For Jordan, a young woman living with autism, finding her voice has always been difficult. Like many with autism, she lives encapsulated in her own world, unable to speak to others or interact with them. She goes to Mychal’s Learning Place, a non-profit program that teaches developmentally disabled students life skills such as cooking, laundry, how to take a bus, and how to use a computer with the goal of teaching them to live independently. Although she has been with the program for almost a decade, Jordan struggled with human communication – until Mychal’s partnered with Adopt & Shop.
Found Animals Adopt & Shop is a non-profit pet store that adopts out rescued pets. For the past two years, students of Mychal’s having been volunteering at Adopt & Shop, Alicia Galindo from Mychal’s told iHeartCats.
When Jordan saw the black cats, an amazing transformation took place.
“Jordan has an intrinsic fondness for black cats,” a representative for the school said. “Every time she sees a black cat she can’t help but fall in love. Words fall from her lips as though she has been talking the entire time. ‘Kitty kitty kitty.’ Not only do her eyes light up, but she can’t stop smiling and laughing.”
Considered mostly nonverbal, Jordan chatters away when she find out there is a tiny black kitten at the Adopt & Shop, and she gets to play with him.
Jordan, and other students, help clean up the store and socialize with the cats.
“She will come in and she will play with them and provide mental stimulation and that much needed human interaction that’s really important in socializing the animals,” Julia, Volunteer Coordinator at Adopt & Shop, said.
Watch the mini-documentary about Jordan’s work with the kitties at Adopt & Shop below:
While Jordan may be giving those cats the love and socialization they need, they are giving Jordan just as much, if not more, back. A woman who rarely verbalized is now finding her voice thanks to cats. It’s definitely a win-win for everyone involved.