Great Tips on Public Speaking

Giving a talk is probably the autistic’s worst nightmare, but with careful prepping very little can go wrong. Here’s a straightforward blog post on ‘How to Rock Your Next Talk’ by Eric Karjaluoto, Creative Director at smashLAB. Just lots of practical tips, no BS. The excerpt below is typical of his down-to-earth advice:

I rehearse my completed talk a good 5 times before leaving home and I re-read my presentation on the plane. Upon arriving at my destination I go to the hotel, shut the door, and move the furniture. I walk that room back and forth like I’m on stage, and I practice until I feel that I could deliver my presentation without any slides. I even turn on the television—as a deliberate distraction—and practice my talk with the TV running in the background (good practice for when someone’s mobile phone rings during your presentation).


‘Night of Too Many Stars’ Benefits Autism

Comedy Central’s Night of Too Many Stars this year is supporting autism programs in the United States through New York Collaborates for Autism. Donate here.

1 in 88 children are now diagnosed on the autism spectrum. There are not nearly enough schools and services available to this rapidly growing population. While many great organizations focus primarily on research, Night of Too Many Stars and NYCA raise funds to support autism schools, programs and services all over the country. Our focus is to help those living with autism right now. Since 2006, Night of Too Many Stars has raised over $14 million, giving autistic children and adults the chance they deserve to learn, to contribute and to live the fullest lives possible. Too many more still need our help – thanks for being there for them! [from the website]

Polaroid’s Back


My first camera was a Polaroid, those shoot-and-print gizmos that give instant gratification. Now they’re back, sort of. With the advent of digital photography, instant cameras seem a little redundant. But Polaroid still attracts plenty of enthusiasts, who like the distinct experience of using it, and the way the photos look. The Impossible Project sells re-conditioned original Polaroid cameras and brand-new film to go with them!

7-Year-Old Autistic Boy Wins Fashion Design Award

Torenzo Monopoli from New Zealand, a 7-year-old schoolboy with autism, won the avant garde award in the school section at the Hokonui Fashion Design Awards this year. He also won the Nelson Nouveau Design Awards’ under-10 category last year. Needless to say, Torenzo has already been spotted by a designer, Annah Stretton. Source: Nelson Mail.

Torenzo’s winning entry at the Hokonui Fashion Design Awards

Autism Speaks PSA Featuring Fashion Designer Tommy Hilfiger

Tommy Hilfiger’s daughter and stepson both have autism. The fashion designer recently appeared in a public service advertisement (below), to emphasise the importance of early diagnosis and intervention. This is what he said about it (from the Daily Mail):

The government is not involved in it. People aren’t donating enough money. There’s not enough research …

There’s no cure. It needs help, so we’ve become involved.

Discussion Forum on Nonverbal Learning Disability

If you’d like to be part of a conversation on NLD, here’s a great discussion thread on the LD Resources website, essentially a series of comments on a post by someone with NLD. Below are some excerpts from the original post, a too-common experience of someone with the disability:

My name is Robert. I’m 51, live in the Canadian province of Quebec, and was diagnosed as having a nonverbal learning disability when I was 42 …

As a child and adolescent I was a loner because I didn’t have the strength, coordination and social skills to make many friends …

I managed academically in high school, college, and graduate school as long as I was able to avoid math and physics …

I hit my first real brick wall when I tried to work after finishing a Master’s Degree in Guidance and Counseling. I had no way of knowing that a helping profession is much more difficult for someone with NVLD because of the difficulty we have with affective communication (reading other people’s social cues correctly and communicating the right cues ourselves) …

To scrape by (so far), I have been a member of a translation cooperative (we are paid by the word) for almost two and a half years. I do translation and proof-reading for the coop. The work is only occasional and, for this reason, I can’t earn enough money to live without constant worry.