January 2017 I was invited to be part of a panel of autistic adults for the Seriously.TV show Shutting Down Bullsh*t for an episode about autism stereotypes.
New York Times
In 2011, my boyfriend at the time, Jack Robison, and I were profiled in the The New York Times by Amy Harmon for an article called Navigating Love and Autism. What started as a small feature in the health section turned into a front page headline article, released the Monday after Christmas. Including a video titled Love on the Spectrum as well as a lengthy written story, it was incredibly well received. The article was later expanded into an e-book, called Asperger Love: Searching for Romance When You’re Not Wired to Connect.
H.O.P.E. number 9
In 2012, Alex Plank, Jack Robison, Mary Robison, and I gave a panel presentation called The Autism Spectrum and You at the hacking and technology conference Hackers On Planet Earth (H.O.P.E.). During our visits to the conference in the previous years we had joked that the autism rate “must be 90%,” or at least significantly above the 1 in 68 rate of occurrence currently estimated in the overall American population. Everyone we met seemed to display obvious autistic traits, and neurotypicals were scarce, if present at all. We decided to put together a panel to explain to the conference goers why they were probably autistic, and what this meant.
I still resent the fact that this is the only recorded talk or panel I’ve given that is available online, as this was definitely the “worst” I’ve ever done, due to the fact that I was so nervous that our audience wouldn’t be on our side. I’m usually much more calm and collected during these types of events! It turned out that my fears were completely unfounded; our talk was a big hit, and we were each swarmed with audience members afterward who wanted to meet us, talk with us, and ask us questions.
Autism Talk TV
Autism Talk TV is an online television show produced by Wrong Planet. It explores a variety of topics pertaining to autism, including interviews with lead autism researchers, advocates, and experts. And yes, apparent in the credits is the fact that we were given a no-strings production budget by Autism Speaks, because believe it or not they do sometimes invest in actual projects run by autistic people.
As this list includes only those episodes that include me (Kirsten) I encourage the reader to visit the Wrong Planet youtube channel to view other episodes of Autism Talk TV, and additional informative videos produced by Wrong Planet. When I first met Alex Plank, he and Jack Robison were the co-hosts of Autism Talk TV, and the two of them saw little reason to add a third host. My endless whining finally broke through, and they agreed to let me make a cameo in episode 9, saying I could “demonstrate inflating the toy ball.” Thus, my first appearance on the show (as a “techie”) was brief, strange, and comically absurd. I was a hit, and Alex quickly changed his mind about having a third host. Ha!