Transcript of 2019 Awardee Ethan Hirschberg Video

2019 Awardee Ethan Hirschberg Video


My name’s Ethan. I’m from Carlsbad, California, and I have high-functioning autism. Having high-functioning autism, I feel that I am an effective ambassador to help others who can’t communicate as well themselves.

I started my blog just to simply share my experiences, but now it has grown to over 60,000 current readers in over 50 countries. Through my writings, I share my own experiences, which are very common to others who have autism as well.

For example, one thing that many people don’t understand about autism is stemming. Stemming is a repetitive motion that calms down the body. Certain stems that you may see include locking back and forth, flapping arms, humming, movement of the eyes, etcetera. Oftentimes, people with autism might be on their own or alone and may do some socially awkward actions. However, this doesn’t mean that they don’t want friends, and people with autism want friends as much as everybody else does.

With all of the positive feedback that I’ve gotten, I’ve been able to expand my online community into an in-person community as well, where I publicly speak at schools, companies, and conferences.

My favorite part about public speaking is that I’m able to answer questions, deepen my connections, and relate my own experiences to other people around me.

The Diller Teen Tikkun Olam Award is so special to me because it not only validates my work in the autism community but also in the Jewish community.