Jonathan Laloz (pic supplied)
Jonathan Laloz makes it all sound pretty simple – which is always a problem for a journalist because you know there must be something more to the story. Even if it’s just emotion and the drive to accomplish something for someone else. According to Laloz it all began with a fondness for those wonderful childrens’ blocks – Leggo.
Entry to 2017 Brick Expo
Back in the years BC (Before Covid) Laloz was running the Finny Migs LEGO® store. This is a terrific site for a simple mail-order business. Anyone who needs a specific block of Leggo can write in and, if it’s available, it will be packed and sent without delay. But Laloz had a friend who was the mother of a great young man who also happens to be categorised as having “Level 3 ASD” or as autistic. He takes up the story:
“She was upset that a psychologist’s report stated that her son would never be able to work or become independent, and that his IQ was below average. Having known James for his whole life, I didn’t believe the accuracy of the report, especially given the short amount of time the psychologist actually spent testing him. So I agreed to have him work in the store on a part-time basis. By working on his mindset we overcame anxiety and overcame the isssues.
Then in December 2019 I was participating in a brainstorming session with other business owners and got the idea to start a new business to help others [called] Self++. Our aim is to empower people to improve themselves and achieve their goals and dreams.”
What Laloz has just begun now is a workshop to extend this program more widely.
Working from Queanbeyan and operating in the Canberra region more generally Laloz is beginning a course that will prepare up to five people with autism for employment and help make them job-ready. He says “it is, if you like, an employment accelerator that assists people by developing the skills that will assist them to be job-ready”.
“We do role-play either using Zoom online or from our small training space here in Queanbeyan and focus on building skills that promote independence in several different areas, from the workplace to domestic and personal capacities, social skills and peoples’ budgeting and financial ability.”
More information can be found on the Self plus plus website or by contacting Laloz on 5104 3356.