These are all videos that I found on YouTube. These people are in various stages of life and have had many varied experiences to portray. I found it to be helpful in understanding what autism is and isn’t. Let me know what you think in the comments below.
“People are so afraid of variety that they try to fit everything into a tiny little box with a specific label,” says 16-year-old Rosie King, who is bold, brash and autistic. She wants to know: Why is everyone so worried about being normal? She sounds a call to action for every kid, parent, teacher, and person to celebrate uniqueness.
Autism does not have to be a life sentence. Dr. John Hall knows. As a toddler, he lived in his own private world, flipping light switches, banging pans, avoiding eye contact, and babbling unintelligibly. Today, he is the CEO of a national education management firm based in Southern California. Defying his initial “slightly retarded, low-functioning autistic” diagnosis, he pushed himself through elementary, high school, and college earned an MBA, and was even awarded a Doctorate! He is also a father of two children, one with special needs.
John’s confusing, frustrating, often heart-wrenching, sometimes comical journey from disabled to triumphant will inspire every teacher, therapist, and family member who lives with, loves or works with a special-needs child. Am I Still Autistic? offers a unique, inside perspective on life in the special, secluded world of autism, and how love, support, and persistence can help make even the most unlikely candidate for success turn their life around.
Diagnosed as severely autistic and slightly retarded before he was two, Dr. John Hall overcame developmental issues, physical awkwardness, speech impediments, and family troubles to become a successful entrepreneur. He energetically juggles work, school, family, and diverse charity efforts with the autistic’s blessing of extreme focus and determination. Am I Still Autistic? is John’s gift to prove that when it comes to autism, anything — everything — really is possible!
Wendy Lampen (Belgium, 1969 — @lampadedromy) works as a lecturer at a university of applied sciences. She got diagnosed with Aspergers syndrome herself. Trained as a teacher in English, History and Ethics, she, later on, worked with adolescents with autism in a school setting.
Next to being an MA in autism, she extensively studied neurotypical (non-autistic) behavior in order to understand people better. It gave her insight into what really set her apart from (most of the) others: sensory processing and its ongoing processes and the way the two brain types give meaning to the world they experience.
This heightened awareness made her start her own company with her (neurotypical) partner. From her international experience in how different cultures look at autism or ‘disorders’ in general, Wendy is an advocate for a neuro-divers society. She focusses on the competencies and the possibilities of the different brain types and how they each can contribute to a richer life.
overcoming personal limitations – going beyond boundaries
Krister Palo is a 15-year-old student at the International School of the Hague. Having been diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome, a form of autism, he has been faced with the stigma of this learning disability, which risked making him an outcast. In his TEDx Youth@ISH talk, however, he will convincingly demonstrate how people with learning disabilities can go far beyond ordinary boundaries and are valuable contributors to society.
Jacob Barnett is an American mathematician and child prodigy. At 8 years old, Jacob began sneaking into the back of college lectures at IUPUI. After being diagnosed with autism since the age of two and placed in his school’s special ed. program, Jacob’s teachers, and doctors were astonished to learn he was able to teach calculus to college students.
At age nine, while playing with shapes, Jacob built a series of mathematical models that expanded Einstein’s field of relativity. A professor at Princeton reviewed his work and confirmed that it was groundbreaking and could someday result in a Nobel Prize. At age 10, Jacob was formally accepted to the University as a full-time college student and went straight into a paid research position in the field of condensed matter physics. For his original work in this field, Jacob set a record, becoming the world’s youngest astrophysics researcher. His paper was subsequently accepted for publication by Physical Review A, a scientific journal shared on sites such as NASA, the Smithsonian, and Harvard’s webpage. Jacob’s work aims to help improve the way light travels in technology.
Jacob is also CEO and founder of Wheel LLC, a business he started in his mom’s garage and is in the process of writing a book to help end “math phobia” in his generation.
Jacob’s favorite pastime is playing basketball with the kids at his charity, Jacob’s Place. It is a place where kids with autism are inspired every day to be their true authentic selves…just like Jacob.