5 TED Talks on autism that will inspire you

Looking for some inspiration today?

June 04, 2015

Since TED Talks were first started by Richard Wurman in 1984, we’ve seen thousands of talks that have inspired our society. Over the past several years, we’ve seen more and more TED Talks focused on autism. With that, we wanted to share some of the talks we’ve highlighted on our site for our community to enjoy!

Want to watch more TED Talks? You can view a list of TED Talks on autism at TED.com here.

“Rising Pride”: TED Talk on Employing Adults with Autism


Since launching in April 2013, Rising Tide Car Wash has quickly made a name for itself in South Florida and beyond as a social enterprise that employs – and empowers – adults with autism. Entrepreneurs John and Thomas D’Eri have created a supportive environment where John’s son and Thomas’ brother, Andrew, and others on the spectrum can thrive as fully employed adults and achieve independence.

In this video, John and Thomas share the story of Rising Tide at TEDxCoconutGrove, an entity of the national TED program that engages communities to discuss world-changing ideas. You can learn more about employing individuals with autism through our new employment initative at TheSpectrumCareers.com here.

Teenager Gives Inspiring Talk on Finding Herself Through her Autism 

“People are so afraid of variety that they try to fit everything into a tiny little box with a specific label.”

Rosie King, a 16-year-old girl on the autism spectrum, recently did a TED MED Talk. Rosie believes that her imagination makes her different from any other individual she’ll ever meet in her life. You can learn more about our transition to adulthood resources here.

Sibling Shares What She’s Learned From Her Brothers with Autism

TED@London highlighted the story of Faith Jegede, the sister of two brothers on the autism spectrum. In the video above, she discusses how her brothers have helped her realize the extraordinary capabilities that those with autism can offer.

Faith says in her TED Talk, “You don’t have to be normal, you can be extraordinary. Because, autistic or not, the differences we have, we all have a gift inside of us.” You can learn more about our sibling resources here.

World-Renowned Artist with Autism and Mom Give Inspiring TED Talk

Tim Sharp is an Australian artist and the creator of  superhero Laser Beak Man. When Tim was diagnosed with autism at 3 years of age, doctors advised his mother Judy to institutionalize him. She did no such thing and worked with Tim at home in the hope of one day hearing him speak. After several attempts to communicate with Tim, she tried drawing – he was immediately enamored. Soon Tim began drawing. Then his love of superheroes led him to create his own caped crusader in the form of Laser Beak Man – a duck with a cheeky sense of humor.

You can read about some more amazing individuals on the autism spectrum via our “In Our Own Words” blog series here. Have a story you want to share about living with autism? Email us at InOurOwnWords@autismspeaks.org!

This Adult Was Once Nonverbal; Now He Has A Masters In Communications

“In this brave new world, we need to see college as a possibility for our loved ones on the spectrum.”

This is the main message of Autism Speaks staffer Kerry Magro’s TEDx Talk titled “The Will of Opportunity: The Path of Autism to College.” In the video above, Kerry talks about his early struggles, being nonverbal until he was two and a half and the obstacles he had to overcome to get to college. You can read more about our postsecondary resources here. Interested in getting involved with the cause from the college level? We have a college initative called Autism Speaks U that can help with that! See if there is a chapter on your campus or learn how you can start your own here.

What TED Talk has inspired you? Share with us in the comments!

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