Ho­tel clo­sure a loss for autis­tic male

The Compass - - EDITORIAL -

I would very much like to com­ment on the clos­ing of the Bay Roberts Ho­tel and res­tau­rant.

My 24-year-old autis­tic son Shawn Daw­son has been work­ing in the res­tau­rant for the past 15 months with Rod De­laney and staff. When hired, Rod could have hired any­one but de­cided that what his res­tau­rant needed was some­one with a dis­abil­ity and a love for their work. So he hired Shawn and got more than he ex­pected.

Shawn started with no ex­pe­ri­ence or train­ing and Rod took him un­der his wing and taught him ev­ery­thing he needed to know to work in a very busy kitchen. He is part of a fam­ily. He works ex­tremely hard and is very de­pend­able.

He has learned to trust his co­work­ers and he has also learned to laugh at many of Rod’s foolish jokes, which is re­mark­able be­cause Shawn is mostly non-ver­bal and doesn’t al­ways un­der­stand what is be­ing said. It takes him a long time to process what is be­ing said.

He is a bright light in the kitchen. He makes ev­ery­one smile and en­joy their jobs. He loves his job. He is part of a fam­ily and he is mak­ing his own money.

All I have ever wanted for Shawn was to have a job, en­joy it and work hard. This is what he has and los­ing it is go­ing to be a big step back­wards.

Please let me com­ment in your pa­per to let peo­ple know that clos­ing this es­tab­lish­ment would be such a ma­jor set­back for my beau­ti­ful son. Thank you. It is such a sad day for me.

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