Saturday, June 25, 2011

Jerry Newport

Autism Light Classic
Updated on December 23, 2015.

Autism Light #4 is Jerry Newport.

Photo of Jerry Newport
Jerry Newport
Jerry Newport is 67 years old and has Asperger's Syndrome. He lives in the desert in Arizona. He was born on August 19, 1948. Jerry Newport is married to Mary Meinel-Newport. Jerry Newport is an Autism Light for his work as an author, speaker, and advocate for autism.

Education: Jerry Newport received his B.A. in Mathematics from the University of Michigan. He is considered a math savant because of his ability to perform complex mathematical calculations in his head (Wikipedia: Jerry Newport).

Author: Jerry Newport is the author of three books including, Mozart and the Whale, which is the story of how he met his wife Mary and also the subject of the 2005 movie, "Mozart and the Whale".  His other books are Your Life is Not a Label and Autism-Asperger's & Sexuality.

Quote: One of the humorous statements Jerry Newport has said is, "I know of nobody who is purely autistic, or purely neurotypical. Even God has some autistic moments, which is why the planets spin."

When interviewed by Rebecca Leung in 2009 Jerry Newport said,
Rather than being obsessed with trying to be in step with the world, I've come to accept the fact that in certain ways I never will be. And I just don't hate myself for it. I think that once I started learning how to love myself as I truly am, it made it easier for other people to love me the same way.
Jerry Newport is featured in a video about Autism and the Decision to Drive. Here is a promo to that video that is produced by Debbaudt Legacy Productions.

For more information on Jerry Newport, read these online articles.
Special thanks to Jerry Newport for being an Autism Light. His writing and speaking brings awareness on autism, especially Aspergers.

Autism Light honors diverse heroes to the world of autism. 

Photo: Photo in this post used with permission of the Webmaster that formerly maintained Jerry Newport's personal website.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Diane Soucy

Autism Light #3 is Diane Soucy

Diane Soucy founded the ADL Center after discovering her son Matthew had autism.  She now serves as the President of the ADL Center. Diane Soucy is leading ADL into new and innovative services to those with autism.  ADL stands for "Activities for Daily Living".

Diane Soucy writes this in her story on her website about being an autism mother, "I worked almost as hard as my Matthew to educate myself and get him the services he desperately needed. It was no easy battle, but it is paying off. Matthew has made steady progress, and makes tiny gains everyday. Along his journey is his family, for the roller coaster ride. Quite frankly, sometimes we, in turn, want to get off. But there is no getting off; we're on it for the journey."

Diane Soucy was interviewed on Comcast Newsmakers for a past Autism Awareness Month and the following video was produced about her.

Pepsi Refresh Project:  They have competed for several Pepsi Refresh Project fundraisers.
The following is a news story about a fundraiser the ADL Center had.

Social Media: Fund out more about the ADL Center and Diane Soucy's work at these social media places.
Special thanks to Diane Soucy for making a difference for autism. Diane's Soucy holds the distinction of being the very first autism mother to be featured on the Autism Light blog. 

Autism Light honors diverse heroes to the world of autism. 

Photo: Photo in this post used with permission of Diane Soucy.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

John LeSieur

Autism Light #2 is John LeSieur.

John LeSieur created the Zac Browser and is the President of People CD.  The Zach Browser is a web browser designed to help children with autism navigate the internet. The USA Today did a story on John LeSieur which can be found at this Website. This resource was created in order to help limit the frustrations of his grandson Zachary experienced when using the internet.  Zachary has autism. People CD summarizes the unique features of their browser by saying,
"The buttons are limited to essential functions and the browser prevents the child from accessing inappropriate sites. Children suffering from autism are known for being able to adapt easily to PECS (pictograms) so we designed an icon based navigation system like the PECS system."
  Below is the Associated Press story on this special web browser. 

Social Media: You can follow John LeSieur and his work at the following social media areas:

You may find out all about this special browser for computer users with autism on their home page at   A free download is available.  John LeSieur is an Autism Light because of the potential this browser has to help many children with autism experience the world of the Internet.  

Autism Light honors diverse heroes to the world of autism. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Autism Light Series Starts Today

Today we begin a series on heroes to the Autism community. Some have autism, others are parents or grandparents. Some are well-known and others live lives out of the spotlight. They come from all areas of the world and there stories can serve to inspire and help all of us, whether we are part of the autism community or caring members of society.

The Beginning of Autism Light

Welcome! Autism Light has been created to recognize and appreciate diverse people, corporations, and resources that are making a difference for autism. If you appreciate specific Autism Lights please feel free to leave a comment on their post. 

It is our belief that as we shine the light on autism it will enhance the quality of life for those with autism, and inspire those who interact with them in a professional or personal relationship.  This will bring benefits to all of society as the growing population of individuals with autism emerge into contributors of change, courage, and compassion. 

Here are some quotes that inspire us in this project.
  • God didn’t promise days without pain, laughter without sorrow, sun without rain, but He did promise strength for the day, comfort for tears, and light for the way (Unknown). 
  • Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all those in the house  (The Holy Bible-English Standard Version, Matthew 5:15).  
  • There are two ways of spreading light: To be the candle or the mirror that reflects it (Edith Wharton).  
In this project the blogger is just the mirror that researches and finds the Autism Lights. Join us on this journey by following us on Twitter, Facebook, Blogger, or if you are on Google+ and want to be in my Autism Circle let me know.

The Autism Light Social Media page lists places where you can connect with us through social media.

God Bless Those With Autism and those who Make Them Their Cause.


Carly Fleischmann

Autism Light Classic
Updated on June 9, 2012.

Autism Light #1 is Carly Fleischmann.

Carly and her Father Arthur Fleischmann

Carly Fleischmann is a teenage girl with autism who after years of being unable to communicate with the world is utilizing her computer keyboard to write and communicate with the world. Carly Fleischmann is from Toronto, Ontario, Canada and now that she has her voice is an effective proponent of autism awareness. Carly Fleischmann is an Autism Light for the way her assisted communication is opening a window into the thoughts of nonverbal people with autism. 

Carly's Voice website describes her amazing renaissance in this way:
At the age of two, Carly Fleischmann was diagnosed with severe autism and an oral motor condition that prevented her from speaking. Doctors predicted that she would never intellectually develop beyond the abilities of a small child. Although she made some progress after years of intensive behavioral and communication therapy, Carly remained largely unreachable. Then, at the age of ten, she had a breakthrough.

While working with her devoted therapists Howie and Barb, Carly reached over to their laptop and typed in "HELP TEETH HURT," much to everyone's astonishment. This was the beginning of Carly's journey toward self-realization (Source).
Awards: In June, 2008 she won the Multi-Cultural Achievement Award from MBC Global.

Carly's Voice: Carly Fleishchmann and her father Arthur Fleischmann co-authored the book Carly's Voice. It was published in April, 2012. The book may be ordered from Simon & Schuster and you can read excerpts at Carly's website at  The following is a video trailer for the book.

20/20: This 20/20 news story from YouTube shows that Carly has a lot to say and also shows some snapshots of how professionals and parents interacted with her during this amazing breakthrough. 
The Talk: Carly Fleischmann was interviewed by Holly Robinson Peete at The Talk in 2011. Holly Robinson Peete is Autism Light #100. Holly Robinson Peete has said, "Carly is--for me--autism's fiercest and most valuable advocate". 
Jewish Faith: Carly Fleischmann is Jewish and receives help from her faith. She was named Jew of the Week by Carly Fleischmann wrote, "Shouldn't religion be meaningful in our daily lives? My name is Carly Fleischmann and I'm proud to be a Jew (Carly Fleischmann, as Quoted by Jew of the Week)."
Other Articles: Here are some other news articles on Carly Fleischmann.
Social Media: You can follow Carly Fleischmann on the following social media: 
Special thanks to Carly Fleischmann for being an Autism Light. It is her renaissance as a young lady with autism that inspired the beginning of the Autism Light blog series back on June 22, 2011. There might never have been an Autism Light blog if it wasn't for her story touching the blogger and autism father who created Autism Light. Here's wishing the best for Carly Fleischmann.  Something tells us we'll be hearing a lot more from her in the future. 
Autism Light honors diverse heroes to the world of autism. 
Photos: The photos in this post were used with permission of Jessica Roth of Simon and Schuster.