So as some of you may know, I did a conference with Kennedy Krieger Institute with my sister, Caroline. The conference was today, and readers, I gotta tell you…I couldn’t be happier with the way it turned out! I was humbled to be there, and as it turned out, people actually cared about what I had to say. Now I have to give credit where it’s due. It wasn’t all me. Caroline was an integral part of the presentation. I could not have done it without her! So Caroline, thank you. I can talk to people, no problem. BUT when I have to talk about only one particular thing for an hour and a half, roughly, it’s hard. Caroline kept me on topic. Although I gotta say, once I eased into it, this was kind of just another day at he office for me. I love my role in the Autism community! The feeling of knowing I am making a difference in someone’s life…or at least a little impact…is irreplaceable and something I cannot explain. It’s like a high to me. I felt I was almost levitating today, presenting, if that makes any sense. It was interesting to hear Caroline’s perspective compared to mine. Because it wasn’t just me that had hardships. Caroline went through some shit, too. But we have come a long way since our younger years and have accomplished so much together and apart.

I have to take a second to thank Dr. Rebecca Landa for giving us this opportunity. It was such a huge deal for me to be asked to present for her and an honor. Dr. Landa, if you are reading this…thank you. For everything. Even today, Dr. Landa told me that we were meant to find each other. Maybe fate introduced us, or maybe it was just luck or chance. Either way I am so humbled that a specialist known throughout the United States, and maybe further, included me in her plan for Autism world domination. (Just kidding!) But in all seriousness. Dr. Landa…thank you so much! You are such an amazing person and I am honored to know you and count you as one of my allies!

I also want to say I am very lucky that I am so “Mr. Popular” in the Autism community. During our presentation today, Caroline said that if you Googled my name “Tom Whalen Baltimore” I am the third result on the first page! I found if you Google “Tom Whalen Autism”…I am first. I didn’t realize what an impact my work has had on the Autism community and I am flattered to know that people are searching this and seeing my name crop up. Who knows? Maybe my little dream of owning my own advocacy business isn’t just a dream, but a definite possibility. At least, I hope so.

Anyway, thanks for reading. As always, feel free to write in and let me know what you think of this topic. Thanks again to everyone who has supported me over the years and I won’t forget you little people if I ever make it big! This is, so far, the biggest opportunity I have ever gotten and I hope another invite comes my way soon!


Author: AuTom Spectrum Blog

I have Autism and am a self-advocate and public speaker. On the side I do stand-up comedy. I live in Baltimore County and have an AMAZING girlfriend

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