WATERBURY – Volunteers at Skye Cable are practicing their skills by producing a worthwhile talk show.
This is The Social Chase, hosted by Chase Taylor, a young man with autism.
“Well, we’re talking about people on the spectrum and how it feels you know,” says the 20-year-old from Waterbury.
It all started last summer during a training program. Chase’s mom, Helen Taylor, helped out. “I saw these young people who were so talented, coming out of their shell, and I was so impressed by that and I was trying to figure out how can we go ahead and figure out this skill set for them,” she explains.
The all-inclusive crew – comprised of typical teens and those with disabilities – put together a show that airs monthly on cable access in the Waterbury area. “It’s really good, specifically for this group,” says Skye Cable Master Control Operator, Colleen Fitzpatrick. “Maybe it becomes a passion of theirs and they can pursue it.”
Benefits are two-fold. The show teaches the public about autism while also helping Chase express himself. “This is helping him with his social skills because he knows he needs to work on it but he doesn’t know how. So, this is one way to do it,” says Helen.
He’s also the star of a new public service announcement from Autism Speaks. “Yes, it’s a PSA,” says Chase. “I was shown struggling and this guy was helping me out.”
“We just have to challenge them and challenge ourselves as parents to challenge them because sometimes we get comfortable with the way they are but we have to prepare them for the world, right?” says Helen who sees the show as training for Chase’s future. She wants more employers to open their eyes, practice patience and recognize the unique value in everyone.
“People don’t take the time out to understand them,” says Helen. “They can work. They all have some sort of skill set. It’s just we have to find what that is.”
The third episode of The Social Chase will air on December 18th.