Connor’s Special Gift

Published 10:38 am Wednesday, October 14, 2020

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The coronavirus pandemic has affected people in different ways, but it is especially hard on a young, autistic person.

“When Crisp County High School shut down last March,” Deborah Meador, Connor Meador’s mom said. “It was Connor’s senior year. We didn’t know what was going on. Everything was so up in the air.”

The problem was amplified by the fact that he, like most autistics, don’t suffer changes easily.

“First there were no people at the school.” Deborah Meadors said. “We used to go into the school, sit down and talk to him, but now we can’t. And we couldn’t just say ‘Go off Connor, you don’t drive; you don’t take your meds, but here, go to school. We just couldn’t do that to him.”

Connor hadn’t been diagnosed with autism until a few years ago when he traveled to the Marcus Center in Atlanta. The center, a gift to Atlanta from Home Depot founder Bernie Marcus, is one of the country’s largest clinical centers for pediatric autism.

“It was a total game changer for me,” Connor said, trying to find the words to complete his thought.

“We always knew he had autism,” Deborah said. “What people don’t understand is that autism covers such a big spectrum. Connor is verbal, he hears, sees, everything like that, but he doesn’t understand pain and basic information. Every autistic person seems to have some special gift or talent. Connor’s is art.”

  Realizing that the pandemic could take away their income, the Meadors began looking for some way to make money that would also include Connor. They decided to buy a sign franchise from Sign Gypsies, a Texas company that offers to celebrate any occasion by placing yard signs throughout the community.

As the pandemic continued, the Meador’s say their Sign Gypsies business has grown exponentially.

“We lift spirits and bring smiles to people’s faces, which is so important especially right now with everything that is going on,”

The Meadors’ franchise covers Arabi, Cordele and Vienna. If someone calls the main office, they are automatically transferred

“We love to help people celebrate all different occasions,” Deborah said. “We want everyone to have a smile when they see a Sign Gypsies yard greeting.”