My son is 19 and autistic. He's very smart, and graduated HS but the question becomes - now what? For parents of special needs kids, a constant fear is "what will happen when we are gone?" Praise God for Gary Moore and Dan Selec having the same thoughts, but caring enough to create nonPareil! This is an incredible opportunity for 18 and older people on the spectrum to learn game development, and also acquire social and life skills. For us, Plano was a bit too far - BUT we are now heavily involved in the efforts to expand nP into Austin!!
A place to belong. A place like no other. Where my son and others can use thier gifts towards a great purposeful life. No longer isolated or put into jobs based on your challenges rather than the skills that come so easily for you. There is much to learn and practice. If at first you accommodate the autism the individuality and the talents thrive and the world opens to a new adventure.
October marks the end of my son's fourth year at nonPareil. He is teaching 3D graphics programming and studying animation, and is coding video games. His life has changed and so has he. nonPareil took him in when he was afraid for his future, and paralyzed by that fear. Most of us with children on the spectrum know exactly what I mean. When we visited nonPareil he said very little, but when we got home he started packing up his things. He had not been accepted into the program yet. I asked him what he was doing, and he said "I'm going there." "There" was 1500 miles from our home in Pa. He suffered through the next two months, waiting in desperate hope for the call from Gary to tell him there was room for him now. He was ready to leave. He hadn't unpacked. Gary had told him he was going to be a member of the crew, and my son believed that he would keep his word. and Gary followed through. My son was 25 at the time. nonPareil is the answer to prayers yet unsaid, and to men and women without hope who will find that there is a place for them there, and quite possibly in the outside world as the crew members continue to grow and become . Love works miracles. Send them your love, your prayers and every extra dime you have. My child and all the crew are proving that nonPareil is also working miracles.
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.
We are now in the second year of our daughter's association with nonPareil Institute, where she is a student and also a part time employee. In that first year, we were filled with gratitude as she quickly melded into a greater whole of individuals "on the Autism spectrum". As I volunteered I observed a culture in which new individuals could literally walk into the Social Room, observe a video game being played for a few minutes, and relax, cross-legged in the floor to exchange knowing observations about the game maker's strength's and weaknesses. Repeatedly, daily, I was able to observe persons who probably were, in other environments, ostracized for their peculiar attention to detail and focus on a single subject. These individuals needed to be able to express their opinions on those important subjects, and their peers listened, every one of them, as they enthusiastically discussed the minutia that supported their theories and beliefs. They could take whatever time was needed to let the speaker converse, and then give pertinent answers. Less self-assured individuals I observed felt comfortable enough to express frustrations with operating various games, and a few of their peers would flank them, making encouraging remarks, offering personal experiences, and assuring support. I volunteer random days, see different individuals, but this is the common experience at nonPareil within the "down time" of the Social Room.
As I have spoken to and become familiar with students at nP, I have learned how life-changing it was for most of them. Literally lives have changed from despair to hope and confidence. Emphasis by the carefully attentive staff not only on the worth of individuals, but also on the value of the collective whole of individuals attending and/or working at nP keeps focus on the motto, "All for one and one for all!" No one is expected to make it alone, and no one is left to his or her own devices.
So, it is like watching ducks getting into water. They belong. It was made for them.....
After high school, our daughter who is affected by Asperger's on the Autism Spectrum, had an almost free fall with respect to schooling and employment. Although we sought help from the State employment agency, overall she was set up with a series of jobs far beneath her capabilities, and inappropriate for her bright mind. Finally we were fortunate enough to find nonPareil Institute. Since her enrollment in the training program, our daughter has learned to use Hammer software to build maps for computer game and apps, and expects to go on for further training in various aspects of video game and computer application construction. The environment is a near perfect lab for adults affected by ASD including personal training, Kabals with the production team, and social opportunities that foster respectful interaction with others on the ASD spectrum as well as with Neurotypical individuals. Instructors may include graduates of the program who are on the ASD spectrum, and computer software engineers from the SMU graduate program or from industry backgrounds. Our experience at nonPareil exceeds our hopes and expectations. We are committed to ensuring our daughter and others on the ASD spectrum are able to train and work there..
Review from Guidestar
When you have the opportunity to meet the founders of nPi,Gary W. Moore and Dan Selec, you meet men with vision, heart and true bravery. These men have built nPi to transform the life of an individual with a difference- autism, into a confident, competent, self-sustaining SUPER HERO for themselves and for their families. nPi will change the way the world views autism. You can see the success in the eyes of the gracious students and their parents and the hugs that are so readily shared by all. To help nPi be able to serve more students via more campuses, summer programs, camps, more equipment, more visibility is not only a noble thing, but a required step for us all. nPi is Programming Hope, Healing Lives, Lifting Spirits and making a difference in the world of autism...and in the world in general. Their belief and dedication to purpose inspires my soul and I am blessed to be part of their community.
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.
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!!
Extraordinary group of dedicated individuals who are providing a future for young adults with autism.
For her entire life, our daughter wanted to create and develop video games. Her uniquenesses due to autism severely limited her options for career training in this field. nonPareil Institute offers, not only the training necessary for her career choice, but also a community of like-minded individuals searching to find their place in this world. She has grown professionally and, more importantly, personally into a more confident person now living independently of family and flourishing because of the people surrounding her providing instruction and support. Thank you, nonPareil!