Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Craig Evans

Autism Light #178  is Craig Evans.



Craig Evans is a marketing instructor at Dakota County Technical College in Rosemount, Minnesota. When he met his future stepson Nolan he was inspired to create an amazing website and gathering place for the autism community known as Autism Hangout. Nolan has Asperger's Syndrome. Craig Evans is an Autism Light for all he does to help the autism community foster community, increase awareness, and keep abreast of the latest resources related to a diverse range of topics impacting autism.

Craig Evans vision for how Autism Hangout could be a valuable website really started nine years ago when he met his future stepson Nolan. Nolan has autism.  Craig Evans writes this about Nolan.
I've always called Nolan my "Courageous Son"...partially for how well he faces his sensory challenges, but more so because of the unique person he is. Like his Mom, Nolan is a creative, optimistic, nature-loving human being. He's compassionate, bright, funny and one of the most incredible people I will ever know. Had it not been for Nolan, I would never have discovered this amazing population of people. My world has been forever changed for the better knowing autism. 
Craig Evans is the co-founder of Autism Hangout. Autism Hangout started on July 4, 2008. There are presently 2,500 members comprised of teachers and professionals, caregivers, parents and people with autism. According to the Autism Hangout website, "AUTISM HANGOUT is an online discussion forum that reports news, compiles facts and community-submitted personal experiences and invites ongoing discussion to discover insights on how best to deal with the daily challenges of autism (Source).  Craig Evans also says that, "Anyone with insights on how to thrive today (with autism) is welcome to present their product/service/information in the form of a 'special report'." You can find Autism Hangout at www.autismhangout.com.

Autism Hangout also provides a library of resources such as information on a variety of themes such as autism apps, and the workplace for people with autism. Part of Craig Evans' resources at Autism Hangout includes creating videos of interviews he has with news makers in the autism world. He connects with them live through a SKYPE and a webcam and likes to feature positive developments. Autism Light asked Craig if he could select one of the over 450 videos from the Autism Hangout collection to share in this post. Craig Evans chose the following video on Lois Brady, a author and speech and language pathologist. He believes she is "a typical example of the extraordinary compassionate, humble, loving, and competent people found in circles of folks working with people on the spectrum."


It is free, quick and easy to sign up and begin creating a footprint at Autism Hangout that will allow social interaction with others concerned about autism. The Autism Hangout format of having members create community for autism is very similar to the concept of the popular Wrong Planet at www.wrongplanet.net. It came as no surprise when Craig Evans mentioned that one of the favorite websites he likes to recommend is Wrong Planet. Alex Plank, the founder of Wrong Planet, was Autism Light #74.

Although previously an author on the future of marketing and television ("Marketing Channels: Informercials and the Future of Televised Marketing-Prentice Hall, 1993), Craig Evans will soon be an author on autism.  He is presently working on a book with Dr. Tony Attwood and Anita Lesko called Been There. Done That. Try This! - An Aspinaut's Guide to Life on Planet Earth. 

Autism Light asked Craig Evans if he had any words of encouragement for the autism community. He wanted to share this: Learn! Share! Thrive! We can all help each other to find joy in living with autism. It's there.

Special thanks to Craig Evans for using his gifts in technology to help people in the autism community to stay connected even though miles separate us.  Though we may live in separate states or countries we know that there is a special bond among those members of the autism community and hopefully the freedom to connect will only increase in the future. We look forward Craig Evans helping lead the way at Autism Hangout in the future changing world of technology.


Related Posts: If you like this post, you may enjoy these others on people who founded other autism social networking sites. Like Autism Hangout each fulfills a unique niche'.

Autism Light honors diverse heroes to the world of autism.

Photo: The photo in this post is used with permission of Craig Evans.

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