[102] S8 E10: From ABA to understanding an autism diagnosis as a unique pathway to a fulfilling life
Topics in this episode: ABA, advocacy, autism at work, employment, family, intergenerational autism, self employment, special interests

Maisie Soetantyo is the founder of a nonprofit with a mission to improve employment prospects for autistic jobseekers and aspiring business owners.

Now an openly autistic advocate and inclusivity trainer, she has been working with neurodivergent people since her undergraduate studies in 1991, but it would be many years before some of her clients started suggesting that she might be autistic, too.

A former Applied Behavioural Analysis (ABA) practitioner, she moved away from ABA after realising that supporting her client’s authenticity as autistic individuals should be the goal. She set up Autism Career Pathways in San Francisco, USA in 2019, and now works to foster a meaningful understanding and acceptance of an autism diagnosis as a unique pathway to self advocacy and a fulfilling life.

In our conversation we talk about:

➡ Her experiences growing up with learning difficulties and processing disorders in a neurodivergent family

➡ Her thoughts on autism and employment, and how our special interests and even our stims can hold the key to what we should be doing with our lives.

➡ Her experiences as an ABA practitioner, how her thinking has evolved, and the work she now does to support autistic people.

Squarepeg is a podcast in which neurodivergent women, and trans and nonbinary people, explore navigating a neurotypical world and share their insights, challenges and successes.

I hope that these conversations will be inspiring and thought provoking, open you up to new ways of thinking about being neurodivergent, and help you feel more connected to a worldwide community of people with similar experiences.

I’m Amy Richards, and after being diagnosed autistic at the age of 37 I’m now on a mission to learn more about different perspectives and issues around being a neurodivergent adult in a world that feels like it doesn’t quite fit.



Maisie’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/maisiesoetantyo/

Autism Career Pathways website: https://autismcareerpathways.org/

Her LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/maisie-soetantyo/


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