Russell Lehmann sheds light on autism through personal experience
RENO – Reno resident Russell Lehmann, speaker, author, poet and advocate for autism, spoke at the Association for People Supporting Employment First’s 2018 national conference in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, June 26-28. This is one of 30 nationwide engagements Lehmann has booked this year.
A former staff member for Newton Learning Center, a private school in northwest Reno designed for students diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Lehmann spoke about his personal story of going from an agoraphobic, societal recluse to a man who travels the country spreading a message of hope, inspiration and awareness about autism.
“I first became involved with Newton Learning Center in 2012 when I was invited to speak to students about my life with autism,” Lehmann said. “Unfortunately, I succumbed to a severe panic attack and was unable to make it. A couple of years later though, I reached out to them about employment and working there became my very first full-time job. It was also one of the most memorable and happiest times of my life.”
Lehmann rose to fame on several levels, having written Inside Out: Stories and Poems from an Autistic Mind which was featured in the Los Angeles Times. He also made national headlines in 2013 after a spoken word poem he directed at a rap artist who made an offensive comment about those with autism went viral. In 2017, Lehmann made international news when he wrote a Facebook post about a mental breakdown he had at an airport and the airline employee who helped him through it.
“It is my heart’s passion to make a difference in the world,” Lehmann said. “I don’t just like doing what I do, I love it. My true goal is to help others.”
Lehmann is a council member for the Autism Society of America, a founding member of the Kulture City Speaker’s Bureau, a board member for the Autism Coalition of Nevada, a Youth Ambassador for Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve and he was appointed by Nevada State Governor Brian Sandoval to serve on the Council for Developmental Disabilities.
For more information about Lehmann or to book him for an event, visit www.russell-lehmann.com.
To learn more about Newton Learning Center, please visit http://www.secondstart.org.
About Newton Learning Center
Newton Learning Center is a private school in northwest Reno, founded in 2008, providing an individualized approach for students with social-cognitive disorders, such as Autism Spectrum Disorder. The school is one of four schools operated by Second Start Learning Disability Programs Inc. and the only one in Nevada. Newton Learning Center San Jose, Pine Hill School San Jose and Pine Hill School Marina are in California.
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Photo Cutline: Russell Lehmann speaking at the Disability Policy Seminar in Washington D.C. A Reno resident, Lehmann will present 30 national speaking engagements to shed light on autism.
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