Let me tell you about my debut as a speaker this past spring (April 17, 2012)—it was awesomely fun and exciting. My presentation is like having my own “one-man show” and it doesn’t matter if people notice that I have autism. It’s called “Living With Autism: Breaking Through Barriers” and I use my personal story as a way to teach people about autism. The presentation is a power-point consisting of 28 slides filled with photos and visuals. I give lots of basic information about what autism is and how it can affect people, and at the same time, I show lots of great photos that illustrate what I’m talking about. At the end of the presentation, I do a really cool circus-arts performance to music and people always love that. It gets everyone excited—and I’m excited too—and so it’s a mega-blast.
Poi swings are an ancient game that comes from Polynesia — playing with them develops coordination and besides that, they are beautiful to watch. One of my neighbors who attended my presentation made a cool connection: he remembered me talking about how I used to mindlessly spin objects for hours on end if I wasn’t interrupted, and he said, “You’ve really transformed that need to spin things into something that’s quite wonderful. When you were little, you were spinning things to tune the world OUT; now you twirl poi-swings for the entertainment of others and you invite the world IN.” A neat perspective, don’t you think?