VAN NUYS ( — Rehearsals are in full swing for a fundraising event at Club Nokia that organizers say will help adults with autism find jobs.

Spencer Harte and Dylan Aragon are rehearsing songs for “The Temple Grandin & Friends,” held at the downtown L.A. venue May 20.

“We call Temple Grandin the rock star of autism,” Autism Movement Therapy founder Joanne Lara explained of the event’s namesake. “Temple is 67 years old and she’s an individual on the autism spectrum. She has a Ph.D. She’s written 10 books.”

The main focus of the event is create awareness about job opportunities for those with autism.

“Interestingly enough, a lot of our kids can sing, but they don’t talk. Why? Because it’s processed language in a different circuit of the brain,” Lara continued. “It’s very tough for our kids to get jobs. The public needs to know that. They need to know that our kids have amazing skill sets in so many areas.”

The rate of employment for adults with autism is extremely low, and 90 percent of youth with autism are without jobs after leaving high school.

“With a skill set, you have a chance at a job, you have a chance at a community, a life, falling in love, renting or owning a home. If you don’t have a job, you do not have those options available to you,” Lara said.

The performers are determined to put together a show that will be both entertaining and important for their cause.

“Singing opens up and continues to open up a new world for me,” Aragon said.

“It makes me feel happy,” Harte added.

For more information about next week’s event at Club Nokia, visit “Temple Grandin & Friends” online.

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