Anthony Ianni, an anti-bullying motivational speaker, will share his story of living with autism in a 4 p.m. March 7 presentation in the East Union (room posted).
Bullied at a young age, Ianni was told autism would make it difficult for him to graduate high school and that he would most likely be unable to live alone as an adult. Instead, he graduated, earned a degree from Michigan State University and became the first known individual with autism to play NCAA Division I basketball. While in college, he was a member of two Big Ten championship basketball teams and played on the Spartans' 2010 NCAA Final Four team.
"We wanted to bring Anthony to Nebraska to shed light on the fact that we aren't just teachers or clinicians for people with disabilities, but we also have to be their advocate," said Sue Kemp, associate professor of practice. "We have to develop relationships so they feel safe to share when they are bullied so that we, as adults, can intervene appropriately and hopefully minimize this trauma. We also valued the opportunity to hear from someone who personally navigated this journey and get his perspective on what might have been done differently in order to shape our future practices."
The talk is presented by the Kids and Dreams Foundation and is hosted by Student Council for Exceptional Children in the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders. Kemp is the faculty adviser to Nebraska's chapter of the Student Council for Exceptional Children. student council.
Ianni's "Live Your Dream" presentation is free and open to the public. Learn more about his work in speaking to students about preventing bullying and reaching for individual goals.