Until Stephen Volan was diagnosed in 2002 with Asperger's Syndrome at the age of 37, he had no way to address his difficulties navigating the minefields of society and the workplace. Holding jobs, maintaining close relationships, or reading faces and body language were all exercises in paralysis-inducing doubt and frustration. Long before ""the autism spectrum"" was as widely discussed as it is today, he had unwittingly begun overcoming its handicaps thanks to a serendipitous theater class at Second City in Chicago. In it he learned to rely on a skill he knew how to use without hesitation: being playful.
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