Archive for month: March, 2017

On February 11, 2017, a group of 9 nonspeaking autistics from Northern Virginia (a.k.a. “The Tribe”) and 19 University of Virginia undergraduates gathered in Falls Church to discuss and plan autism advocacy efforts. They were joined by the mayor of Herndon (Lisa Merkel), and two members of the Virginia House of Delegates (Jennifer Boysko and Patrick Hope). The two groups of students are participants in a year-long seminar called “The Science & Lived Experience of Autism.” This video captures highlights from their third in-person meeting. To see a video from a previous meeting, visit For more information about the collaboration, visit: and

See more at

Producer: Sarah Dodge

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Georgia)

Story by Atlanta parent Alison Auerbach who started The Connections School of Atlanta for students with autism to enable its graduates to seamlessly matriculate to and graduate from high school.

“These students, speaking and nonspeaking, will likely have to fight to be heard and understood for most of their adult lives. They’ll be stronger if they fight together, regardless of how they communicate. They need each other. And, I realize, they need a school where they can strengthen their individual and group voices as they learn,” said Alison Auerbach, founder of The Connections School of Atlanta. “Our teachers strive every day to help our students find and use their voices. Today the students learned they have the right to have a say on a national level — no matter what tools they use to say it.”


The (Ireland)

Sixteen-year-old Dublin, Ireland resident Fiacre Ryan describes what his daily life as an autistic is like and how Rapid Prompting Method has given him a way to fully express his thoughts and feelings.

“I am verifying people with autism when I write my thoughts. Each time the door opens on a new day I am doubted, but each day I prove my Einstein mind to everyone and yet they stop me using this intellect. Respect those who speak silent words, who have thoughts lost in their minds, and show them what each one sees as we tell our story.”


The Connection Newspapers (Virginia)

Members of The Tribe, a group of young adult nonspeaking autistics from the Washington, D.C. area, participate in a University of Virginia seminar on autism, and meet with state and local politicians.

“Gaining a fellowship, Jaswal created the seminar, ‘The Science & Lived Experience of Autism.’ It put 20 UVa students ‘on the front lines’ as Jaswal said, to examine studies in autism and work with stakeholders to create questions that reflect the interests of the autistic community. Jaswal included nonspeaking autistic peers along with his UVa students in the seminars. The autistics participated not as research subjects but were asked for meaningful comments on class readings, what was important in their lives, and input for study and advocacy program designs.”


Link to video (3:31):