There’s A Café In Puchong Run By Autistic Staff Members And It’s Really Awesome

Autism Café Project aims to help and provide opportunities for autistic and special needs youths.

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There’s A Café In Puchong Run By Autistic Staff Members And It’s Really Awesome
Images: The Star
It seems that our society is starting to embrace people with special needs in the workforce as they are providing more and more job opportunities for them. Viewing and treating them as equals will equip these special group of people with not only the self-confidence and a morale boost they needed, but also the skills to help them find their way in life.

We’ve heard heart-warming tales of commercial companies hiring these special group of people, such as the first Starbucks store in Malaysia to hire deaf baristas and most recently, an autistic youth who went viral after a video of him working at a McDonald’s in Cheras was posted on the Internet.

These stories prove that they are very much capable of doing work just like their able-bodied peers.

And now, it’s time to add another tale to the list.

The Autism Café Project, which opened its doors in August last year, was founded by the father of an autistic child.

Mohd Adli Yahya, 52, was a former executive director for the Standard Charted foundation.

Mohd Adli (far right) next to his autistic son, Muhammad Luqman Shariff, 18.
We know, many of you may be thinking, why the sudden shift in careers?

After his son was diagnosed with autism, he started worrying about his child’s future just like any other parent of a special-needs child would.

He then decided to quit his job and open a café to help train special needs youths to be independent and earn an income.

Working together to serve customers.
In an interview with The Star earlier this year, Mohd Adli says that he has “no regrets” leaving his job behind to pursue this project.

If I don’t do this now, when will I ever do it? I have six children but they will have their own lives and families to worry about. Who is going to take care of him when my wife and I are gone?” he told The Star.

Muhammad Luqman washing the dishes.
A cafe staff posing for a photo with one of the cafe patrons.
He also acknowledged that there are plenty of training programmes for autistic and special needs kids but there’s still a gap that needs to be filled.

“Yes, they do provide training and life skills but who will provide them employment? They have to compete with the able-bodied. So, employers would be more inclined to hire us rather than them.”

Mohd Adli’s café recently got the attention of Netizens after local activist Syed Azmi penned a heart-warming post on his Facebook account about his experience visiting the café.

The post has garnered over 5,000 shares to date.

Café Autism is currently operating at iM4U Sentral in Taman Perindustrian Puchong from 8.30am weekdays. It serves local delicacies and baked goods such as cookies and cakes. The café also offers catering for events serving food such as nasi lemak and roti jala.

Apart from food, the café also sells merchandises to help fund their operations.

Some of the merchandises up for sale.
For more info, visit their Facebook page or contact Mohd Adli at 012-349 0813.

So, what are you waiting for? Start your engines and visit the café today to show them some love and support!

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