Hear it from the experts, Asperger’s Experts!
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Hear it from the experts, Asperger’s Experts!

The following is a special needs program update from College Living Experience | CLE | Choose Your Future

By Sharon Heller, Director

Hayden and Danny - Asperger's ExpertsHave you ever met someone, heard their story, and were left so inspired and moved that you were speechless? Well that’s how I felt after my interview with Hayden Mears, co-founder and co-owner of Asperger’s Experts, a now flourishing internet-based company.

Hayden Mears and Danny Raede, the founders and owners of Asperger’s Experts, first met while they were attending College Living Experience in Denver in 2011. They “hung out and got close” according to Hayden, with no premonition of where their friendship would take them. In 2012, after doing well in the CLE program, Hayden decided to leave CLE and return home to his mother’s house in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

One day Hayden received a phone call from Danny asking if he wanted to help him to start a business. Danny believed that he and Hayden had the self-awareness and personal perspective to take what they had learned and help others, so he pitched his idea to Hayden. Soon after their phone call, Danny flew out to Tulsa and they spent a weekend brainstorming and creating the initial structure for their new company, Asperger’s Experts. By September 2012, they had officially launched their company. Hayden was only 20 at the time.

Asperger's Experts

Although Danny already had substantial experience in internet marketing and making money online, the success of their new company is exceptional. Hayden claims he had no business experience, and that it was overwhelming at first. It took a lot of trial by fire and never giving up. Danny coached and mentored Hayden until Hayden had the skill set to hold equal weight in the company.

Mentoring

Hayden shared with me the importance of “mentoring” and said that Danny also had a highly successful marketing mentor who helped along the way. Hayden’s most important qualities to look for in a mentor include someone who is lovingly firm and mostly objective. He said that it’s not effective, especially for someone with Asperger’s, to have someone yell at you. It’s threatening and doesn’t teach you anything.

When I asked Hayden for some advice for students and families he shared that, “It’s good to be at least semi-prepared for what you are stepping into. You have to find your why and if you want it badly enough, you will figure out how to do something. Look inside yourself and ask yourself what you want. If you get connected to what you want, you can make it happen. It’s never too late to change your life.”

All I can say is “wow”! My hat goes off to Hayden and Danny. These young men are brilliant, and their contribution to the Asperger’s community and the world at large is substantial, needed, and a true testament to their dedication and hard work.

You have to love yourself, diagnosis and all. You have to be okay being you and stop beating yourself up. You can learn to like yourself and happiness is a choice. It starts as a decision you make. After you accept yourself, you can find what you want and go after it.

– Hayden Mears

Newsletter Articles – April 2015

Debora Smith

Especially during Autism Awareness Month, College Living Experience (CLE) likes to honor and give voice to the many and diverse voices in the autism community. Debora Smith is one of those voices. As a parent of a young adult with Autism Spectrum Disorder and a professional who has worked in the field, Debora shared her experiences and expertise with us in this interview.

Co-author of Teaching my Teacher about Autism, Debora has served as president of the Orange County Asperger’s Support Group. She is currently a member of the Interagency Autism Group, a member of the Orange County Autism Regional Taskforce, and board member of the Educational Foundation for Independence. Recently, she formed her own consulting business, ARM |Autism Resource Mom, and currently lives in Orange County, California with her husband and son.

Alec CLE Austin

During this month of Autism Awareness, we at CLE embrace the diversity of our students’ experiences, interests and talents, and we also recognize the limitations that diagnoses and labels like ‘autistic’ can impose. A person is so much more than any one label they may have been assigned. Each of us is made up of our experiences, education, maturity, family history, preferences, interests, talents, strengths, and so much more. This is the story of one young man whose unique life experiences have led him to where he is today, and who is so much more than the limited label of ‘autistic’ can encompass.

Andy Warhol

In honor of Autism Awareness and Acceptance, we are quizzing our readers on what they know about Autism.

The post Hear it from the experts, Asperger’s Experts! appeared first on College Living Experience | CLE | Choose Your Future.