Lowcountry Headlines

Lowcountry Headlines


Autism News Network Program at MUSC builds skills for adults

Kid Hand Holding Colorful Heart On Blue Background. World Autism Awareness Day Concept.

Photo: Getty Images

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - April is Autism Awareness Month, and a special program at MUSC is helping adults living with this condition develop social and professional skills, all through their very own news network. 

Every Thursday, between 15 and 20 members of the Autism News Network team meet up at MUSC to hold news meetings where they discuss content they intend to create or projects they’re working on. 

That content consists of things like video production and editing, interviewing, podcasts, radio production and newsletters. 

This one-of-a-kind program is brought to life by adults with autism. 

Members of the team said they’ve been able to make friends, get out of their comfort zones by socializing more, all while putting their talents and skills to use sharing positive news about the autism community. 

“Outside of this autism community, nobody wanted to listen to us, and nobody understands us unless they’re going into our shoes. So, as a member of the group, I am not just about editing and interviewing. I want to be the person who is beyond my talents and beyond borders and breaking the barriers,” said Vell Baria, an Autism News Network Team Member. 

Some recent projects the Autism News Network has worked on has been connecting with the Charleston Aquarium and Boeing by learning about their hiring process for adults with Autism. 

Dr. Frampton Gwynette works at MUSC and is the Autism News Network Program Director. 

“You see their social connections with each other grow throughout the years,” he said. “It’s the most gratifying thing, at least from a clinician’s perspective.” 

In the future, the Autism News Network hopes to get a full TV set and add even more people to the team. 

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