Autism Unites (formerly Dance Into Unity) was founded by the family of Adam Seagal, a boy highly impacted by autism.
Our Dear Adam passed away on June 3, 2014 at the age of 20 leaving behind the legacy of Match A Friend community integration model and Adam’s Ranch – the vision of an all-inclusive, sustainable community where everyone is united through meaningful connections and where the concept of separation no longer exists.
Adam's Memorial took place on Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014 at the Elliot Institute in La Crescenta, CA, the school that Adam attended since he was 5 years old.
ADAM’S EARLY YEARS (1993 – 2002)
The family was not satisfied with the supports that were available, and they had a greater vision for his future: to create a community that would understand and accept him so he could mature to a happy, healthy adult which the ability to reach his fullest potential. This was the inspiration for Adam’s Ranch.
VISION OF ADAM’S RANCH (2006)
In November of 2006, Autism Unites presented the production “El Corazon del Tango” where the vision of Adams Ranch introduced.
Since 2007, autism has grown exponentially. In 2007, the Centers of Disease Control estimated that the occurance of autism as 1 in every 166 individuals. That statistic has soared and now (2014) it is 1 in every 50 individuals. Annual expenditures have also increased. from $35 billion in 2007 to $137 billion in 2014. These cost are expected to increase as these individuals reach adulthood..
ADAM’S FIRST FRIEND (2010)
Video above: “The First Friend” (2010). A glance into first two friends, Adam and Cole, who gave birth to the Match A Friend autism integration model.
In 2010, Adam had a seizure and was badly hurt. The family was devastated and Autism Unites responded by organizing a 24/7 team of caregivers. This experience was the inspiration for the Match A Friend model of social integration.
The caregiver who was most instrumental in connecting to Adam was a 22-year old college student named Cole. This connection was a miracle for Adam. After connecting to Cole Adam, who had been extremely withdrawn, started to crave connection. Cole grew as an individual to discover his strength, maturity and a healthy sense of identity. After one year, Cole left to pursue his college education, but being with Adam inspired him to change his career path to special ed. Cole informs us that he is quite happy and fulfilled with his choice!
The relationship between Adam and Cole gave birth to Autism Unites’ social integration model called “Match A Friend”. It proved that a positive connection equally benefits both individuals and is a powerful motivator for each to grow and blossom.
MATCH A FRIEND MOVEMENT
(2011 – Present)
In 2011 and 2012, Autism Unites developed the workshop “Through the Heart of Tango” that matched four young adults with special needs (three with autism and one with downs syndrome) to four without. The participants experienced the Art of Connection using dance as a means to connect. This workshop was filmed by Joey Travolta’ s Inclusion Films in the award-winning documentary “Through the Heart of Tango” which was accepted into six film festivals the following year.
Video above: Trailer of the Autism Unites’ documentary Through the Heart of Tango (2012).
In 2012 and 2013, Autism Unites held a series of Match A Friend workshops called “Beautiful” where again a group of young adults with and without autism paired as friends. Together, they learned the essential elements of the Art of Connection through the legacy of ballet. A screening of workshops took place during Autism Awareness month on April 26-27, 2013 at the Miles Memorial Playhouse in Santa Monica (poster on the left).
Video above: Match A Friend workshop “Beautiful” (April 2013)
In every workshop Autism Unites has witnessed a miracle between all participants. The entire group experienced an a ray of positive emotions with increased energy, attention span, and alertness.
Adam’s life has inspired the greater purpose of the mission of Autism Unites: creating all-inclusive, self-sustainable communities where everyone is united through meaningful connections and the concept of separation no longer exists. Adam has inspired Autism Unites to create an environment where each of us is welcomed and where we all feel at HOME. One of such places is going to be ADAM’S RANCH.
ADAM’S RANCH & MATCH A FRIEND LEGACY
On February 28, 2015, Autism Unites hold the event “Introduction to Autism Unites’ Vocational Program for Young Adults with Autism” at D Ranch, Solvang. The photo above: View from D Ranch on the Invitation card.
Legacy: Autism Unites (formerly Dance Into Unity) was founded by the family of Adam Seagal, a boy highly impacted by autism. Adam passed away on June 3, 2014 at the age of 20 leaving behind the legacy of Match A Friend and Adam’s Ranch, the vision of an all-inclusive, sustainable community where everyone is united through meaningful connections and where the concept of separation no longer exists.
Adam’s Ranch Is a model of all-inclusive, sustainable, eco-friendly, wealth generating community based on the first of its kind structure called Match A Friend where individuals on the autism spectrum are selectively matched with neuro-typical peers based on the similar interests, which together as a unit, thrives in their work, social, and personal life.
Santa Ynez Academy of Arts & Sciences (SYArtsSci), is the first Adam’s Ranch model of all-inclusive, sustainable community. which is being developed in Santa Ynez Valley in collaboration with eco-friendly developers and local community.
DONATIONS IN ADAM’S MEMORY
If Adam’s story has inspired to you to ask, you may honor his memory by donating to Autism Unites to help further their mission of creating a new consciousness about autism. All contributions are tax-deductible and 100% of the monies raised goes to fund programs and services to help individuals with autism, including the creation of Adam’s Ranch.
YOU MAY HONOR ADAM’S MEMORY
BY DONATING TO AUTISM UNITES
(aka Autism Spectrum Integrated Services)
BY CLICKING THIS LINK