Excerpt from a training seminar for MacIntyre No Limits in Oxford: “Autism, from an autistic perspective”.
Since leaving teaching I have become a professional speaker, providing regular talks and training sessions on autism-related issues. My talks specialise in detailing the perspective of those growing up with mild autism or Asperger Syndrome, and have received unanimous positive feedback.
I have found in my experience that, although there are many autism experts offering to provide training, there are disproportionately few:
- Speakers who are actually on the autism spectrum themselves,
- Speakers on the spectrum willing to confidently talk about their perspectives to large groups of adults,
- Autistic individuals with teaching experience in multiple areas of the education sector.
My talks have been described as ideal for those who work alongside people with autism (especially those who are unable to express or uncomfortable talking about their own issues), and those who want to develop an understanding of what the inside of an autistic mind is like.
I am an ex-primary school teacher with experience in special education; therefore I have both professional experience with autism and Asperger Syndrome, and a genuine love and drive for spreading awareness of life on the spectrum.
Testimonials from professionals:
“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
“I hugely enjoyed your presentation last week. I have seen a handful of other speakers on the spectrum talking about their experience living with autism. However I have never heard anyone explaining the “mild autism” phenomenon. I especially like your explanation that mild does not mean less problematic and I often try to explain this to others. You are an absolute natural!” Support worker (MacIntyre No Limits), Oxford
“I found the content very useful on a personal and professional level.” Support worker (MacIntyre No Limits), Derby
“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
“We got lots of positive feedback from everyone at the meeting – adults and teens. Your presentation was great, it was brave of you to open up to questions and a lot of the teens really appreciated being able to go up to you afterwards to chat.” Parent in Lewisham
“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
“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).
To organise a speaking engagement, please contact me via firstname.lastname@example.org. (Temporary edit- this email address has been unreliable as of late. While I get to the bottom of this, you are welcome to use email@example.com)
I always respond, 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.
Copyright © Chris Bonnello 2015-2017