Adulting on the Spectrum: Russell Lehmann on travel tips and the importance of paying it forward

Hosts, Andrew Komarow and Eileen Lamb, speak with Russell Lehmann.

Russell is an award-winning and internationally recognized thought leader, speaker, poet, and advocate contextualizing autism, mental health, disabilities, and the overall human condition.

A graduate of MIT’s “Leadership in the Digital Age” course, Russell sits on numerous boards such as the national Board of Directors for The Arc of the United States and is a lead council member for the Autism Society of America. He also serves as an advisor to NEXT for Autism and is a consultant for the US Department of Justice, restructuring our criminal justice system in a more equitable fashion for those with disabilities. Russell is also a contributor for Psychology Today.

Russell showed signs of autism as a newborn, however, he was not formally diagnosed until the age of 12 after suffering through 5 weeks in a lockdown psychiatric facility. 
His new book, “On the Outside Looking In” recently hit bookstores nationwide.
In 2018, Russell was named as Reno-Tahoe’s “Most Outstanding Young Professional Under 40”. 

In 2019 & 2020, Russell lectured for the prestigious King’s College of London and the Mohammed bin Rashid Center for Special Education in Abu Dhabi, respectively. In 2022, Russell was invited to the Finnish Parliament to discuss government supports that are needed in Finland for individuals on the spectrum. 

Named the 2022 Advocate of the Year by the Autism Society of America, Russell currently travels the world spreading hope, awareness, and compassion in a raw and dynamic fashion, while also setting his sights on erasing the stigmas and stereotypes that come with having a disability. Russell’s passion is to be a voice for the unheard, for he knows how difficult and frustrating it is to go unnoticed.

Read a transcript of this episode. 

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The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the hosts and guests and do not necessarily reflect the views of Autism Speaks.