Lauren Gores

December 13, 2008

Dustin Hale sits down at the Monroe County Public Library and clasps his trembling hands. He keeps his head down for a minute, only making eye contact with the Peyton Manning face on his t-shirt. He rubs his fingers above his lip and tugs on the few short hairs he missed while shaving.

"I'm a little nervous," he admits.

Hale is not nervous because he is in an unfamiliar place. The 21-year old has autism and is nervous because he likes his routine and gets flustered when it changes. A typical day does not include a sit-down interview.

Hale spends his time job searching, hiking, reading or watching the Indianapolis Colts on TV. A diligent worker, he is focused on finding an employer who will hire an applicant with special needs. It is a task that proves difficult for any adult with autism. Hale pushes onward, however, and tries his best.

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