Excerpt from a speaking engagement for Autism Awareness Australia: “Five lessons I wish I’d learned growing up with autism”, delivered at Sydney Opera House on 5th April 2018 (subtitles available).
Since leaving teaching I have become an international speaker, providing regular talks and training on autism-related issues (as well as author visits to schools). To date my audience range has included:
School staff teams
Students themselves (mainstream and specialist)
Companies/corporations (e.g. Invesco, Just Eat, Yahoo, Toyota)
National Autistic Society branches (also co-chaired the 2019 Autism and Mental Health Conference)
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 I’m based in the UK, I also take on international engagements.)
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!), or via Autistic Not Weird’s Facebook page.
Testimonials from professionals:
I really think you’ll soon be one of the most influential voices in the autism world.
-Travis Saunders, education consultant and autism advocate, following the Sydney Opera House event.
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.
Hearing Chris talk was the best hour of my Friday.
-Support worker (MacIntyre No Limits), Oxford
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 parents:
You may very well have saved my daughter’s life, and I say that with no exaggeration.
You have profoundly changed my attitude to how I take care of my autistic child. I was so negative before now.
–Parent in Milton Keynes
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
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.
You are good at talking.
Again, please contact me via “chris [at] autisticnotweird [dot] com” to organise an event. 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