Monday, October 17, 2011

October Update: New Office, ANJ Conference, and More

It's been just about a month since my last entry, and I have much to report! Having now completed my Masters degree in Applied Behavior Analysis, I am turning to the business of being employed. I needed an office space for A.S.C.O.T. Coaching, my Asperger's college coaching business, and was fortunate enough to be offered one a few months ago. My friend/colleague Nicole has her own business as well (for working with individuals with special needs), so we talked it over and decided to share this office and use it for each of our respective business needs.

Well, we got the keys at the beginning of September, and have spent the last month moving in and trying to get everything up and running. Now that we have a computer, bookcase, lamps, our respective degrees hanging on the wall, and all sorts of miscellaneous office equipment, I finally feel ready to be open for business. I hope to have an office-warming party soon, to formally welcome everyone and get the word out about the office.

Publication-wise, an article that I wrote--"I’m Gonna Let It Shine: How This Little Light Grew Into a Fiery Self-Advocate"--was just published in the Fall 2011 issue of AHA-NY's "On the Spectrum" newsletter. In addition, my mom wrote a short piece about my appearing at the United Nations earlier this year, and it was also published in this newsletter. Woo!

Last week, I went down to Atlantic City for Autism New Jersey's annual conference. I was asked a few months ago to speak on the self-advocate panel, along with two other adults on the spectrum, and I agreed to do so. For past conferences, I have tended to write notes on index cards to refer to, rather than fully writing out my speech. This time, however, I decided to go ahead and write it out.

Unfortunately, the panel was not videotaped, but I thought some folks might be interested to read my speech, so I'm posting it here on my blog. It's in .pdf format, so just click HERE to read it.

Also, I recently received a phone call, on my land line, with an inquiry about the book I am working on, The Naughty Autie. The caller said he belonged to an Asperger's Syndrome support group at which I had been a guest speaker, and he wanted to know if the book was available for purchase in bookstores.

I was so amazed to have gotten a call like this, and I feel as though it is a sign from the universe: a sign to get my damn book published already! So, I'm now preparing to send my book proposal to a publisher that has expressed interest in it previously. We'll see what happens!

Finally, if you're in the New York City area, I will be performing a monologue on the second day of ARS SPECTRA, a salute to artists on the autism spectrum. The event runs from Thursday, October 27th to Sunday, October 30th, and is being held at the Soho Gallery for Digital Art, 138 Sullivan Street, New York, NY. Click HERE to view the public event invite on Facebook, which has many more details and info for ordering tickets. Hope to see you there!