Jesse Saperstein

A Continuous Process Towards Strengthening Life Skills

About the Speaker

Jesse A. Saperstein is a best-selling author, autism advocate and motivational speaker. He is considered one of the most respected leaders in the Anti-Bullying movement of his generation. Jesse also has a form of autism called Asperger’s syndrome (AS) that gives individuals some profound talents and challenges.

After graduating from Hobart and William Smith Colleges in 2004 with a BA degree in English, Jesse set out to conquer the 2,174-mile Appalachian Trail to benefit The Joey DiPaolo AIDS Foundation. He began hiking from Georgia to Maine on March 9, 2005, and successfully completed the journey on October 18, 2005, raising more than $19,000 for children to attend summer camp who had contracted HIV/AIDS through prenatal transmission. Shortly after his hike ended, Jesse was exposed to some of the harsh realities of living as an adult on the autism spectrum and was treated with fear by members of the community who did not understand. His decision to write a book was an opportunity to escape these realities and advocate for his peers who are not always granted a voice. Jesse’s story Atypical: Life with Asperger’s in 20 1/3 Chapters, was published by Penguin Group (USA) in April 2010 and immediately became a popular memoir due to its practical advice and humor.

After receiving a grant from the Anderson Center for Autism (ACA) in Staatsburg, New York, Jesse completed his first skydiving jump in front of his community in an effort to eradicate bullying. “Free-Falling to End Bullying in 2012” is now a popular video on YouTube.

Jesse visits schools on a regular basis and has been successful with wiping out bullying or at least dramatically alleviating it with every presentation. He was part of the “Keeping it Real” project with New York University (NYU) that helped introduce a new anti-bullying curriculum to New York City public schools. He has spoken in front of the United Nations and the Mall of America in Minneapolis, MN among many other places.

His second book, Getting a Life with Asperger’s: Lessons Learned on the Bumpy Road to Adulthood was released on Tuesday, August 5, 2014, and focuses on surviving the difficult transition into adulthood if someone has an autism spectrum disorder. Jesse moved to Albany in June 2015 to live in his first apartment as an independent adult. He serves as the Media and Activities Liaison for the College Experience that is run by Living Resources, Inc. The College Experience is a program that gives individuals with disabilities the ability to attend a mainstream college with a modified curriculum and provides life skills as well as employment training. His long-term goal is addressing the National Democratic Convention to advocate for oppressed US citizens and other Americans trying to reach their potential who have disabilities.

On Tuesday, April 2, 2019, Jesse had the honor of being included as one of the thirty-plus American heroes profiled within the anthology, American Spirit produced by New York Times Bestselling authors Taya Kyle and Jim DeFelice. On Wednesday, January 22, 2020, Jesse appeared on the Dr. Phil Show after successfully pitching the producers to advocate for his friend, David Elmore Smith, who was in dire need of resources to combat his morbid obesity. He has recently worked with the CEO of the American Red Cross to replenish the blood supply in hospitals especially if it is the antibody-enriched plasma harvested from survivors of COVID-19.

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