Introduction by Darold A. Treffert, M.D. 1
Chapter 1: When Language Fails 17
Dawn Prince, Ph.D.
Chapter 2: Observations on Education from 31
within the Autism Spectrum
Stephen Shore, Ed.D.
Chapter 3: Finding Me 53
Liane Holliday Willey, Ed.D.
Chapter 4: Deep Thinking on Baseball and Autism 71
Valerie Paradiz, PhD.
Chapter 5: Aikido, Somatics and Liberation 93
of the Autistic Self
Nick Walker, M.A.
Chapter 6: Your are Precious! 113
Dena Gassner, LMSW
Chapter 7: The Eccentric Absentminded Professor 139
Lars Perner, Ph.D.
Chapter 8: Learning Basic Skills Helped Me Succeed 159
Temple Grandin, Ph.D.
Dena Gassner, LMSW, began advocating in the autism community began in 1989 with the birth of her second child, a son who was diagnosed with autism. She’s an award winning advocate most recently (2009) receiving the Jo Andrews Award from Nashville’s Mayor Karl Dean for outstanding disability advocacy by a person living with disabilities. Dena is an advisory board member for the Autism Society of America and GRASP and a collaborator with the Autism Self-Advocacy Network as well as many other groups.
Temple Grandin, Ph.D., is currently a professor of animal sciences at Colorado State University where she continues her research and teaches courses in
livestock handling and facility design. She has published hundreds of industry publications, book chapters and technical papers on animal handling, 45 refereed journal articles in addition to ten books that have sold millions. In 2010, the HBO film Temple Grandin (about her early life and career in the livestock industry) won seven Emmy Awards, in addition to Time Magazine naming her one of the most influential people in the world.
Valerie Paradiz, Ph.D., designs curricula and programs for people with Autism Spectrum and related conditions. She is the author of several books, leads trainings in the disability fields, and consults nationally and internationally, assisting organizations and corporations in content development, program development and strategic planning. Her work has been featured in the New York Times, Redbook Magazine, and on National Public Radio. She holds a Ph.D. in German Studies from the City University of New York.
Lars Perner, Ph.D., is a native of Denmark and an Assistant Professor of Clinical Marketing at the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California. He currently teaches Marketing Fundamentals and has also taught Consumer Behavior, International Marketing, Introduction to International Business, Internet Marketing, Marketing Strategy, and Food Marketing. He has written extensively on autism issues, including college preparation for individuals on the spectrum, the use of special interests to enhance learning, the ‘big picture’ of autism, and the importance of research to identify autism subtypes.
Dawn Prince, Ph.D., was born in 1964 and from the beginning of her life has found joy and context in the natural world. After struggling with undiagnosed Asperger’s Syndrome until age thirty-five, she went from being a homeless teenager with no direction to eventually studying primates and earning her Ph.D. in interdisciplinary anthropology in 1997 from the Universität Herisau in Switzerland. Dawn has written many academic articles, and is author of seven books in the areas of nature, primatology, autism, and disability.
Stephen Shore, Ed.D., is an assistant professor at the Ammon School of Education at Adelphi University teaching courses in special education and autism. He focuses his research and teaching on matching best practices to the needs of people with autism. Nonverbal and diagnosed at age two-and-a-half with “autistic tendencies,” recommendations for institutionalization were rejected in favor of parent-based intensive early intervention and support. Stephen is author and contributor in three books, and has served on several boards in the area of autism.
Darold A. Treffert, M.D., is presently a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin. He met his first autistic savant in 1962 and has published two books on savant syndrome. He has been a contributor to numerous articles in professional journals and has participated in many broadcast and documentary television programs throughout the world. In his efforts to raise public understanding about autism and savant syndrome, he has regularly appeared on 60 Minutes, Oprah, Today, CBS Evening News and many others programs. Dr. Treffert was a technical consultant to the
award-winning movie Rain Man that made ‘autistic savant’ a household term.
Nick Walker, MA, earned his Masters in Somatic Psychology at California Institute of Integral Studies, where he is currently an adjunct professor in the Interdisciplinary Studies program and a doctoral candidate in Transformative Studies (working on a dissertation on neurodiversity). He holds a 6th degree black belt in aikido, and is the founder and senior instructor of Aikido Shusekai, an aikido dojo in Berkeley, California. He is a speaker, author, educator, and consultant on a wide array of topics including autism and embodied approaches to conflict and transformation.
Liane Holliday Willey, Ed.D., holds a doctorate in psycholinguistics and is author of four books on Asperger’s syndrome. She is the Senior Editor for Autism Spectrum Quarterly, and serves on a number of boards. Her life story and work on Asperger’s syndrome have been featured in an array of media including USA Today, Psychology Today, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, The Associate Press USA and Australia, www.ABCnews.com, www.Newsweek.com, Radio 4 BBC, NPR, and feature films including Adam and Normal Folk.