Quick everyone, we need to get to Cork - Cork teen who has faced 'extreme challenges' turns his passion for baking in to a business

15 year old Sean discovered his love for baking during lockdown and now he has set up his own business, 'The Autistic Baker'

A 15 year old Cork boy who has had to face 'extreme challenges' since a young child has turned his passion in to a business in the form of some delicious artisan breads.Sean O' Mahony has seen more struggles than an average teen but he is not letting any of that stop him as he has joined the team at The Cottage Community Café as their in house baker!
The young man discovered a passion for baking during lockdown while taking part in home tuition from The Rainbow Club, a centre for autism set up by his parents Karen and Jon in 2015.
Sean's sister Molly is the manager of the community café at the heart of Mahon and she told CorkBeo how proud she is of her 'not so baby' brother. "He has been learning life skills through the home tuition with the Rainbow Club so he has been cooking, baking and that sort of stuff.
"He just took a real shining to baking breads and stuff, he absolutely loves it. "He has never been that open about having autism, he has always referred to himself as someone who has autism, not someone who is autistic."But he came to us and said 'I want to be call the business The Autistic Baker' and we were all shocked, to be able to take ownership of it like that is absolutely huge for him."Molly says that lockdown for Sean was the 'best thing ever' as it helped him avoid situations that made him anxious. "He is a very anxious person in general, and with lockdown he didn't have to go to school or anything so he was loving it. "Then when he went back to school he found it very, very hard. For years he had been taught to be social and all of a sudden he was told to stay two metres apart from people and wasn't able to see his friends, he couldn't really understand that.
"When things started to open back up again then he went back to home tuition with the Rainbow Club". The Cottage Community Café is used as a hub to train young teens involved with the Rainbow Club and to help them learn life skills.
"Sean has used that space now to learn skills. He has done HACCP, first aid and manual handling training there, it is an amazing space." He is absolutely delighted to be able to take ownership of it and to be independent, he is really buzzing as well with all the support he has gotten online.". Sean's mother Karen, CEO of the Rainbow Club paid tribute to him in a social media post where she said their sacrifices were now a 'distant memory'. "Anyone that knows Seán will know how hard he has fought to get to where he is now. He has not had things easy and had extreme challenges from the age of two onwards. "Many of Sean’s challenges restricted him often crippling him from social interaction , having friends and even leaving the house. "He has had more downs than ups but he never left it stop him. Today was an amazing day where Sean is stepping out of the dark and into the light , finding his place in the world and embracing who he is. "All the sacrifices he had to make, all the sacrifices we as a family have had to make are all but a distant memory and all we see now is a strong quirky young man with his future ahead of him. "The first steps are always the hardest but we will be by his side the whole way! Super proud parents tonight!" You can follow Sean's progress in his new adventure on the Cottage Community Café Instagram page here.