Photo of Dan Jones, autistic YouTuber, in the spectrum design with quote text

Meet Daniel Jones, an autistic content creator and speaker.

Dan’s YouTube channel, the Aspie World, is dedicated to creating resources and building an online community for autistic people. His channel and talks also help professionals learn more about autism.

Dan tells us more about getting started as a YouTuber and why it’s so important the autistic community is represented at panels and events…

Why did you create your YouTube channel?

I created my channel to be a positive and empowering information resource on autism, including ADHD, OCD and Dyslexia. The message of my channel is to break perceptions about autism, and talk about autism from an autistic perspective.

When were you diagnosed as autistic?

After a large struggle in my life, I was diagnosed as autistic when I was 26. Up to that point, I was diagnosed with lots of other things that are often common among autistic people, but was not diagnosed as autistic myself.

What is being autistic like for you?

Being autistic to me is like being all by myself in a crowded room.

I want to make friends and talk to people, but not being able to look people in the eyes, and not getting like jokes and social cues makes this super hard. I also experience sensory processing difficulties, such as walking into doorways a lot. I am terrible at time keeping and keeping things in my short term memory, although my long term memory is like a facts vault.

Why do you think it’s so important that the online autistic community is represented at YouTuber events?

Creating opportunities for people to see autistic creators at YouTube events makes them a relatable experience for autistic individuals. I also think it’s important to talk about autism from an autistic perspective and offer help and education to improve lives, as I think there is a lot of misinformation out there.

Why do you think it’s so important that YouTuber conventions are made autism friendly?

YouTube and video conventions should be autism friendly because there is a thriving community of autistic users that want to go to these events.

It is important that the venue is made accessible so that everyone feels welcome, as the confidence this would give people would be amazing. This can be done by consulting with autistic people to see what works for them, like quiet spaces and appropriate lighting.

How do you think people talking about autism on YouTube has changed since you started your channel?

When I started my channel back in 2013, there weren’t many autistic people online creating autism focused content, but since then it has grown into a thriving, amazing community.

It has opened up a dialogue between autistic people and non-autistic individuals and now there are people who understand more about autism because they had a spare five minutes to check out a video, rather than attend a session or open day.

What advice would you give to someone who has just received an autism diagnosis?

Take a few days to let it sink in, then do some research on the help and support access you can get. I would also advise joining some online groups, like on Facebook, as these are amazing tools to connect with other people.

What do you do in your spare time, besides YouTube?

I am an SEO data analyst and I run a few companies based on that. I am also scientist, with a chemistry degree. I really enjoy music and skateboarding, and I am in a band called Straight Jacket Legends, signed to a label in the US and Japan.

What are your future projects?

I am planning a talking tour for my followers to come and meet me, as I get this request this a lot. I am about to hit 100,000 subscribers on YouTube and will be launching new content to celebrate, so keep an eye on my channel!

 

Dan is participating in a Meet and Greet at the UK’s largest online video festival, Summer in the City. Find out more here.

Find out more about autism