July 13, 2020

Embrace ASD Podcast #03 – Aaron Orsini

In our third episode, we talk with Aaron Orsini, co-founder of the Autistic Psychedelic Community, collaborator with neuroscientists, and author of the book Autism on Acid, about how LSD helped him understand, navigate, alter, and appreciate his autistic perceptions.

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Psychedelic research websites:

Topics of discussion:

01:16 Aaron’s diagnosis
04:20 Aaron coming out as autistic
05:15 Wrestling with the pood, the bad, and the ugly of autism
06:35 The stages of grief and autism diagnosis
09:20 Dealing with depression and other blocks in personal development
10:36 Neurological contact lens
15:00 Autism, psychedelics, and neural rewiring
17:50 Alexithymia and autism
21:00 Autistic Roomba
23:25 Martin’s tree experience
26:26 Hypersensitivity and trauma
31:35 Synesthesia
33:40 Psychedelics aiding a person with overwhelming synesthesia
35:00 Comparing and contrasting conscious experiences in NTs and autistics
36:47 Serotonin is (seemingly) ubiquitous: the model neurotransmitter
39:10 Parallels between infant brains and adult brains on psychedelics
40:10 Aaron’s role as a bridge between autism and psychedelic neuroscience
42:40 Other autistics’ positive experiences with psychedelics
43:44 Meditation and then mushrooms help Matt with his alexithymia
45:10 Martin embraces empathy on MDMA
45:40 Aaron’s first LSD trip
49:00 Dissolving the mask: LSD improves Aaron’s social intuition
50:55 Attempting to explain the ineffable, such as falling in love for the first time
52:48 Aaron takes control of his meta-programming
54:10 Aaron’s struggle to manifest his goals
55:55 PSA on doing and acquiring psychedelic substances
57:15 Collabs & more collabs: Aaron’s goals for autism and psychedelic research
59:45 Psychedelics’ medicinal uses
1:00:00 Lessons learned
1:04:00 LSD saves Aaron’s life
1:05:00 Taking interest in others
1:07:20 Research on psychedelics as disorder treatment
1:08:45 Psychedelics easing defense mechanisms and facilitating trauma resolution
1:09:56 Aaron embraces his autism post-LSD trip
1:11:30 Founding Embrace ASD
1:11:57 Love yourself
1:12:30 Knowing an experience vs. knowing about an experience
1:13:32 Insights don’t come for free
1:16:00 Aaron makes binaural beats
1:16:30 Set and setting
1:17:55 Alicia Danforth’s study on MDMA to alleviate social anxiety in autistic subjects((Reduction in social anxiety after MDMA-assisted psychotherapy with autistic adults: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study (Danforth et al., 2018)))
1:18:55 Aaron’s vision for psychedelic-assisted therapy for autistic people
1:21:10 Aaron finds his calling in life
1:22:40 Weekly autistic meetup group
1:23:00 Tempering expectations
1:23:30 Growing support and Aaron’s identity as a community-grower
1:24:18 Aaron’s social media/wrapping up

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