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New Jersey business employs people with autism

MAPLEWOOD, N.J. (NBC, KYMA/KECY) - April is Autism Acceptance Month and one New Jersey company is proud to empower and employ people with autism.

Products with a purpose. Beloved Bath's candles, lotions, and soaps are manufactured, labeled, packaged, and shipped by people with autism.

"There is a job for everyone and there's not been one person that's come to work and we've said, 'Sorry, this isn't a good fit,'" said Pat Miller, co-owner of Beloved Bath.

In total, 16 people work at Beloved Bath in Maplewood. Many come here after searching for work, unsuccessfully for years.

"We know we can thrive anywhere and do anything we put our mind to. It's that when it comes to employment and trying to find work, there's not a lot of opportunities available," said Paul Silliere, a 29-year-old employee.

People with autism have an unemployment rate of upwards of 85%. Many of their families know that, with some small accommodations and support, they can be loyal and hardworking employees.

"When I do something repetitively, I get excited about it. It makes me feel good inside about myself," Silliere explained.

Co-founders Miller and Pam Kattouf both have sons in their early 20s who have autism, and they both work at Beloved Bath as well.

"[My son's] very proud because he knows he's contributing and doing something that's important, and that people give him kudos for," Kattouf expressed.

A portion of every Beloved Bath sale goes to a charitable foundation that supports education and social activities for people with developmental disabilities.

"This has given me more than anything I could have dreamed of. It's exceeded all my expectations," Silliere remarked.

Article Topic Follows: National-World

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