When the whipped cream on top of your favourite coffee blend just doesn’t cut it, perhaps all that’s missing is a warm, delightful gesture from your patron server. In one of the Starbucks branches spread across Toronto, one houses a barista who’s bound to heat up even the coldest of your coffees.
For Starbucks employee and darling dancer, Sam, autism is a gift he’d like to share with the whole world. Despite the movement disorder, the teenage barista doesn’t miss a beat in handling the orders – all with a big smile and a groovy dance served for good measure.
The number of views on the video alone says he’s already done what he’d like to do. Posted on YouTube by Carly Fleischmann, who herself is an inspiring model for people with autism, the video comes with a moving story attached in the description:
“When he was offered a position to work at Starbucks Sam told his parents that for the first time in his life. […] Sam was diagnosed with autism and like some people with autism Sam has a movement disorder. Sam has a hard time keeping his body still. Sam never thought that he would be able to work behind the bar because of his sudden movements, but his manager Chris believed in him and got Sam to channel his movements into dance,” Fleischmann says.
At seventeen years old, Sam shares his dreams of becoming an actor. In an interview with FOX 26 Houston, Sam reminds us of the untapped potential of those who are special. “People with autism do not want to be looked at with sympathy, so I would say to anyone please, please, please keep an open mind about what people with special needs can do,” he says.
Ever the dedicated activist, Flesichmann writes on Facebook, “More people like Sam need to be seen, heard and given a chance to thrive and dance.” She goes on to add, “Sam is now known as the dancing barista. If it wasn’t for Chris believing in Sam he would never [have] believed in himself.”
As it was once said by Dr. Colin Zimbleman: “Autism … offers a chance for us to glimpse an awe-filled vision of the world that might otherwise pass us by.”
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