“Programming Hope”

A Documentary About Working With Autism

by Karen McdonaldSept 8th, 2017

"Amazing", "Wonderful", "Brilliant", "A whole different view of autism", and "Everyone needs to see this movie!"

That's what parents of adults with autism around the country are saying about an inspirational new documentary that recently finished screening in select cities around the country.

A Film About Employing the Abilities of Autism

"Programming Hope" features an inside look at the nonPareil Institute - a Texas-based nonprofit technology company that's providing technical training and jobs in video game design for individuals who have been diagnosed to be on the autism spectrum.

nonPareil Institute Founder and CEO Dan Selec

Jack Creamer, the director of "Programming Hope", says, "There is an employment crisis facing adults with autism, 90% are unemployed or underemployed - without a career they'll need to be supported by family the rest of their lives. nonPareil (NPI) is doing something to address that problem."

From Racing Cars to Building Futures

nonPareil is the creation of former professional race-car driver turned technologist, Dan Selec. When his youngest son was diagnosed with autism, he was inspired to put his technology skills to work in a personal way - to help create a future for his son. The company he started in his kitchen with just a few students has now grown to a crew of almost 200 - learning and working at locations in Dallas and Houston.

Dan Selec's previous career as a professional race-car driver
Dan Selec was inspired by his son to create nonPareil Institute.

Creamer says, "Nonpareil means 'unparalleled, without match, or unequaled', and that's what these students and employees are. They're creating amazing apps that are being sold in iTunes and Google Play stores." They currently have development deals with the likes of Sony and Nintendo not to mention a slew of eBooks, mobile apps, PC games, and VR content which are all proudly branded with nonPareil's slogan - #PoweredByAutism.

One of nonPareil's games designed for smartphones and tablets.

Screenings of the film have drawn large audiences around the country interested in the film's uplifting story.  Diane Thomas has an adult son on the autism spectrum. She and her husband drove almost 4 hours from Indianapolis to see the film in Columbus, Ohio. "This film is a must-see for others to understand the hope that we have been looking for. It gives an honest glimpse into the struggles and victories these adults and families like ours face every day," says Thomas.

Creamer says, "These are gifted and intelligent people who face often misunderstood communication difficulties or other issues related to living with autism. When those differences are recognized and accepted - it makes all the difference in the world. And that's what this film depicts."

As far as his personal take on nonPareil and documenting their journey, Creamer sums it up simply - "This place is truly changing people's lives - and that's a great story to tell."

"Programming Hope" is now available to stream on iTunes, Google Play, Amazon Video, YouTube Movies, and Vimeo On Demand.

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Staff and Crew of the nonPareil Institute-Plano, TX