April is National Autism Awareness Month. April 2 is World Autism Awareness Day. For Jonathan Chase, every day is filled with autism. His own.

The 30-year-old Portland resident, autism activist and off-the-charts professional bass player has been carrying a diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome for more than half of his life. In 2008, Jonathan became the first “ASD Diagnosed” Board Member of the Autism Society of Oregon (ASO). He currently oversees ASO’s Workshop Subcommittee, which organizes educational and informational events throughout the state of Oregon.

He’s also a sought-after presenter and runs a consulting business that helps families and individuals prosper with the many challenges of an autism diagnosis.

Jonathan’s activism was inspired by growing up “different,” and being the target of savage bullying when he was in elementary school. He officially joined the “Aspie” ranks when he was 14. Sadly, Jonathan’s “label” changed nothing for his insensitive classmates and ignorant school administrators.

What Jonathan endured is, by any standard, horrific.

What he’s accomplished since he left high school is totally inspirational.

Jonathan Chase Interview: Part 1

Jonathan Chase Interview: Part 2

Watch Jonathan Rip the Bass Guitar

During Autism Awareness month, we’ll be featuring more from our interview with Jonathan Chase as well as additional audio, video and perspective from other autism activists in the Portland area, including me.

Jonathan’s website: Jonathanchase.net

Autism Society of Oregon: autismsocietyoregon.org

Robert Parish autism website: www.comebackjack.org