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.