Lane Allen is 24 years old and lives in Jasper, Alabama (Walker County). He and his family recently moved from Dora, which is where he returns every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday to work at
the Sumiton Animal Clinic. Lane came to Phoenix in October of 2018, diagnosed
with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), which is a brain disorder
marked by an ongoing pattern of inattention and/or impulsivity that interferes
with functioning. He is also diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy, which is a
condition marked by impaired muscle coordination. Lastly, Lane has Epilepsy,
which is a neurological disorder that causes seizures or unusual sensations and
behaviors. Lane is non-verbal, but he will tell you that he has “fast fingers”
and can respond to anything on his iPad or phone! Lane Allen is just like other
24-year-old young men in that he wants to earn a paycheck and he loves spending
it on Amazon! Lane loves music, especially rock and roll, gothic rock, and heavy metal. On the day I met him, he was dressed appropriately in a “Journey” t-shirt, so he embraces classic 1970’s rock and
roll! Lane has one younger brother and he has four dogs at home that he deeply
loves. Lane routinely helps to take care of them, so working in an animal
clinic seemed a natural extension of his interests. Lane’s job coach quickly learned that Lane was good at data entry so she decided that customized job carving was going to benefit both Lane and the employer that agreed to get creative! Robin
at Sumiton Animal Clinic is the office manager and she is the Department head
of the Jasper Chapter of the Forgotten Tails Rescue. It was Robin that said
“yes” to job carving. Lane currently volunteers his time three days a week
where he is responsible for inputting data on over 100 stray animals into a
spreadsheet. He documents shots and current medications, such as V5L
(Parvo/Distemper), Rabies, Heartworm, Droncit (Treats parasites), and Panacur
(Dewormer). He notes spay/neuter status, heartworm treatments and has learned
to decipher many medical abbreviations. Lane is learning the clinic animals,
which requires documentation that is more extensive and he continues to grow in
his duties. Lane is supportive of the animals coming in and he has been known
to use his free time to sit with, and comfort, rescues that seem to be
struggling. When Lane first started, he worked in the kitchen area, but staff
quickly recognized his value and created an office space exclusively for him.
Robin reports that staff seek Lane out because he is always hard working,
pleasant, and always adds joy to those around him. Sumiton Animal Clinic is
moving forward in hopes of hiring Lane but the opportunity they extended
illustrates what an asset they believe Lane will be to their organization. At
home, Lane’s mother has been pleased to see how much more socially confident
her son has become since he began work at the Animal Clinic. In closing, I asked Lane what was the most difficult part of his job. He said
learning the abbreviations was hard but reading the Doctor’s handwriting was
the worst! I asked what the best part of the job was. Lane said it makes him
feel good to be good at something. What a simplistic expression of why time,
patience, creativity, and willingness to try something different pays off!