Testimonials

International praise for Russell’s work in advocacy

Universities
Lawrence k fung

“Touched Our Hearts and Gave Hope to Us All”

“Russell Lehmann touched our hearts with his personal story at the Stanford Neurodiversity Summit. He transformed his personal struggles to passion and strength. The neurodiverse community – neurodivergent people, their families, mental health providers, educators, service providers – was inspired by Russell’s resilience and motivated by his powerful and genuine poems. Thank you, Russell, for sharing your gifts and giving hope to us all.”  /// Lawrence Fung, MD, PhD – Director, Stanford Neurodiversity Project

“Much Needed Perspective for Our Research”

“Russell gave an inspiring talk about his experience living with autism spectrum disorder and other mental health comorbidities to our master’s students at USC. As brain researchers, we are frequently detached from the experiences of individuals like Russell, making it easy to disconnect with the overarching purpose and significance of the types of knowledge gaps that brain research is trying to address. Russell’s testimony was refreshing, informative, approachable, and a much-needed alternate perspective of what it means to live with a neurological condition.”  /// Lauren Salminen, PhD – Instructor of Research, Neurology, University of Southern California

Keynotes

“Every Teacher Should Hear Him Speak”

“We had the pleasure of having Russell speak at our autism conference last fall. He is a remarkable person with an amazing story to tell. I was inspired by his presentation and have really enjoyed his book. Every middle school and high school student (and teacher!) should hear him speak.”  /// Judith Bailey-Hung – Young Adult Institute (YAI) – New York

Kari Horn of Nevada Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities calls Russell a captivating and authentic speaker on autism

“Captivating and Authentic”

“Russell is a captivating and authentic speaker who brings passion, truth, hope and compassion to his work on the Nevada Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities and to his audience. He has the ability to bring everyone in the room into his experiences, painting a picture that allows the listener to imagine they were on his journey with him. When he spoke at our National Conference in Washington D.C. there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.”  /// Kari Horn – Nevada Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities

“Left a Lasting Imprint”

“Russell presented at the YAI Autism Conference in New York in November 2018. He was the highlight of the day! Russell tells his story and he will touch your heart. He makes your see how critical it is to have someone believe in you and love you unconditionally, and how this human connection can make all the difference in helping someone grow. He received so much positive feedback from the attendees; we hope to get him to present again. Russell has left such an imprint on our heads and hearts.”  /// Lisa Cornall – YAI Network

Donna Meltzer of the NACDD calls Russell's presentation on life with autism poignant and raw.

“Poignant, Raw, Real”

“Russell Lehmann’s presentation is not to be missed! Russell’s story is poignant, raw, and real with an uplifting message that lets everyone know that whatever you are coping with can be overcome with the right support, a lot of faith, and much love. I highly recommend him when you want or need someone who can share their story in a very authentic way and hit home the points that disability and mental health conditions should never be stigmatized or hidden away. When Russell spoke to my organization’s conference attendees the room was silent and I would be shocked if there was a single dry eye in the room. I firmly believe that everyone benefits from hearing Russell’s story.”  /// Donna Meltzer – National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities (NACDD)

Sandye Cox calls Russell's work with autism inspiring

“Inspiring”

“We had the pleasure of having Russell Lehmann as a Keynote Speaker at the 2017 TAVAC Conference in Grapevine, Texas. His insight and transparency about his struggles and triumphs with autism were nothing short of inspiring. The candid account of his “baby steps” to success was a great way to motivate and rejuvenate teachers as they begin a new school year.”  /// Sandye Cox – Texas Association of Vocational Adjustment Coordinators (TAVAC)

According to Julia Vargas, daughter of B.F. Skinner, Russell is a very effective speaker!

“Worthy Praise”

“A very effective speaker!”  /// Dr. Julie Vargas – B.F. Skinner Foundation (Daughter of B.F. Skinner)

Letters of Appreciation
Workshops/Trainings
Anne Tapia of Regional Autism Advisory in Cincinnati, OH calls Russell Lehmann's presentation "stirring".

“Stirring Presentation”

“Russell Lehmann offers a stirring presentation that leaves you feeling inspired and awed. He vulnerably shares his experiences and reminds you to show compassion and a commitment to truly honoring people and their choices.”  /// Anne Tapia – Regional Autism Advisory Council – Cincinnati

Russell speaks for disabilities and rehabilitation groups

“Intriguing Story”

“Russell Lehmann’s intriguing story and sincere presentation captured our staff’s attention. He brought challenges and issues that we see on a daily basis to life, increasing our insight and understanding. He also provided staff tips that will increase their skills and ability to work with individuals facing similar challenges. I found his story and ability to turn his challenges into strengths inspiring, and motivating and encouraging for individuals worldwide as each person faces their own.”  /// Kara Lang – Nevada Vocational Rehabilitation

“Highly Recommended”

“Russell spoke about his own courage, persistence and resilience. I highly recommend him as a speaker. Inspiring guy!”  /// Steve Degnan – Nestle Purina PetCare North America – St. Louis

Emma Dickinson of NVASP says Russell Lehmann lends a voice to the silent

“A Voice for The Silent”

“I had the pleasure of experiencing Russell’s presentation as part of the Nevada Association for School Psychologists (NVASP) lecture series. His heartfelt, honest testimonial and poetry struck a chord and echoed true to professional experiences perceived over the years. His perspectives added another layer to my helping skills arsenal. What was most refreshing to hear was Russell lending a voice to those students who are silent.”  /// Emma Dickinson – Nevada Association for School Psychologists (NVASP)

Welcome and Keynote Speaker

Russell Lehmann | Speaker, Poet, Advocate

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Would love to have him speak to students. I will look over his videos to present to kiddos.

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Wonderful information and thank you for sharing your own experiences

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Very inspirational!

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AMAZING!!!

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This was fabulous!

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Russell Lehmann - Breakout Session

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I wish there was more time for Q&A. I felt talked to for an hour, which was fine, but I would have liked more of an interactive presentation.

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Again, very good speaker

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Great presentation

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This guy is so inspiring

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Grateful for his articulate, personal and very honest story shared with us

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Great perspective and reminders

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Dear Russell,

On behalf of the Community Engagement Conference 2022 Planning Committee we would like to thank you again for the wonderful keynote address that you presented on our theme of “Building Community” at Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri. The conference had over 300 people in attendance. The audience feedback on your presentation was outstanding! Out of approximately 50% of returned surveys, 100% of the respondents gave you the highest possible review on your presentation. We felt honored to have you as our guest in Northeast Missouri.

Russell, your presentation came at a pivotal moment for our community as we discuss and plan the development of the Greenwood Center for Autism in Northeast Missouri. To quote one of the key players from the conference, she said “Russell is saying exactly what everyone in this room needs to hear.”  We appreciate your transparency in sharing your inspiring personal journey. Your willingness to discuss your story, identify what worked and what didn’t work for you as well as your balance in reviewing educational and community supports had enormous impact on our community leadership. We are confident that your message will be considered in the planning and providing services for the autistic community in Northeast Missouri for many years to come.

In addition, the participants were particularly appreciative of the round table discussion which you led following lunch. So many of the people receiving community services felt comfortable enough to speak up and share their thoughts. Many participants said that they have never seen that level of participation from the consumers of our services in the history of this conference. Together we all agreed it was because of your motivational speaking style and ability to connect on a deeply personal level with your audience.

Russell, your ability to communicate a positive and inspiring message to people with developmental disabilities has emboldened many to speak up and embrace self-advocacy. Following your presentation, several local citizens impacted by autism have come together and are beginning to share their stories in support of one another. You modeled for many what leadership and vision looks like. You demonstrated how that vision can help a community come together. We cannot express enough our gratefulness for all that you said and did during your visit. We look forward to continuing our communications with you as your message continues to change the world.

Thank you for all that you do

Crystal Aminirad

Executive Director