Autism Interview #85: Gord Gates on Late Diagnosis, Marriage, and Advocacy

Gord Gates is a Canadian author, mental health counselor, and Autistic activist. Gates’ new book, Trauma, Stigma, and Autism: Developing Resilience and Loosening the Grip of Shame offers a unique framework for combating the psychological and emotional impact of stigma and creates a brighter path for anyone who’s been made to feel like an “outsider.” He says stigma is a form of trauma and shows how trauma in various forms can create difficult emotional challenges. He describes how autism can help us better manage these challenges as it provides insight into the nature of stigma and helps us counter the automatic reactions that often stigmatize others. This week he shares his experiences growing up without a diagnosis and how parents and educators can better support Autistic children and adults.

Autism Interview #84: Michael Gilberg on Special Education Advocacy

Michael Gilberg is a Special Education and Disability Rights Attorney from New York. Michael is passionate about helping others because he knows what it’s like to navigate life without the proper support, since he lived many years without a proper diagnosis. Michael says, “My life experience of having been where your child is drives my desire every day to fight for justice for children with disabilities and their families.” This week Michael shared some of his experiences working as a disability advocate for school-aged children.

Autism Interview #83: Mikhaela Ackerman on Advocating for the Autistic Perspective

Mikhaela Ackerman is an autistic writer and speaker. She blogs at Edge of the Playground where she shares resources for individuals on the spectrum and the families who support them. Mikhaela earned her Juris Doctorate in law in 2016 and plans to use her legal skills to advocate for others on the autism spectrum. This week she shared information about her advocacy work and how neurotypicals can be more aware and accommodating of sensory sensitivities.

Autism Interview #82 Part 2: Gillan Drew on Fatherhood and Autism Advocacy

Gillan Drew

This is Part 2 of our two-part interview with Gillan Drew, a British author and father of two. He was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome at 28 and blogs about his life at Aspie Daddy. Gillan is also the author of An Adult with an Autism Diagnosis: A Guide for the Newly Diagnosed. This week he shared his thoughts on his role as a father and weighed in on some important advocacy considerations for parents of autistic children.

Autism Interview #82 Part 1: Gillan Drew on Late Diagnosis and Autistic Adulthood

Gillan Drew

Gillan Drew is a British author and father of two daughters. He was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome at 28 and blogs about his life at Aspie Daddy. Gillan is the author of An Adult with an Autism Diagnosis: A Guide for the Newly Diagnosed. This is the first part of a two-part interview with him. This week he shared his experience grappling with a diagnosis later in life and offered advice for offering support to other autistic adults.

Autism Interview #81: Michelle Swan on Modeling Autism Acceptance

Michelle Swan is an autistic Australian writer, speaker, mentor, and neurodiversity rights advocate. She has experience in peer support, mentoring, education workshop presentation, community building and advocacy with degrees teaching and psychology. Michelle is also a mother to six neurodivergent children and is the author of The Real Experts: Readings for Parents of Autistic Children and the co-author of The Respectfully Connected Anthology. This week she shared information about her advocacy work and offered advice for how parents can model autism acceptance in order to help build a positive autistic identity for their children.

Autism Interview #80: Englebert Lau on Late-Diagnosis Asperger’s Syndrome

Englebert Lau
Englebert Lau is an autism advocate and Information Technology Business Analyst. Englebert was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome at the age of 30 and blogs at The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Asperger’s Syndrome where he shares a lighthearted perspective on Asperger’s syndrome. He’s also been published in Autism Parenting Magazine and The Art of Autism. This week he shared some of the most valuable resources he found upon first receiving his diagnosis.

Autism Interview #78 Part 2: Jo Farrell on Social Anxiety

Photo by Jo Farrell

This post is a continuation of last week’s interview with Jo Farrell. Jo is a British caucasian and UK-based mother (to an adult son), blogger, marketeer, amateur photographer, and practitioner of Nichiren Buddhism. Last week she shared some of her work experience, how mutism has affected her, and the benefits of practicing Buddhism. This week she revealed some of the nuances of her social anxiety and offered advice for parents of autistic children in similar situations.