If You Read One Book This Year, Make It This One!

I have some big news to share with my readers and followers…I wrote a book!

Education of An Aspie: College Through My Eyes is available right now on Amazon.com for just $2.99, for instant downloads on your Kindle, iPad or any other device that allows eBooks.

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Click here to check it out and buy a copy if you are interested!

Enjoy the book and thanks for checking it out!

– The ZEZ

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Saturday Night’s Alright in Australia!

Good Evening from Brisbane!

I can’t believe my journey down under ends tomorrow and I have to head back to America.

Today, on my final day in Brisbane, I met up with Garry Burge, who leads the Brisbane Aspie Adults Social Group.

We had a quick breakfast and then headed across the river towards Brisbane City Hall.
  
After getting to city hall, we had planned to go to the Brisbane City Museum that was located within city hall, but we arrived too early before it was opened.

At that point, we headed towards the oldest church in Brisbane, to check it out. First though, we stopped at a renovated Anglican church and along another side of the river to see the Story Bridge, one of the more famous bridges in the city.

   

   

After stopping at the Story Bridge, we went to the oldest church in Brisbane, to see a wooden carving of St. Mary MacKillop, the first canonized saint in Australia.

Next to the carving were pieces of her original coffin, from her death in 1909.

   
   
  

  
After we visited the church, we headed back to city hall for the Brisbane City Museum. At the museum, I took a short tour of the Brisbane City Hall clock tower, which had nice views of downtown.

   
    
   
After parting ways with Garry in the afternoon, I headed back to my hotel to pack and get some rest before my early morning flight home.

  
I’ve enjoyed my time greatly in Australia and look forward to returning in the future, to see other parts of the country.

Tomorrow I will have four different stops and plane changes before I get to Fargo, so I’m heading to bed early to be rested for some very long travel.

I’m hoping to get some good pictures of the Sydney Opera House from the airplane tomorrow, as the first leg of my flight home is from Brisbane to Sydney. We shall see what I can come up with. Seeing the opera house from the air won’t be the same as seeing it in person, but it will be neat regardless, if I can catch a glimpse from above.

Until then, Good Night from Brisbane!

-The ZEZ

APAC Day 3 – Awesome!!

Good Evening from Brisbane!!

Today was the final day of APAC and the most important one… I presented my lecture!

The day opened with great lectures by Dr Iliana Magiati who talked about autism and anxiety and Dr. Yuan Gao, a Chinese doctor who gave a great presentation about ancient Chinese wisdoms as it related to raising his son with autism.

   
 
After a follow-up morning lecture that I attended featuring a variety of people on the autism spectrum, it was time for my afternoon session and my lecture.

I was very excited to present my lecture and the audience turnout was great!

   
    
 The lecture went great and some of the follow-up questions I got from the audience, included questions about disability support services during college and asking about when I came to terms with my autism. I answered those questions separately, but can answer them on here in one statement.

In collge, I didn’t really seek out disability support services because I didn’t come to awareness terms with my autism really until I entered college. Before college, I thought of myself as normal, quirky, ZEZ. It wasn’t until college that I really owned my autism.

The conference ended with a Q&A with some of the main speakers throughout the week. It was nice to hear their different thoughts on many worldwide perspectives on autism.

  
After the conference, I returned to my hotel to rest a little while and then headed out to grab a quick bite to eat. 

I’m now back to the hotel room and eating my dinner while watching some rugby pregame coverage, among flipping through Australian TV. I figured I’d have to watch some Australian TV at least once during my trip.

Tomorrow I plan to meet up with Garry Burge, the leader of the Brisbane Aspie Adult Innovators Social Group, to do a little sightseeing on my final day in Brisbane.

My time at the conference has been wonderful and I met a lot of great people! Coming to this conference was absolutely awesome!

Until tomorrow…Good Night from Brisbane!

-The ZEZ

APAC Day 2 – Great!

Good Evening on a Thursday night from Brisbane!

The second day of the APAC conference was filled with more great lectures.

This morning started off with a few keynotes, including one main speech by American autism expert Michelle Garcia Winner, who specializes in a program called Social Thinking. She’s the creator of Social Thinking and she speaks around the world. Of course, I had to get a photo with her.

  
After Michelle spoke, I attended a session where Specialisterne Founder/CEO Thorkil Sonne spoke about the autism advantage as it relates to employment. In that same session, Peter Vermeulen, a Belgian autism expert, spoke about autism and positive thinking. Both great speeches!

   
 
After attending two afternoon breakout sessions, I walked to the Brisbane library to meet with the Brisbane Aspie Adult Innovator’s Social Group to hear a short talk by Thorkil. It was nice to meet members of the social group and get some extra time with Thorkil.

When the talk was over, I briefly stopped back at the conference center for the conference cocktail party, which was the final networking event of the conference, separate from the actual day itself. At this point, I introduced myself to Peter Vermeulen and a few other speakers from earlier in the day. As it turns out, my trip to Scotland next month, will have me meeting up with one of Peter’s good friends, who will be interviewing me for a Scottish online autism resource guide. It’s a small world after all.

I’m now back at my hotel and will soon be getting ready to call it a day.

Tomorrow is the biggest day of the conference for me…I get to give my lecture!!! I am very excited for tomorrow and look forward to sharing about autism and my college experience!! 

Until tomorrow…Good Night from Brisbane.

– The ZEZ

APAC 2015 Day 1 -Excellent!

Good Evening from Brisbane!

The first day of APAC 2015 was today and it was great!

I began the morning by getting my conference materials including my name badge, conference program book and conference satchel. Not a bag, mind you, but a satchel! You know you’ve made it when your name is in the conference program. 

   
  
The women who took my picture in front of the welcome sign ended up talking with me for a good 30 minutes before the opening keynote. She has a teenaged son on the spectrum and we had some great conversation to begin the day. We ended up sitting together during the opening keynote.

  
That was followed up by probably my favorite session of the day when I got to see Dr. Tony Attwood talk about Aspies and relationships. After his lecture, during the Q&A period, I asked a question about disclosing ASD to your date or new girlfriend when you begin a relationship. His advice was to wait until the relationship has started up a bit and then find a trusted friend or family member to discuss the best possible disclosure time with. He also said the disclosure time depends on the situation and how things are going with the person that I’d be dating. I’ve always struggled with disclosure and dating, so to get advice from one of the best Asperger’s experts in the world was very nice.

 When I ran into him later in the afternoon to get a photo together, he referred to me as “relationship question guy” and told me I’d be just fine in the relationship quest. Getting a photo with Tony Attwood was pretty special!

   
 
After the Tony Attwood presentation this morning, I ended up having lunch with a conference attendee from Wisconsin, who now lives here in Australia and has a young son on the autism spectrum. It was neat to meet someone from the Midwest here in Brisbane. It just goes to show you how small the world really is.

My lunch and my brief afternoon encounter with Tony Attwood, was followed by a short tea time with Specialisterne Founder/USA CEO Thorkil Sonne. Meeting the founder of the company you work for is an exciting experience and I was honored to meet a man who is doing great things for the world when it comes to employing people on the autism spectrum.
  
As the day comes to a close and the sun has set on Brisbane, I am looking forward to another exciting day tomorrow at APAC.
Good Night from Brisbane Mates!

Until tomorrow…

-The ZEZ

Hello Brisbane!!

I’m officially in the Land Down Under, Australia!!!

I arrived just before 7am this morning, Brisbane time, after some crazy flights.

I’ve spent the morning getting acquainted with the area around my hotel and walked across the bridge over the river, to the main outdoor shopping area for downtown.

Unfortunately, my hotel doesn’t have free wifi, so I’m writing this from a bench downtown. 

Here are a few photos from my journey so far. Check out the movie I watched on the flight over, it was called X + Y and was about a young man with Asperger’s. I think it’s on Netflix, so if you can, check it out!

  

  

    
    
   

Australia Here I Come!

Good Morning!

Today is the day and the wait is finally over! This afternoon, I’ll be heading to Brisbane, Australia to speak at the 2015 Asia Pacific Autism Conference.

This will be my first trip to Australia and I can’t wait to see the country. Follow along all week, as I’ll be posting photos and videos here on The ZEZ Connection and on my social media pages.

Australia, here I come!

– The ZEZ