Written by:
Embrace Autism icon.
May 22, 2020

Podcast #01: Rees Finlay

Last updated on July 3, 2021

In our first podcast, we talk with Rees Finlay.

Rees is a writer, illustrator, autism activist, and public speaker based in the UK. He has done official artworks for Star Wars, Stranger Things, and AMC’s The Walking Dead, among other things. And he happens to be autistic!

Follow Rees:

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

00:56 Rees’ diagnosis and the difficulty of receiving post-diagnosis support
04:32 Rees’ moral quandary at work
05:18 Interests in comics and first professional comics gigs
08:21 Why Rees wrote his novel
12:55 Neurodiversity and conceptions of autism
15:50 The banality of evil of everyday life
17:00 Avoiding dogma and political tribalism in the neurodiversity movement
21:00 Dating while autistic
24:00 Autism research, empathy, alexithymia, and common perceptions of autism
28:20 Neurodiversity wars: Tribalism within the autism community, and tolerating neurotypicals
34:50 Rees’ coming out
35:20 Autistic experiences and self-actualization
41:40 Autistic super powers and kryptonites
44:20 Coronavirus and postponed live show
49:21 Autism dark web
50:35 Belittling of autistic people
52:33 Hedwig the Owl in real life
55:50 Punching up: When jokes about NTs go too far
56:44 NHS autism services: Inadequate but necessary
01:02:26 FDA finally bans the use of electric shock devices administered to autistics
01:04:10 Autistic accountability and media presentations of autism
01:08:10 The vicious cycle of oppression and trauma
01:11:00 Jerks as friends: Rees’ experience with social manipulation
01:15:38 Integrating a future of great possibility after serious suicidal ideation
01:16:21 Rees’ revelations as an artist and autism advocate
01:17:25 The delicate balance between pleasing people and making real change
01:18:00 Twitter wars and the burden of celebrity
01:20:55 Punished for altruism: Hiding selfless acts
01:23:30 Learning from mistakes: What Rees has learned from failure
01:24:33 Rees’ social media


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was written by:
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