Autism Awareness Month Highlight: Alex T. from Dogtopia of Rocklin

As part of our mission to enable dogs to positively change our world, one of the worthy causes we support is employment initiatives for adults with autism. The unemployment rate for adults with autism is twice as high as those with other disabilities, so the Dogtopia Foundation partnered with the Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center to develop an Autism Employment Guide for Dogtopia franchisees. This guide provides coaching for Dogtopia team members on how to best create a positive, thriving work environment for both adults with ASD and neurotypical adults. 

In honor of Autism Awareness Month, we wanted to highlight a heartwarming success story from Dogtopia of Rocklin, California. Alex T., who is on the autism spectrum, joined the Dogtopia of Rocklin team as a Canine Coach in October 2023 and quickly made an impression with his infectious energy and charismatic personality. 

“We are very happy to have Alex on our team,” Diane Foos, owner of Dogtopia of Rocklin, said. “He is full of energy. He enjoys all his pups in the Park playroom, and it is obvious that the admiration is mutual. Alex is also a skilled conversation starter, and he loves to get all the staff engaged in lively conversations about different topics.” 

While Alex is clearly making an impact on the pups and people at Dogtopia of Rocklin, it appears Dogtopia is leaving its mark on Alex, too. 

“A year ago, I would not have known my son would be working in a place he not only loves but is accepted as a person on the autism spectrum,” Nicole T., Alex’s mother, said. “Alex absolutely adores working part-time at Dogtopia of Rocklin. Since he started his role, we’ve seen him grow in his confidence and happiness. He comes home with stories of seeing his ‘regulars,’ Max and Penelope, or welcoming a new dog to the mix.” 

Stories like Alex’s inspire us to continue our efforts in creating inclusive workplaces where everyone can thrive. We’re so happy to have you as part of the Dogtopia family, Alex! 

As a nonprofit organization, we rely on your generosity to further the Dogtopia Foundation’s noble cause. By connecting man’s best friend with the organizations we support, we will help returning veterans, students, and adults with autism reach their full potential. Click here to donate today. 100% of your donation is given directly to the organizations we support.