She didn't speak until she was 6. Now, this 21-year-old with autism helps run her family business.
Every morning, 21-year-old Jordyn Moore wakes up and goes to work at her t-shirt company – something her mom says is nothing short of a miracle.
Jordyn Moore was born with autism and verbal apraxia and did not speak until she was over six years old. Her mom, Jackie Moore, told CBS News that it's been "amazing" to watch her grow.
"If you listen to a video of her, you will quickly notice that her speech is not typical speech," Jackie Moore said. "She has a very deep voice, she struggles to put her thoughts into words. But, she did not speak until she was over the age of six. So, when we hear her now, it's amazing how much she's able to say."
With therapy, Jordyn Moore learned how to form words and sentences, and throughout her childhood, she continued to overcome challenges. As she approached high school graduation, her parents saw another hurdle on the horizon.
"We just kept finding there was so little opportunity for an individual like her when she got out of school," her mom said. "And it was really keeping my husband and I up at night, like what was she going to do?"
She explained that in Georgia, where they live, her daughter could stay in high school until she was 22. "So as a parent, you have relied on the school bus coming and picking up your kid every day since they were little, and then suddenly, with a birthday, in the blink of an eye, it all stops."
She wanted a meaningful life for her child, but worried what jobs she could get.
So about five years ago, they started Jordyn's Summer Shirt project — a way for Jordyn Moore to start working during the summer, while also teaching her new skills.
That first summer, they set a goal to sell just 40 shirts – all with the same simple message: "Be Kind to Everyone."
"I wanted our whole idea to have a greater meaning and that's what lead me to the idea of kindness," Jackie Moore said. "I originally started thinking of getting the world to be kinder to individuals with disabilities, but when I thought about it more, I was like, 'You know what? This world needs to be kinder to everyone.'"
She was nervous the shirts wouldn't sell, but word spread on social media, and they received hundreds of orders. And Jordyn Moore was learning how to work at her family company, rolling up t-shirts, packing them with a note and shipping them out.
"The thought of Jordyn being able to independently roll a t-shirt and add a wristband to it without any help seemed like an extremely lofty goal," her mother said. "At that time, she was struggling to do much of anything independently. So, when you're thinking about that, how was she going to find a job?"
Jackie Moore said the family set out with the goal of helping the then-teenager do the best she could. With practice, she got better and better at her tasks for the t-shirt company.
And when she graduated high school in May, she had the the company waiting for her. No longer a "summer shirt project" – it is now Jordyn Moore's full time job.
The Moores recently moved into a larger warehouse in Cumming, Georgia. They have several employees who work alongside Jordyn, and customers in all 50 states have purchased the shirts.
The company has also amassed a fanbase on TikTok, with more than 2 million followers enjoying a behind-the-scenes look at the operation.
"Jordyn went from people maybe not engaging with her because they didn't know what to say to her, to suddenly being at the grocery store, or anywhere she goes, and people are like, "There's Jordyn from TikTok!" And she just kind of glows," Jackie Moore said.
Jackie Moore said her daughter previously lived a life of talking only about her struggles – now that she has a family business, people talk about what she can do.
"It was just such an eye-opener for me that I think everybody wants to be seen for their positive aspects," Jackie Moore said. "So often we forget that about individuals with disabilities."
Her advice to other parents of children with autism is to start at home, working with them on small tasks like setting the table and loading the dishwasher. "What we have to do is get our kids to be able to do things independently and the more they can do independently at home, the more options they might have outside of the home," she said.
She said created the company with Jordyn Moore just so her daughter would have a job – but they got so much more out of it. "She's happier, she is confident, you just look at her and everything about her has changed," she said. "I think our story shows never give up."
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