An Israeli actress will become the first autistic performer to portray a character with autism on Israeli television. Geffen Kaminer, 18, has taken up the role of Maya in the series East Side on the Kan public broadcaster. Autistic characters have featured in Israeli shows in recent years, but were never portrayed by an actor with autism. After a casting call in an online group for mothers of autistic children, Kaminer signed up, went through a number of auditions, and got the role. Kaminer said she struggled in school, felt out of place, had trouble expressing herself, and sometimes lashed out at teachers and other students. Acting has helped her cope. It's a tool that really helps someone like me, she said.