Putting Special Talents To Good Use: An Amazing Handyman With Autism

Brad Fremmerlid, 24, of Edmonton, Canada, has a special gift: He is good at putting stuff together. IKEA products, in particular. If you’ve ever tried to assemble one you know that it can feel as if the instructions may as well be in Swedish. Thing is, Brad can’t read. He has severe autism and doesn’t speak, either. But he has a talent for assembling furniture. Last month his father launched a business for him, Made By Brad, as reported in The Star.

Brad’s been assembling Lego kits and other toys as therapy, per his dad, Mark. Over time, Brad learned to understand diagrams, blueprints and pictorial instructions for products requiring assembly. “It just didn’t seem like a good solution to be always buying things for him to put together,” his dad said. For years, the family struggled to provide Brad with meaningful activities. Even after he was in a day program, staffers had a hard time finding stuff for him to do.

Furniture assembly seemed like a good idea. The fee is about $20 per piece although one client, who hired him to put together a play kitchen, paid him double and noted that it would have taken her husband three days to do what Brad finished in three hours.

“Everyone tells us we should be charging more, but we’re not really looking for money,” said Mark. “We just want him to have something meaningful to do…. It seems to be so good for him to go to someone’s place and have a problem to solve.”

A video about Brad where you can see him in action:

A man with autism putting his strengths to good use. People seeing his abilities, not his disabilities. How great is this?

From my other blog:

Jobs for people with disabilities

Special need parent OMG moments

Turns out I’ve been giving my kid too much attention


What career will your child have? Take our quiz to find out!

Image: Screen grab from “Meet Brad” video

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  1. [...] Just because someone has a “disability” doesn’t mean they lack complete ability  to perform a task. Brad Fremmerlid is an amazing example of what can be accomplished when an individuals special talent…. [...]