I am an autistic author, speaker and a special needs tutor, formerly a primary school teacher, with both personal and professional insight into autism. I speak openly, frankly, yet positively, about how to build up autistic people to become the best we can be. Examples of common topics include insights into education from an autistic teacher, lessons I learned (or wish I’d learned) growing up on the autism spectrum, helping autistic clients in mental health contexts, and how to build up autistic young people inside and outside of schools.
Although based in the UK, I also take on international engagements.
“I really think you’ll soon be one of the most influential voices in the autism world.” Travis Saunders, education consultant, autism advocate, public speaker and former teacher of 20 years.
“Well done Chris! Great insights and information!” Sue Larkey, author and speaker about autism issues, and former mainstream and special needs teacher.
“Can we have you back?” Gareth Parry, CEO of Remploy UK (literally moments after I sat down at the end of my talk).
Testimonials from professionals:
“The staff are all raving about your training this morning. The general consensus is that it’s the best training we’ve ever had.” Teacher, primary school in Belfast
“Thank you for speaking at our AGM. We expected you were going to be good. As it turned out, you were actually awesome.” Managing director, Autism Concern Northamptonshire
“Was great to hear you talk today, what a brilliant event full of inspiration and awesomeness.” Foster carer, Kingston-upon-Thames
“Hearing Chris talk was the best hour of my Friday.” Support worker (MacIntyre No Limits), Oxford
Testimonials from parents:
“I don’t have to worry about my teenage son as much as I have been doing. Chris is very much like him.” Parent in Cardiff
“Great and inspiring talk… I wish all autistic kids could get a chance to hear him..” Parent in Derby
“As a parent of a child on spectrum, Over the years I have been to many talks and the speakers that always have the most impact on me aren’t the professionals but someone whom is on the spectrum. As a parent it can sometimes be hard to stay positive you can’t see where you’re child is heading. But to see you speak, to hear about your life, this has been encouraging and uplifting.” Parent in Tower Hamlets
“It’s an over-used word, but your talk was inspirational. I think our young people benefit greatly when they hear positive messages coming from someone like themselves (and, particularly, someone who isn’t their mum or dad!)”Parent in Lewisham
“Schools could really benefit from Chris delivering staff training to them.” Parent in Cardiff
Testimonials from young people:
“Hearing your advice tonight has helped me get on the right path. Thank you.” Rhys, 16
“You are good at talking.” Elijah, 8
To organise a speaking engagement, please contact me via “chris [at] autisticnotweird [dot] com” (obvious use “@” and “.” – I’m just making things difficult for the spambots!).
I always respond to speaking engagement requests, although please remember to check your junk mail folder. In the event that I don’t, I suspect it’s because your email has bounced: in those cases, I can also be contacted via Autistic Not Weird’s Facebook page.
Underdogs, a near-future dystopia series where the heroes are teenagers with special needs, is a character-driven war story which pitches twelve people against an army of millions, balancing intense action with a deeply developed neurodiverse cast.
Chris Bonnello is a national and international 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). Autistic Not Weird on Facebook