19-year-old Anthony Kouklis' dream day job would be working at a video store. His hobby is making short animations with a camera and computer. For now he works part-time at a coffee shop down the street from The Duplex, an Adult Transition Program he attends every weekday. Anthony describes the program as "a kind of heaven" where he is learning to take his own steps toward an independent adulthood. Lessons range from basic work skills and college classes to planning social outings and navigating the public transit system. He thrives in an atmosphere where "the world is a classroom." Anthony was diagnosed with PDD (pervasive developmental disorder) at the age of 8. He says PDD is a good part of his identity that allows him to use his intuition. Some of his autistic friends use the term "neuro-diverse" to describe the idea that "everybody's brain is wired differently." Anthony believes that everyone has a purpose in life.
November 22, 2018