ABOUT J.R. & SHANNON
J.R. got overwhelmed with the sensory overload and life in Southern California, so after considering several locations he somehow felt called to the Ozarks to begin writing about autism and working as an autism advocate.
It ended up being the right decision as J.R. and his work have been well received and Not Weird Just Autistic is a respected name in the community.
WHO WE ARE
Not Weird Just Autistic is run by J.R. Reed and Shannon Hughes, both adults on the spectrum who were diagnosed later in life (Shannon in her 30s and J.R. in his 40s). We have each struggled in life, as does everyone with or without a disability, to find our place and purpose in today’s world. In different ways, our respective diagnoses provided explanations and relief, while also reinforcing the sense of separateness and inferiority that come from lives spent thinking, perceiving, and behaving differently from the majority of our peers. We work continually to accept ourselves and our challenges, to value our own unique perspectives and talents, and to find our voices.
WHAT WE BELIEVE
Everyone has a right to be accepted and valued for the unique blend of abilities, experiences, and life challenges that make them who they are. Each of us is worthy of the same respect and consideration without regard to difference or disability. In the words of Temple Grandin, people with Autism Spectrum Disorders are, “different, not less.”
WHAT WE WANT TO DO
We want to encourage others, with and without autism, who are looking to find their place, their purpose, and their voice. Those on the spectrum face unique challenges in that regard due to, among other things, communication difficulties and rampant misconceptions about autism. Our goal is to remove the barriers – practical, ideological, legal, and social – that marginalize and isolate those with autism and related disorders.
HOW WE WANT TO DO IT
We’re always looking for new ideas. Our current activities include weekly podcasts and blog posts, participation in awareness events and memberships in local organizations. We aim to facilitate encouragement, support, and education through connections with others who feel as passionately as we do about accepting and valuing everyone equally, including those on the spectrum.
COLLABORATE WITH US
Contact us with ideas, visit us or book us at events, or be a guest on our podcast. Use the CONTACT page to reach us. But, most of all, let us know what you’re up to, and how we can be a part of it.