By: Sharon Aron Baron
Parkland’s own Rising Tide Car Wash has created an online program that will provide a road map for families who believe starting a business is their only way to help loved ones with autism build a future.
Rising Tide U recently launched an online program called The Autism Advantage created by Thomas Sena and Thomas D’Eri. It is the only program of its kind that walks participants step-by-step through creating a social enterprise that supports people that fall under Neurodiversity. This includes Dyspraxia, Dyslexia, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Dyscalculia, Autistic Spectrum, Tourette Syndrome, and others. They will be working with the University of Miami-Nova Southeastern University Center for Autism & Related Disabilities (UM-NSU CARD) along with The Taft Foundation.
“We truly believe that social entrepreneurship is the key to independence, purpose, and fulfillment for people on the autism spectrum,” said D’Eri. “With The Autism Advantage, we cover everything from finding the right idea, to getting funding, to launching a product the right way. We teach entrepreneurs that success is because of autism, not in spite of it.”
The program has been in beta-testing with great success so far. Currently, they have 14 participants, 12 parents, two organizations, one operational social enterprise, and two more social enterprises that are in the prototype phase of launching.
The Autism Advantage shares the exact system that father and son John D’Eri and Thomas D’Eri of Rising Ride Car Wash used to test, build, and launch their business which has locations in both Parkland and Margate. In 2013, the D’Eris launched Rising Tide Car Wash to create a supportive environment for young adults with autism, including John’s son and Thomas’ brother, then 21-year-old Andrew D’Eri.
The program includes seven modules — each of which includes video training on best practices, both from the D’Eris experience and business experts. The program is structured so that users will only focus on one step at a time including a complete business plane, business structure and a support network. It ensures that users won’t get bogged down by the details or issues that they are not ready for. From those working a full-time job, to those who can dedicate a great deal of time to learning about creating a social enterprise, The Autism Advantage works for any type of user.
For more information about The Autism Advantage and/or to sign up, visit https://theautismadvantage.com/signup/.
Rising Tide Car Wash has two locations: 7201 N. State Rd 7, Parkland, FL 33067; and 2970 N. State Rd 7, Margate, FL 33063. They are open seven days a week from 8 a.m.–7 p.m.