Category Archives: Public Speaking

A Huge Shout Out to the US Autism and Asperger Association for an AMAZING Conference This Year!

THANK YOU.  It just keeps getting better and better and because the conference was held in Utah this year, the ripple of impact really hit home!  Thank you Dr. Lawrence Kaplan, Gail Kaplan, Theresa Wrangham, et al. for making this conference everything that it was – enlightening, empathetic, and empowering. Thank you Rev. Dolores Wiens, and Dr. Paul Wiens (aka, Granny and Granddad) for painting the town red with our children Madeline and Caleb, so that we could attend together and spend time with fantastic folks like, Dr. Gil Tippy,  aka, DIR/Floortime Guru; Brooklynne Sanders; costumer and young brilliant self advocate;  Jacquelynn Bradley, super awesome Easter Seals Play Project advocate, Julie Matthews, ASD Nutritionist and foodie extraordinaire, and Dr. Judy Zimmerman, the incredible person responsible for figuring out the autism prevalence in Utah — “Auntie Judy” to the kids.  We are so grateful! Here is a sampling of the photographs made during the conference.

We just love these people!




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TEDxUSU Video Released

We have been waiting with anticipation for the release of this video. The November 7th event itself felt so heady, and my talk so completely of the heart that I walked off stage with the high feeling that I had done what I had set out to do, but with very little memory of specifics.  I am probably my own worst critic, but it was hard not to feel deflated when the “hyper-real” video clip could not compare to a real moment in time, with all emotions and senses heightened and engaged.  I hope the video,  having a greater audience than the event itself, conveys the message of our urgency about the rising prevalence of autism and the desperate need for access to services for people affected by autism spectrum disorders.  I ask you to consider what ripple you might make in your sphere of influence and what impact the collective ripples might make.

Here it is. Please share freely.

Autism advocates testified in front of a congressional committee this week about the federal response to the rapidly increasing prevalence of autism.  While there is still vehement disagreement on many issues discussed, the urgency of the situation was communicated loud and clear to lawmakers and to the public at large. Environmental factors for the causation of autism were discussed freely and without the limitations. This week we saw the evidence and the power of passionate people doing whatever they could to change the world.

Click here to watch this amazing conversation unfold.

Also posted in Art, Autism, Media Interviews | Leave a comment

TEDx Presentation


November 7th I will be giving a TEDx talk at USU.  This is kind of a bucket list thing, and I am still a bit stunned to have been invited.   The presentation will include an exhibition of the project, Evidence and Artifacts: Facing Autism, and an impassioned explanation of it’s conception, objectives, and future goals. I will also be talking about the historical context of socially conscious art making and the power of iconic images as an advocacy tool.  In a YouTube video released in August announcing the TEDx event, Mark McLellan, USU’s vice president for research and dean of the School of Graduate Studies, projected that for those invited to speak, this would be “the talk of their lives.”  In many ways it is, and I am thrilled to have this opportunity to use the project to empower the autism community and convey a sense of urgency about the future impact of environmental insults on human development.


What is TEDx?

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TED has created a program called TEDx. TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. Our event is called TEDxUSU, where x = independently organized TED event. At our TEDxUSU event, TEDTalks video and live speakers will combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events, including ours, are self-organized.

Here it is. Please share freely.

Also posted in Advocacy, Art, Autism, Uncategorized | Leave a comment