Autistics Present Symposium: Essential Youth Voices

A few weekends ago, I had the privilege of attending the Autistics Present Symposium at Bellevue College in Bellevue, Washington. This year’s theme was “Essential Youth Voices,” and featured, with a few exceptions, all-autistic presenters between the ages of 13 and 22 (though a few were a bit older). I had a fantastic time at the conference. It was set up to be very autism-friendly and accessible (as should be expected from an autistic-led autism conference). This particular event is one I had heard quite a bit about in the past, so I was honored to give my presentation titled “Thinking with the Autistic Perspective.”

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Me outside at Bellevue College. I’m wearing a blue hoodie and standing crossing my arms under a lamp post with the Bellevue logo on it.
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Me outside the door with the Autistics Present flier on it. I am wearing a blue hooding and facing slightly towards the camera with the flier to the viewer’s right.

 

It turns out I actually do a pretty good job of public speaking. I often times have trouble speaking about things that are personal and things that are non-concrete, but I can speak fluently when I can simply read from a script. So I scripted my whole presentation out so I could simply read the papers. I practiced the presentation and made sure to time it up well within my 30-minute slot. I was a bit anxious going into it, but once I started giving the presentation I got into a good groove and I did really well presenting. It was probably the greatest presentation I’ve ever given in my life!

My presentation is about the importance of people taking the “autistic perspective” when working with autistic people, understanding the differences in processing that autistic people have rather than thinking of autistic people as simply broken non-autistics. Along the way I hoped to give people some good insights from things I had previously written about autism.

You can watch the presentation on YouTube here:

If you’d like the PowerPoint I used during the presentation, you can download that here:

Click here to download from MediaFire

I hope to have further public speaking opportunities in the future! Just another avenue for me to communicate a message of love, understanding, and acceptance.

Also, since Bellevue is basically a suburb of Seattle, I used Sunday to go to downtown Seattle and visit the MoPop Museum of Pop Culture and see the Space Needle, both things I have done before but I’m always excited to do again. I also had the best seafood dinner I’ve ever had at a restaurant right on the shore of the Puget Sound. The area up there is actually quite beautiful in the fall, which almost makes up for all the rain!

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Me standing on a street corner in downtown Seattle. The Space Needle is visible above me in the background. I am wearing a blue hoodie and black sweat pants. My arms are crossed in front of me and I am facing straight towards the camera.

Now that this little project is past, hopefully I can get some more blogs out before the next project comes! Thanks to everyone who took the time to watch the presentation and all those who have supported me on this adventure of advocacy!

One thought on “Autistics Present Symposium: Essential Youth Voices

  1. Quite an adventure, Quincy.

    And the best seafood meal ever?

    Yes – the Space Needle is exciting.

    Have downloaded your presentation.

    “Thinking with the autistic perspective” – oh there are so many! I hope many got heard and seen and felt and understood at Bellevue.

    And accessibility and inclusion – of course this is what we should accept!

    Liked by 1 person

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