How Spectrum Fusion empowers adults with autism

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Friday, July 1, 2022
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The talented team at Spectrum Fusion Studios shoots, edits and writes multi-media content for clients every week - and they're all young adults living with autism.

HOUSTON, Texas -- William Purdy, Darren Logue, John Karl Barth, Rhys Griffin and Philip Thomas all have something in common. They're all members of Spectrum Fusion's talented multi-media team, which shoots, writes and produces content for clients like Johnson & Johnson. They're also all on the autism spectrum.

Spectrum Fusion, a non-profit, helps young adults living with autism find meaningful employment. Its media team is made up of five members who work in a state-of-the-art studio in southeast Houston.

"We're very excited about Spectrum Fusion Studios," said Dr. Heidi Stieglitz Ham, founder and CEO of Spectrum Fusion. "It's the only studio that is run by autistic adults in the world. We brought all the creatives together, so now we have a team. We have video editors, we have voice-over artists, we have people who write the script, we have graphic design. So we have this service that we can provide to companies and they can hire us."

Spectrum Fusion not only creates commercials, promos and other content for clients, but produces short projects that highlight different people living with autism.

"For the first time, I'm actually making a living in the field that I want to, which is video production," said John Karl Barth, a member of Spectrum Fusion Studios, who has autism. "This is a workplace that is very much made with adults on the spectrum in mind, which most jobs in any field aren't."

"Now that I'm able to do filmmaking work for the first time and get paid for it, it's just amazing," said Rhys Griffin, another member of Spectrum Fusion Studios, also living with autism. "I feel like I'm headed in the right direction finally."

The River Oaks Chamber Orchestra has been working with Spectrum Fusion Studios for the past three years.

"It's not only the quality and the storytelling is so well done, there's an actual care of what your messaging is, and that is really unique in this field," said Alecia Lawyer, founder and artistic director of the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra.

Dr. Heidi Stieglitz Ham first started Spectrum Fusion in Australia and brought the non-profit to Houston in 2018. According to recent studies, as many as 85% of adults on the autism spectrum are unemployed, and the rest are underemployed. Spectrum Fusion aims to make the world a better place for them.

"We rely solely on donations and sponsorships and then revenue through our media team," said Dr. Stieglitz Ham. "I can really say there's no other organization of its kind in the world to keep individuals employed, to keep them growing, and to have these connections that are long-lasting."

For more on Spectrum Fusion, visit spectrumfusion.org.