By Denise D. Resnik, Founder & President/CEO
I’ve never seen anyone express as much joy cleaning their home as Matt Resnik. While I doubt he actually enjoys the loud vacuuming or quiet dusting, he certainly values checking things off his list.
From doing laundry and emptying the dishwasher or trash to cleaning all the counters and doorhandles, Matt meticulously advances through each step with confidence, earnestness—and a smile.
Routines and practice over the past several years are paying dividends—not only for Matt, but for his parents and family, too.
We find great joy in knowing how much he loves his independent life at First Place–Phoenix, which includes hanging out in his rocking chair, and watching videos and listening to music whenever he wants. Or helping himself to a bowl of popcorn at all hours (crumbs don’t lie!) and nightly reading with Grammy. And he loves playing Scrabble, Mario Kart and air hockey with friends who teach him new techniques and cheer him on.
Matt’s days are filled with his SMILE Biscotti business, where he’s learning new skills like navigating transportation, entering data and making sales calls with coworkers. He also volunteers each week at the Heard Museum, where he has mastered the library filing system. Wherever he goes, Matt constantly shows us the ways he works at overcoming the myriad challenges of autism as he also teaches us about kindness—and how to listen with our ears, eyes and hearts.
While we don’t know what Matt dreams about at night, as parents we do know we’re living the dream while he confidently continues to build a more joyful, independent life outside of our family home with friends, a supportive community—and a smile.