Adults with autism are behind the success of Harry’s Buttons

Making buttonsWhen Harry Engnell Jr. graduated from high school in 1998, his parents found few supports available to help a young person with autism find work and make other transitions to adulthood.

Harry’s dad knew his son liked repetitive tasks, So he bought him equipment to start making buttons as a hobby. Harry Jr. loved making buttons, and so did many of his friends with autism. And thus, a business was born. From the Web site:

Our buttons are “hand-made” primarily by people with Autism at Easter Seals Metropolitan Chicago Adult Vocational Programs.

Together we make beautiful 1 1/4″, 2 1/4″ and 3″ round buttons for any occasion, campaign, or promotion. Tell us what you’re looking for and we will custom make it for you, with pride.

Easter Seals micro-enterprise coordinator Kelly Anne Ohde oversees and can’t say enough about what Harry’s parents did to make this all happen for their son. “When they couldn’t find work that suited him, they created a solution,” Kelly says. “Now that solution is changing many lives.”

Learn more by visiting

Read Wendy Murphy’s biography.


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