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About AskAnAspie:
The way AskAnAspie works is simple. You email your question to We answer it. Depending on the nature of the question, this may involve one of our panelists simplely writing from personal experience, it may involve some research on our part in the vast pile of websites out there about autism, or it may be an excuse for us all to get together and have a three hour conversation which will probably include at least one Monty Python reference and a brief discussion of Canadian phoenetics, and it will fall to one poor panelist to try to turn it into an answer to the question at hand.

Who are these panelists, you might ask. Because of the nature of the assignment, our panelists are chosen very carefully. First, for obvious reasons, they need to fall somewhere on the autism spectrum. Secondly, they need to be willing to be on the panel. Thirdly, and this is the part that makes them 'carefully chosen', they need to prove to the existing panel members that they have the ability and sensitivity to answer letters appropriately. To this end, new panel members go through a probation period in which answers must be submitted to senior panelists for review before they are sent to the person who origionally asked the question. And even after that probation period is over, all replies must be sent to all panelists to ensure that no one panelist is being an ass and acting inappropriately.

About our organization:
AskAnAspie is a service provided by Odds & Friends. O&F was origionally started as a group of students at the University of Chicago who had Asperger's and High Functioning Autism, but has since expanded. We have two main goals: to provide a social environment in which aspies can socialize with each other in an aspie-safe setting, and to raise awareness in the larger society of autism as a spectrum and as a way of seeing the world rather than as a disease.

About our panelists:

The Odds

Wiley Sherer is by far the smartest, funniest, and most physically attractive of the panelists. She is also, by complete coincidence, the webmaster and thus the person who writes most of the non-essay material on the webpage, including this biography. (Ok, I'll give up on the third-person joke now.) I am a 20 year old Religious Studies major who hopes to some day become a reference librarian. I first started thinking seriously about Asperger's Syndrome when my aunt heard this story on NPR. She called my mom, who listened to it online, and then promptly called me. The more I learned about Asperger's the more closely it fit. But because over the years I have developed very good masking skills, I had trouble getting a formal diagnosis. Finally I went to the University of Pittsburgh to participate in their autism study. While no three hour test can be 100% conclusive, the results reinforced my self-diagnosis of Asperger's.

Brian Auriti, born in 1984, is a University of Chicago student majoring in linguistics. He was diagnosed with high-functioning autism at age six, though he was unaware of this diagnosis throughout his childhood, and at age twenty he rediscovered his condition as Asperger's Syndrome. Since then he has spent a great deal of time exploring the nature of AS, and of personality more broadly, through reading, writing, and contemplation. On the other hand, he's also spent a great deal of time watching South Park. Brian's interests are diverse, and include the psychological construction of identity, personality typology, Japanese animation, wordplay, and staring at beautiful things.

J. Lynn Vance - woman, Chicagoan, Aspie.
Blessed with lots of curly blond hair and a decent figure, but nevertheless frighteningly intelligent (literally; multiple people have told me I scare them) and thus home alone most Saturday nights. I read a lot of sci-fi & fantasy, for a variety of reasons, but partially because I can thus see how neurotypical people deal with aliens such as myself.
B.S. Biology, B.A. Religion, B.S. Exercise Science, University of Iowa,1998.
M.A. Religious Ethics, emphasis in biomedical ethics, University of Virginia, 2003.
Owner of a fat orange tabby cat named Pete. Ask me why!
A convert to Catholicism
Currently unemployed (now taking offers; 773-960-4417) Would prefer a quiet and dim working environment with understanding co-workers, where I could put my fearsome (see above) powers of attention to detail and ability to perceive connections at the service of humankind. If I can do it while wearing my fuzzy slippers, so much the better.

The Friends

These are the folks who aren't actually Aspies, but know a lot about the autism spectrum and will sometimes write supplements to the answers given by the actual Aspies. Don't worry though, all your email will be answered by at least one Aspie.


Pamela Sherer, as you might have guessed by the name, is Wiley Sherer's mother. She helps us with questions about early childhood (which most of us don't remember) and is the resident expert on the current state of autism research.