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LINKS & QUOTES
Quotes by the Disability Activist, Poet & World record holder, Robert M. Hensel

Robert Hensel - disability activist, poet, world record holder


"We, the one's who are challenged, need to be heard. To be seen not as a disability, but as a person who has and will continue to bloom. To be seen not only as a handicap, but as a well intact human being."

"Know me for my abilities, not my disability."

"Being born with a disability, can sometimes be a struggle, but it is the ability to overcome such a challenge, that makes it so worth the fight. NEVER GIVE UP!!!"
- Robert M. Hensel

More Quotes by Robert Hensel
Did you know that gifted and talented students often go unrecognized? Check out these names - Gifted and Talented

Is it a Cheetah?
"Passion is the great slayer of adversity. Focus on strengths and what you enjoy."
- Charles Schwab

" If you look at successful people, nine times out of ten they will tell you stories of tremendous struggle."

"If you've got a different kind of brain and, I submit, that most interesting people do that's great."

"Never lose sight of those strengths, those talents, because that is what's going to take you to great places."
- Edward Hallowell, M.D.

"You don't have to be handicapped to be different - everybody's different." - The late Kim Peek, mega savant who inspired the film 'Rain Man'.

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Inspirational Quotes
... by famous people with learning disabilities or differences

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Welcome

Inspirational Quotes about Education and Learning. Thought it would be so inspirational to link to quotes and articles written by famous people who faced difficulties in their lives, like learning disabilities and other differences. Many are coming forward to share their stories, hoping to encourage, inspire, offer some advice and even resources. We were amazed by what we found online. These highly successful people not only surmounted the obstacles in their lives, many are helping to make a difference in the world.

The very accomplished Robert M. Hensel may have Spina Bifada, but he's also a Disability Activist and a Poet who was nominated for the Pushcart Prize. He holds the Guinness & Ripley's world record for the longest non stop wheelie in a wheelchair, which helped him raise money for wheelchair ramps in his Community.

He has this to say: "As a disabled man, let my life be a reflection of the endless amount of ability that exists in each and everyone of us."

Then there's the billionaire financier and founder of SCH, Charles Schwab, who found out that he had dyslexia soon after his son did. He now provides a service, A Parent's Guide to Helping Kids with Learning Difficulties, offering support, guidance, and resources for parents.

The late Dr. Epstein was a pioneer in pediatric brain surgery and patient-friendly hospitals. You may be surprised to learn that this brilliant surgeon had a learning disability.

Inspirational Quotes about Problems with Mathematics. Have you heard of Cosmologist: Emma King, The Mathematician Who Can't Add Up. She's not alone.

Pencil icon for Einstein quote "Do not worry about your problems with mathematics, I assure you mine are far greater." - Albert Einstein


FORTUNE magazine's May 2002 issue by Betsy Morris 'HEALTH Overcoming Dyslexia' examines some 'business leaders and artists who have gone beyond the limitations of dyslexia. (pdf, requires Adobe Reader to view.) Here is a quote:

Pencil icon for Successful Dyslexics quote " Consider the following four dead-end kids. One was spanked by his teachers for bad grades and a poor attitude. He dropped out of school at 16. Another failed remedial English and came perilously close to flunking out of college. The third feared he'd never make it through school--and might not have without a tutor. The last finally learned to read in third grade, devouring Marvel comics, whose pictures provided clues to help him untangle the words. These four losers are, respectively, Richard Branson, Charles Schwab, John Chambers, and David Boies. "


Here is another article from Tracing Business Acumen to Dyslexia - By BRENT BOWERS, Published: December 6, 2007, The New York Times

Ron Davis, author of The Gift of Dyslexia, has a video out:
Unlocking the Power of Dyslexia.

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Some Famous Failures



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Autism

Have you heard about Dr. Temple Grandin Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Animal Science, Colorado State University, who credits thinking in pictures for her success. As an autistic, she was almost institutionalized in childhood.

Another well-known autistic, international best-selling author Donna Williams, who holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Education, offers counsel to parents and auties.

Pencil icon for Donna Williams and autism quote "Those who have read any of Donna Williams' books will know that she is one of the most articulate and perceptive writers on autism today." -
The Guardian - Sept'06

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Video on a Hero

Hope from (J-Mac) Jason McElwain, an autistic hero




iRunman Alex Bain Autistic Celebration Run

On July 15th, 2006, Alex Bain reached East Point PEI and became the first autistic to run across PEI from tip to tip. The goal was not only to raise awareness of autistics and their abilities, but also to raise funds for Dennis Debbaudt's Safety Training and Education Seminars on Prince Edward Island.

Dennis Debbaudt is an internationally recognized expert on law enforcement and safety for autistics. He'll be talking about how to identify and respond to an autistic person, and how to keep autistic children safe in the home and community. The seminars are free of charge.

Visit "Jypsy" (Janet Norman-Bain)'s site PlanetAutism.com to read more.. »

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More Articles on Autism

Recently we found an article that offers a different perspective on autism, written by the parent of an autistic child. Morton Gernsbacher is Vilas Research Professor and the Sir Frederic Bartlett Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is President-Elect of the American Psychological Society.

Pencil icon for Autistics need acceptance quote Autistics Need Acceptance, Not Cure (April 24, 2004)

" ... research demonstrates that autistic traits are distributed into the non-autistic population; some people have more of them, some have fewer. History suggests that many individuals whom we would today diagnose as autistic - some severely so - contributed profoundly to our art, our math, our science, and our literature. "

-- Morton Gernsbacher, parent of an autistic child.



Autistic Advocacy - Frank Klein has articles, editorials and links on Asperger's Syndrome and autism. He's written this excellent article that answers so many questions. I hope you'll take a look at it. Here is an excerpt:

Pencil icon for Autism Advocate Frank Klein quote But My Kid is Low-Functioning... You're Not...
What You Wrote Does Not Apply


" Autism itself is not the enemy... the barriers to development that are included with autism are the enemy. The retardation that springs from a lack of development is the enemy. The sensory problems that are often themselves the barriers are the enemy. These things are not part of who the child is... they are barriers to who the child is meant to be, according to the developmental blueprint. Work with the child's strengths to overcome the weaknesses, and work within the autism, not against it, to overcome the developmental barriers. "

-- Frank Klein, autistic



And then there's Michelle Dawson, Research Associate at the Pervasive Developmental Disorders Specialized Clinic at the University of Montréal, and an autistic herself, who's written a very eloquent brief to the Canadian Senate Standing Committee on Social Affairs, Science, and Technology:
THE WORD IS OUT ABOUT AUTISM - Canada in the Era of Autism Advocacy

She's also written this extraordinary article on the unethical treatment of autistics and other human beings with differences, past and current, in the name of "science", THE MISBEHAVIOUR OF BEHAVIOURISTS.

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Is this an autistic trait?

Embedded figures test image.Can you see the hexagon on the right embedded in the figure on the left? Autism Diva announced she could during a Distinguished Lecturer Series held at the UC Davis MIND Institute, and was told by Dr. Frith that she probably has weak central coherence.

Omigosh!! I can see the hexagon too! But then again, so can anyone paying close enough attention. (If you can't, it just may be because the graphic isn't clear enough. I'll try to find one that's sharper.) Children in fact love to be challenged this way, to find the hidden picture.

Weak central coherence?!! Looks more like a strength. In fact, just discovered that something called the EFT - Embedded Figures Test - is used as a standardized measure of cognitive style and analytical ability. Also found the following: THE PERFORMANCE OF ENGINEERING STUDENTS ON THE GROUP EMBEDDED FIGURES TEST "The ability to disembed has been shown to be a necessary skill in problem solving and is consequently, thought of as a necessary trait for individuals interested in engineering."

So when are these so-called experts in the field going to figure out how to help autistics reach their full potential, and contribute their strengths to society, rather than denigrate their abilities and discriminate against them for being different.

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Savant

Not all autistics are savants, but the following man is.

Stephen Wiltshire drawing the architectural landscape of Tokyo completely from memory.

Visit Stephen Wiltshire's site, where you can see a video of him drawing his masterpiece - a 10 meters drawing of the Tokyo landscape, completely from memory.


Pencil icon for Daniel Tammet quote A genius explains
"Daniel Tammet is an autistic savant. He can perform mind-boggling mathematical calculations at breakneck speeds. But unlike other savants, who can perform similar feats, Tammet can describe how he does it. He speaks seven languages and is even devising his own language. Now scientists are asking whether his exceptional abilities are the key to unlock the secrets of autism. " Interview by Richard Johnson Saturday February 12, 2005
The Guardian

"Inside the Mind of a Savant" - May 2006 issue of Scientific American - by Darold A. Treffert, MD and Daniel D. Christensen, "Kim Peek, the inspiration for Rain Man, possesses one of the most extraordinary memories every recorded. Until we can explain his abilities, we cannot pretend to understand human cognition."

Video excerpt from Expedition ins Gehirn (Beautiful Minds: A Voyage Into the Brain) featuring mega savant Kim Peek. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZBucCevSeE

Pencil icon for Kim Peek quote "Recognizing and respecting differences in others, and treating everyone like you want them to treat you, will help make our world a better place for everyone. Care... be your best. You don't have to be handicapped to be different. Everyone is different!" - Kimputer, Kim Peek, inspiration for Rain Main.

"I may be the star, but you are the heavens." - Dustin Hoffman dedicates his Oscar to Kim Peek.


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