Smith Pruitt’s “Super Dee Dooper Recycling Service”

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Claudia Ottinger, Staff Writer

There are many amazing students who walk the halls of Wando, but we often look past the ones in Wando’s Special Needs program.

 

Smith Pruitt, 19, has autism. Despite his condition, he is working in the community and assisting people in his neighborhood.

 

With the help of his mother, Erin Pruitt, Smith’s Super Dee Dooper Recycling Service came to fruition in his neighborhood of Wakendaw Lakes. For a small fee of $1, Smith will come to the participating neighbors’ houses every two weeks after school, take their recycling bins out to the street, then return them the following day.

 

Although some aspects of managing a business could be challenging for Smith, studies show that autistic children often learn better with repetitive tasks.

 

According to the National Autistic Society, “obsessions, repetitive behavior and routines can be a source of enjoyment for people with autism and a way of coping with everyday life.”

 

Smith is currently a part of the self-contained autism class in the special needs program at Wando. After he graduates, it is going to be important for him to have a job to help develop new skills and occupy his time.

 

“Part of the reason that I thought we should start it is because, you know, once he turns 21, he’s no longer is able to go to high school,” Mrs. Pruitt said.

 

Smith is looking to expanded his services to other neighboring communities.
“Honestly, there are not a lot of options for kids like Smith after they get out of high school, so this would be a good activity,” Mrs. Pruitt added.