Meet the Dancing, Autistic Barista
Written by Craig Rogers,
in Section Healthy Lifestyles
It is tough holding down a job these days for anyone, but for those burdened with Autism, that task is especially difficult. Check this out, less than forty eight hours ago, a video was uploaded to Facebook that is already approaching a whopping 50 million views.
This viral Facebook post describes the video is of a Starbucks employee/barista named Sam, who happens to have been diagnosed with autism. Quite common amongst people with autism, Sam was also diagnosed with a movement disorder. This movement disorder is a condition that results in sudden, jerky movements and an inability to keep his body still for extended periods of time.
According to the Facebook post, when Sam was offered the opportunity at Starbucks, he told his parents that he finally felt like his life had meaning for the first time. A large portion of the general population doesn't appreciate the luxury of having good jobs like we should. We often take the opportunity to wake up and work towards something every day for granted.
As pointed out by the Autism Society , the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that in 2014, a mere 19.3% of people with one or more disabilities were currently engaged in the U.S. labor force. Meaning, they were either actively seeking employment or actually working. Out of that small 19.3%, almost 13% were unemployed.
Starbucks Manager, Chris - An Unsung Hero
The other individual who deserves recognition in the video is Sam's manager, Chris, who is also the unsung hero of the story. Due to Sam's movement disorder, he never imagined that he would be able to work behind the bar. The Facebook post goes on to tell the story of Chris working with Sam on channeling his movement disorder into a dance routine while he's making drinks.
Sam, The Dancing Barista
Sam, now known across the country as the "dancing barista," wasn’t an overnight success, as explained by the viral Facebook post. It took both Chris and Sam many hours to get him where he is today. Which just goes to show how people who are different can surprise us, if we are just willing to give them the chance to succeed.
Sam’s video went viral thanks to Carly Fleischmann, an autism advocate, who has also been diagnosed with autism. In a Facebook post, Carly wrote:
"My birthday is in just a few days and my birthday wish this year is to have this video go viral… More people like Sam need to be seen, heard and given a chance to thrive and dance."