Jess Foster had a vision. Determined to see it through, she enrolled in Torrens University Australia’s Graduate Certificate of Education (Autism), knowing a broader knowledge base would boost her chances of bringing her bright idea to life. “It was my ultimate career goal to open an autism consultancy office locally so that I could educate, assist and support parents and educators living and working with children who have autism,” says Jess, who also wanted to provide in-school support for teachers.
Jesse Foster - Spectrum Village
“I wanted to offer life and social skills programs to these children on the spectrum, to support their learnings.”
Jess’s motivation was personal. “As a child growing up, I had never heard of autism,” she says. “It wasn’t until I had my second child, who received an autism diagnosis at the age of four, that I began to research all I could about this ‘disability’. Now I see autism as an ‘ability’.
“It became my drive and passion to help individuals and their loved ones understand what autism is. I have experienced firsthand the hardship that individuals with autism have to endure daily.”
Jess' autism consulting vision
Despite being told her idea was “crazy” and “unrealistic”, Jess stayed true to her vision.
“I can now say that after successfully completing my autism studies with Torrens University, I have the additional expertise I needed to go ahead and make this dream a reality.”
Confident to get cracking, Jess began her journey working out of a one-room consulting office – and soon enough, her consultancy business was thriving.
“After just three months, my one-person team quickly expanded into two, three, four, five and six,” says Jess. “I then became the ‘autism hub’. A place where families were being referred to, to receive support and therapy.
“In the short time Spectrum Village has been open, it has grown well and truly beyond my dream. I’m happy I have this graduate certificate to support my journey and to support others.”