General Question

Gaignun87's avatar

Well Known Autism Speakers?

Asked by Gaignun87 (102points) July 6th, 2009

Where can I find a list of well known autism speakers, or does anyone know a famous speaker on the subject of autism?

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8 Answers

AstroChuck's avatar

Jenny McCarthy has been outspoken on the subject.

Jeruba's avatar

I second Temple Grandin, having heard her several times on NPR. Also, psychologist Oliver Sacks (of Awakenings fame) wrote very revealingly and affectingly on the subject in his book An Anthropologist on Mars. Temple Grandin was one of his featured subjects.

gailcalled's avatar

One of my sister’s little grandsons is mildly autistic; my sis and her daughter have done and are doing all the research that is possible.

They also vote for Temple Grandin; who is a very successful and well-educated autistic adult. Jenny McCarthy has a young autistic son.

iwamoto's avatar

hmm, the whole “autism is reversible” title of mcarthy’s site makes me uncomfortable, we don’t have a disease or something…

mtirado's avatar

Temple Grandin is the name of the game in famous speakers with autism, there is also Kim Peek ( I believe son of the “rainman”) who is fantastic. A good organization to check out is Autism Speaks, a parent of a child with autism Scott Gentner, is the spokesperson for the bay area and a really great resource.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

Temple Grandin is one of the very few would would speak F2F. There are many others who write but will not give F2F interviews or make appearances. I agree with @iwamoto in my skepticism of Jenny McCarthy. Autism is slightly treatable in its more highly functioning forms, such as AS in children and teens, but is definitely not curable or reversable. She is dealing in false hope. Anyone who claims to have had their autism “reversed” was probably misdiagnosed in the first place.

Autism is a condition related to the basic structure and “wiring” of the brain. Connections do not occur in the same way as with neurologically “normal’ people. To some extent we can learn how to simulate “normal’ behavior, such as faking eye contact, maintaining a “neutral” body posture and learning when to “shut up” about topics that are of no interest to others. Such things are learned by rote memorization and pattern recognition, but without understanding or any real degree of empathy. To many of us, the rest of humanity, at a face-to-face level at least, are merely obstacles to our privacy, comfort and material well-being. We must learn that “real” relationships are forever closed to us except under the rarest of circumstances.

SpatzieLover's avatar

These speakers/authors are on the ASD spectrum:

—Temple Grandin
—John Elder Robison
—David Finch

These phsychologists/speakers are authorities on ASD:

—Dr. Tony Attwood
—Dr. Simon Baron-Cohen

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