1.5 million people
in the U.S. were
DIAGNOSED ON THE
Our Autism Experience:
Our Autism Experience is our personal truth and it is different for every person with Autism. It is a spectrum of unique colorful expression. Our goal is to speak our truth about Autism and help people connect with Autism in a very real way, rather than the media's understanding of what it is to "be Autistic". Our goal is to show people that Autism isn't something that needs to be cured, rather a different "Normal". We ask those around us to re-evaluate the use of the term "Autism Epidemic" and refocus our attention on the need to cure the negative symptoms associated with Autism as opposed to the Autism it's self.
For many of us, our Autism causes very intense vocal & motor tics that lock us inside our bodies. Others can communicate with smaller, less noticeable tics. We are perceived as High functioning or Low functioning and each of us experiences people's treatment of us in a different way. We ask the question: What is it exactly when someone uses the term "functioning normally"?
Who Are We?:
In The Spectrum is a start up soon to be non profit organization partnered with Aligned Education in Seattle, WA. Our immediate work involves putting on workshops at Schools educating people about Autism from the inside out. We teach kids the beauty of Autism and the difficulties through interactive creative games and music. Our future goals involve events for Autism such as "The Seattle Concert for Autism", "Autismpalooza" (a social event to support families and those on the Autism Spectrum through workshops, dance & music) and "Acoustics 4 Autism" (a songwriter in the round style event). All of these events are set to help fund groups we believe in and to help us forge relationships with other Autism related groups to bridge the gap and educate those who speak for us, to truly speak for us. They are also set up to help us spread the word that Autism isn't something to be afraid of and can actually be viewed as a blessing in many of our lives.
Our future workshops will branch out to corporations to educate the upper management, HR & CEO's about Neuro-Diversity in the work place and encourage them to change their hiring policies in certain creative areas of their companies hiring standard guidelines.
"In The Spectrum" started as a documentary project about Singer Songwriter Xolie Morra Cogley's journey through diagnosis & life on the Autism spectrum in the music industry and has morphed into a social experiment. The documentary as well as the organization is here to create a dialogue on the subject of Autism and broaden people's perspectives about what it is to live with Autism.
We are looking for Autistic people to use their voices to express their Autism experience to the world. We would like to shed some light on the need to create programs for Adults with Autism and continue support to those who need it regardless of the cut off age of 21 established by law makers in the United States, because Autism doesn't go away when you are 21.
We would also like to raise awareness about the need for support to those considered "High Functioning", because it's easy for neuro-typical people to forget that someone with "Asperger's" or other forms of what has been coined "High Functioning Autism" are still on the spectrum and need understanding not judgement.
There are very few programs available to educate businesses about the positive reasons to hire those on the spectrum for jobs they would be best suited in, because many people on the spectrum are more than qualified for jobs they may not qualify for on paper. Our goal is to get people questioning their hiring process and establishing equal opportunity for neuro-diversity.
Below is a video of Dr. Temple Grandin (Not associated with inthespectrum.org at this time, but someone we grately appreiciate & respect)
Also Below: Xolie Morra & The Strange Kind TEDxRanier 2015@McCawHall
THE HARD TRUTH
in 2012: 35 percent of young adults (ages 19-23) with autism had not had a job or received postgraduate education after leaving high school. (Shattuck et al., 2012)
In June 2014, only 19.3 percent of people with disabilities in the U.S. were participating in the labor force – working or seeking work. Of those, 12.9 percent were unemployed, meaning only 16.8 percent of the population with disabilities was employed. (By contrast, 69.3 percent of people without disabilities were in the labor force, and 65 percent of the population without disabilities was employed.) (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014)
"Many in creative fields such as Art, music, film & literature as well as other fields using the mind relating to Science, mathematics & Animal related industries are diagnosed or suspected to be on the autism Spectrum. A small list of creative types can be found at this link (Famous People with Autism), but there are so many more who have either been left off or have gone through life undiagnosed.
These facts & statistics show us that we have a need to find alternate meaningful employment for those on the Autism spectrum in their areas of expertise, alternate education & or alternate hiring methods/incentives for hiring persons with disabilities with or without college degrees." - Xolie Morra Cogley