Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Alex Plank’

Autism Talk TV – Episode 13

February 8, 2011 8 comments

This is a guest post by Alex Plank, an autistic adult who founded the online community Wrong Planet. Alex is a graduate of George Mason University.

Autism Talk TV is finally back from our extended holiday hiatus. This week we’re interviewing Bud Fraze, president of Playability Toys. We met Bud at the ASA conference in Dallas and instantly hit it off.

Bud shows us various toys he’s created for children with special needs. You’ll get to learn about a Buddy Dog, a Rib-it-Ball, and a Brain Gear. Playability Toys are designed to stimulate an autistic child’s sensory needs.

We originally wanted to include Bud’s interview in our famous toy episode, but decided he deserved his own show. Aspergian girl and production assistant Kirsten Lindsmith is guest hosting this episode with me. You may remember her from the original toy episode.

To watch this video on Wrong Planet visit here.

Sneak Preview of Robison’s New Book, “Be Different: Adventures of a Free-Range Aspergian”

January 31, 2011 11 comments

Autism Speaks Science Board member John Elder Robison, author of Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger’s, has a new book, Be Different: Adventured of a Free-Range Aspergian, that will be released in March. In this video, created by Alex Plank, John reads the introduction of Be Different, set to photos from his life.

For more information about Wrong Planet visit their site here.

 

 

Autism Talk TV – Episode 12

December 15, 2010 Leave a comment

This is a guest post by Alex Plank, an autistic adult who founded the online community Wrong Planet. Alex is a graduate of George Mason University.

Thanks for tuning in to the latest episode of Autism Talk in which we interview Elaine Hall, the founder of The Miracle Project in Los Angeles. Elaine worked in the film industry until she adopted an autistic son and decided to start the Miracle Project, a successful program in which autistic children sing and act and dance in order to promote learning and social interaction.

The Miracle Project is hosting a cruise for autistic children in June of 2011 which features music drama and dance. Stephen Shore will be on the boat teaching music to children.

Elaine and The Miracle Project were featured in the HBO documentary “Autism The Musical” and wrote a book about raising her autistic son entitled “now i see the moon.” Elaine generously granted us an interview in which she talks about her experience raising her deeply autistic son. In addition, Elaine explains The Miracle Project and her views about working with autistic children.

 

For more information on this episode, visit Wrong Planet.

Autism Talk TV – Episode 11

November 29, 2010 1 comment

This is a guest post by Alex Plank, an autistic adult who founded the online community Wrong Planet. Alex is a graduate of George Mason University.

If You Could Say it in Words is a great new film about an autistic protagonist Nelson and his experience with love. The film came out on DVD yesterday, November 23, 2010. In this episode of Autism Talk TV, I switch sides of the camera and get interviewed along with director Nicholas Gray and actors Alvin Keith and Marin Ireland about the project. Nicholas has graciously offered to allow approved nonprofits to screen the film for for benefits and community events.

I first learned about If You Could Say it in Words in October of 2006. I was contacted by the director, Nicholas Gray, who had found my interview of Heather Kuzmich from America’s Next Top Model.

After getting the chance to watch the film, I was very excited. I interviewed Nicholas, and actor Alvin Keith, at my home in Virginia. Shortly after the interview was published, I posted a review of the movie to Wrong Planet, in which I described the film as having “the most authentic portrayal of an autistic person that I’ve ever seen in the movies.” After I had posted these two articles to Wrong Planet, director Nicholas Gray and I became friends. Needless to say, I was very happy when he called me and told me that he had secured a distributor for the film.

Nicholas licensed my documentary ‘autism reality’ to include in the special features of the DVD for If You Could Say it in Words. In addition, he asked me to produce a documentary about the plight of the undiagnosed Aspie.

Nicholas has graciously offered to allow approved nonprofits to screen the film for community events. Some nonprofits have already taken advantage of this program. You can contactAdam Eisenstein if your organization is interested showing If You Could Say it in Words at one of your events. Contact aeisenstein@chipchair.com for more information.

Now, please enjoy episode 11 of Autism Talk TV!

Click here for more information about Autism Talk TV – Episode 11. Check out Alex’s work on Wrongplanet here.

Share


Autism Talk TV – Episode 10

October 28, 2010 4 comments

This is a guest post by Alex Plank, an autistic adult who founded the online community Wrong Planet. Alex is a graduate of George Mason University.

In this 18 minute episode of Autism Talk TV I sit down with Lindsay Oberman at Harvard Medical School’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center to talk about TMS, a technology that allows researchers to use magnets to affect the brains of individuals with autism. First we have an interview with Lindsay and then you can watch me undergoing TMS.

Lindsay discusses the details of TMS and how it relates to autism. She has been interested in autism since she was a graduate student and clearly has a passion for finding out how autistic brains differ from neurotypical ones.

I was surprised that the TMS researchers were able to use a magnet to move my hand and individual fingers. The region they affected on me was the motor cortex which governs movement. The idea that you can use a magnet to make changes to the brain sounds like science fiction, but it isn’t fiction at all.

Lindsay is close to conclusively figuring out exactly how autistic brains differ from neurotypical brains. There is great potential for TMS being used as a diagnostic tool as well as a theraputic tool. I think you will be fascinated by this episode of Autism Talk TV.

Check out Alex’s work on Wrongplanet here.

Share

Autism Talk TV and Autism Speaks

August 13, 2010 6 comments

This is a guest post by Marc Sirkin, Autism Speaks Chief Community Officer. Marc manages Autism Speaks social media, marketing, websites and online fundraising.

Since joining Autism Speaks it’s been one of my missions to start to bring the community together through the use of social media. We’ve invested in our Facebook and Twitter presence, our Ning community, our e-mail newsletters and two rapidly expanding and successful blogs – one for Autism Speaks and one for Walk Now for Autism Speaks. I am seeing some terrific conversations developing and platforms that enable the community to come together in a global conversation about autism.

At Autism Speaks, a big piece of our mission is to bring the autism community together as one strong voice to urge the government and private sector to listen to our concerns and take action to address this urgent global health crisis. Through social media, I am hoping to help move this along. You can read our entire mission here: http://www.autismspeaks.org/mission.php

A few months ago, John Robison and I started talking about how we can continue to drive a dialogue and to bring the different and disparate pieces of the autism community together. Right before the IMFAR conference, John called me to tell me about a young man named Alex Plank, who is the founder of Wrongplanet.net. John had spent some time with him and thought that Alex, despite his public criticisms of Autism Speaks, would be a terrific person to involve in this ever expanding conversation. After attending the GRASP benefit event and meeting Alex, I invited him and John to a meeting to discuss some ideas on how we might work together. I eventually spent an entire day with Alex, hashing through a bunch of very cool, social media ideas, including one terrific nugget that has now become “Autism Talk TV.”

The idea is simple really, Alex was already producing a show that would feature a variety of perspectives from the autism community and we wanted to help. Not only did we want to give Alex a chance at creating a successful web show, we thought he was terrific on camera and with a promotional boost, more people might enjoy tuning into his show. Alex’s lively and engaging style as a host felt right to us and we committed to doing some test shows and to act as a show sponsor to help promote the show.  As a sponsor, we have no creative or content control; we do not drive Alex’s content agenda, but will provide assistance where we can for access to guests and additional information as well as show promotion where we can.

Our expectations are simple: we hope Alex will produce great content in an enjoyable, web-based format and that he will build “Autism Talk TV” into a widely viewed, successful venture. At Autism Speaks, we continue to invest in the entire community and to continue to “listen” and engage the community from all corners. It is my hope that this show will drive forward the conversation and help the entire autism community come just a little closer to each other.

I think it’s already working… on our blog, Jessica wrote “Although it may be surprising to see WP partnering with Autism Speaks, if it’s for a project that’s creating greater understanding about ASD, it’s a good thing,” and Dadvocate wrote “I’m honestly delighted that Alex Plank’s WP is partnering with AS.” I know some may find this partnership confusing or concerning and I’d ask you to allow us to explore this new partnership and see how far we can take it together. Stay tuned for more Autism Talk TV!

Check out Alex’s work on Wrongplanet here.

Share

Introducing Autism Talk TV

July 27, 2010 9 comments

This is a guest post by Alex Plank, an autistic adult who founded the online community Wrong Planet. Alex is a graduate of George Mason University. (*Editor’s note: Autism Speaks typically uses person-first language. Alex prefers the term “autistic adult” to describe himself.)

After years of wondering why I was different from the other children, I was finally diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome at the age of nine. I tried to find other people like me on the Internet, but was disappointed at the resources available for connecting to other individuals with autism.

Consequently, I decided to create an online community for people with autism. I was living at my grandparents’ house at the time and they didn’t have internet access, so I had to ride my bike to the library just to work on developing the site. Since I started Wrong Planet, more than 37,000 people have registered as members.We get around two million page views per month.

I graduated from George Mason University with a bachelor’s degree in Film and Video Studies. My senior project was a documentary on autism. One thing I have always wanted to do is create a TV show about autism.

Autism Talk TV is a new online television show with the goal of spreading awareness and educating the public about autism. I created this television show because there really wasn’t anything like it in existence. Autism Talk TV will  provide in-depth coverage of all issues relating to autism. Jack Robison (John Elder Robison’s son) and I attend autism conferences around the country and document people’s stories in crisp high-definition video, which I then edit into seven-to-10 minute segments.

I am continually impressed by the diversity of the autism community. Autism Talk TV gives a unique look into the varied lives of individuals related to autism and provides insight for those of us already living with autism.

Autism Speaks and WrongPlanet.net have graciously agreed to sponsor Autism Talk TV and we hope this partnership will help our show to reach as many people as possible.

Here is the latest episode of Autism Talk TV, which features an interview with Wired magazine writer Steve Silberman, who wrote a very popular article called “The Geek Syndrome,” which chronicled the rise of autism in Silicon Valley. I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

Check out Wrong Planet’s YouTube channel, where Autism Talk TV is hosted.

Share

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,056 other followers

%d bloggers like this: