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Michael John Carley
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Michael John Carley is the Founder of GRASP, and the author of “Asperger’s From the Inside-Out” (Penguin/Perigee), “The Last Memoir of Asperger Syndrome” (TBD), and numerous articles. He and one of his two sons were diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome in 2000. More information can be found at

Entries by Michael John Carley

Autism Without Fear: Asperger's, Shootings, Healing, Guns

(7) Comments | Posted October 6, 2015 | 7:33 PM

Almost three years have gone by since the horrific Newtown, CT shootings, and here we are again: Ten dead, and 20 injured in Oregon. Yes, there have been school shootings in between (approximately one per week), but the similarities between Chris Harper Mercer,

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Autism Without Fear: Schools Need to Bring Back Skilled Trades--A Conversation With Temple Grandin, Ph.D.

(5) Comments | Posted September 25, 2015 | 6:30 PM

By Michael John Carley

In the last 10-15 years, K-12 education has seen many government-sponsored programs aimed at assessing the performances of teachers and schools, and to provide equal access for all students--including those with special needs. While some programs have worked and others...

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Autism Without Fear: Hold It--Donald Trump's a Moron on Vaccines? No. WASHINGTON'S a Moron on Vaccines!

(13) Comments | Posted September 22, 2015 | 11:57 PM

By Michael John Carley

I keep waiting for Republican presidential hopeful, Donald Trump's autism/vaccine comments to blow over, but the story won't die; and such an extended lifespan seems as dumb as his actual comments because this isn't the first time Trump has expressed this opinion,...

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Autism Without Fear: How 'Best Practices' Are Vastly Overrated in Today's Educational Environment

(15) Comments | Posted August 20, 2015 | 3:04 PM

"Best practices" are "best" defined as ever-changing educational methods, strategies and theories that are subjectively regarded as the most effective. And by "vastly overrated" I am not implying that "worst practices" are better than "best practices." But as an autism consultant employed by schools, the over-reliance I see on best...

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Autism Without Fear: When We Are Overhelmed

(1) Comments | Posted June 30, 2015 | 3:01 AM

The following is adapted with permission from a chapter I wrote for Michael P. McManmon's upcoming book, "The Autism and LD Toolkit" (Jessica Kingsley Publishers).

Over the last 18 months, all's been quiet on the front of autism politics. But David M. Perry's poignant article in the New...

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Autism Without Fear: Will 'The Player's Tribune' Introduce the First 'Out' Spectrum Pro Athlete?

(5) Comments | Posted June 2, 2015 | 6:23 PM

In case anyone's missed it, there's a social revolution happening in the world of pro sports.

In a natural extension of society, doing away with "the middle man" (such as publishing companies, agents, etc.), a website called The Player's Tribune (PT) has recently emerged that allows professional athletes to...

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Autism Without Fear: On the Twizzler Challenge and Other Populist Trends

(0) Comments | Posted April 8, 2015 | 1:46 PM

It started on Comedy Central's "Night of Too Many Stars," Meredith Vieira ramped it up with Willie Geist, Regis Philbin did it with Hoda Kotb, Matt Lauer did it with Kathie Lee Gifford, Jimmy Kimmel and Rhianna just did it......

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Autism Without Fear: Examining the Legitimacy of 'Autism Life Coaches'

(6) Comments | Posted January 30, 2015 | 6:04 PM

Over the last five years there's been a noticeable increase in folks with varying experience levels promoting themselves as "autism life coaches" -- people who advertise their services to adults on the spectrum, parents, or partners. A random Google search with those three words will attest to the present glut...

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Autism Without Fear: We Raise Money for Autism Research... But Not for Our Kids' Schools and Service Agencies?

(3) Comments | Posted December 19, 2014 | 12:09 PM

Many of us, as parents of spectrum kids, participate in "autism walks" or other events to raise money for autism research. But we don't volunteer anywhere near the same capacity for entities that directly impact our children -- our kids' schools or service agencies. Why?

Well, the research walks are...

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Autism Without Fear: A Reluctant Vote for Buddy Cianci

(0) Comments | Posted October 2, 2014 | 9:22 AM

I know. This is also a little outside the autism world, but I'm a born meddler, an Asperger brain really needs to weigh in on this election, and it's my embarrassing hometown.

In what is more surrender than endorsement, I hope Buddy Cianci wins the mayoral election. Yes, he's...

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Autism Without Fear: Is Corporate Use of 'Emotional Intelligence' Grounds for Discrimination Under the ADA?

(7) Comments | Posted August 26, 2014 | 6:29 PM

Many large companies utilize the concept of "Emotional Intelligence," the measuring tool that while first introduced by psychologists, Peter Salovey and John Mayer in 1990, only entered the wider lexicon after Daniel Goleman's 1995 book (also called "Emotional Intelligence"). In short, Emotional Intelligence is an attempt to measure a person's...

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Autism Without Fear: A Tribute to the Author, Nancy Garden (Or Really, to "Sandy and Nancy")

(1) Comments | Posted July 8, 2014 | 3:35 PM

Nancy Garden, author of the landmark young adult book, Annie on My Mind, died on June 23rd at the age of 76. Nancy was family.

Nancy's surviving, lifelong partner, Sandy Scott, is my mother's cousin. And during the summers of my youth, "Sandy and Nancy" were a short...

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Autism Without Fear: Goodbye, New York. Hello... Green Bay, Wisconsin?

(7) Comments | Posted June 27, 2014 | 4:59 PM

After 28 years in the big apple, our family is moving to Green Bay, Wisconsin. So much for the "Without Fear" aspect to this column!

The move is precipitated by the best of reasons -- family needs (in particular, my in-laws). And while such a transition carries risks, there are...

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Autism Without Fear: "Asperger Entrepreneurs"? Don't Entrepreneurs Have to Socialize with Potential Investors?

(4) Comments | Posted June 13, 2014 | 12:14 PM

Finally, a wave of companies are starting to see the benefits of employing individuals with Asperger's Syndrome (AS), a form of autism that often yields incredible abilities alongside the more well-known social challenges. Companies like Specialisterne USA, Aspiritech, and Elephant Ventures have found us to be an ideal labor source...

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Autism Without Fear: Don't Kid Yourself -- or Rob Your Kid: Sports Matter (Part 3)

(0) Comments | Posted April 23, 2014 | 7:06 PM

For Part One of this series, please click here.
For Part Two, please click here.

I recently took C.C.'s younger brother, Duke, to the high school Robotics Tournament at the Jacob Javits Center in Manhattan, wherein transpired a spectacle similar to pro...

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Autism Without Fear: Don't Kid Yourself -- or Rob Your Kid: Sports Matter (Part 2)

(0) Comments | Posted April 8, 2014 | 12:50 PM

Part Two of a Three-Part Series (for Part One of this Series, Please Click Here).

"Hey pitcher, you suck!"

The little sh*t was right.

I faced only five guys, and they all reached base before I pulled myself from the game. There were two walks, a...

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Autism Without Fear: Don't Kid Yourself -- or Rob Your Kid: Sports Matter

(0) Comments | Posted March 25, 2014 | 6:11 PM

Part one of a three-part series

When you grow up with any kind of developmental disability it means that you do not grow as everyone else does. Shut out of the rituals of your peers -- the "developmentally-appropriate" experiences others refer to -- you will grow in different, often unseen...

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Autism Without Fear: In the Autism World, Maybe You Just ARE a Bad Parent

(3) Comments | Posted March 6, 2014 | 11:21 AM

Criticizing parents is a taboo subject in the autism world, and there are solid, if not horrifying reasons why.

Whether impacted by autism or not, we are all the products of a very dark history in how we handle behavioral differences. And no matter what our beliefs about the...

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