The Autistic Innovator is dedicated to the autistic community. This website is an effort to provide information and encourage an entrepreneurial spirit for those in the autistic community.
Welcome to The Autistic Innovator. My name is Ashley Lauren Spencer.
I found out I was autistic in December 2019 when I was 35 years old. My aunt is the one who figured out the mystery of why I was so different from everyone else. She has a PhD in Special Education and has taught autistic kids for 40+ years. Her suspicion began when I was 10 years old because of how sensitive to touch I was as a child.
Finding out I was autistic changed everything. Suddenly, I made sense.
I noticed a hunger across social media networks for positive autistic representation, especially female representation. We were being rejected for jobs because we are autistic. I saw a multitude of stories about companies getting nationwide adoration because they created a program to hire autistic people, as if they took pity on us.
I started The Autistic Innovator, and my own entrepreneurial path with AutisticInnovator.com and CatsReviewingStuff.com, to encourage other autistic people to start their own businesses. Why exist as the charity hires when we can become successful autistic entrepreneurs.
My Entrepreneurial Background
My love for business started at a very young age. I grew up around high-level corporate executives and learned how to carry on a conversation with adults when I was a child. My dad’s clients loved having me around.
In 2009 when I was 25 years old, I started an online used book selling business called Hill Street Books. I would go to library book sales, Goodwill, and other charity book sales to gather up books to sell. When I found a book, I assessed the value and if it could bring me a good return, I would purchase the book and resell it on Amazon. I found an original textbook about DNA written by James Watson & Francis Crick on sale at Goodwill for $3 and sold it for nearly $200. My business had a perfect 5 star rating on Amazon. I ran Hill Street Books for approximately 10-12 months.
I started a few blogs in my 20s, but I quickly lost interest in the topics. It wasn’t until I created The Autistic Innovator that I found my place and purpose in this life.
My Career Background
My day job employer is a B2B company that assists small businesses. Our overall goal is to help small business owners sell their company to the right buyers. Daily, I create high-quality and detailed reports for the small business owners.
I am newly working with another undisclosed company helping them research and find large corporations across all 50 states as potential clients. I do my work on a commission only basis.
Life and business is a long learning process full of embracing special interests, working with what tools we have available, and making opportunities whenever we can.