BY Casey Peacock: PNT Staff Writer
Having autism has not stopped 29 year-old Portales resident Tabby Taylor from having a positive and upbeat outlook on life and she passes that on every day at her job.
“I’ve done so good with my disability. I’m managing it real well,” Taylor said.
Ever cheerful, Taylor holds down a full-time job at Wal-Mart as a greeter. This has allowed her to gain a great amount of independence.
The job has also allowed her to become financially stable, something that she has struggled with in the past, she said.
“I get to meet and see everybody and make new friends and perk up the customers as they walk in,” Taylor said of her job.
Since gaining her financial independence, Taylor has been able to help her family out during their times of need. Something that she feels good about since her family has always helped her out, Taylor said.
“It feels good to be independent,” Taylor said.
Carol Cope, an independent living coach with ENMRSH, assists Taylor in learning how to manage her life and her needs. She is also there to guide Taylor in making good decisions, Cope said.
“She does manage her life very well,” Cope said.
Since May, when Cope began working with Taylor, the two have developed a bond and enjoy sharing breakfast at McDonalds or stopping for coffee at Casa de Cafe. The two also enjoy shopping, they said.
“We have so much fun,” Cope said.
Before Taylor was employed at Wal-Mart, she worked for a time at the Eastern New Mexico University bookstore, Pizza Hut, IGA and as a custodian at her church, Taylor said.
“Greeting at Wal-Mart has been my favorite job and pays more,” Taylor said.
Taylor also devotes time on her day off to volunteer at Consigning Women, something that she enjoys doing, she said.
“She’s a bright wonderful girl. We enjoy working with her, she’s a joy to work with. I think she’s a blessing to whoever meets her, she’s a blessing to us,” said Brenda Dean, of Consigning Women.
Taylor also enjoys helping to care for her mom’s horses and cattle. She says the horses are a treasure for her. She is also responsible for helping to care for the family’s cats and three dogs, she said.
“They perk me up, they make me so happy,” Taylor said of the animals.
Taylor stays active. She spends time walking for exercise and to get around town. She is also a big ENMU fan and enjoys attending the games.
Just recently she went through a special class that allowed her to obtain her driver’s license, where she was rated to be a very good driver, Cope said.
“Autism can be very profound and very difficult. I’m really super proud of Tabby,” Cope said.