Comedy night to take care of pain in the Asperger’s
By Jenn Watt
Carolyn Scott’s experience with Haliburton was so positive, she wants to sing it from the rooftops – and in a way she is.
Scott, a Toronto-based actor, is putting on a special rendition of Autism is a Pain in the Aspergers on Oct. 17 as a fundraiser for Community Living.
She’s running the evening of music and comedy as a kind of thank you letter to the community.
After Scott’s local high school in Toronto was unable to accommodate her son, who has autism, she and her husband began looking for an alternative.
“We went to the high school there to talk to them about what they had going on for kids on the spectrum and it was perfect,” she says.
Scott and her husband Brian Gibson have a place in Haliburton and her parents have a cottage in Minden.
“He was up there for five months this past year and he just thrived. And it was because it was just accepted. That was the hardest hurdle for a parent of somebody on the spectrum is trying to find inclusion,” she says.
A school in Toronto was found that could accommodate Scott’s son this year, but she is grateful for the support Haliburton Highlands Secondary School gave. To show that gratitude, she approached special education teacher Bruce Griffith about what she could do to give back. He said Community Living needed money to pay to transport clients to and from the pool.
The title of the show, Autism is a Pain in the Aspergers, generated a bit of controversy in the past, but Scott says humour is all about getting taboo topics out in the open.
“The reason I did it is to create dialogue because it has autism and Asperger’s in the title and the two are not mutually exclusive. Autism itself is a spectrum of behaviours, but going from the lowest to the highest Asperger’s is part of the highest functioning of the spectrum,” she says.
Autism is a disorder of brain development that can affect speech, behaviour and social interaction to varying degrees.
Scott has been an actor for the last 35 years working with Second City and on musical theatre productions for much of that time. Along the way, she has met some talented actors and comedians, some of whom will be at the show at the Dominion.
Canadian comedians/actors Kevin Frank, Neil Crone, Robin Duke, Marilyn Smith and the band Glendale One will perform during the evening in what is billed as “an all-inclusive, comedy-infused, music-filled extravaganza.”
To join in the fun, purchase a ticket for $20 at DominionHotelPub.ca, at the Dominion Hotel in Minden, Organic Times in Minden or Community Living in Haliburton. You can also get tickets at the door. The show is Saturday, Oct. 17 and starts at 8 p.m.