The other weekend, I was lucky enough to attend an amazing one-man show – the actor performed six monologues, ranging from Shakespeare to Waiting for Guffman to Antz.
The actor's facial expressions and gestures were spot on, he didn't miss a single word, and his comedic timing was impeccable. Most impressive to me was his ability to transform from Shakespearean drama to an animated ant with nothing more than a deep breath. He required no pomp and circumstance to change from articulate to bumbling, funny to deeply serious. He simply became each character.
The 'Where to Next' Question:
So where can I see this actor perform next? What breakout role can he audition for? Well, this actor is an adult with autism. Answering the question of ‘where to next' isn't as simple as suggesting he audition for a role on Broadway or even try out to be part of a local acting company.
In the autism community, we often talk about identifying an individual's strengths, and using those to find employment. This is much easier said than done, but our first step must be to create awareness of the amazing strengths and capabilities that individuals with autism possess.
Venturing Into Amazing Opportunities By Hiring Adults with Autism:
Employing adults with autism is no doubt an amazing opportunity for both the individual, as well as the company. We can attest to this, thanks to our own employee, Ned, who works at InfiniTeach as our Lead Photo Editor. (Check out Ned's story here!) We've learned so much from Ned, and we've seen him grow his skills and independence along the way, as well.
As a community, we need to constantly be thinking about how we can get more companies to employ individuals with autism. It's going to take a lot of hard work, training, and the creation of lots of new supports – but if every company committed to hiring more individuals with autism, we could definitely start moving the needle.
Resources for Adult Employment:
For more resources on adult employment, be sure to check out these sites below, and please share other sites, as well!
Project SEARCH matches individuals with autism with companies based on their strengths and the needs of the company: http://www.projectsearch.us/
The Spectrum Careers is a portal for employers/employees to connect, post jobs, etc: https://www.thespectrumcareers.com/