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Program gives those with autism opportunities to thrive

Program gives those with autism...

SPOKANE, Wash. - Many KXLY viewers tune in early Monday nights to catch 'The Good Doctor,' it's a show on ABC that follows a brilliant surgeon as he navigates the medical world. However, there's a catch, he has autism spectrum disorder.

While his savant characteristics are a rarity when it comes to autism, thriving with autism spectrum disorder isn't.

In this special report we introduce you to one young man who shows us there's no such thing as normal.

"I like my job here. I think it's a good team. Probably, one of the best teams I've ever been on," said 20-year-old Jordan Hall, as he described what it's like to work at Wild Sage restaurant in Spokane.

It take everyone at Wild Sage, from executive chef Charlie Connor, down to the dishwasher to turn out mouth watering and eye catching meals, it takes teamwork.

"By 2 o'clock I get slammed pretty hard with a lot of work," said Hall.

"I've come to discover, it's not just about the food," said Connor.

If you run out of kale, you lose menu items. Run out of clean dishes you'll run out of customers, real fast.

"You just have to have a passion and a drive," said Connor.

And yes, that applies to the suds and prep guys too. Guys like Jordan Hall, your normal, everyday, blue collar young man.

"Honestly, there is no such thing as normal," said Hall.

A 20-something working for the weekend, how's that not normal?

"As you know I am autistic and I'm high functioning Autism, Asperger," said Hall.

And that's what sets Hall apart.

"Most of my classmates didn't even know I was autistic. I think one or two of my friends actually did," said Hall, recalling what it was like when he told his high school class about his autism.

"I think naturally there was a little bit of concern in the beginning," said Connor.

"He tries to push me to become better, like, honestly I feel like that's a good thing. In my opinion," said Hall.

"As long as everyone has a great attitude and is willing to learn then that's pretty much what it's all about here," said Connor.

But it's not like that everywhere.

"And really what they don't do is they don't focus on the work that these people want to do, what they're good at doing and what they have about doing," said Mark London.

London works for skils'kin, a company that works to find jobs for people like Jordan.

"We'll work with him as long as he needs support then we will fade off," said London.

Jordan says he approaches tasks as logical as possible and tries to remember the advice his brother, who died five years ago and also had autism, gave him.

"He told me to try and understand people on a daily on daily basis more than what I knew yesterday," said Hall.

"People just sometimes just need a chance," said Connor.

Because it takes all kinds of ingredients to make a masterpiece, just like it takes all kinds of people to make a well rounded community.

"Try to understand. It really is about understanding," said Hall.


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