Meet Spectrum Fusion – content creation by adults with autism


Each employee of the Spectrum fusion the media team approaches their next project with something to prove.

Currently comprised of five adults with autism, Spectrum Fusion is a non-profit organization that creates multimedia content for clients and short projects to hone their videography skills. Each member of the team has diplomas and certifications and is made up of videographers, editors, writers, graphic designers and a voice over actor.

“We try to tell stories of people with the autism spectrum and show how talented we are and how much we can contribute to society,” said Rhys Griffin, visual storyteller and voice over artist at Spectrum Fusion.

The team currently consists of Griffin from Clear Lake; Adam Butts, Katy’s marketing assistant; Darren Logue, Uptown production assistant; William Purdy, Creative Director of Spring Branch; and Philip Thomas, editor of Missouri City.

The team is celebrating the opening of their studio at 2016 Bissonnet Drive on Thursday, September 30 from 6 to 9 p.m. The Rice Village area location will be Spectrum Fusion’s first studio.

Spectrum Fusion was piloted by Dr Heidi Stieglitz Ham in Australia until she founded the nonprofit in Houston in 2018. She started her career as a speech therapist and worked as a supervisor clinic at the Communication Disorders Clinic at the University of Houston. In 2010, Ham obtained a doctorate. in Psychology from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.

One of the goals of Spectrum Fusion is to provide meaningful employment for adults with autism. According to a report of the AJ Drexel Autism Institute in 2017, which surveyed a total of 3,520 adults with autism, found that only 14% were in paid employment and 27% did not have a job or daily activities.

For jobs that people with autism held, the most common types of jobs were cleaning and maintaining buildings and grounds. Jobs in food preparation or food service and retail jobs followed, followed by assembly, manufacturing or packaging.

Some organizations are working to find employment for adults with autism, such as Autism Speaks Workplace Inclusion Now program. There is also Exceptional spirits, a professional academy and postgraduate program that prepares young adults with autism for careers in the entertainment industry. But Spectrum Fusion allows its employees to directly apply the skills they attended school for in an inclusive and real environment.

“One of the reasons I created the media team is that creativity is often overlooked,” Ham said. “People would say they just need to find a real job, they can’t be screenwriters, they can’t be a voice over artist, and that’s why we brought all of these talents together.”

The team has already worked with several clients, including Johnson & Johnson and the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra.

Alecia Lawyer, founder of ROCO, says the Spectrum Fusion team visited the orchestra to learn how nonprofits work and attend their rehearsal.

“It’s so easy to try to put somebody in a box and say ‘oh you’re on the spectrum,’” Lawyer said, “there’s a huge variety of ways we all present ourselves in. this world. And I think that’s a very beautiful thing. “

The team have also worked on short projects that highlight different adults with autism and are currently working on a documentary that tells the story of a man who rebuilt his life after 65 years of living with autism, became homeless and did not receive proper care.

“It’s an uplifting story that’s also educational, leaving the average person who’s never been in this position how difficult it is,” Purdy said.

The team also hopes to someday make a feature film Spectrum Fusion. According to Ham, the team never runs out of ideas.

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