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Alexander the Great in the kitchen

Posted at 11:22 PM, Jan 14, 2021

His name is Alexander Willis, but in his kitchen, you can call him Alexander the Great.

"Grated parmesan, one shallot and brussels sprouts and parsley."

While he knows what he needs to make his favorite Brussels sprouts, his mom Audrey says her son has a difficult time communicating. The 22 year old is on the Autism spectrum.

"He's not non-verbal, but he's definitely not able to converse the way and average person would. He's not able to advocate for himself, that's why I'm sort of where we are right now. I'm trying to be that voice."

But it started in writing. Audrey turned to Facebook desperate and disappointed trying to find her son a job.

For Alexander a job it's not about money, it's about an opportunity to contribute to society. The challenge of what comes next for Alexander has gotten greater as he's gotten older.

It's a challenge many families with special needs children face.

"As they get older people aren't necessarily exposed to how to train or how to interact with someone with special needs...I guess what they see is another responsibility having someone in your kitchen, in your workplace setting people sort of think 'oh that will need someone all of the time'."

But Alexander has an employment specialist that will help him learn the routine and get acclimated to a new job.

While they waited, Audrey got busy doing what moms do, advocating for her son. Showing off his cooking in videos.

"What I did with Mommy cam, what I did I just stood back and gave him the floor and he just cooks away. He's very organized, he's methodical.

Since Audrey's post blew up on Facebook and Alexander's videos on YouTube got some views he's had job interviews and has been invited to show off his skills to a special needs class in Frostburg.

Instead of just watching the world around him, Audrey wants to help Alexander find "his" place for now and the future.

"My son will never drive. My son will never have a wife. I won't have grandchildren, but he takes pride in his cooking and that he can share a plate with someone and make their day."

Since Audrey’s post, Alexander got two job offers. He started at the Steeped Tea Café in Manchester this week, and at the end of the month he’ll also be working part time at the cafeteria at McDaniel College.