Rebranding Autism

Patient Leader

I have autism. My story of being an advocate began after I left the Judge Rotenberg Center in 2009, advocating against electric skin shock to punish the behaviors of those with disabilities such as Autism Spectrum Disorder, which I myself endured for 7 years. I have spoken at several disability conferences and panels to inform professionals on the pain and mental anguish that myself and others endured because of the skin shock treatment. I began my online presence by posting videos to YouTube of my piano interpretations of popular songs. I was shy and did not want to talk much in my videos because I was afraid of being teased. But in 2017, my confidence had improved enough for me to start my YouTube channel, Rebranding Autism where I try to inspire my viewers to have confidence, get out of their comfort zone and try new things. Since starting this channel, I have become a motivational speaker, giving interviews and talks including at Easterseals of Southwest Florida, where I spoke to a class of young adults about confidence when growing up with disabilities. I recently worked with Amtrak to be a social media resident for their #AmtrakTakeMeThere campaign, and vlog about my experiences traveling on their trains as someone on the autism spectrum and was featured on A&E’s new series The Employables, which follows adults with Tourettes Syndrome and Autism as they search for meaningful employment in the community In addition to all these things, I enjoy being active in my local community, I am a member of Bayside Community Church’s worship team where I play the keys, and I enjoy volunteering at the Humane Society of Highlands County. In 2016 I was accepted into American Mensa I believe I have come a LONG way. From living in residential schools and state hospitals since the age of 15, to now having a greater level of independence. I used to have severe self harm, impulsivity and aggressive behavior, but now I'm able to let my true nature, humor and intelligence shine

Location

Wauchula, FL

Nominations

Best in Show: Youtube

Finalist

Best Kept Secret

Jen is one of the most talented individuals I've ever met. She is just a complete gem and I so appreciate her and have really enjoyed watching her evolve through the many gifts God has blessed her with.  — Tara

She's an amazing woman, very intelligent and kind! I've learned a lot about how someone with Autism sees the world, through Jennifer's eyes. She's instilled a sense of awareness and by doing so I feel I've become more patient with others around me, who may be in the Autistic spectrum.  — Amy

Rebranding Autism

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