SOULSHOKA. I had the opportunity to see Autistic Rapper, Rio Wyles aka Soulshocka, perform an “inspirational” moment at the Self-Determination conference sponsored by the Autism Society of Los Angeles on November 8. Rio, who has been diagnosed with Autism, had a profound loss of language at age 3. Stuck on the phrase “What’s your name”. Through music he has found a way back to communicating with others. He in fact is embarking on a career in music. Please check out his inspirational video Stand Up 2 Cancer, and his more traditional performance of Dancin On the Ceiling, featuring Katie Parkinson.
The Self Determination Conference was highlighting recent changes in California law that will allow developmentally disabled persons the opportunity, to opt out of the government directed and controlled delivery of benefits and services in favor of a Person Centered model that allows the disabled person, with the help of friends, family and professionals, to construct and manage their own lives.
One question those of us in the Workers Compensation arena might ask is, if those with severe mental disabilities can structure their lives in such a way as to both improve their standard of life, and save the government money, can we construct a similar system to allow our injured workers the same opportunity?