Lake Cathie resident Marni Bishop and her family want people in the community to expand their awareness regarding autism.
Marni is 22-years-old and is on the spectrum. She has struggled to find her feet through employment in the Port Macquarie-Hastings.
Her mother Linda said a lack of strategies within businesses regarding autism has made it difficult for Marni.
“There were too many instructions, not enough visuals and too much verbal communication for her to process,” she said.
Marni has always been passionate about baking and is now part owner of a cafe at North Haven.
“It’s nice to have my own kitchen to bake, it’s something I’ve wanted for a long time,” she said.
Marni enjoys the systematic approach of measuring and setting out the baking ingredients at the start of her day.
Linda said it’s an organised approach and one she instills in her room too. Marni has particular places for everything she owns.
“Everything is in boxes and labelled,” she said.
Linda said people often don’t realise autism continues from childhood into adulthood.
“It’s life long,” she said.
Linda believes adults on the autism spectrum require different kinds of support.
“As adults their lives don’t revolve around school bells or any kind of structure,” she said.
Marni structures her day herself, through lists of jobs she wants to carry out.
Marni and her family set up Cafe Chance and Creators Collective at North Haven to be a welcome space for everyone.
In the future the cafe would like to help young autistic adults develop communication skills and gain experience.
“So when they do find a job, they have hospitality experience on their resume,” Linda said.