Growing opportunities for autism

The Business of Food with Steve Alexander

West Side Chicago students with autism learn new job and life skills at an urban farm.

Students with autism working on the Urban Autism Solutions farm on Chicago’s West Side. (Photos from UAS)

Amid the concrete and buildings in the Illinois Medical District on Chicago’s West Side is an unlikely sight: a farm. It’s 1.2 acres and not only are all sorts of produce being grown there, young adults with autism and other learning differences are working on the farm and gaining vocational and social skills, with the goal of becoming independent citizens working regular jobs. Heather Tarczan, executive director of Urban Autism Solutions, talks with Steve Alexander about how working on the farm and growing food helps open doors to new opportunities.

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