Chris Bonnello is a former primary school teacher with Asperger’s Syndrome, who has also worked in special education. He is now an award-winning writer and speaker on autism issues, and author of autisticnotweird.com.
Bonnello was first assessed for autism in 1989, at the age of four. Despite a damning report into his deficiencies concerning speech, expressive language and social competence, he did not receive a diagnosis since he was not deemed severe enough by 1989 standards.
At the age of ten, an educational psychologist reported him as having a “slightly odd personality”. He grew up believing himself to be the weird kid, until his Asperger Syndrome diagnosis finally came at the age of 25. Since then, he has been able to turn his attitude around and define himself by his strengths rather than his weaknesses, and encourages other autistic people to see their own strengths.
Having qualified as a teacher and worked in both primary and special education, he left the profession and launched Autistic Not Weird in April 2015, to share his insights from both a personal and professional perspective. At time of writing (November 2017) autisticnotweird.com has had 1.3 million page hits, and his Facebook community stands at 67,000 followers. He also has growing followings on Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. As of July 2017, follower support on Patreon allowed him to quit his day job to write for Autistic Not Weird.
Bonnello delivers talks (nationally and internationally), has been nominated for two awards to date (winning one), has played chess internationally (winning nothing), captains his local Boys’ Brigade company, and published his first book in 2016.
His personality remains slightly odd.
Winner, Top Journalism Award – Autism Hero Awards 2017
Nominee, Positive Role Model (Disability) – National Diversity Awards 2017
What We Love Most About Life: insights from 150 young people across the autism spectrum – art/design by Nancy J. Price, 2016.
‘Hide and Seek’ in Monster Anthology, 2016.
‘The Book of the Bystander’ in Bystander, 2017.
BSc (hons) Mathematics with Education (University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 2007)
PGCE Primary Teaching (Nottingham Trent University, 2010)
MA Creative Writing (Nottingham Trent University, 2017)
Chris Bonnello is an autism speaker, available to lead talks and training sessions from the perspective of an autistic former teacher. For further information please click here (opens in new window).
Copyright © Chris Bonnello 2015-2017