Local Bega resident, James Elliott, has transformed his ‘different brilliant’ skills into his career strength.
Diagnosed with Autism when he was young, James used screaming as his primary language before the age of four.
Now at the age of 24, James has successfully completed the Certificate IV in Accountancy at TAFE NSW Bega.
“I would recommend that TAFE is a good idea to get a good qualification. If you are ever stuck, the teacher can help you,” he says.
Keith Bourke, Teacher Consultant, regularly monitored James’s learning journey to ensure he remained on track.
“As James has Autism Spectrum Disorder, it is important to maintain familiarity. We were able to do this with a consistent relationship between a one-on-one tutor and James to check his learning.”
James recalls a discussion with his Dad when he was still working in Retail, which marked a turning point in finding his career calling.
“Dad asked me what would be a better future. I said, I reckon numbers are my thing,” says James.
James has now found his niche as a numbers man at a local and supportive Accountancy firm, Clarke Business Advisors, with a view to become a well-qualified Accountant.
“It’s something that I really love. I like the job because you’re always learning new things every day,” says James.
“We have good supportive people that back each other up,” he said.
Once James was ready for school, there were no special educational pathways for him in the local region.
Stephen Clarke, Manager of Clarke Business Advisors, is delighted with James as a valuable member of his business.
“James has a great willingness to learn with a natural ability to work through a task logically and produce excellent results,” says Mr Clarke.
“He is resourceful, productive and willing to complete any given task to his high standards that he sets himself.
“James takes the pressure off for other staff by completing the initial groundwork.”
James’s incredibly supportive parents have been proactive in their sons learning development and made sure that James’s autistic gifts are used to their full advantage.
“We’ve always tried to set him up to succeed,” says Ms Elliott.
“I also think it’s really important that people know there are options for people with autism.”