Autism Interview #69: Tom Iland on Law Enforcement, Self Discovery, and Advocacy

Diagnosed with autism at 13 years old, Thomas “Tom” Iland has worked hard to achieve his goals: learning to drive, living on his own, graduating from college, obtaining full-time employment and having a girlfriend. Tom recently left his career as a certified public accountant (CPA) to educate, inspire and motivate people affected by autism and other learning differences. One of only 4,000 Distinguished Toastmasters in the world and a member of the National Speakers Association, his mantra “Know Yourself. Love Yourself. Be Yourself.” has been featured in keynote speeches in autism conferences around the country and is among the topics in his award-winning, bestselling book, “Come to Life! Your Guide to Self-Discovery.” This week Tom shared advice about advocacy and his background as a public speaker, including training individuals on how to interact with law enforcement.

Autism Interview #62 Part 2: Ally Grace on Communication and Fighting Stigma

This post is a continuation of an interview with Ally Grace, Respectfully Connected blogger and autistic mother of five. Last week Ally discussed unschooling her children and advice for parents considering therapy for their children. This week Ally offered suggestions for communicating with your autistic children and challenges us to rethink how we advocate for them.

Autism Interview #62 Part 1: Ally Grace on Unschooling, Therapy, and Autism

Ally Grace is an autistic mother of five from Australia. Ally strongly believes in challenging the pathology paradigm of autism. She blogs at Respectfully Connected about her family, rejecting conventional autism assumptions, challenging social norms around raising children, unschooling, and being autistic. This post is part one of a 2-part series with Ally. This week she shared her experience unschooling her children, as well as advice for parents considering different therapies for their children.

Autism Interview #46 Part 2: Courtney Johnson on Autism Advocacy

Courtney Johnson is a writer, public speaker, and Chemistry Ph.D Candidate on the autism spectrum. Courtney manages the website AutismAchiever.com, where her goal is to share information she has learned through her varied life experiences to help individuals on the spectrum reach their full potential. Last week Courtney shared some of her personal experiences growing up on the spectrum. This week she discusses her advocacy work and how parents can best advocate for their children.

Autism Interview #46 Part 1: Courtney Johnson on Motivation

Courtney Johnson is a writer, public speaker, and Chemistry Ph.D Candidate on the autism spectrum. Courtney is a professional speaker on topics related to her experience with autism, inspiring her audience to achieve at higher levels. She also manages the website AutismAchiever.com, where her goal is to share information she has learned through her varied life experiences to help individuals on the spectrum reach their full potential. This week Courtney shared some of her personal experiences growing up on the spectrum. Visit us next week to hear her discuss her advocacy work and how parents can best advocate for their children.

Autism Interview #42: Erin Clemens on Autism Acceptance

 

Photo by Peter Brown

Erin Clemens is an author, speaker, consultant, and advocate on the autism spectrum. She recently presented at a TEDx conference on “The Natural Rhythm of Stimming.” This week she shared some of her personal experiences as someone on the spectrum*. She hopes that by sharing these experiences, people can learn from what she has been through, and apply it to what may help others on the autism spectrum.

Autism Interview #38: Ada Hoffman on Autistic Characters

Ada Hoffman

Ada Hoffmann is a writer and computer science PhD student who has authored over 60 published speculative short stories and poems and six papers that she has presented at conferences around the world. Ada was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome at the age of 13, and is passionate about autistic self-advocacy. Her Autistic Book Party review series is devoted to in-depth discussions of autism representation in speculative fiction. This week she shared some of her experience reading and writing about autistic characters and advocating for individuals on the spectrum.

Autism Interview #37: Kirsten Lindsmith on Oversimplification in Autism Advocacy

Kirsten Lindsmith is an author, artist, consultant, and autism advocate from New York City. After receiving an ASD diagnosis at the age of 19, she began co-hosting the online television show Autism Talk TV and speaking at conferences and events about her experience as a young woman on the spectrum. Kirsten has written columns for Wrong Planet and Autism After 16, and was profiled in The New York Times. Kirsten graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst with a degree in Vertebrate Ontogeny and Phylogeny. She currently works as a therapist in partnership with Melody of Autism, and as a consultant for behavioral and sensory needs.

This week Kirsten discussed the oversimplification in autism advocacy (classifying it as too positive or too negative), some common misconceptions, sensory sensitivities, and how families can become better allies to people on the spectrum.