LOS ANGELES, Nov. 07, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- ABC Primetime show THE GOOD DOCTOR will feature The Miracle Project-trained Coby Bird, a 15-year-old teen actor with autism appearing Monday, November 13 at 10 p.m. 

Coby has performed at Lincoln Center and starred in the hit show SPEECHLESS, following his four years of training with The Miracle Project, an award-winning autism program in theater and performing arts. On The Good Doctor, Coby plays a patient with autism who causes the main character, Dr. Shaun Murphy, to reflect on his own diagnosis of autism. [Promo: https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fdsnymom%2Fvideos%2F10215182128493073%2F&show_text=0&width=560]

Says Elaine Hall, Executive Director of The Miracle Project, “Kudos to the show for hiring a person with autism to portray a person with autism.”

The Miracle Project trains and brings out the potential of individuals with autism and all abilities in acting and entertainment industries, also addressing the 80% unemployment rate for individuals with autism in the workforce. Currently, only 5% of characters with disabilities in the media are portrayed by actors with disabilities.

Says Hall, “There is an enormous untapped potential of individuals with disabilities who are talented actors to play their own roles as people with disabilities. We hope that showrunners will continue to collaborate and develop this talent pool through these opportunities.”

ABOUT THE MIRACLE PROJECT: Founded in 2004, The Miracle Project is a groundbreaking evidence-based, expressive and performing arts program that enables children, teens and young adults with and without autism to express themselves through music, dance, acting, story, and writing based in Los Angeles but serving and inspiring families across the country in multiple locations including Brown University. The Miracle Project, an acclaimed arts program, was documented in the HBO double EMMY Award-winning documentary, AUTISM: THE MUSICAL.  http://www.themiracleproject.org

ABOUT THE GOOD DOCTOR: Shaun Murphy (Freddie Highmore, "Bates Motel"), a young surgeon with autism relocates from a quiet country life to join a prestigious hospital's surgical unit. Shaun uses his extraordinary medical gifts to save lives and challenge the skepticism of his colleagues. The Good Doctor is new on ABC Mondays. http://abc.go.com/shows/the-good-doctor

ABOUT AUTISM: According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, autism now affects 1 in 68 children in the United States. Autism is a complex condition that affects a person’s ability to communicate and develop social relationships, and is often accompanied by behavioral challenges.

Media Contact: Jess Block Nerren – 909-706-8525 – Jess@feltenmedia.com