A young leader in the bid to raise awareness of Autism will be taking part in the 2012 Geneva Centre Symposium this fall. Daniel Share-Strom is a professional public speaker who has addressed audiences at Queen’s University, York University, Centennial College, the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Southlake Regional Health Centre, York Region’s public and separate school boards, Kerry’s Place Autism Services, and Autism Ontario. He was a featured speaker at the provincial government’s Autism Symposium, and stages his own speaking events to raise awareness of Autism Spectrum Disorders in the GTA.
Now 22, Daniel is a sought-after Asperger’s educator and advocate who has been moving audiences with his self-awareness, poignant insight and humour for the past seven years. “I talk about stuff that really matters—things your doctor doesn’t tell you and teachers don’t know,” says Daniel, who was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome at age 10.
Disturbed by a lack of knowledge of higher-functioning autism among educators, Daniel developed a presentation to inform teachers, ease their concerns, and give them tangible strategies to use in the classroom to support students with Asperger’s and PDD-nos.
Along the way, he learned that his infatuation with the microphone—a favoured activity—could translate into a part-time job. Good thing, because Daniel’s ASD made it tough to get a part-time job: difficulties with social interaction, poor eye contact and a monotone voice made job interviews a challenge, and fine motor skill impairment meant you didn’t necessarily want him taking your coffee order.
Daniel’s symposium discussion will focus on the importance of nurturing special interests and talents in individuals with ASD. “Parents play the major role in determining whether we feel capable or inept; weird or unique; focused or obsessed. Parents and teachers must find ways, using our areas of special interest, to bait us toward new experiences, new possibilities, and career options.”
A self-described ‘obsessed gamer’, Daniel has parlayed that love of video games into a career as a video game journalist, writing news and reviews and travelling to Los Angeles to preview new games and systems at the Electronic Entertainment Expo, E3. He continues to work as an Asperger’s educator and advocate, travelling to schools and parent groups to spread his message of hard work and hope.
Daniel is now co-writing a screenplay based on the lives of young people with Asperger’s Syndrome.
Title: Navigating the World of Work While Living with an ASD
Date: Friday, October 26, 2012
Time: 10:30am - 12:00pm
Session: Session #18