Flemington man with autism makes hundreds of masks to donate to area hospitals

A Flemington man who has autism has been dealing with the disruption by getting involved in a project to help New Jersey health care workers.

News 12 Staff

Apr 16, 2020, 1:29 AM

Updated 1,466 days ago

Share:

The cancellations of routines and isolation orders of the coronavirus pandemic can be particularly difficult for people who have autism and their families.
A Flemington man who has autism has been dealing with the disruption by getting involved in a project to help New Jersey health care workers.
Jack Butler, 25, suddenly found himself out of work when the pandemic struck. Like many who have autism, Butler has a need for the routine and focus that his job in the kitchen at Hopewell Valley Vineyards normally provides.
“He thrives on having structure and things to do. And so being home all day and not having access to his activities, places to go – I wanted to look for an avenue that could give him structure inside the home,” says Butler’s mother Marianne Clancy.
Clancy says that she saw other people making protective masks at home and wondered if it might be a good project for her son. And it definitely was.
Photos: The Heroes of the Coronavirus Pandemic
undefined

“He sat down at it and zipped right along. He’s been doing a terrific job. He really seems to be enjoying it. It is the type of task that is suited to his skill set and his ability,” she says.
Butler now works four hours a day working at a sewing machine and making the masks. He has made hundreds of them to donate to local hospitals and nursing homes.
“It’s been terrific. I think it’s’ given Jack somewhat of an understanding of what is going on around him. It is so extraordinary, the circumstances we are in,” says Clancy. “It’s hard for me to understand, let alone someone with autism to understand. The why – why is this happening? And what does it mean to us? I think giving him a task to do gives him an awareness that we all have a role to play.”
The masks have been donated to St. Peter’s University Hospital in New Brunswick and other local facilities.


More from News 12
0:14
Police: 7-year-old struck by car in Newark; driver fled scene

Police: 7-year-old struck by car in Newark; driver fled scene

2:09
Partly sunny, mild Sunday for New Jersey

Partly sunny, mild Sunday for New Jersey

0:33
Police: 46 dogs rescued from fire at industrial complex in Fairfield

Police: 46 dogs rescued from fire at industrial complex in Fairfield

1:30
New Jersey residents enjoyed warm spring temps ahead of chilly, windy evening

New Jersey residents enjoyed warm spring temps ahead of chilly, windy evening

0:17
Police: Man dies, 2 others injured following shooting in Newark

Police: Man dies, 2 others injured following shooting in Newark

1:32
Jersey City Night Market holds 5th straight celebration

Jersey City Night Market holds 5th straight celebration

0:25
Police: Pedestrian fatally struck by car in Gloucester Township

Police: Pedestrian fatally struck by car in Gloucester Township

0:25
Camden County rabbi convicted of hiring men to kill his wife dies in prison

Camden County rabbi convicted of hiring men to kill his wife dies in prison

Knicks beat 76ers 111-104 in Game 1 of playoffs. Brunson and Hart score 22 points and backups star

Knicks beat 76ers 111-104 in Game 1 of playoffs. Brunson and Hart score 22 points and backups star

0:13
Authorities: Kenilworth man sentenced to 10 years in prison for selling cocaine

Authorities: Kenilworth man sentenced to 10 years in prison for selling cocaine

0:15
Authorities: Berkley Township man sentenced to 20 years in prison for fatal stabbing

Authorities: Berkley Township man sentenced to 20 years in prison for fatal stabbing

0:28
Man who set himself on fire outside Trump trial dies of injuries, police say

Man who set himself on fire outside Trump trial dies of injuries, police say

1:13
CDC: Children ER visits increased last 3 years for accidental Melatonin ingestion

CDC: Children ER visits increased last 3 years for accidental Melatonin ingestion

1:42
Police: Marlboro teacher accused of inappropriately touching student faces charges

Police: Marlboro teacher accused of inappropriately touching student faces charges

0:32
Man who lit himself on fire outside Trump trial has ties to New Jersey

Man who lit himself on fire outside Trump trial has ties to New Jersey

0:56
Graffiti of former Palestinian militant Leila Khaled found spray-painted at Rutgers University

Graffiti of former Palestinian militant Leila Khaled found spray-painted at Rutgers University

0:09
Police: 2 men critically injured in Newark shooting

Police: 2 men critically injured in Newark shooting

2:16
Public warned to keep their dogs away from seals at the Jersey Shore

Public warned to keep their dogs away from seals at the Jersey Shore

0:59
Jersey Proud: 3 men running the length of New Jersey for ‘Dylan’s Wings of Change’ charity

Jersey Proud: 3 men running the length of New Jersey for ‘Dylan’s Wings of Change’ charity

0:35
Tesla recalling nearly 4,000 Cybertrucks because accelerator pedal can get stuck

Tesla recalling nearly 4,000 Cybertrucks because accelerator pedal can get stuck