Thank you Katie for inviting me to your blog. I divide my time in the autism community doing the following...
1. Teaching future educators, social workers, school psychologists on how to best educate those with autism as well as conducting research in autism as my job as professor of special education at Adelphi University.
2. Consulting, conducting workshops, and speaking about autism around the world. Interestingly I've found that autistic people are the same everywhere. Also, I've learned that where ever I go, no matter the location's economic status, there's always something to learn from what people in other lands are doing to support individuals on the autism spectrum.
3. Writing books, articles, etc. about autism.
4. During the rare times I am home I give music lessons to people on the autism spectrum.
One thing that has been on my mind of late is that we need to get off the deficit model of diagnosis and intervention in autism and move towards a more characteristics based approach of how we think about ASD(ifference). Doing so will encourage us to realize the considerable strengths people on the spectrum have to contribute to society and make it a better place for all. Combined with greater appreciation of what autism is, our knowledge of different ways of communication and other educational techniques, people on the autism spectrum leading fulfilling and productive lives can become the rule, rather then the exception.
Let's get to work and make it happen!