Autism Interview #91 Part 1: Leanne Libas on Autistic Identity

Leanne Libas is a writer, college student, and a/Autistic advocate. Leanne started her advocacy work after a life-changing experience at YLF (Youth Leadership Forum for Students with Disabilities). Leanne was an Autistic Scholarship Fellowship Recipient from the Autistic Self Advocacy Network and she was a regular contributor to the Art of Autism blog. This is the first part of a two-part interview with Leanne. This week she shared her experience understanding how autism affects her and how she has adopted a positive autistic identity.

Autism Interview #89: Tracey Cohen on Late Diagnosis, Advocacy, and Running

Photo credit: Carter Sherline / Frog Prince Studios

Tracey Cohen is an experienced ultrarunner, author, and speaker, and has competed in thousands of races around the world. Tracey was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome at the age of 39 and speaks regularly about autism to school groups and at conferences. She is the author of Six-Word Lessons on Female Asperger Syndrome and Six-Word Lessons on the Sport of Running. This week she shared some of her experiences growing up undiagnosed, her current advocacy work, and her love of running.

Autism Interview #86: 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: 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 #83 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 #79 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.

Autism Interview #77: Terra Vance on Functioning Labels, Employment, and Diversity

Terra Vance is an industrial and organizational psychology consultant and the proprietor of Acumen Consulting, LLC. She specializes in diversity, inclusion, multiculturalism, and poverty dynamics. She is also the author of the Unapologetically Aspie blog on PsychCentral.com and founder of The Aspergian, a collective for autistic voices, a showcase for autistic talent, and a directory of resources to assist NTs and NDs with navigating autism and thriving with it.  This week she shared some autism advocacy tips as well as her experience leading diversity initiatives as a business consultant.

Autism Interview #74: Austin Shinn on Advocacy in Childhood, College, and Beyond

Austin Shinn is an author, editor, film buff, husband, father, and advocate for individuals diagnosed with autism. Austin is diagnosed with Aspergers and blogs mostly about his life with perspectives on autism, disability, and advocacy at A Flickering Life. He is also the author of A Flickering Life: A Memoir of Autism, which chronicles his struggle to live life no different than anyone else. This week he shared some specific supports and advocacy strategies that resonated with him in childhood, his college years, and adulthood, and offered advocacy advice for parents and caregivers of other autistics. …