Award-Winner. Aspie. Author. Mom.
Jennifer O’Toole is the winner of the 2012 Temple Grandin Award, a recipient of GRASP’s 2012 Distinguished Spectrumite Medal, 2012 AuKids Speaker of the Year, and a nominee for the 2013 and 2014 Autism Society Book Award and Godiva’s Woman of the Year. She is one of North Carolina’s 50 Most Influential Women of 2014 and Autism Daily Newscast’s “Inspiring Women with Autism,” called “piercingly astute” by Headstuff Magazine.
TV actress/Activist Holly Robinson Peete listed Jennifer among her “Autism Parent Superstars.” Most recently, she was added to the “Who’s Who” list of International Aspie Mentors — along with Temple Grandin and Stephen Shore – to contribute to Dr. Tony Attwood’s “Been There. Done That. Try This.” anthology. But it’s Jennifer’s unique “have a cup of coffee with me” conversationalist presentation of useful insights which has touched hearts, lightened spirits and even led to the founding of Asperkids, LLC, a multi-media social education company.
O’Toole was diagnosed as an Aspie in adulthood, is the mother of three Asperkids, the wife of an Aspie, an award-winning educator and author of the internationally-celebrated “Asperkids” book series:
•Asperkids: An Insider’s Guide to Loving, Understanding and Teaching Children with Asperger Syndrome (May 2012), About.com’s Reader’s Choice Winner, Autism Asperger’s Digest Top Book List, AAD Top 10 Books for Teachers, Autism Speaks Top Family Resource
•The Asperkids’ (Secret) Book of Social Rules: The Handbook of Not-So-Obvious Guidelines for Teens and Tweens, (October 2012) Nominee Autism Society of America’s Book of the Year Award (2013 & 2014), About.com Readers’ Choice Awards, Autism Asperger’s Digest Top Book List, Autism Speaks Top Family Resource
• The Asperkid’s Launch Pad: Home Design That Empowers Everyday Autism Asperger’s Digest Top Book List, Ind
Superheroes (May 2013). Autism Asperger’s Digest Top Book List, Living Now Book Award
•The Asperkid’s Not-Your-Average-Coloring Book October 2013.
• The Asperkid’s Game Plan: Purposeful Play, Extraordinary Minds….Ordinary Stuff Coming April 2014
She keynotes internationally, including for the Autism Society of America’s National Conference, the North American Montessori Teachers’ Association, The National Inclusion Project, the UK’s National Autistic Society, Ireland’s SHINE, and at mega conferences alongside Drs. Grandin and Attwood. She is a mentor for Yale’s Child Study Center where her books serve as foundational texts, and a member of The Global Montessori Alliance. Her Facebook Fan Page and Asperkids blog have both been chosen by Disney/Babble to the Top 30 Autism Sites in the World.
O’Toole is a featured columnist for Autism Asperger’s Digest and The Australian Autism Asperger’s Network Magazine, contributing as well to Autism Spectrum Quarterly, “Special” Magazine and many more. She has been featured by the BBC World Service, National Public Radio, and “The Guardian,” the United Kingdom’s most widely-circulated newspaper.
O’Toole graduated with honors from Brown University and has since studied at the Graduate School of Social Work at Columbia University and Graduate School of Education at Queens University. Subsequent initiatives with young people garnered her an invitation to serve on North Carolina’s Governor’s Commission on Domestic Violence, and a nomination for Disney’s American Teacher of the Year Award in her first year of teaching.
In response to the overwhelming popularity of her message, she founded Asperkids, LLC, a multimedia social education company that prides itself on clever creativity, useful strategies and relentless positivity.
Meet her in this brief acceptance speech at the GRASP DSM Medal Awards — and laugh along!
Unlocking the Precious, Precocious Potential of Kids with Asperger Syndrome