Reel Life Skills

That’s a wrap on Reel Life Skills For Autism. We shot a short fillm, “The Elevator” written by a teenager on the spectrum. Counselors taught work-related social skills to young adults with autism on the set of a short film. Watch our trailer. This is just the beginning of our vocational readiness program.

There is a dramatic decline in services as students on the spectrum transition into adulthood. Our program aims to fill the some of this gap and smooth the transition, leaving participants with real rubber-meets-the road work-related social skills that they can take with them to future employment.

Reel Life Skills is a unique and exciting pilot program. It first provided job readiness training to young adults on the spectrum by qualified master’s level counselors in a small group setting. Then students became interns on a real movie set, where they were given actual responsibilities. No specific filmmaking experience was required. Feedback was given after filming completed.

Why a movie set? A busy set is a demanding environment with deadlines demonstrating real work expectations and the need for good communication. Experienced crewmembers are oriented in understanding autism, but the concept is to make the environment as realistic as possible. Counselors were on set to help facilitate the learning process. In the end everyone’s work led to a tangible result: a short film, something that all involved had the satisfaction of knowing they had a hand in creating.

The Friendship Network was proud to have independent filmmaker, Jeremy Jacoby, on-board as director of this film.