Social media sensation and author promotes autism awareness and acceptance
Matthew Kenslow has amassed more than 1 million followers on Instagram, nearly 70k on TikTok and more than 65k YouTube subscribers by sharing his insights, real-world experiences and pearls of wisdom when it comes to navigating the world around him. At 6 years old, Kenslow was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome (now referred to as autism spectrum disorder).
“My autism awareness and acceptance videos should, hopefully, not just encourage the families of those on the spectrum, but also educate those who still need to learn about autism and then accept us for who we are, learning what we’re going through,” Kenslow said during an interview.
Today, Kenslow is a pianist, college graduate, substitute teacher and the author of the book “Juggling the Issues: Living With Asperger’s Syndrome,” in which he takes readers inside what it’s truly like for someone living with the disability.
“My main message that I tell hundreds of people is that I have not given up on my goals,” he writes in the book’s preface. “I persevere on my aspirations. If I can do that, certainly everybody else can too.”
Told through a series of stories about his personal experiences, Kenslow sheds light on the ways in which certain challenges have impacted his everyday life. The way his mind works is different, he said, and he has struggled with social and conversational skills, and poor eye contact. He explains that simple tasks take longer for him — like reading or organizing his thoughts — while remembering things like the president’s birth, term and death dates; the elements of the Periodic Table; and the books of the Bible come more easily.
“Juggling the Issues: Living With Asperger’s Syndrome” is an important read for anyone whose life has been touched by autism spectrum disorder. Kenslow’s insights aim to lend understanding, provide inspiration, and encourage readers to put aside differences and embrace the gifts that others have to share with the world.
“Behind the disability we have a heart and a mind; we have a calling and a purpose,” Kenslow added.
About the Author
Matthew Kenslow has grown up with a form of autism that was once referred to as Asperger’s syndrome. Life has been an adventure as he pieced together all of his surroundings amid both praises and taunts. His mission is to teach others from a firsthand perspective about how people with autism interpret things differently from the rest of the world. He feels he has been blessed with the gifts to juggle, play piano and recall facts about the American presidents, geography, science and mathematics. He juggles at elementary schools and encourages the students to never give up on their passions.
He has earned the Gold Medal of Achievement (which is equivalent to the rank of Eagle Scout) through Royal Rangers, a program he has been in since he was 5. Now, he is giving back to children and teenagers, teaching and mentoring them in a wide set of skills and knowledge. He graduated from Orange Coast College with an associate of science degree in chemistry and with a bachelor of science degree in biochemistry from Vanguard University of Southern California. He aspires to be a middle school math teacher. Recently, he earned a full math credential after student teaching Enhanced Mathematics at his former middle school, Ensign Intermediate School. Currently, he is going for a master of arts degree in education at Vanguard University and is an employed substitute teacher for NMUSD, often being called by students as “the best sub” and begged by them to come back the next day or to sub for their class soon.