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Listening to Individuals with ASD, ID, and their Families: Advocating Effectively

William Fitzgerald, and his mother Rina, joined us yesterday. William is starting his advocacy career as a young man with Down Syndrome. William runs a non-profit, William's Walk- Each year, William's Walk benefits local families in need during the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons.  A food drive is done to collect non-perishable food items, especially items for Thanksgiving and Christmas meals.  This occurs during the month immediately preceding Thanksgiving.  The food collected is walked in a symbolic 1 mile walk to be donated on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving through Loaves and Fishes and Second Harvest Food Bank in Charlotte , North Carolina.  The food is then shared with families in crisis during this time of year that can sometimes be very difficult on families in this situation. William is also a college student and Eagle Scout.

Tim Boykin is an autism self-advocate, author, singer, and influencer. With almost 40K followers on TikTok, Tim uses his platform to promote autism acceptance and bring attention to racial inequality. He has written a book, Timster's World: So what makes you so special? … is a graduating senior in college, and he also has a song out "Believe" on Spotify.

Robin Roscigno is the owner of AuTeach: Autism Education and Outreach; she is a public speaker, researcher and educator who helps parents and educators develop neurodiversity-informed practices to support people on the autism spectrum. Robin is presenting a TedTalk For parents, a child’s diagnosis of Autism can be both overwhelming & a relief. Now what? How do you create the best life for your neurodiverse child? Autism educator Robin Roscigno explains how the “Autism Industrial Complex” is taking advantage of parents’ fears & what we can do instead. Robin Roscigno is a PhD Candidate in Education at the Rutgers School of Education who specializes in the history of Autism intervention in the U.S. Her experience as a late-diagnosed Autistic woman, parent of an Autistic child, and educator with 10+ years of experience inspired AuTeach, her community outreach project about respectful, neurodiversity-informed parenting & teaching. AuTeach has reached 1M+ viewers on TikTok and has helped shape a new narrative around Autism. She enjoys movie nights with her husband, daughter, and miniature poodle, Blingo. Also, Robin is the NJDADD vice president.

William Fitzgerald, Rina Fitzgerald, Tim Boykin, Robin Roscigno

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