In honor of Autism Awareness Month I am continuing with my series of interviews with people who make a difference in the efforts to promote a greater understanding of this mysterious "disorder." Some people, including my next interviewee might not consider autism a disorder as much as a neurological difference. Stephen Shore is a well known advocate and author within the autism community. Stephen knows a lot about Autism Spectrum Disorders and part of that reason is that he is on the Autism Spectrum himself. Stephen has done much to educate the public about autism spectrum disorders and works tirelessly to do so. In fact, he was taking a break during an autism conference where he was presenting in order to allow me to interview him by telephone. It is my privilege and honor to present to you Stephen Mark Shore.
Thank you so much for agreeing to be interviewed Stephen!
Name: Stephen Mark Shore
Bio: Diagnosed with "Atypical Development with strong autistic tendencies" Dr. Shore was viewed as "too sick" to be treated on an outpatient basis and recommended for institutionalization. Nonverbal until four, and with much help from his parents, teachers, and others, Stephen completed his doctoral dissertation at Boston University focused on matching best practice to the needs of people on the autism spectrum. Recently, Dr. Shore has accepted a professorship at Adelphi University teaching courses in special education and autism.
In addition to working with children and talking about life on the autism spectrum, Stephen presents and consults internationally on adult issues pertinent to education, relationships, employment, advocacy, and disclosure as discussed in his books Beyond the Wall: Personal Experiences with Autism and Asperger Syndrome, Ask and Tell: Self-Advocacy and Disclosure for People on the Autism Spectrum, and the critically acclaimed Understanding Autism for Dummies. Stephen is also a fellow co-contributor to the book, Embracing Autism.
President emeritus of the Asperger's Association of New England, Dr. Shore serves on the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee for the Board of Directors for the Autism Society of America, Unlocking Autism, MAAP, the College Internship Program, and USAA.
Web Site: Autism/Asperger.net
Merely Me: How old are you Stephen?
Stephen Shore: I am 47.
Merely Me: We grew up in the same era then. I am 44. What were things like for you as a child? Did people understand autism back then?
Stephen Shore: I was hit with the autism bomb when I was 18 months old. When I was two and a half I was diagnosed with autism. It was recommended to my parents that I be institutionalized. My parents did not act upon this recommendation and did what today would be called an intensive home based program. My parents taught me using music, movement, imitation, and narration.