Pam Cole’s interests – from A to V – range from Archeology to Vertebrates. In between these topics are a gamut of other subjects that catch her attention, including anthropology, bioinformatics, genetics, and computer programming, including C++ and LISP. Numbers are also of interest to Cole, most specifically, the number 1.617…“This is my favorite number.” Pam writes. “It is called the divine ratio. The whole universe seems to be designed around it. Beauty revolves around that number. Nautili, which are animals with a really specific sort of spiral, are also shaped according to the divine ratio.” Pam now combines her aptitude for programming and archeology and carried them forward into her undergraduate studies at the University at Buffalo where she is “planning to study statistics and do work in data analysis in genetics.”
Between her studies at UB, Pam works part-time at Autistic Services. She discovered the agency online while seeking help for people with Aspergers in the Western New York Community. She has been with ASI since June of 2010 and has launched an agency newsletter entitled Autism Research Monthly. So what is Pam doing when she’s not writing her own computer programs or organizing research material for her newsletter? “Last Sunday I spent all day playing Eve Online. I love games.”
When Neil Sanders speaks you get the feeling that you’re listening to a broadcast personality. Actually, you are. Neil has made guest appearances and has been featured on several radio and television broadcast stations, including WIVB Channel 4, WGRZ Channel 7, WNED ThinkBright, WBFO and WUFO. Neil garnered this attention by launching his own podcast back in April of 2008. Since that time Neil has used the internet as his platform for everything from real world reports to ridiculous rumors on the celebrity landscape. He has also committed to memory just about anything you could possibly want to know about the history of television and its revolving door of programming.
As if his anchorman antics weren’t enough, Neil has also made a reputation for himself as something of a satirical artist. His paintings of Nicky Hilton and Maria Menounos would make any PR agent shudder. Neil takes great joy in spoofing the names of popular TV shows and if you ever catch him smiling to himself just ask him why and he’ll tell you something to the effect of: “Beyoncé Knowles…Come on Down! You’re the next contestant on the Price is Right.” Never mind that Beyoncé has never been on the show. That alone describes Neil’s singular sense of humor, and we’ll never know if the man is laughing with us…or at us.
Mr. Michael Segal
Michael has written, “One thing is amazing about my life. Even more amazing than my passion for math, I am autistic; I have Asperger’s Syndrome, which is a ‘milder’ form of Autism. Among other things, it means that I think on a very literal level. While this sometimes makes communication challenging for me, it makes my ability to understand the logic of math exceptional. Not a bad trade off, since I love math.”
Although Michael has Asperger’s Syndrome and has had to face many challenges in his life, he is a talented and creative mathematician with exceptional tutoring skills. The fact that he has had these challenges has enabled him to understand the challenges of others. He has sensitivity for the needs of others, and the strong desire to help them learn to cope with their peers and the world.
Poet. Writer. Scientist & Mystery Maven.
Liz is truly a woman of all seasons. Her persona comes in several shades, stretching from the introversion that is characteristic of Autism, to the extroversion that is characteristic of Liz. When she speaks, you can almost see the exclamation points beaming from her mouth. Getting your attention is not a problem for Liz. Autism has gifted her with three or four helpings of personality: there’s the Liz who adores the Three Stooges, and makes no attempts to hide her crush on Moe. There’s the Liz who missed her calling as an office administrator: she frequently hands out notes that read more like a memo. There’s the Liz who walked right out of a Bette Midler movie, always on and in full speed. That’s the Liz that most of us at Autistic Services are used to seeing. Her presence is almost always known when she’s walking by. She has a knack for both self-promotion and persistence, and so she usually stands in the foreground of our community.
In between Liz’s one woman parades, she retires to her poetry. A prolific writer, Liz’s restless mind jumps from ode’s to The Three Stooges and Gumshoe’s, to personal projects such as cracking the mysterious collapse of The Schoellkope Power Station. Such mysteries aren’t the least bit interesting, until you hear it from Liz. “I’m trying to solve a mystery,” she says. A perfect opening that is characteristic of Liz. No matter what the story, whether we like it or not, Liz is sure to demand our full attention.
MORE PERSONALITIES COMING SOON
ADDITIONAL READING ABOUT OUR COMMUNITY:
Autism in the Community
Identifying ourselves through Autism.
Autism’s Private Language
Looking into the language of Autism.
A parent talks about breaking the communication barrier with nonverbal Autism.
Art & Culture at Autistic Services
Langston Gardner Evolves Through the Arts.
A Sibling’s Story
10 kids in Western New York decided to share their story on life with a brother or siste on the Autism Spectrum.