AoALIVE All #Autistic Panel talks about functioning levels, triggers, ableism and …

The Art of Autism is so grateful to all the participants who made AoA Live last week possible. Watch this autistic panel talk about subjects such as functioning levels, ableism, humor, triggers, and more.

Moderated by Keri Bowers.


Alix Generous

Alix Generous is a Scientist, Speaker, Author. Her TED talk “My Inner Life” has over 1.4 million views on TED. @GenerousAlix: #MentalDiversity.

Alix Generous’ childhood was hindered by undiagnosed Autism until she learned to harness her gifts. At 19, she won a research competition for her work in quorum sensing and coral reefs, which she presented to the United Nations in the fall of 2012. In November 2013, she was a youth delegate for the United Nations at their Convention of Climate Change (COP19) where she negotiated technology transfer and issues of medical importance. She has 3 years+ neuroscience research experience studying at the Medical University of South Carolina,Tufts University School of Medicine, and the University of Vermont.

Bryan Dunn

At 38 years old, Bryan is an art enthusiast who enjoys drawing animated Sci-Fi space aliens and characters, and of course, playing video games. Last summer, after a visit to an Art of Autism event where he saw the colorful paintings and ink drawings of other Art of Autism artists beautifully mounted in an outdoor area flanked by Bougainvillea, he knew he wanted to get more serious about his art ~ and his life. “I want more of this! I want to share and show my works based on my passion for Sci-Fi characters with others.” He recently told his family. The access and introduction to what he called “others like him” has accelerated Bryan’s interest in self-advocacy, and planning for his .

Bryan recently appeared on his first live interview with Gary Jesch of Autism Animated. The AoALIVE panel will be the first time Bryan has spoken publicly, and we expect we’ll be seeing a lot more of him in The Art of Autism collaborative.

Dan Rosien

Dan is an 11th grader who has participated in research about people who type to augment their communication. An intelligent kid with a lot to say via his iPad, Dan is currently a homeschooled 11th grader, and types with 8 people at this time.

Dan will be supported at AoALIVE to use his iPad device by an esteemed member of our Southern California community who has superior credentials in special education, but wishes to remain anonymous in order to put the spotlight on Dan’s voice at this event. Humble much? Go M!

Ikea Wilson

Film student Ikea Wilson, 23, is an artist and a musician. A recent graduate of Cal State University, Bakersfield with a bachelor’s degree in art and music, she currently attends Inclusion Films, a practical film school for people with disabilities in Bakersfield, California. Her film instructor at Inclusion Films is an inspiration to her, she says, because he “helps us a lot during class to get us started in the film industry.”

Ikea was a featured subject in last year’s documentary, Normal People Scare me Too. She is also inspired by Barack Obama “Not only was he the first black president, but he proved that anything is possible.” Wilson said she is happy with where she is at this moment, but “if it wasn’t for God, family, friends, and teachers I wouldn’t be where I am right now.” Read Art of Autism article about Ikea here.

Luis Tirado

Luis Tirado is an emerging artist, singer and actor with #autism on a mission: to be independent, self-determined and to help others on the autism spectrum. “Utopia & independence Through Art”

When Luis was 5 years old, he began to sculpt using clay. His precision and attention to detail has made his clay figures popular at many art shows. At 7 years old, he began taking classes at the Liceo de Arte de Puerto Rico and continued until he moved to California in 2009. Until 2012 he kept improving his skills and develops some new. He learned to use other painting medias such as oil pastels, watercolors and drawing cartoons. Currently, continues to develop his skills and expand his horizons towards digital media and computer animations. Although his communication and socialization skills have been impacted due to the autism, he lets you connect with him throughout the art.

Steve Andrews

Steve is the Founder and CEO of Platinum Bay Technologies, a software products and services company designed from the ground up to successfully employ Autistic adults in software engineering careers at market salary and benefits. With over seventeen years of experience, Steve is a successful software engineer and is a four-time Microsoft MVP Award recipient. Steve is a frequent speaker at over 130 events across North America and engages diverse audiences including families and individuals, educators, and business professionals. After discovering his own Autism in 2012 at the age of 33, Steve dedicated his life to creating.

We’d like especially, to thank all of the people and organizations that helped us behind the scenes to make this event a blessed reality. The Conejo Valley Friendship Circle/Chabad of the Conejo; Ability Productions; Rene Folse; Floyd, Skeren & Kelly; Autism Spectrum Supports, Parents of Children with All Special Needs (POCWASN); Kindling Studios and all the momma bears out there who support us every day in so many ways, we appreciate you. Thank you to Gary Jesch for creating four separate videos. See Gary’s website Autism Animated here.

2 replies on “AoALIVE All #Autistic Panel talks about functioning levels, triggers, ableism and …”
  1. Functioning level is an arbitrary term. Functional age comparisons (ie, stating an adult “functions at the level of” child or young teenager), are inappropriate, ignoring the stressors that may make someone act differently. Autistic people have our own way of doing things. Our sense of adulthood should not be measured up to what neurotypicals consider to be “age appropriate”.

  2. says: admin

    Nicole, if you watch the video at 1:11:36 Steve Andrews discusses this – its in the title because it’s discussed in the video.

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