Blogs

 

Testimonials — (1) Keynotes and Trainings and (2) Book Testimonials*

* Asperger’s From the Inside-Out (Penguin/Perigee, 2008),
   Unemployed on the Autism Spectrum (Jessica Kingsley Publishing, 2016),
   The Book of Happy, Positive, and Confident Sex for Adults on the Autism Spectrum…and Beyond! (Neurodiversity Press, 2019)


 

Testimonials of Keynotes and Trainings


(Please note that these are not endorsements by audience members, they are testimonials from the actual contracting/paying organizations and agencies)

 

Michael Carley has been one of our “Go to” people as a speaker, writer, and think tank participant for the past 15 years. He is one of those rare people who can draw upon his life experience, powerful intellect, and considerable communications skills to inform, educate, and captivate an audience. Above and beyond all that, he is a husband, father, and man of great character.

—Michael V. Maloney, Executive Director, Organization for Autism Research

 

Michael John Carley is a scholarly, engaging and passionate autistic advocate, author & presenter who can speak on multiple topics including contemporary thinking around autism, inclusion, relationships, employment and disclosure of diagnosis. Michael’s expertise comes from lived experience, parenting a young man on the spectrum, academic study and through contact with 1000s of people on the spectrum. Michael can captivate a 1000 people at a conference or an individual through articles, books or coaching and is a wonderful role model for young people on the autism spectrum (despite his UFC face)..

—Dr Tom Tutton, National Manager Aspect Practice, Autism Spectrum Australia

 

Michael John Carley is a truly dynamic presenter.  Thoughtful and engaging, his presentations are also brutally honest and surprisingly witty.  His profound experience with autism adds a uniquely human perspective to his vast subject knowledge and expertise.  

—Mary Pelich, M.S., Targeting Autism Training and Education Project, Illinois State Library

 

Over the years, Michael John Carley’s insightful passion for his subject is evident as he blends knowledge with an understanding of the potential effects on all those involved. Add a little humor and you have the recipe for a spokesperson that I hope will be around for many years to come.  

—Ron Larsen, co-owner, Centering on Children, Inc.

 

(Seven months later) My staff are still raving about Michael John Carley’s talk! He is dynamic, funny and an engaging presenter. Not to mention whip smart and totally relatable. His stories about being a parent of a child with autism, having autism and negotiating the world of autism treatments will make you laugh and maybe even cry – in a good way!

 —Bridget Taylor, Psy.D., BCBA-D, Executive Director, Alpine Learning Group

 

Michael John Carley is an excellent presenter.  He was able to quickly connect with our teachers and share specific strategies on creating a classroom that meets the needs of all learners.  He has a vast knowledge in working with students on the Autism spectrum as well as other areas of disability.  Staff found him to be engaging, knowledgeable, and practical.  

—Deidre Roemer, Director of Leadership and Learning,
West Allis-West Milwaukee School District

 

Michael John Carley is sassy, challenging and charming as a public speaker and immediately engaged the audience which in Autism West’s case consisted of individuals with autism, carers, professional and educators interested in learning more as well as researchers. Over the two days Michael John brought delegates on a journey that was an intelligent and honest history of autism setting the tone as an opening keynote. He handled the topic of disclosure with his own experiences and was sensitive and pragmatic.  His ability to relate to the business community through the employment forum was professionally delivered and pitched perfectly.  “We wish Michael John could come back and speak to my own son” was feedback from one delegate which was echoed by many who highlighted him as a highlight of the symposium.

—Louise Sheehy, CEO, Autism West (Australia)

 

Michael Carley is an incredibly engaging speaker with a wealth of knowledge about autism spectrum disorders.  He has given several talks to our high school students, weaving autobiographical stories with substantive information.  Students responded with empathy and high interest. 

—Jennifer Borman, Head of School, School One

 

Michael John Carley’s ability to provide first-hand insight into both the personal and parental perspectives of living with Autism opens both minds and hearts alike.  The energy, passion, and insight shared allows for learning alongside of reflection.  No matter if you are new to the field of autism or highly steeped in its complexities, Michael John’s perspective will undoubtedly leave you with new information to consider!

—Trisha Page, Red River Valley Autism-Asperger Network

 

Drawing from his rich and varied experiences, Michael John Carley captivates the attention of any audience, then keeps them on their toes with his own brand of humor and tenacity.  Michael successfully reaches audiences across the globe by combining thoughtful, universal design with a keen ability to facilitate meaning between the content and the viewer.  

—Andrea Hojnacki, Coordinator, Massachusetts Inclusive Concurrent Enrollment Initiative

 

Michael John Carley’s expansive knowledge concerning the autism spectrum and the neurologically diverse is readily consumed by the audience who appreciate his sense of humor and his ability to teach via stories. Highly recommend for both professional and general audiences. 

—Stacie Christian, Ph.D., Director of Inclusive Excellence and Pride Center,
University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. 

 

Michael provides as strong testimony (and) practical strategy to brave the socially-challenging cultural difference. Michael’s (sexuality talk) gave independent life living skills training a contextual perspective (that made it)- a lot more motivating!   Learning from Michael is practical and effectively romantic!!

—Dr Choy Sook Kuen; Founder Oasis Place, Malaysia;
CoChair Autism Initiatives Malaysia

 

Children’s Autism Services of Edmonton has hired Michael John Carley as a speaker multiple times, including as a Keynote Speaker at our Annual Autism conference. His presentations are engaging and heartwarming as well as informative.  I have seen him present several times and I learn something new each time.  His depth of knowledge in autism is remarkable.  His perspective and point of view is unique, as both an individual on the spectrum and a parent of a son with autism. 

—Terri Duncan MSLP, R.SLP, Executive Director;
Children's Autism Services of Edmonton

***

(The New York City Department of Education is willing to provide phone references regarding the dozens of trainings and keynotes Michael John gave during his ten years with them, but due to district rules cannot endorse entities in writing. Any requests for such endorsements should be directed to Mr. Carley and he will easily provide you with contact information.)


 

Book Testimonials



Asperger’s From the Inside-Out (Penguin/Perigee, 2008)

 

Adults with Asperger's Syndrome and others who think they might be Asperger's will greatly benefit from this book.

                        --Temple Grandin, Ph.D., author of Thinking in Pictures and Animals in Translation

 

A wonderfully candid and encouraging book about navigating the world of Asperger's Syndrome. I recommend it to everyone, on or off the spectrum, who believes in creating a more tolerant and inclusive society.

                       --Sigourney Weaver, actress

 

Michael John Carley is not only a successful leader in the AS community, he has proven himself to be a gifted writer. EVERYONE who is involved with the Asperger Syndrome Community, their family, friends, and the professionals who help them MUST read this book!

                        -- Susan J. Moreno, M.A., A.B.S. President,
MAAP Services for Autism and Asperger Syndrome

 

It’s a new day for adults with Asperger’s! Michael John Carley offers reflective, penetrating and exquisitely expressed personal descriptions of the inner and outer challenges faced by people with AS. The person with AS will find a family, a community of like-minded individuals and a guide for dealing with a world that is often ill-suited to AS thinking. The rest of us find threads of commonality that indicate, again and again, that there is more that unites, than divides us all.

—Veronica Zysk, Author & Managing Editor,
Autism Asperger’s Digest magazine

 

GRASP is organizationally sound and well respected in a field where our differences more often define and divide us than do our common interests serve to unite us.   One could argue that GRASP has even earned the reputation as a principled voice for the autism world. This is, in no small part, due to Michael's skill as administrator, diplomat, and part-time showman. I watched as Michael took somewhat-explored ideas of self-determination, and ran with them farther than anyone thought possible. He is as results-minded an individual as you will find, once even confiding to me, "I have no desire to be a noble failure.

—From the Foreword by Peter F. Gerhardt, Ed.D.
President, Peter Gerhardt Associates, LLC

 

Asperger's from the Inside-Out is refreshing, concise, systematic and to the point.  It spans the history of ASD diagnosis, the identity crises involved in diagnosis . . . It explores positive versus negative takes on ASD and their consequences, the resonating impact of a diagnosis on other family members but, more so, gives spiritual guidance about more or less healthy ways of managing all these things and the consequences that choices have for each individual. Beautifully alive with quotes from a broad range of voices with ASD, this is a helpful addition to the world of autism-related literature.

                                    --Donna Williams, author of Nobody Nowhere and The Jumbled Jigsaw

 

Michael has written a wonderful book that will serve as an invaluable resource to us all. This must-read provides a perspective that is essential.

—Brenda Smith-Myles, Ph.D. Author of The Hidden Curriculum, and
Social Skills Training
. President, Autism Asperger Publishing Company (AAPC)

 

Michael Carley is unique in his ability to combine and integrate his experiences with conclusions and insights that are remarkable and powerful. His unique ability to integrate, conceptualize, compare and contrast at such a high level is what makes his work stand out.

                        —Gary Mesibov, Ph.D. Director, Division TEACCH;
Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at the University of North Carolina

 

For years, Michael John Carley has supported his colleagues on the spectrum through GRASP. With this excellent book, Michael John will now be able to provide much needed support to thousands more. This highly informative book provides tremendous insight on a broad range of topics for those both on the spectrum and for those supporting individuals on the spectrum. This is something that should be read by all.

--Cathy Pratt, Ph.D. Director, Indiana Resource Center for Autism

 

This book fills a special niche for individuals on the spectrum and others as well. It addresses many topics important to those on the spectrum and in a way that helps with the struggle of what such a diagnosis means. This book is a fantastic resource for recently diagnosed adolescents and adults, as well as for family members and professionals.

                                    --Lynda Geller, Ph.D. Clinical Director, Asperger Institute,
New York University Child Study Center

 

Well-written, positive, yet never preachy, this practical book realistically describes what if feels like to be an adult with AS. It is highly recommended not only to adults on the spectrum and their family members, but to anyone who works with people on the spectrum. Neurotypical or Aspie, there is much to learn in these pages.

--Chantal Sicile-Kira, author of Adolescents on
the Autism Spectrum and Autism Spectrum Disorders

 

Unemployed on the Autism Spectrum (Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2016)

 

Michael John Carley’s brave and witty Unemployed on the Autism Spectrum explains in simple language how people on the spectrum can negotiate some of the trickiest aspects of a neurotypical world.  Carley provides cogent advice on how to do and be what is needed in professional contexts without burying your true self and identity, and he does so with immense charm and hard-won wisdom.

—Andrew Solomon, PhD, Professor of clinical psychology
at Columbia University and National Book Award-winning author of
Far from the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity and
The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression

 

“Unemployed on the Autism Spectrum” presents a very fresh perspective on joblessness.  Michael's message will help many people with ASD.

—Temple Grandin. Author: Developing Talents, The Autistic Brain

 

I have always admired Michael John Carley. However, after reading this book twice – something I rarely do – he is now one of my heroes. “Unemployed on the Autism Spectrum: How to Cope Productively with the Effects of Unemployment and Jobhunt with Confidence” is an amazing book that goes far beyond employment. Anyone on (or off) the spectrum who is seeking to find their place in the world should read and contemplate this book’s message…To me, this book is about finding a life of meaning and unlimited potential. Its messages are profound and practical.

—From the Foreword by Brenda Smith-Myles, Ph.D.
Author of The Hidden Curriculum, and Social Skills Training.
President, Autism Asperger Publishing Company (AAPC)

 

Michael John Carley has long been a champion and respected leader in addressing quality of life and mental health needs of persons on the autism spectrum.  In Unemployed on the Autism Spectrum, he goes at one of the most challenging issues that is sadly all too common for spectrumites, but does so with practical advice from his first hand experiences as an unemployed autistic person, and as a support for so many others. In a highly respectful, personal and intimate manner, Michael wisely addresses the absolute priorities of emotional well-being and living a healthy lifestyle as inseparable from seeking employment. Infused with poignant quotes and anecdotes from many autistic people, this book is a call to action, and provides specific guidelines to motivate readers to take control and make positive changes in their lives.  Thanks to Michael’s deep wisdom and generosity, this book will help countless individuals transform their lives for the better.

—Barry M. Prizant, Ph.D., CCC-SLP. Author, Uniquely Human

 

If you are on the autism spectrum, or simply care about someone who is, then you really should to read this book. However, if you are among those of us diagnosed as "typical," then you NEED to read this book.  Why? Because in Unemployed on the Autism Spectrum Michael Carly will introduce you to a vast, untapped workforce of people who just may be your next essential employee and who, simply by you taking that first step toward understanding neurodiversity, may well change both your lives for the better.

—Peter F. Gerhardt, Ed.D.President, Peter Gerhardt Associates, LLC

 

Unemployed on the Autism Spectrum, should be required reading for every person as they enter their adult lives, not just individuals diagnosed with autism. It is like having an older, and worldly brother provide guidance, support and encouraging ideas as one journeys on the obstacle course to employment.  Filled with facts, personal anecdotes and a unique perspective on the challenges faced by individuals on the spectrum, Michael John Carley has written a highly readable resource not only for those on the autism spectrum, but for all who seek to better understand and employ them.

—Linda J. Walder, Founder and Executive Director,
The Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation for Adult Autism

 

If you’re looking for a book filled with fluffy platitudes promising an easy path toward employment for people on the spectrum, this isn’t the read for you. But if you’re a hopeful realist who wants counsel on how to deal with the ups and downs of unemployment (yes there are ups, as Carley will point out); encouraging guidance on how to believe in and achieve your own highest potential; pragmatic direction for building a strong background and dossier; and loads of helpful ideas for finding your way through the maze of hoops between unemployed and employed; then you have found the very book you are looking for!

—Liane Holliday Willey, Author of Pretending to be Normal:Living with Asperger’s Syndrome, Safety,
and Skills for Asperger Women: How to Save a Perfectly Good Female Life

 

As the Executive Director & CEO of both Gateway Academy/Spectrum College Transition Program and a mother of a 23 year old Aspie, I found Michael's perspective and insight more than enlightening. It was encouraging and informative! In my experience, the most difficult time for Aspie's is after they have completed their post secondary education, and the thought of securing a job disables them. As someone who "walks in their shoes", Michael offers a unique perspective and understanding. We will be making this book mandatory in our post secondary program. Thank you Michael!

—O. Robin Sweet; Executive Director & CEO, Gateway Academy

 

A tremendously valuable resource this volume addresses an important, and rarely discussed issue.  As with all of us individuals on the autism spectrum often face issues of employment and best approaches to finding new jobs.  This volume brings considerable insight into the issue of employment for persons with Asperger's and higher functioning autism.  Full of practical and useful advice it will be an immense help to those seeking to enter the work force.

—Fred R Volkmar, M.D., Irving B. Harris Professor
Child Study Center, Yale University School of Medicine
Editor in Chief, Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

 

 

The Book of Happy, Positive, and Confident Sex for Adults on the Autism Spectrum…and Beyond! (forthcoming, from Neurodiversity Press, 2019)

 

In this exuberant, sex-positive book, Michael John Carley provides information about erotic pleasure and its sometimes bewildering connection to emotional intensity.  In frank, honest language, with his terrific sense of humor, he demystifies sex without banalizing it.  Whether you have autism or not, you can learn a lot about pleasure from this book.

—Andrew Solomon. Author, Far From the Tree;
Contributing Contributor for the New York Times

 

David Reuben's opus "Everything you always wanted to know about sex," just got kicked to the curb by Michael John Carley's groundbreaking new book on autism and SEX. Yes, autistics are people, and yes, they want to have sex just like the rest of the adult population, but what they didn't have until now was a book that speaks directly to them. Carley's, Book of Happy, Positive, & Confident Sex… will open eyes and open doors for spectrumites and neurotypicals alike: one group who will find validation for their totally natural feelings; and the others who never knew they had them.

—Linda J. Walder. Founder and Executive Director,
The Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation for Adult Autism

 

In The Book of Happy, Positive and Confident Sex for Adults on the Autism Spectrum…and Beyond!, acclaimed author and autism advocate, Michael John Carley, takes readers on a journey of self-exploration, and permission giving. He invites readers along the spectrum to consider their personalities, orientations, character traits, and behaviors as positive aspects of personhood that imbue healthy sexual identities. Michael challenges societal norms, the negative media portrayals of sexuality, and in writing what is the most LGBTQ-friendly book of its kind thus far, he challenges the less-than-inclusive autism books of the past…Carley’s writing is fierce and controversial, not unlike his other books, or his numerous articles on employment and political realities for people with autism spectrum disorders. However, like the hundreds of national and international presentations he has been invited to deliver, the book’s text also illustrates his humor, and the priority he clearly bestows on his peers with autism spectrum disorders. This is Michael’s most passionate book yet; a first step to ensure that people with autism and beyond are accepted as sexual beings.

—From the Foreword by Michelle Ballan, Ph.D.

 

Michael John Carley has courageously and successfully taken on the monumental task of addressing the potential challenges and great possibilities inherent in sexual behavior and relationships for those on the autism spectrum. With great humanity, directness and humor, Michael provides specific information and advice culled from personal experience as a spectrumite, as well as from research. This book provides a wealth of information that is focused most directly on increasing understanding and comfort, and thereby reducing anxiety, with the ultimate goal of helping those on the spectrum (as well as neurotypicals!) be more accepting and fully engaged in their sexual lives, in ways that are respectful of individual differences and desires. An important and timely work!

—Barry M. Prizant, Ph.D., CCC-SLP. Adjunct Professor, Brown University. Director, Childhood Communication Services. Author, "Uniquely Human."

 

As a parent, I fully understand wanting to protect our offspring who are more innocent and/or naïve concerning matters of sexuality. However, how dare we presume to censor such information to people whose other rights are forcefully advocated by us all! Michael John Carley taught me a few things about sex that I never knew… and I’m REALLY old and have been married for 47 years! He honestly, tactfully and fearlessly addresses the subject of sex in all of its complexities and pleasures. I find his approach refreshing and helpful. My non-typical offspring deserves access to this book… and so does yours!

—Susan J. Moreno, CEO and Founder, OASIS@MAAP,
MAAP Services for Autism and Asperger Syndrome

 

This is an important and timely book that addresses a major gap in resources for individuals on the autism-Asperger's spectrum.  Carley brings a wealth of knowledge to the topic and deals with it in honest and straightforward ways.  This book will be invaluable to adolescents and adults on the autism spectrum and their supporters.

—Fred R Volkmar, M.D., Irving B. Harris Professor
Child Study Center, Yale University School of Medicine
Editor in Chief, Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

 

Michael John Carley has written a groundbreaking book that is geared towards those on the autism spectrum, but is in fact relevant for anyone who would benefit from a primer on sexual behavior. He writes with a unique voice that speaks to all of us who are under-informed about sexuality, and especially, sexual behavior. All forms of sexual behavior and pleasuring are explored and described in language that is both frank and concrete. A welcome light shone on the subject that has been shrouded in shadows and judgments for far too long.

—Lorna Littner, MPH, LCSW,
AASECT-Certified Sexuality Instructor

 

Kudos for “The Book of Happy, Positive, and Confident Sex…” by Michael John Carley. In the most sex-positive manner, Michael John has put together a wonderful, fun-to-read guide about sex for readers on the autism spectrum. In fact, Michael’s book has intrinsic value for all readers, be they on the spectrum or not (i.e. “and beyond!”). As a sexuality educator, I heartily recommend this book to readers disabled and non-disabled alike, and especially to parents who question whether or not their disabled children have sex and intimacy in their futures.

—Melvyn Littner, MPH, MA in Special Education,
AASECT-Certified Sexuality Instructor

 

Part anthropological, part sexological, part autobiographical, and all Asperger's, Michael John Carley has written a tour de force. This is the first book ever written that helps autistic people navigate sexuality, their bodies, and their relationships to others without resorting to the 'how-to-date' approaches that exist in spades. As a gay man who struggled all his life with his sexuality, this book could have been life-saving to me if I had read it earlier. Prior to 2010, my entire life could have taken a different turn had someone placed this book in my hands.

—Nick Dubin, Ph.D., author of Asperger Syndrome
and Bullying; Asperger Syndrome and Anxiety;
and
The Autism Spectrum, Sexuality and the Law
(co-author)