I've met about 7 Aspergers teachers in the course of getting to know more about the autism spectrum. Well, actually, quite a few more than that, but today I want to introduce you to seven Aspergers teachers, some of whom I've never met or talked to! I consider them friends and heroes as well as teachers because of their authenticity, generosity, and wisdom. I've learned so much from them and their examples. And I'd like you to get to know them as well.
Alex Plank is the founder of WrongPlanet, the "online resource and community for Autism and Asperger's. I have really appreciated watching him on YouTube and reading his viewpoints about various aspects of Asperger's and Autism. He has educated me on the challenges of socializing, transitioning from high school to college, dating. And he's also created a great bridge of communication between NT's and Aspies in the way her writes, speaks, and educates.
Alex, thank you for showing me a place where I could connect with individuals on the autism spectrum. As a member of Wrong Planet, I've felt so grateful for the way you have opened the doors to NT's as well as Aspies, helping us dialogue together about our strengths as well as our differences.
I had the privilege of meeting Brian on LinkedIn. I was really excited to meet him because he's a licensed therapist, and also an adult with Asperger's. He has three sons on the autism spectrum, and he's put together a great range of services for NT therapists who want to learn how to better help individuals on the autism spectrum; for parents who want to better connect with their kids; and for individuals on the autism spectrum who want to go beyond social skills to meaningful relationships.
His site, SpectrumMentor, has a number of great articles with a unique perspective. I'm learning so much from him!
Brian, thanks for reaching out to me on LinkedIn, and for teaching me so much already through your blog.
John is quite a unique and accomplished individual. From a high school dropout, to designing the unique electric guitars and light shows for the rock band, KISS, to starting up his own high end car restoration business, to now becoming a best-selling author, with his books, Look Me In The Eye.
John authors a blog here at Psychology Today, titled My Life With Aspergers: How To Live A High Functioning Life With Asperger's. I'm looking forward to reading his newest book: Be Different, Adventures of a Free-Range Aspergian.
John writes in a unique, engaging way. He's got great perspective on a variety of topics and issues in the Asperger's community, and I'm appreciative to him for teaching me so much.
John, I haven't met you. But I thank you for your tireless advocacy for individuals on the autism spectrum. I believe you are attending about 31 events this year as a speaker. Wow! Thanks for educating all of us :)
Liane wrote one of the first books I ever read about living on the autism spectrum. Her book, Pretending To Be Normal, was a riveting read for me. She describes herself as having grown up with a fascination with words, but a feeling of alienation relating to NT's. She is now a college professor with a specialty in psycholinguistics. She's also continued to be a strong voice in the autism spectrum community.
She is also the senior editor for the magazine, Autism Spectrum Quarterly, and the founder of the Asperger Society of Michigan.
Liane, although I have not met you, I have gotten to know you through your writing. I'm so grateful for all you have taught me.
If it were not for Lynn, I would not have the privilege of writing this blog! I met Lynn on Twitter. We exchanged some comments about the subject of Asperger's, and before long we were talking about writing. Thank you, Lynn, for your generosity in introducing me to Psychology Today blogging :)
Lynn's Psychology Today blog, Asperger's Diary, records life through the lense of Asperger's Syndrome. I've learned so much about communication, depression and Asperger's, and the unique gifts and talents of those gifted with autism spectrum conditions.
I had just started writing my blog, Prospering With Aspergers, when I ran across Rudy Simone's site. Rudy is a talented jazz musician/singer, stand-up comedian, and author. You can imagine how humbled I was when she actually responded to an e-mail I sent her. She's so down to earth. Thank, you, Rudy, for teaching me so much about the gender differences between boys/girls, men/women on the autism spectrum; about Asperger's and employment.
Rudy writes a blog here at Psychology Today called Aspergirls: The Guide for Women with Asperger's. I encourage you to visit her page, where all her books are listed. They are terrific reading; I've learned so much.
Penelope is one of my "funnest finds" on the blogosphere. She's brilliant, gut-wrenchingly honest, and beautifully describes the in's and out's of living with Asperger's.
Here's a bit about her from her blog, Penelope Trunk's Brazen Careerist:
Penelope is the founder of 3 startups-- most recently, Brazen Careerist, a career-mangement tool for next-generation professionals. Her career advice appears in more than 200 papers. In a review of (Penelope's) blog, Business Week called her writing "poetic."]
Penelope, thank you for teaching me about how savvy people on the autism spectrum can be, despite some of the challenges that Asperger's can bring.
These are some of my Asperger's heroes, teachers, mentors, and friends. I hope you enjoyed meeting them as much as I did!
photo credit: prospopon school of iconology