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...]

3 Hopeful Outcomes of the Autism at Work Summit

There’s been something happening with many employers. It’s a slow but steady shift but it seems to be gaining momentum. Companies are moving from having a charitable mentality, “We need to hire people with autism out of the goodness of our hearts,” to “We need to hire autistic employees because it’s a good business decision.” Yes, autistic employees are positively impacting the bottom line and more companies are adopting this new mindset. Anka Wittenberg, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer for SAP, stood at the platform to kick off the … [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...]

Autism Superheroes: The Amazing “J’s”

Meet the amazing J's: Jaiden, Johonna and John! Jaiden loves to play sports and is a natural football player. His mom says that he's been through a lot in his 6 years of life on the spectrum and with epilepsy. Johonna is the family's drama queen. She has overcome a speech delay and is talking up a storm and dancing and singing too! John is a math wiz at only 4 years old. Even his teacher marvels at what he can do with numbers. Mom is very proud of what all 3 have accomplished...no challenges will stop them from achieving! Jaiden, Johonna and … [Read more...]

Raising Awareness through “The Gift of Autism”

Diego Raf Diaz has a dream. He wants to use his talent as an animator to tell the real stories of autistic people. He's calling it, "The Gift of Autism." Diego was diagnosed with autism at an early age. He says that watching videos had a huge impact on him, especially Pinocchio and the Land Before Time. The characters were his friends. It was his love for these shows and his talent for drawing that turned his attention towards creating animations. Now he wants to use his creativity and passion to make a difference in the world for those with … [Read more...]

The Galactic Power of a Horrible Hug!

How can you help your child overcome the fear of the unknown? This was the question I asked myself when Jonathan was going to start his next school year at a brand new school. Why did we change schools? Well, his first school just wasn’t a good fit for him academically or socially. We didn’t know it at the time, but he was on the autism spectrum and the school just wasn’t geared for those who learned differently. And the students weren’t very accepting of kids who were different. So we found a wonderful school our unique boy—a safe haven … [Read more...]

‘Amy is Aumazing’ An Autistic Adventure

Paula Powers is  a new children’s picture book author and also a single, full-time working mom to a young son with autism. She's wanted to write children’s books since she was young and now was the time to make that dream come true. What will she claim as her greatest reward? Inspiring young readers and having them take away life lessons from her books. Her first release is the delightful Amy is Aumazing. Tell us about your book. Meet Amy, an almost 6 year old kindergartner who is gifted and talented and also is autistic. She tells the … [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...]

Make a Wish For Me: One Mother’s Autism Story

LeeAndra Chergey is a mother first, then wife, and now she can add author. Writing has been her dream since she was in the second grade. "After procrastinating on a report on the bumblebee, I quickly wrote up a paragraph and turned it in. The next day the teacher held up my paper and said to the whole class I had received an A+! It was at that moment I thought, ‘wow, that was easy, I want to be a writer’." She always knew she had a book in her. It was just finding the inspiration to get it out. After graduating, working in the corporate … [Read more...]

Why Autism Needs to Be Taught in the Classroom

I am sure that most of you by now have heard the term “autism awareness” and you probably know that there is a national autism awareness month every April. It was so declared by the Autism Society in April of 1970 and its intent was to educate the public about Autism Spectrum Disorder. So for 45 years we’ve been raising awareness. It’s not surprising that there’s a growing trend within the autism community to evolve that term into “autism acceptance.” So many of us—parents and autistic individuals—feel that we need to move the public past … [Read more...]