Houston nonprofit ‘Spectrum Fusion’ hosts panel to help adults with autism achieve career goals

Spectrum Fusion, a Houston-based nonprofit that focuses on assisting and empowering adults with autism operating in society, hosted the program’s “Reactor Room” panel on April 7, dedicated to exposing people talents across the spectrum to high-level individuals in their respective fields. areas of expertise.

The Reactor Room program took place at Rice University’s BRC Auditorium and has had several meetings since 2017. The idea of ​​the Reactor Room is similar to that of a “Shark Tank pitch”, in that individuals come forward to demonstrate and market their ideas, talents and skills to a panel of professionals.

Through the Reactor Room program, these people can be seen by the exact people who can best connect them. A notable guest on Thursday’s Reactor Room panel was Shane Chen, the inventor of the self-balancing scooter, or “hoverboard.”

“It’s really about letting the world see the value in these people,” said Dr. Ham, founder of Spectrum Fusion. “Neurodiversity is the idea that there is unlimited variation in neurocognitive functioning. 1.2 billion people around the world identify as neurodivergent, and businesses can benefit from building neurodiverse teams who bring a fresh perspective with their lateral thinking and creativity.

Hydie Stieglitz Ham PhD is the founder and CEO of Spectrum Fusion. She came to Houston and started Spectrum Fusion in 2017 with the goal of helping autistic adults reach their full potential. She has traveled the world, working with people on the spectrum in Nigeria, Australia, the UK and America.

“When I came to America, I started in Houston,” Ham recalled. “It all started with the community, where we shared meals together, creative writing groups, Fitness Fusion and Music Fusion. We started that way and headed to the reactor room.

Ham was a speech therapist working at the University of Houston. When she moved to Scotland, she saw families she felt were being exploited and paying too much for therapy. She has also noticed the treatment of students with autism in schools. According to Ham, if these students were non-verbal, they were often completely ignored by the teaching staff.

The people who submit their work for the reactor halls are called “originators”. Notable insiders on Thursday include medical device inventor Mike Sheiman, who presented a new approach to wheelchair design, and forensic psychologist Mitchell Floyd, who spoke about his experience studying criminal justice and of his difficulties in finding employment as an autistic individual.

Additionally, Spectrum Fusion Studios, the organization’s media team, was also in attendance and showcased various graphic designs and promotional videos they have made over time. The team have also worked with Johnson & Johnson in the past and plan to produce graphics for the Australian Consulate General.

Dr. Ham said Spectrum Fusion and the Reactor Room program are both a way to further educate society about what it means to be an autistic adult. She also hopes that through these programs and bringing more spectrum adults into more workplaces, it will help break down harmful stereotypes and rhetoric about the population.

“I saw all these people who have talent, potential, value and can contribute to society, but due to the obstacles in getting an interview, they were not allowed to contribute to society d ‘a way that works for them, and were rejected. And now, to be able to show off their talent and show the world what they can do on this platform.

Spectrum Fusion is always accepting volunteers ranging from cooks to teachers for their various programs. To get involved and learn more about Spectrum Fusion and the Reactor Room program, visit its website at https://spectrumfusion.org.