Keynote Speaker --
John Elder Robison
John Elder Robison grew up with Asperger’s Syndrome, and was undiagnosed until the age of 40. He nevertheless lived an incredible life. In his new book Switched On, he describes how a powerful brain therapy has allowed him to sense others’ feelings, and claim a newfound emotional intelligence. A leading voice on autism, he implores audiences to find strengths where others see weaknesses.
John Elder Robison is the Neurodiversity Scholar in Residence at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA. He is an active participant in the ongoing discussion of ethical and legal issues relating to autism therapy, services, and intervention. He is particularly interested in improving quality of life for those people living with autism today—both autistic people and family members. He’s been a member of the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee of the US Department of Health and Human Services, and he serves on other boards for the US National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control, and private organizations. He’s co-founder of a high school program for teens with developmental challenges in Springfield, MA.
In his younger days Robison worked as an engineer for KISS and Pink Floyd’s sound company, and worked on some of the original electronic games at Milton Bradley. Later on he founded J E Robison Service—a restorer of Land Rover, Rolls Royce, and Mercedes motorcars.
Robison’s books Look Me in the Eye, Be Different, and Raising Cubby are the most widely read accounts of life with Asperger’s in the world. His books have been translated into more than fifteen languages, and they are sold in 60+ countries. His newest book—Switched On: A Memoir of Brain Change and Emotional Awakening—was published in March 2016. Robison has also authored or contributed to over 100 autism-related articles. (Bio from The Lavin Agency)