More than 3.5 million Americans live with an autism spectrum disorder. In 2014, the Centers for Disease Control identified 1 in 68 children as having autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
“Autism is a general term used to describe a group of complex developmental brain disorders – autism spectrum disorders – caused by a combination of genes and environmental influences. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by communication difficulties, social and behavioral challenges, and repetitive behaviors.” —Autism Speaks
You can listen now to the show we did on 4/24/17 on About Health, KPFA.org 94.1FM
“Who do you think made the first stone spears? The Asperger guy. If you were to get rid of all the autism genetics, there would be no more Silicon Valley.”
Jill Escher is president of the nonprofit, Autism Society San Francisco Bay Area, working to build a strong Bay Area autism community and focusing on the growing crisis in adult care, services and housing. Jill is an autism philanthropist, real estate investor, former lawyer, and mother of two children with nonverbal autism. Through the Escher Fund for Autism, Jill partners with major research organizations to spearhead pioneering autism causation research. She is also an active volunteer in the Bay Area’s autism community, including organizations such as Morgan Autism Centerand Autism Fun Bay Area. She is a graduate of Stanford University and the UC Berkeley School of Law and can be reached at .
Zack Oelerich is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who has lived and practiced in the Bay Area for over 20 years. He specializes in the comprehensive treatment of Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Zack’s philosophy builds on the unique strengths and sensitivities of his clients. In his psychotherapy practice, he helps teens and adults understand more about their Neurodiversity and how it impacts their lives. Zack also consults with technology professionals in the public and private sectors, assisting organizations in better understanding the nuances and complex group dynamics of their creative and sensitive coworkers. You can reach Zack at