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Interview with Kent Potter: Founder of Autismspot.com
Autismspot Article

Lamarque Polvado: Tell me about the beginning of Autism Spot. How did you

come to this idea? Why did you do it?

Kent Potter: My son, Sam, was diagnosed with some developmental delays and

some sensory processing issues when he was very young. He was born premature

so we were fortunate to have a developmental doctor by our side each and every

month as we went in for appointments. He got the official diagnosis through the

school district when he was almost four, but it was closer to the age of two when

our developmental pediatrician said, "I am seeing signs of concern." She told us

then in very black and white terms that if we did not get Sam early intervention

then there could be a very different outcome for him which was devastating to

hear. So we got busy finding the services that Sam would need. At the time I was

in the technology business and my wife was in early childhood education and

we were amazed at the spectrum of options out there. We had a lot of questions

about different modalities of therapy and which therapist would be best for us to

work with etc.

Years later after we had spent a considerable amount of money receiving therapies

and services and seeing some success we saw that it was the networking among

parents and the information that was exchanged between them that was critical.

At that time I had the opportunity to leave corporate America and start a new

venture and then shortly after that started a second new venture. So the entrepreneurial

engine in me was really churning and I felt like I could finally combine

my experience in technology and my passion for video and film, which is what I

studied in college, to a project that would impact the autism community. So the

idea of Autismspot was born. We also knew this would only be the beginning so

we created Project LD which stands for Project Learning Different. I was

diagnosed with dyslexia in my college years and once someone showed me how

to learn a different way the doors just flew wide open, which ironically allowed

me to graduate college early. It was life changing. We launched Project LD in

September 2007 with our first website Autismspot.com. My partner and good

friend who also has learning differences knew that we could work together and

apply our own experiences to the framework of Autismspot. Our mission is to

inform, educate, and Inspire. Everything that we do focuses on those three functions.


LP: When someone comes to Autismspot what is it that you want the user to take

away from his/her experience?

KP: When someone comes to our site they are able to interact immediately with

the video of the day, see the latest news stories that have to do with Autism, go

to myspot to blog about their life and to interact with others who are telling their

personal story or to dive deeper into our video library to access information that

may be pertinent to them.


LP: So how many videos are on Autismspot?

KP: Good question. We have a little over 600 videos and are well on our way to

over 1000 if I include what is in post production right now. I often get asked how

much raw footage do we have and literally we have thousands of hours of video

that we have collected from our national and global travels. Autismspot has

viewers in over 120 countries worldwide.


LP: What have you taken away from this Autismspot experience after talking to

countless families and the professionals literally from all over the world?

KP: Hope. In one single word I could say that the autism community is about

hope, and not about fear. When I speak to audiences at conferences or parent

groups, there is always a theme of hope that I believe is directly related to

free access of information and to a willingness of other individuals to speak

up and share what they have learned along the way. It has been and is

powerful experience.

Project LD...Revolutionizing the way digital media is used to connect and educate

people around the world...