FLORIDA — You would never know when watching a digital animation who spent hours sitting in front of a screen clicking away to create a moment that may last for just a second.

What You Need To Know

According to a study done by the Drexel University Autism Institute, young adults with autism have the lowest rate of unemployment compared to their peers with other types of disabilities.

“It can make you imagine," Cheyenne Kerr a former Digital Arts for Autism student said, smiling next to a computer. "I like how I can make my own story .”

Just because Kerr is on the autism spectrum, doesn’t mean she can’t pursue her dream of making animations and art.

“I can move his legs up and down," Kerr said, demonstrating on a computer program. "I can make him walk, I can make him move, I can make him dance.”

She learned these skills at the Elite Animation Academy Digital Arts for Autism program.

“They are extremely creative and they are very focused," Elite Animation Academy owner Gladys West said about her adult students on the autism spectrum. "We teach in the programs Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator, which can help them in getting other type of jobs in different areas.”

Vicky Westra is the CEO of Autism Shifts, a program that helps those diagnosed with autism to find work, independent living, and community integration. 

“We are looking at about an 85-90% unemployment rate for this population,” Westra said.

She also said that this part of society should not be overlooked in the work force.

“Most individuals with autism have a unique ability which is a unique talent," Westra said. "They have an ability in a certain area and they are very passionate about it.” 

Organizers with Digital Arts for Autism hope their 12-month program will not only be a path towards a career, but a launching pad to help get them started.

“We want to bring out the eternal creativity and passion for what drives them to draw,” West said.

Those traits were brought out in Cheyenne Kerr. 

“Creativity and patience is most important,” Kerr said. “They showed me, and they helped me what to do.”

Due to the ongoing pandemic, the 12-month program is being taught remotely, but if you would like more information, visit the Elite Animation Academy’s website