Business expansion into B.C. 'super awesome,' says young boy with autism

A small local project for a Charlottetown boy with autism has expanded to the west coast.

Michael Williams's conversation starter mason jars will sell in Richmond autism centre

Michael Williams started selling the conversation starters in Charlottetown in June. (Stephanie Brown/CBC)

A small local project for a Charlottetown boy with autism has expanded to the west coast.

Ten-year-old Michael Williams has autism, and he used his experience with finding conversation challenging when he created his first project. They're called conversation starters, mason jars filled with slips of paper that have questions typed on them.

Michael's conversation starters were a perfect fit.- Faye Williams

As someone with autism, he's using his experience with the challenge of language and conversation to help others.

Michael and his mother Faye Williams were selling the conversation starters locally, but are in the midst of expanding the business. They're in Richmond, B.C. this week, setting up their product in a new autism centre there.

"It is so super awesome!" said Michael Williams.               

A huge success

The autism centre heard about the project after CBC P.E.I. did a story on them earlier this year.

"They were going to have a gift shop, and the products in it are absolutely made by people with autism," said Faye Williams.

The conversation starters will sell for $15 a jar. (Stephanie Brown/CBC)

"They said that Michael's conversation starters were a perfect fit and exactly what their vision had been for products in the store."

The facility will cater to almost 70,000 people in the province with autism. Faye said Michael's project has become bigger than she could have imagined.

"My hope was for him to grow and to learn and to have confidence and self-esteem," she said.

"It's done all of those things and timesed them by a hundred."

The conversation starters will be sold on consignment in the shop.

With files from Stephanie Brown