Samantha Hack, Autistic Community Advocate

Samantha Hack (Sam) is an autistic community advocate and autism educator, author, and blogger. Sam is also a student at University of Houston – Downtown where she studies sociology and psychology.

Sam’s aspirations extend to a post-graduate degree in sociology and developing a better understanding of autistic culture and life as an autistic adult.

Read Using Intersecting Identities and Radically Accepting Communities to Increase Coping Skills by Samantha Hack in the anthology Knowing Why: Adult-Diagnosed Autistic People on Life and Autism.

Continuing Education Units

Sam teaches continuing education units to clinical social workers at professional conferences. These speaking engagements educate clinicians about autism as a neurodiversity, how that impacts the life, and how to approach neurodiversities from a clinical perspective while advocating for autistic clients.

Parents and Caregivers

Parents and caregivers not only play an important role during an autistic’s childhood, but in their adult life as well. The amount of information available about autism in children is enormous. In contrast the information about autistic adults is lacking. Parents and caregivers are often overworked, overwhelmed, and unequipped to make the many adjustments to their life after a child’s autism diagnosis.

Sam works to refocus from the broad knowledge of conflicting information about children while adding collective experiences of adult autistics. Sam also addresses differences in opinion between the autistic and medical communities to addresses both known and unknown risks of therapies and medications. Parents and caregivers leave with a better understanding of autism, care and treatment options, and adult autistic life.

Employers and the Workforce

With an increase in diagnosis and access to better care more autistic and other neurodiverse adults are entering the workforce. Addressing this change, Sam works with companies and organizations teaching about chronic illness, mental health, neurodiversity, and disability. Sam breaks down the popular understanding of these elements to discuss the misconceptions and misunderstandings they cause. Left with only foundational concept, Sam builds a new understanding rooted in the realities of these elements without popular culture. This new understanding helps employers hire effectively, increase diversity, work more effectively with current employees, and support disabled employees in the ways they need.