Testimonials

International praise for Russell’s work in advocacy

Universities
Keynotes
Nancy Kelly calls Russell a gifted speaker

“Gifted Speaker”

“Wow. I cannot begin to thank you enough for your AMAZING presentation. I received more positive feedback today than I have ever received about any of our guest speakers in the five years I have been here. You are a gifted speaker and I have no doubt that you have made a difference in how many of our staff members will interact with our kids, and with each other. It was wonderful to see the long line for your book. I look forward to the next one.”  /// Dr. Nancy Kelly – Upland Unified School District

“The Power to Change”

“I was extremely impressed with Russell’s presentation to our Rotary Club. Russell engaged us with his personal story and poetry, the truth and the challenges of growing up with autism. He is an inspiring young man with a great message to help all of us better understand how to meet the challenges of life, to be more compassionate, and listen to those that are different than us. More importantly, he’s reminded us that we each have the power to change, become better, and love ourselves and those around us more fully.”  /// Ph.D. Greg Krause – Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County

Robert Peyton, Ph.D. was very impressed with Russell Lehmann's Keynote for the Autism Society

“A Phenomenal Keynote”

“Russell was a phenomenal keynote speaker for our annual conference. His poetry was personally moving to me, and the stories he told of overcoming adversity were highly inspirational to all of the people at our conference.   He really brought the message of gaining strength through admitting his weakness and pushing through adversity one little step at a time.  This is a message we all need to hear, particularly people affected by autism who have an even more personal connection with Russell’s story – Russell showed that he did not just say that message, but he lives it as well! My favorite part of the conference was actually where he admitted he still has struggles, and showed how he may have to recover from a breakdown and then go talk to hundreds of people. We had about 800 people at our conference, and after Russell finished speaking, I’m not sure there was a dry eye in the house. Very impressive young man with an inspiring story who I would recommend to anyone. His kindness and generosity and overall his honesty can help make anyone want to try to be better.”  /// Robert Peyton, Ph.D. – President, Autism Society of Wisconsin

Ned Andrew Solomon says Russell Lehmann is a superb autism keynote

“Powerful & Dynamic Speaker, A Superb Keynote”

“Russell was a powerful and dynamic speaker whose message was, ultimately, one of hope, unconditional love and personal empowerment. Through original poetry, spot-on quotes by writers, philosophers and other great thinkers, and an intimate look into an at times disturbing and frightening coming-of-age story, Russell skillfully engaged the silent and rapt audience. One of our attendees, who has very high standards, said to me, “you hit a home run with this one”. If you bring in Russell, I suggest you leave enough time for Q&A. As superb as his keynote presentation was, his patient, sincere and touching unscripted actions with our very diverse audience were priceless.”   /// Ned Andrew Solomon – Tennessee Council on Developmental Disabilities

Dr. Francisco Reveles Testimonial Russell Lehmann

“Compelling, Moving, Riveting!”

“Compelling, moving and riveting is how I would describe Mr. Lehmann’s presentation to our entire staff. As a County Superintendent of Schools, I was deeply impressed with his ability to connect with an audience of educators and school board members. His life story and struggles served to give us all hope and optimism in serving children and their families. Well done Russell!”  /// Dr. Francisco Reveles, – Yuba County Superintendent of Schools

“Fantastic Keynote, Highly Recommended”

“Russell brought to us a fantastic keynote presentation that provided an honest, and sometimes heart wrenching, look at the pain of growing up misdiagnosed and mis-educated, which our audience of youth with disabilities, parents and educators could identify with. With his honest account of his experiences, he also shared a chance for the audience to remember that dark days bring opportunities for growth, new chances and new experiences, and not to let those opportunities pass us by. We very much appreciated Russell’s humor, intelligence, insight and humanness and highly recommend him as a presenter to any group of people wanting a deeper connection to the human experience.”  /// Mary Di Biase, Director – Montana Youth Transitions

Letters of Appreciation
Workshops/Trainings

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