Employees with autism – the secret to one company’s success

by Nicola Middlemiss17 Feb 2015
An unconventional car wash has become a resounding success after the company’s founder spotted the untapped potential of specific workers.

The Rising Tide car wash in Parkland, Florida currently employs 43 workers – 35 of which are autistic. According to COO Tom D’Eri, his autistic workers are integral to the company’s success.

“We view autism as one of our key competitive advantages,” said D’Eri. “There are really important skills that people with autism have, that make them, in some cases, the best employees you could have,” he continued.

Typically, people with autism have excellent attention to detail and are good at structured tasks and following processes but there’s something else that sets them aside too.

“They have a desire to succeed,” said the car wash’s job coach, Todd Lee. “They’re loyal, they’re grateful, they want to prove themselves, they want to be given the chance and they want to be given an opportunity.”

“One young man, for example, he actually said that he couldn’t sleep at night because he was anticipating coming to work the next day – how many young people do you hear about that have that type of enthusiasm about work?” asked Lee.

“We wanted to build an example, big and bold and out there, that other companies could go ahead and want to emulate," said COO Tom D'Eri.


  • by shaun Thoms 17/02/2015 12:27:36 PM

    My Daughter is on the autism spectrum - no matter what happens she goes to school every day without failure. I have no doubt when she starts work she would be just a diligent. She dislocated her knee but still hobbled to school. Employers could really benefit from such reliable workers

  • by Jenny 19/02/2015 2:50:03 PM

    What a great example of looking at the 'ability' of an individual rather than their differences!!

  • by Amanda Rochford 20/02/2015 12:41:43 PM

    I have a son on the autism spectrum and at age 32 I think he has taken a sick day twice in his life. He is the most loyal and responsible of workers.

Most Read