In December 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released its biennial update of the estimated prevalence of autism among children nationwide. It was based on active surveillance at 11 surveillance sites in the United States for 8- and 4-year-old children in 2018. The new report showed an increase in prevalence with 1 in 44 children, or about 2.3% of 8-year-olds diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder in 2018.
Autism, or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), refers to a wide range of conditions characterized by poor social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication problems. As people age, people with autism have lower employment rates and higher rates of social isolation than people with other disabilities.
Mishka Sibert, the older sister of autistic Samko, who is non-verbal, felt these worries. “My mother is particularly worried about the future of Samko, and no job opportunities due to her disability and heavy addiction led me to create a unique role and business model.”
Siblings celebrating autism
The idea for a business started in 2016 when Sibert decided to sell t-shirts featuring his brother’s art. Then they officially launched Happy Autism in 2020 around the start of the pandemic to try to spread joy, positivity and hopeful messages in such difficult times that they knew it would be even more difficult for autistic families.
“I decided to step in both as his sister and as a lawyer,” Sibert said. “Samko, who is nine years younger, plays an important role as a creative director making creative decisions in our business, earning money and achieving greater independence.”
Using different types of tone and emotional expression, Samko uses gestures, facial expressions, and body language to communicate her feelings, needs, wants, and opinions in her role.
In 2012, a study titled the Experiences of people with a sibling diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder by the SOPHIA School of Social Work reported that participants have a very close relationship with their sibling diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Most participants said that their sibling on the autism spectrum had an impact on their career choice. Additionally, all participants believed that their sibling had improved their prosocial behavior by making them more compassionate and understanding of others’ differences.
This seems to be the case for Sibert and his brother.
“At first, I gave up the caregiver role and made my brother the creative director so he could step up and achieve greater independence and support me with his creative leadership, emotional support, and let him take responsibility for his own actions and role,” Sibert says. “So for me, it’s more about the mindset and behavioral change that both helped us create a healthy balance and prevent the burnout that I’ve experienced in the past in because of my ‘self-sacrificing mindset’, as I call it.”
In addition to selling merchandise, they offer workshops, one-on-one coaching, and summits for parents of children with autism on how to create a nurturing environment for children and adults on the spectrum so they can reach their potential. and their own version of their happiness. autism success.
The future of autism happy
“Happy Autism embodies the idea of seeing the capacity of disability and collectively creating a happy future for people with autism,” Sibert explained. “For schools, businesses and businesses to see the abilities of people with autism and strengthen the gold that is already within them so they can achieve their version of happy autism success. My brother’s voice is everything as important as mine, and as a brother, my needs are just as important as his.It is the heart of a healthy dynamic and relationship that can defend together.
People with autism have an 85% chance of being unemployed. However, Sibert hopes their business will help support his brother’s career and become a corporate footprint for others.
“Within our business, I created multiple streams of income and continue to do so,” Sibert said. “My goal is to teach this model and mindset behind this business to other businesses, families and schools so that autistic abilities are not only seen, implemented in a workplace and in businesses, but also celebrated. If my brother and I could do it, anyone can if they believe in it and take consistent steps to make it happen!”
Asked about Happy Autism’s goals for the future, Sibert replied, “When I asked Samko this question, he smiled. Together we want to have more opportunities for advocacy, empowerment, celebration of autistic abilities and victories for autistics and their siblings.”