This post was originally published at http://bebeccalee.wordpress.com/2012/04/30/bebeccalee-to-i-wish-i-didnt-have-aspergers-autismpositivity2012/ and is reprinted here with permission from the author.
For the past 3 years I have had the amazing opportunity to work with Jerry’s Habima Theatre in Atlanta. This is Georgia’s only theatrical company directed and produced by professionals featuring actors (aged 18 and up) with developmental disabilities. Each year, the cast presents a full-scale adaptation of a Broadway musical to sell-out audiences. Last year I assistant directed and choreographed. Several people in the cast have Asperger’s. I am not an expert on any of the developmental disabilities represented among the cast. However, what I can tell you about the actors/actresses (regardless of what they are diagnosed with) is this:
They are some of the most amazing, dedicated, talented, and wonderful people I have ever met in my life. I learn way more from them each year then what I teach in return. Through out the rehearsal process we discuss what the actor’s want to accomplish. This ranges from having fun, to learning new things, to hone their talents. And to show that we can do it to.
So I say this to anyone who is made to feel like they don’t belong, or made to feel like they can’t succeed: Yes. You can.
Simple, but true. Turn away from those who tell you no and there will be a supportive community there to tell you yes. Sometimes they seem hidden from you and unfortunately you may have to search. But we are here.