A Grand Rapids business owner is raising awareness for autism through the venture she used to afford her son’s therapy.
Shauna Moradi has been the owner of the Card My Yard online franchise for Grand Rapids West since February 2021. Card My Yard is a yard sign greeting company with independently owned and operated franchises that deliver and set up signs celebrating birthdays, holidays and special occasions.
To raise awareness for World Autism Day, April 2, Moradi is donating a yard sign to the Behavior Analysts of West Michigan office, at 2787 Wilson Ave. NW in Grand Rapids. The sign will read “Celebrate Differences” and be on display Thursday and Friday.
Moradi became a Card My Yard franchise owner after her son was diagnosed with autism in September 2020. As she and her husband discussed the diagnosis, therapy appointments and costs, Moradi said she knew it would be difficult to afford therapy and make it to appointments with a typical 8-5 job.
When a franchise opportunity in Grand Rapids became available, Moradi said she decided to apply on somewhat of a whim. She had used the service earlier that year to order a birthday sign and thought it would be a great opportunity to support her family.
Moradi ended up with the franchise and said she has appreciated the opportunity to work around her son’s appointments while making a positive impact.
“The flexibility works around my son’s schedule, and it’s a great job to have because I get to spread joy and help people,” Moradi said. “What better job to have?”
Moradi said she is grateful for the team at Behavior Analysts of West Michigan and hopes the sign will help raise some awareness and normalize conversations about autism.
“Autism can be a misunderstood diagnosis,” Moradi said. “Every person with autism is different, but differences are what make us all beautiful.”