April is Autism Awareness Month, and an opportunity to highlight how those diagnosed with the disorder are making waves in our community.El Paso native Ethan Teicher is what most people would describe as a dream chaser and trailblazer, going after all that he wants despite some of the obstacles he may face.At just four years old, Ethan was diagnosed with autism. He also has a speech and hearing impairment. These special abilities however have only motivated him to accomplish more and help as many people as he possibly can.In 2009, Ethan graduated from Coronado High School, and just last year he earned his degree in applied science from El Paso Community College. He has big dreams of becoming a college basketball coach someday, but in the meantime, he’s dedicating his time to being an active member of our community.“I’m on the Special Olympics basketball team and I also work as a volunteer teacher at the Paso Del Norte Children’s Development Center,” said Teicher.The kids he works with face similar challenges. Teicher says it’s an opportunity to serve as a role model and show his students that anything is possible if you work for it.“My job is to help the teachers and kids as much as possible. You just have to get to know them personally and just help them,” said Teicher.Three days out of the week he also works at Albertsons grocery store. It’s a job he’s held for over a decade, communicating with customers and helping them with anything that they may need.“I really enjoy working there and getting to know the employees and customers. By the way - during my time here I was named employee of the month 3 times!,” said Teicher.Right now, his jobs have some added purpose, as he works through the COVID-19 pandemic. At first, he says the increase in customers at his store made him nervous from a social perspective, but he’s been able to work through that too.“Since I see the customers a lot, I usually know who they are, mostly. It’s different now, but I’m trying my best,” said Teicher.Still, he says he has one message he wants to share with the world about autism.“Other people have to support people with autism because they are such huge difference makers no matter what. The important thing is to just be yourself and always work hard,” said Teicher.Quick facts:According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, autism is a developmental disability. A person with autism has trouble communicating or understanding what other people think or feel.About 1 in 54 children has been identified with autism spectrum disorder (ASD)ASD is more than 4 times more common among boys than among girls.
EL PASO, Texas (KFOX14) — undefined