In honor of National Autism Awareness Month, AEI is profiling speakers that are perfect for raising autism awareness at your next April event. Each of these speakers has a strong connection to autism and heartwarming stories to share:
Dr. Temple Grandin: Dr. Grandinis a speaker who inspires and motivates others through telling her story. She is the most accomplished and well-known adult with autism in the world. Now her challenges and successes have been brought to the screen with the HBO full-length film Temple Grandin, starring Claire Danes. Dr. Grandin has been featured on NPR and major television programs, including ABC’s Primetime Live, The Today Show, 48 Hours, and 20/20, and has been written about in many national publications, including Time, People, Forbes, and The New York Times.
Dr. Grandin’s current bestselling book on autism is The Way I See It: A Personal Look at Autism and Asperger’s.
Holly Robinson Peete: Actress, author, talk show host, activist and philanthropist, Holly Robinson Peete has had an acting career that has led her to becoming a voice for her father, son and community. In 1996, Robinson Peete and her husband, former NFL quarterback Rodney Peete, formed the HollyRod Foundation, inspired by her father’s courageous battle with Parkinson’s disease, with the mission to help improve the quality of life of people with Parkinson’s. Then in 2005, inspired by their oldest son’s autism diagnosis, HollyRod Foundation’s mission expanded to provide access to treatment, support and other resources to disenfranchised families affected by autism.
In 2010, Robinson Peete released her second book, an Image award winning children’s picture book about autism from the sibling’s perspective, co-authored by her daughter, 12-year-old Elizabeth Peete, entitled MyBrother Charlie (Scholastic).

Coach Jim Johnson: High school basketball coach, and motivational speaker Jim Johnson tells the inspiring story of helping an autistic player on his team make his dreams come true. Their story is being made into a major motion picture by Columbia Pictures. Johnson’s inspirational talks about the power of the human spirit have influenced audiences nationwide. He has been featured on Oprah, and been invited to meet with Former President George W. Bush, and Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

In 2011 Johnson released a book entitled A Coach and a Miracle: Life Lessons From a Man Who Believed in an Autistic Boy.

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