Match-A-Friend Legacy

Autism Unites is an homage to the Legacy of Adam, who had an autism and passed away on June 3rd, 2014, at the age of 20 leaving us the legacy of Match-A-Friend and the Art of Connection.  Read our history.

Match-A-Friend Evolution

2010
Match-A-Friend was Born

The idea of Match-A-Friend was born when the founders of Autism Unites saw the genuine connectoion between two young adults who were so different. One of these young men was Adam, who had autism, and another his caretaker, Cole. 

2012
"Through the Heart of Tango" workshops & Award-winning documentary

AU founders developed a workshops “Through the Heart of Tango” where they matched up young adults with special needs to neurotypical young adults and taught them the ‘Art of Connection’ through dance.

Staged at Inclusion Films in Burbank, these workshops culminated in a breathtaking event  where the participants teamed up with professional dancers on stage. The workshops and finale event were filmed by Joey Travolta’s Inclusion Films into the documentary “Through the Heart of Tango”.

2013
"Through the Heart of Tango" was accepted into a number of national and international film festivals and featured a number of times on television.

2013
"Beautiful" workshops & documentary

In 2013, AU founders developed workshops “Beautiful”.
In April 2013, the workshops evolved into a documentary series filmed at the Westside School of Ballet in Santa Monica. The cast consisted of young adults with autism matched up with neurotypical peers through the Match-A-Friend principle with exceptional results including openness of expression and boost of creativity, displayed in all participants.

The project “Beautiful” was a testament to the success of the Match-A-Friend model. Ballet provided a structured and inspiring environment where everyone was equally engaged in creating, and empowering each other in the process. 

2014
match-a-friend, a key to creating sustainable jobs

AU founders realized that Match-A-Friend could be the unique and innovative model, a key to creating sustainable jobs for young adults with autism, ensued a growing focus on vocational programs for young adults with special needs.

2016
the first guild: craft your identity

Throughout our years of work with young people with and without autism, and the staggering theme of disconnection, grew an understanding and desire to provide a way for all people to connect with themselves and their innate qualities.

Autism Unites is joining forces with The First Guild to provide training and employment for young adults from all walks of life.  The training will be based on  Match-a-friend model to assure a positive and meaningful experience for everyone.