Authors Diane Mayer Christiansen and Jackie Christiansen share their personal journey with autism. Missed social cues, extreme lack of filter use and anger issues are just a few of the problems they face.
"Our journey has had so many twists and turns. Just when you think you've got it right, another ASD wrench is thrown into the mix. But the journey has changed who I am and has made me a better person."
Some topics include:
What ASD Looks Like Behind Closed Doors.
How To Be A Friend To A Person With ASD.
How My journey With My Son Changed Me.
Valuable Lessons We Can Learn Through Struggles.
How To See The World Through ASD Eyes.
Price Range: $300-2000
Gig Length: 40 - 90 minutes
What to Expect
Christiansen speaks both with her son Jackie and also alone. The presentation can range between 45 minutes to 90 minutes depending on the audience. They have had speaking events at schools, libraries, teachers conferences, book stores, and even senior living facilities. The presentation can focus on a variety of subjects including:
Autism, A Personal Journey--Learn about what autism looks like through personal stories.
Embrace The Struggle--Lessons of Autism
How To Be A Friend To A Child With ASD--The use of words and how they impact others.
What Fight Are You Fighting--Understanding The Importance Of Letting Go
Christiansen's main mission in her talks is to help others understand how to embrace the celebrations of every day. Her story telling creates a vivid picture into the mind of ASD and the devastating effects that it has in every day life. After her son's diagnosis, everything had to change. The dreams for the future, her parenting style and her view of the world all swirled around her like a dark endless tornado. The fight began, a battle of understanding, not only of her son and his issues but a fight to defend herself and her parenting choices. One battle turned to another and then another as the subtleties of autism changed in her son's mind. But even in the darkest times, little sparks of hope could be seen everyday. And these are what she grabbed onto.
Her son, Jackie, is now getting ready to graduate High School and there have been so many life lessons learned along the way. Celebrate the smallest things, be the best you and, yes, don't sweat the small stuff (even if it's not that small).
Diane Mayer Christiansen is the author of the book Planet A: a mother's memoir of autism spectrum disorder. She grew up struggling with the Neurological Difference Dyslexia. She was unable to read effectively all through her school years. She developed a passion for science in High School which encouraged her to pursue a degree in Biology at University. Ms. Christiansen worked at both the University of Chicago and Northwestern in their Bio Chemistry Laboratories for ten years.
After the birth of her son, Jackie, she made the decision to become a full time mom and writer. Her young adult fantasy stories center around children with special needs.
Upon Jackie's diagnosis with autism, Christiansen switched gears focusing on learning all that she could about this neurological difference, much different from her own.
"I was a mom but was forced into the roll of therapist, activist, and teacher. It quickly became clear that the majority of people that I came into contact with really didn't understand what autism looks like, both from the outside and from the inside of our lives."
She quickly began a mission, both to educate people with personal stories and to teach children to celebrate the special individuals that they are. This began with the creation of Jackie's Journal, a children's book largely written by her son and continues with the goal of learning to spread kindness throughout our schools, communities, and world.
PowerPoint set up useful
Microphone set up useful
Additional Booking Notes
PowerPoint set up useful
Microphone set up useful
Influences & Inspiration
With the introduction of Julia, the autistic Sesame Street Muppet, the pathway has been opened to speak freely about autism. High functioning autism is one of the biggest misunderstood neurological differences in the US. Through education that begins at the elementary school level, we can create awareness and understanding that will greatly impact ASD children in a positive way.
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