the privilege of spending time with brilliant, fun people while watching them grow both intellectually and socially. Kudos to Dan, Gary, and all of the staff at non-Pareil for creating such a nurturing learning environment for young adults on the spectrum.
Patrick's mom wrote: Discovering non-Pareil has been a gift for our family. My son, a 19 year old with Asperger's Syndrome, is thriving while learning super employable skills and developing life long friendships. As a volunteer, I am finding the time I spend at non-Pareil invaluable. Watching these young people thrive and create fulfilling lives is so powerful. I feel very fortunate to be a part of such a nurturing environment, and look forward to being an observer to the exciting future ahead!!
My 23 year old son started with NonPareil this past year. He is very high functioning with Asperger's Sydnrome. NonPareil provides such a necessary outlet to instill purpose, fulfillment and a place of belonging to a group of hard-working, bright and sensitive young adults who otherwise are left struggling to find acceptance and success. We have been thrilled with NonPareil, and my son loves it there, and loves even more the road to independence that he is building for himself. I am very hopeful for the future of NonPareil and the possibilities ahead for this extraordinary non-profit.
Bringing purpose and fulfillment to the lives of others, nonPareil and their staff are long on patience, compassion and true understanding in working with autistic individuals and their families who are desperately searching for solutions. The staff and individuals serving nonPareil clients understand because someone in their own lives is struggling to find their way through the maze of autism. They "get" it. Taking a bold risk to start this organization and a major leap of faith, Dan Selec and Gary Moore quit with the "why" and moved forward with the "how" years ago. These men recognized the vision set before them and have acted with determination to surround themselves with an amazing staff who work long, diligent days to make a difference in the lives of individuals who often are given little hope for a future. The program is phenomenal showcasing gifts and abilities of people who are often cast aside. Having worked with nonPareil both as a parent and in a professional capacity, it truly is unparalleled in its scope, goals and results!
I love nonPareil. I started school here in May of 2011, and I've never been happier in my life. I went from having almost no friends to having more friends than I know how to handle almost immediately. The curriculum is great, and I love that we don't have to take any courses that don't directly effect our department. My teacher is really awesome because we communicate relatively similarly, so there are less misinterpretations or conflicts due to communication errors. Dan and Gary, the guys who run things here, are awesome; they take a personal interest in all of us here, and they're really understanding about just about anything imaginable. I've never been happier in my life, and nonPareil is a HUGE part of making that happen. My advice for if you're thinking about sending your kid here, or going here yourself, is to stop thinking about it and just do it! You will be missing out on something unimaginably huge and incomparably awesome if you don't.