Hi. My name is Andrew Ackner. I am a proud Aspergers success story, an aspiring author, and stand-up comedian. One thing I would truly love to do is to help prove to the world that we can accomplish anything with our Aspergers given abilities, even things unheard of in terms of people on the Spectrum. I want to erase the idea from ideology that all people with Aspergers can only thrive in isolated fields with limited socialization. One thing I have learned in my short time in this world is that the story of one is almost always the story of many. If I can make friends, anyone on the spectrum can make friends. If I can think abstractly and write profound literature, so can anyone on the Spectrum.
I know that I am no exception to the rule, when through positive interventions and work ethic, I have accomplished what I have thus far. I am a fourth year student at Oakland University. And I live with my girlfriend in an apartment near campus. It's been a tough adjustment getting used to living away from home, with a girlfriend and having to work for a living, but because of interventions I had when I was younger I was able to learn how to navigate my constantly changing life.
Navigating through life as an Aspie has been, as always, a constant struggle but all of the interventions and knowledge I have acquired over the years, have made me more adaptable to every new environment I enter. I have been able to achieve in academics, keeping up with my fitness, having a good social life and following my own special interests. All of the experiences I have had have been so meaningful to me, experiences that everybody, especially people on the Spectrum should get to experience; although it is only fair to say that these doors should be open to everyone but not everyone has the skillset to be ready to walk through it right away.
I know that other people on the Spectrum can find themselves doing as much and more in all areas of interest to them if they set their minds to it and are given the opportunities to learn how!
As someone who with determination, has overcome so much and done things such as winning the 2008 Autism Society of Michigan Barbara Lipinski Individual Award, my goal as a self-advocate is to not only help make this world a better place for Aspies, but to make Aspies better people for this world.
"Andrew delivers a presentation which speaks from the heart and allows
the audience a very personal insight into a life with Aspergers
Syndrome. On the few occasions he has spoken to our audiences (of teen
or adult groups) he has kept crowds of up to 800 people captivated." - Bassie Shemtov, Founder Of Friendship Circle And Director Of Lifetown