“There are people with autism who are able to live beyond their diagnosis and enjoy a full and meaningful life.”
In the late 90’s, 1998 to be precise, Gregory Chabollah was diagnosed with a form of autism called Pervasive Development Disorder – Not Otherwise Specified or PDD-NOS.
His mother, Michelle, described Gregory as being a difficult child. When Gregory was age three, the diagnosis was estimated at one in every ten thousand children, so attaining services proved difficult for Gregory and his mother. Battling with both the school system and society at large.
Gregory’s diagnosis was so severe, that numerous specialists had predicted that he would never do the things a “normal” person would do. Talking, feeding himself, dressing himself – just to name a few – would be difficult for Gregory. He was advised to be removed from his parental home where he was loved and supported, and placed into a group home.
Gregory was loved and cherished by his family and as a result, they wouldn’t let the autism diagnosis define his life. He was able to achieve more than the doctors and specialists had predicted for him and much of that was due to his interest in woodworking.
When Gregory met a man named Pasty Williams, who would become his mentor, Gregory’s interest in woodworking was born.
In the early stages, they both started at creating easy things before they moved further into making difficult cuts and designs. Gregory was able to turn that initial interest to full time work and began selling his pieces.
Over the years, Gregory’s woodworking business grew across Texas and online via his official website and facebook account. It enabled his clients to see and admire his lovely work.
Gregory is presently active in combining art shows and festivals and through social media. His biggest joy is not only designing wonderful and creative pieces as a woodworker, but interacting and communicating with his clients and his family.
Anyone who is aware of Gregory’s story can surely use it as an inspiration to succeed in life, despite the challenges they may be experiencing. What made Gregory a success in the woodworking business is his interest and passion for this craft.
The benefits of woodworking also gave Gregory a chance to live his life to the fullest despite his challenges.
Read the full interview with Gregory and his mother Michelle, on Sawinery.