When New York Times best-selling author and self-proclaimed “Free-Range Aspergian” John Elder Robison came to The Y.A.L.E. School’s Cherry Hill campus last November, students and staff demanded an encore. On April 30, 2012, Robison will return to Y.A.L.E. with his son Jack “Cubby” Robison, Jack’s girlfriend, Kirsten Lindsmith, and friend and colleague Alex Plank. All four guests are on the autism spectrum and delight in talking to kids and organizations to educate them about the true nature of people with autism and Asperger’s.
Plank is the founder of Wrong Planet, a blog hosting conversations for individuals on the spectrum. Jack and Kirsten, students at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, were recently featured in a New York Times article about their romantic relationship.
The four guests will present a panel discussion for students, focusing on interpersonal relationships at school, in the work place, and in the community, and talk about how to interact in those places. Later, Jack and Kirsten will host boy-girl small-group chats about dating. Alex, who graduated from George Mason University with a degree in Film and Video Studies, will then talk with students in the video production studio about using the internet as a springboard for media productions. John Robison will meet with teachers and staff to discuss the roadblocks he encountered within the public school system, and will describe how the school environment impacts students on the spectrum.