Exceptional Minds Vocational Students Living with ASD to Showcase Autism Employability and Creativity at Profectum Three Dimensional Thinking Conference in April

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Young adults with autism from Exceptional Minds vocational school to show off animation and computer graphics skills during the April Profectum Conference in Pasadena. To be shown is an animated short chronicling the life of notable child advocate T. Berry Brazelton, whose individualized approach to child development is the basis of Exceptional Minds’ breakthrough curriculum now redefining autism employability.

Exceptional Minds school and working studio for young adults on the autism spectrum.

Exceptional Minds, vocational school for young adults on the autism spectrum

(Exceptional Minds) is a model for everything we envision for our clients who live with autism, which is a life of purpose and meaning and deep satisfaction.

It’s show time for the talented students at Exceptional Minds, a breakthrough computer animation vocational school for young adults living with autism who will showcase their creativity and employability during the Profectum Foundation’s inaugural Three Dimensional Thinking International Conference in Pasadena, California, April 12 to 14, 2013.

For many professionals and families dealing with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), the April conference will be their first exposure to the skilled and creative students at Exceptional Minds, the only vocational school of its kind with a three-year program now preparing young adults on the autism spectrum for careers in the fields of animation, computer graphics and post-production. Established in 2011 by visionaries in the film and visual effects industries to create a bridge between high school and the working world for individuals living with ASD, Exceptional Minds has captured the interest of the autism community in recent months as a model for achieving life-long skills critical to the employability of individuals with autism.

Among its many breakthrough accomplishments, Exceptional Minds is the only school of students with ASD who have earned professional Adobe accreditation in animation and graphics, and gained working experience in the movie industry, including title work for major motion picture Lawless.

The vocational school’s curriculum involves both individual instruction and workgroup collaboration in order to prepare young men and women with ASD for employment, an estimated 90 percent of whom are currently underemployed or unemployed.

“Exceptional Minds is more than just an example of what an innovative post-secondary education for individuals with ASD looks like. It’s a model for everything we envision for our clients who live with autism, which is a life of purpose and meaning and deep satisfaction,” commented Ricki Robinson, M.D., an international autism expert and author of Autism Solutions as well as faculty member of Profectum Foundation, a professional organization devoted to educating parents and advancing special needs research and developmental models.

Some 15 Exceptional Minds students will present their work at Profectum’s Three Dimensional Thinking conference on autism and stress related disorders in children, to be held at the Pasadena Conference Center and attended by families and individuals living with autism as well as key clinicians, researchers and leaders specializing in ASD. Among the notables to appear at the conference is early childhood development pioneer T. Berry Brazelton, M.D., who will receive a Profectum Humanitarian Award for his lifetime achievements and whose life’s work as an advocate of independent child learning will be chronicled in an animated cartoon developed by Exceptional Minds students.

“The students had a lot of fun putting together this fun, Monty Python-like animation that chronicles Dr. Brazelton’s life. In many ways, this video is representative of what Dr. Brazelton’s lifetime work is all about, which is nurturing the aspirations and gifts of all individuals, and especially these remarkable individuals,” said Exceptional Minds Program Director Ernie Merlan, noting the similarities between Exceptional Minds’ new approach to career development for young adults living with autism and Dr. Brazelton’s individualized child development approach that changed child psychology decades ago.    

Exceptional Minds students and staff will be available to answer questions during the Profectum Three Dimensional Thinking conference to be held April 12 -14 at the Pasadena Conference Center. Individuals and professionals interested in attending the conference can click here to register online.

About Exceptional Minds (http://www.exceptionalmindsstudio.org):

Exceptional Minds is a non-profit vocational center and working production studio for young adults on the autism spectrum. Chartered in 2011 to provide the training necessary for visually-gifted individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) who may not otherwise be able to make the transition from high school to the working world, Exceptional Minds offers technical proficiency and work readiness skills that prepare students for careers in graphic arts, animation, web design, visual effects and rotoscoping. Located in Sherman Oaks, California, Exceptional Minds is both an instructional learning facility and a working studio with hands-on student involvement in production projects, many for the film industry.

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