Chris Gorham is a dad, an American actor, and an autism awareness advocate. He is well known for his role of Auggie Anderson on the USA Network hit series, "Covert Affairs.” Chris met his wife, Anel Lopez Gorham, at the University of California, Los Angeles in a vaudeville class; they later appeared together on the high-school drama series, “Popular.”
In 2001, Chris and Anel, welcomed their eldest son, Lucas. At nine years old, Lucas was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, a form of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). (Asperger’s syndrome is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by significant difficulties in social interaction and nonverbal communication, along with restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior and interests.) The Gorham’s knew that their son Lucas had a difference before his diagnosis. In the second grade, they had noticed that Lucas was having trouble with understanding the subtleties of socializing.
“It’s upsetting to hear that something is wrong with your child. At the same time, it’s a relief to know what’s wrong with your child because if you know what’s wrong then you can start to take steps to help them” Chris states. With the knowledge about the diagnosis, a strong focus on family, and enrollment in a school that was geared toward kids on the autism spectrum, Lucas thrived. He is now twenty-one years old.
Interviewed by our Different & Able President and Founder, Alexandra Nicklas, Chris talks about family, his career as an actor, and what it is like to portray a character with a disability. He also discusses his personal experience learning about his son’s diagnosis. "Chris says beautifully, "I don't think of him as my son with Asperger's. I think of him as my son. He's not wrong. He's not broken. He is who he is. We, as his parents, are going to do our best - as we do with all our kids - to give him the best shot at having the best life he can."