Public Speaking and Readings

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"I had the privilege of hearing several of Sparrow's presentations recently in the Asheville area. I can attest to her generosity, intelligence, and grace as a presenter. Very powerful, thoughtful, and well organized." -- Carolyn Ogburn

Types of Readings and Presentations Available

  • Understanding Autistic Ways of Being: Have you ever wanted to learn about autism from someone on the autism spectrum? Are you curious how they might explain the behaviors, emotional experience, relationship dynamics, strengths and struggles common to those on the spectrum? This is your chance. Sparrow Rose Jones begins by discussing aspects of autism from the perspective of their lived experience as well as the combined experiences of their many Autistic friends of all ages and a wide range of skills and support needs. The material addressed can be tailored to suit the needs of a variety of audiences such as parents, teachers, students, or other professionals. Potential topics can include, but are not limited to, emotional regulation, anxiety, depression, meltdowns and shutdowns, peer relations, teaching strategies, communication, sensory differences, independent living, forging a meaningful life, and more. After speaking for a while on topics relevant to the particular audience, Mx. Jones will initiate a generously extended question and answer period in order to ensure that the needs of the audience have been as thoroughly addressed as possible.

  • Living on the Autism Spectrum: An Insider's Perspective: Hear Sparrow Rose Jones read selections from their writing, followed by a short Q&A Session. Readings vary from session to session and can be selected to address a variety of broad themes including but not limited to Autistic identity, vulnerability to predators and poverty, opening space for a child's potential through overcoming fear of autism, and more. Readings can range from politically-charged disability rights activist readings to emotional readings that humanize the struggles many people on the spectrum face, to inspirational and encouraging readings or a combination of these different themes. Depending on the questions that arise after the reading, topics discussed can include emotions, anxiety, overload, overwhelm, overstimulation, peer relationship dynamics, empathy, managing communication, sensory differences, independent living strategies, and more.

  • Understanding and Addressing the Unmet Needs of Adult Autistics: Sparrow Rose Jones reads excerpts from their book, The ABCs of Autism Acceptance, addressing three major social issues that are problematic for a large percentage of Autistic adults today: violence and abuse, poverty, and access to healthcare. The readings include both statistics of the current conditions and an examination of causes and steps required to address these violations and injustices. After the reading, a Q&A session opens discussion about any number of topics related to these three problems or other issues audience members have identified as relevant.

  • Autism and Circadian Rhythms: While 30% to 40% of the general population experience serious sleep disruptions and disorders, an estimated 75% of the Autistic population struggle with chronic sleep issues, with a noted predisposition for circadian disruption. Standard treatments for circadian rhythm disruptions include bright lights and other sensory assaults that are extra difficult for Autistics to adhere to. Sparrow Rose Jones discusses the biological mechanisms of sleep, using accessible layman's terms, so that Autistics and their families can understand enough about sleep and circadian rhythms to adapt the standard treatments for their own situation and sensory needs.

  • Standalone Q&A Session: This can take many different forms. A Q&A Session can be a brief consultation with a small group seeking an Autistic perspective on a project or community need. It can involve sitting as a member of a panel  -- either all spectrum members or a mixed panel -- addressing a variety of autism-focused topics. Mx. Jones particularly shines in Q&A and recommends it as a component of nearly any presentation. Sometimes a pure Q&A session with no preceding reading or presentation is exactly what a situation or event requires.

Upcoming Presentations

  • September 25, 2016 - Waynesboro, Pennsylvania, Association for Autistic Community Conference. Presenting on Autism and Circadian Rhythms.

  • Contact Sparrow Rose Jones to invite them to appear in your area. A loose travel itenerary is always available on the index page of this site.

  • Past Presentations

    • February 13, 2016 - Asheville North Carolina, Keynote Speaker, 3rd annual  Autism and the Pursuit of Happiness conference, hosted by Empower Autism.
    • January 25th - February 1st, 2016 - Austin, Texas, multiple sessions at University of Texas, Austin.
    • November 19, 2015 - Boone, North Carolina, Appalachian State University, Living on the Autism Spectrum. Sponsored by Parent-to-Parent Family Support Network - High Country, and High Country Families on the Spectrum.
    • November 17th, 2015 - Boone, North Carolina, Autism Society of North Carolina Appstate Chapter interest group meeting. Short essay reading.
    • November 17th, 2015 - Boone, North Carolina, Private Discussion and Q&A sessions with two Appalachian State University (Appstate) classes, both titled "UCO 1200 Autism: A Broad Spectrum."
    • November 16, 2015 - Boone, North Carolina, Understanding Autistic Ways of Being, twin sessions: one hour of addressing school personnel and other educational professionals followed by one hour of addressing parents of spectrum children. Sponsored by Watauga County School AU Problem-Solving Team, The Innovative Approaches Initiative, Parent to Parent Family Support Network - High Country, and High Country Families on the Spectrum.
    • November 16, 2015 - Boone, North Carolina, Brief Q&A Session, Autism Subcommittee of the Innovative Aproaches Initiative.
    • November 14, 2015 - Asheville, North Carolina, What Are You Going to Do Next? A reading of selections from No You Don't, The ABCs of Autism Acceptance, and other writings, followed by a book signing. Firestorm Café and Books.
    • November 13, 2015 - Asheville, North Carolina, Autism Acceptance: Understanding and Addressing the Unmet Needs of Adult Autistics. Open reading, sponsored by the UNCA Psychology department and the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program (WGSS).
    • November 12, 2015 - Asheville, North Carolina, Private Discussion and Q&A session with a University of North Carolina Asheville (UNCA) class.

A sample from the Q&A period of a presentation for educational faculty in Boone, NC.
(view video on YouTube)

Sparrow offers a variety of presentations addressing a wide range of topics that can be tailored to audiences comprised of parents, professionals, autistic people, academics, the general public or any combination of these. Not only does Sparrow speak on topics or read from their writing but they offer extensive question and answer sessions in which they answer questions ranging from their own life experiences to advice about autistic lives, education, emotions, etc. in more general terms. They take extra care to make Q & A sessions feel safe and approachable with a gentle, non-shaming refusal of any question that is too personal to answer. They are honest when they don't have the answer to a question but can usually suggest a resource that is most likely to have answers.