Appleton schools help special education students with post-grad life

APPLETON – Thinking back to his first week of work at Huzzard Data Systems, Austin Wells remembers the pang of disappointment when he just barely missed his goal of configuring 15 scanners. Hey did 12.

Wells talked with his boss, Gary Jahnke, who reassured him that the goal was just a number and everyone misses their target at some point. He may not have hit it that first week, but now, almost a year into the job, Wells is exceeding his goals — his single-day record is 27 scanners — and learning how to work with more complicated devices.

“We feel Austin’s happy,” said his mother, Mary Wells. “He feels successful and that ultimately what we want: for him to feel satisfied with where he’s at.”

Austin, who has high-functioning autism, has found success since graduating from high school, working 15 hours a week at Huzzard and taking classes part-time at Fox Valley Technical College. But those are just stepping stones to the 18-year-old’s real dream: being a choir teacher.

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