Understanding autism is personal for us.
A recent New York Times op-ed by John Elder Robison tells the story of his life before and after taking part in a groundbreaking experiment into using an innovative electromagnetic therapy to perhaps remediate a core disability of autism. Robison, who is on the autism spectrum had a successful career and family life, but nevertheless faced personal challenges and decided to try TMS, or transcranial magnetic stimulation, to gain greater insight into the emotional cues and nonverbal communications of other people. Researchers hoped to gain better insight into how TMS might help address these challenges. Robison hopes these insights will one day form the basis of therapies, and he experienced great rewards - even from this early stage experiment. The treatment granted him the ability to read better and feel emotions, but it was quite a ride. His marriage fell apart, and many of his personal relationships became strained for years. Conversely, with new eyes, he formed many new relationships, he re-married, and many others relationships grew stronger.
John’s son, Jack Robison, is LBRY’s own core developer. Jack, also on the autism spectrum (and who once faced 60 years in prison for misunderstood high school chemistry experiments), has been a steadfast advocate for autism rights. To say autism awareness and understanding is an issue near and dear to our hearts is an understatement.
What’s more, we plan to put our credits where our mouth is and grant a significant sum of LBRY credits to William and Mary’s neurodiversity program to further research, education, and outreach into autism.