A few months ago, I blogged about Joseph Sheppard. Joseph was particularly inspiring. He was diagnosed with a high functioning form of autism in his forties. Instead of viewing this as a crutch, he looked at his diagnosis as liberating, referring to it as his “inner splendor.” I came across another article on CNN.com about Joseph with an update on what he has been doing in behalf of others with autism. (Read With autism, no longer invisible)
Sheppard is the co-director of Centre for Autism Research, Technology and Education (CARTe), along with Jim Tanaka, psychology professor at the University of Victoria. CARTe is involved in research and development of technology to improve social and emotional skills for children and adults with ASD. They are currently testing games for children to assist with facial recognition and interpretation. Tanaka refers to Joseph as “the visionary of our center.”
Joseph is also working on a publication called “Autism’s Own Journal.” This is set to be published in April 2013 and will include fictional and non-fictional stories about autism written by those with autism. This is probably just the beginning of the inspired work that Joseph Sheppard will do in his lifetime. The reason I believe him to be a hero is the fact that he wants to bring out the best in an autistic individual without looking to change them. What a powerful message!
For more information about Asperger Syndrome – Visit Asperger Syndrome Frequently Asked Questions.