Why Colin Farrell Believes in the Pledge for Inclusion

My memorable evening with Colin Farrell began with an inspiring message of inclusion by Bryan Neider. Bryan was happy at his job as a Senior VP at Electronic Arts, but his 25 years at EA doesn’t begin to compare to the experience he’s having as the CEO of Gatepath. “In joining Gatepath, I saw an opportunity to be a part of something bigger than myself—to be a part of an organization that has made a remarkable difference in the lives of those in our community for more than 96 years.” Bryan Neider with his Gatepath Ambassadors  From … [Read more...]

One Autistic Artist Dreams About “What Autism Really Is”

Last summer, we shared Diego Raf Diaz's story, an autistic artist with a dream to create an animated film. His first attempt at fundraising wasn't successful but Diego's determination to make his film still burns bright! If we, as an autism community rally around him and support his efforts...we can make his dream come true. Diego wants to use his talent as an animator to tell the real stories of autistic people. He's calling it, "What Autism Really Is." Diego was diagnosed with autism at an early age. He says that watching videos had a huge … [Read more...]

7 Positive Ways to Do Autism Awareness

When will the need for autism awareness end? Never! Even as the public moves towards acceptance and inclusion for those on the spectrum...we will need to continue awareness education. Yes, what we will talk about will change because people will evolve in their understanding. But it's important that we keep the conversations going so we can demystify autism. No, our work as a community is not done. In fact, we are just beginning. Here are 7 positive ways that self-advocates, parents, and educators are spreading autism awareness: Give … [Read more...]

Celebrating Diversity Awareness in Children’s Books

Geek Club Books is participating in Multicultural Children's Book Day to celebrate diversity awareness in children's books. More specifically, we are advocating for there to be more stories with main characters who are on the autism spectrum. Here is a link to the reviews and interviews we've published as a part of this special day: No Limits: No Boundaries! My Journey Through the ABC’s Soccer Bugs, a Children's Book that Honors and Celebrates Diversity Lucy's Amazing Friend: A Story of Autism and Friendship Multicultural … [Read more...]

What Happens When You Can Show the World Your Talent?

James Sullivan is an extremely talented man on the autism spectrum. He has a degree in filmmaking and has his own YouTube channel. He writes, films, edits, performs, sings and talks about anything and everything in today's pop culture scene. He's interesting to talk to and fun to be around. I met James when he and his parents came to see a presentation I was giving in San Francisco. Like me, Susan Sullivan (James' mom) was starting a nonprofit business to employ people with autism. James produced a video for her new "PreLOVED Toys" … [Read more...]

The Unique Biscotti Business that will Make You SMILE!

Business: SMILE Biscotti, LLC Mission: Skills development, social connections and pathways toward greater independence What is SMILE? SMILE (Supporting My Independent Living Enterprise) trains, employs and supports adults on the autism spectrum in an effort to further their growth, happiness and independence. Co-workers mix, bake, package and distribute biscotti across the U.S. SMILE also engages family volunteers to produce delicious handmade biscotti in a variety of flavors.  The biscotti are sold online as well as in more than a … [Read more...]

How Can We Ever Hope to Achieve an Inclusive World?

“Our vision is about creating a world where inclusion is something that happens every day. It’s not an exception to the rule, it IS the rule.” It’s a beautiful, bright morning. I’m sitting at a breakfast hosted by Gatepath, a Bay Area nonprofit that has been serving those with special needs for 96 years. I’m listening to their CEO. Bryan Neider, speak the vision of a truly inclusive world. Immediately my mind flashes to the imaginary world of Star Trek. 'This is what Bryan is speaking of,' I think to myself. A truly inclusive world where … [Read more...]

How to Win at the Friendship Game!

“Well, hello folks! Welcome to The Friendship Game, the only game show where everyone’s a winner because everyone gets a friend!” Navigating the social world is challenging for everyone and making friends is one of the most socially complicated. Some people have the natural ability to network, make connections, and know how to grow them into friendships. You can see it even when they are children…the ones who just know how to hang out make everyone feel welcome and comfortable. When my autistic son was growing up, friendships didn’t come … [Read more...]

How Will You Make an ‘Acceptance’ Impact?

April is here and in addition to being known for its “showers that bring May flowers,” it’s also when there’s a national spotlight on autism. April Autism Awareness month is not without its controversies as many in the autism community feel it’s time to shift beyond the public’s awareness and emphasize acceptance.  I mean, after decades of a nationwide effort in April, isn’t everyone “aware” of autism by now? What I like about there being a special month devoted to autism awareness, is that the media will more likely cover topics related to … [Read more...]

I Wish the World Was a Comic Con

Bringing together pop-culture and technology, it was about time that Silicon Valley hosted a Comic Con event. If you don’t know what a Comic Con is, where have you been? It began in 1970 when 100 comics, movie and science fiction fans wanted to come together to celebrate what they loved with their like-minded peers. Today, it’s a massive cultural gathering in San Diego attracting over 125,000. It sells out within minutes. People come to see their favorite stars in sci-fi, comics and fantasy genres but more importantly, they come to BE the … [Read more...]