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Embrace Autism Podcast #03: Aaron Orsini

Published: July 14, 2020
Last updated on November 22, 2023

In our third podcast episode, we talk with Aaron Orsini, co-founder of the Autistic Psychedelic Community, collaborator with neuroscientists, and author of the book Autism on Acid, about how LSD helped him understand, navigate, alter, and appreciate his autistic perceptions.

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Psychedelic research websites:

Video podcast

Below you can listen to and watch the podcast on YouTube. The topics of discussion can be found in the description on YouTube, or scroll down on this post.

Audio podcast

If you want to listen audio-only, you can find us on most podcast platforms, including Podbean and Spotify.

Topics of discussion

01:16 Aaron’s diagnosis
04:20 Aaron coming out as autistic
05:15 Wrestling with the good, the bad, and the ugly of autism
06:35 The stages of grief and autism diagnosis
09:20 Dealing with depression and other blocks in personal development
10:36 Neurological contact lens
15:00 Autism, psychedelics, and neural rewiring
17:50 Alexithymia and autism
21:00 Autistic Roomba
23:25 Martin’s tree experience
26:26 Hypersensitivity and trauma
31:35 Synesthesia
33:40 Psychedelics aiding a person with overwhelming synesthesia
35:00 Comparing and contrasting conscious experiences in NTs and autistics
36:47 Serotonin is (seemingly) ubiquitous: the model neurotransmitter
39:10 Parallels between infant brains and adult brains on psychedelics
40:10 Aaron’s role as a bridge between autism and psychedelic neuroscience
42:40 Other autistics’ positive experiences with psychedelics
43:44 Meditation and then mushrooms help Matt with his alexithymia
45:10 Martin embraces empathy on MDMA
45:40 Aaron’s first LSD trip
49:00 Dissolving the mask: LSD improves Aaron’s social intuition
50:55 Attempting to explain the ineffable, such as falling in love for the first time
52:48 Aaron takes control of his meta-programming
54:10 Aaron’s struggle to manifest his goals
55:55 PSA on doing and acquiring psychedelic substances
57:15 Collabs & more collabs: Aaron’s goals for autism and psychedelic research
59:45 Psychedelics’ medicinal uses
1:00:00 Lessons learned
1:04:00 LSD saves Aaron’s life
1:05:00 Taking interest in others
1:07:20 Research on psychedelics as disorder treatment
1:08:45 Psychedelics easing defense mechanisms and facilitating trauma resolution
1:09:56 Aaron embraces his autism post-LSD trip
1:11:30 Founding Embrace ASD
1:11:57 Love yourself
1:12:30 Knowing an experience vs. knowing about an experience
1:13:32 Insights don’t come for free
1:16:00 Aaron makes binaural beats
1:16:30 Set and setting
1:17:55 Alicia Danforth’s study on MDMA to alleviate social anxiety in autistic subjects[1]Reduction in social anxiety after MDMA-assisted psychotherapy with autistic adults: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study (Danforth et al., 2018)
1:18:55 Aaron’s vision for psychedelic-assisted therapy for autistic people
1:21:10 Aaron finds his calling in life
1:22:40 Weekly autistic meetup group
1:23:00 Tempering expectations
1:23:30 Growing support and Aaron’s identity as a community-grower
1:24:18 Aaron’s social media/wrapping up


This article
was written by:
The Embrace Autism team shares the latest updates on our website and organization. Who writes the articles under the Embrace Autism name, you may ask. The simple answer is that we all do; each of us alternates between typing a single key. It takes a ridiculous amount of time to write that way, but it’s all about the team effort!


Although our content is generally well-researched
and substantiated, or based on personal experience,
note that it does not constitute medical advice.


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