Autism Interview #11: Alex Chrenka on Communication, Medicine, and Advocacy

meThis week we have the opportunity to hear from Alex Chrenka. Alex is a commercial artist with Asperger’s syndrome. He currently is working as a Graphic Designer for a real estate firm, but has side projects involving 3D modeling and illustration which can be viewed at chrenkaart.wordpress.com. He is currently illustrating a children’s book about his experiences growing up with autism. Alex is a strong advocate for awareness of autism and helping those learn to cope with it. He has experienced the effects of medication and has had many life-changing events through those trials. Self improvement and accomplishment are the keystones of Alex’s life philosophy, and he believes no matter how difficult life gets, you can work towards a happier one by setting goals, having a positive outlook, and being a better you.

Autism Interview #10: Chris Bonnello on Understanding Different Perspectives

Chris Bonnello

Chris Bonnello is a public speaker and writer with Asperger’s syndrome from Great Britain. He formerly taught primary school in Britain where he worked in special education classes with children on all areas of the spectrum. Chris currently blogs at autisticnotweird.com where he writes to raise awareness about the needs of people on the spectrum and offer guidance to those “trying to navigate their way through life with autism.” He is also working on his MA in Creative Writing.

Autism Interview #9: Lydia Wayman on Autism and Hospital Stays

Lydia Wayman

 

Last week’s article discussed some of the ways parents of children on the spectrum can prepare for a hospital stay with minimal stress. This week Lydia Wayman discusses her personal experience with this topic and strategies that have helped her as an autistic adult. Lydia is a writer, speaker, and advocate who encourages people to see greatness in others not despite our differences but because of them. She speaks to parents and professionals at autism conferences and other events about many facets of autism, including the practical challenges of medical care. She answered several questions about her personal experiences with a complicated medical condition and navigating hospitals as an autistic adult.

Autism Interview #8: Paul Isaacs on Personhood and Autistic Identity


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Paul Isaacs is an autism advocate, trainer, and public speaker from England. He says that public speaking about his experiences and the experiences of others has helped him find his voice and develop a true skill. He always emphasizes the positive aspects of how life can be lived with autism. He uses the acronym PEC to describe the qualities people who work with autism should have: Positivity, Empathy, and Compassion. He is also a published author and blogs at Autism from the Inside.

Autism Interview #7: Shaun Williams on Late Diagnosis

Shaun Williams is a newly-diagnosed adult on the autism spectrum. His new website, Autism Guide, discusses his personal experiences with autism and offers advice and insights for all families affected by autism. Shaun asserts that he has achieved several successes in his life including a successful marriage with two children, a degree in Computer Studies, a Master’s degree in Computer Security, and a Post-Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE). In this interview, Shaun discusses his experience being diagnosed with Asperger’s as an adult.

Autism Interview #6: Amy Gravino on Autism and Sexuality

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Amy Gravino is a Certified Autism Specialist, author, autism consultant, and public speaker. She runs a private consulting business in New Jersey called A.S.C.O.T. Coaching. She is an autism consultant and college coach for individuals on the spectrum and also advocates for autistics through her work as a member of Autism Speaks’ Awareness Committee and the Self-Advocate Advisory Board for the Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation. Amy speaks regularly about autism and sexuality and has written a book relevant to this under-addressed topic, a memoir titled The Naughty Autie. Below, Amy discusses her book and some of the major issues related to sexuality that autistic teens and adults face.

Autism Interview #5: Dr. Stephen Shore on Autism and Education Part 2

Stephen NYU Citibikes PhotoThis week’s post is a continuation of Part One on autism and education based on the advice from autistic professor, author and international speaker Dr. Stephen Shore. In this week’s post, Dr. Shore emphasizes the importance of identifying and developing a student’s strengths in order to achieve academic and personal success and how best to go about accomplishing this.

Autism Interview #4: Dr. Stephen Shore on Autism and Education Part 1

Stephen NYU Citibikes Photo

Dr. Stephen Shore is a professor at Adelphi University, autism author, music teacher, and international autism speaker. He recently spoke with me about his experience living with autism and offered educational advice for autistic students. Part One of this post offers an overview of his personal schooling and suggestions for families trying to help their children transition into general education settings and get the most out of an I.E.P. conference. His answers from our interview have been transcribed below.

Autism Interview #3: Gavin on Employment

GavinThis week’s interview is with Gavin, an autism blogger and IT specialist who spoke about his experience and advice for autistic individuals in the workforce. He has been diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome and has two sons who are also on the spectrum. Gavin blogs about some of the positive aspects of autism at Life with Asperger’s with the overall aim “to increase the amount of first-hand knowledge about Asperger’s.” His blog includes several series articles to help parents and children on the spectrum with a variety of topics including autism acceptance, bullying, advocacy, medication, and employment.