Exploring Autism: Two Minds, Two Memoirs [VIRTUAL]
Thursday, October 14 at 7 p.m.–8:30 p.m.Free
Join authors Teresa Hedley—What’s Not Allowed? A Family Journey with Autism—and Claire Finlayson—Dispatches from Ray’s Planet: A Journey Through Autism—as they explore the autism spectrum from a neurotypical perspective.
In this unique collaboration, both authors open up about their efforts to better understand the world as seen through the eyes of beloved family members with autism—in Teresa’s case, a son, and in Claire’s, a brother.
Claire and Ray were raised in West Vancouver while the Hedleys were a military family and moved from coast to coast in Canada and beyond.
Claire and Teresa discuss how writing has helped both of them to better understand the gifts and challenges that come with autism. With readings from their new memoirs and the sharing of their own struggles and hard-won insights, this promises to be a candid and illuminating conversation.
Teresa Hedley is an educator, a curriculum designer, and an author. She is also the mother of three young adults, one of whom, Erik, has autism. Her memoir, What’s Not Allowed? A Family Journey with Autism, was released in 2020 and tells the tale of Erik from womb to adult. While living in Ottawa, Erik and Teresa co-wrote a twenty-article series called “I Have Autism and I Need Your Help” for Autism Matters magazine. Teresa consulted to families of children with autism and to school boards throughout Ottawa. Prior to marriage, Teresa taught and trained teachers in Asia and Europe. The Hedley family currently lives in Comox on Vancouver Island. Learn more about Teresa here.
Claire Finlayson lives and writes on the beautiful Sunshine Coast of BC. After a 25-year career working as a jewelry designer, she now writes full time. She has been writing for as long as she can remember, as an essayist and occasionally as a journalist. Her passion is narrative non-fiction and Dispatches from Ray’s Planet: A Journey through Autism, published by Caitlin Press, is her first book. Claire served for ten years on the board of directors of Sechelt’s Festival of the Written Arts, the last three years as vice president. As a director, Claire introduced many authors at the Festival, but this year she appeared as one of the Festival’s New Voices. Learn more about Claire here.
For this virtual program, we’ll be using Zoom. We will email you the Zoom link 24 hours in advance of the program.
What you’ll need: A computer with speakers (or headphones) or your smartphone or tablet.