Smashing Stereotypes of Adults on the Autism Spectrum


Adults on the autism spectrum are as individual as we all are. Yes, there are characteristics that have led to a diagnosis of autism, but there are still many stereotypes about what an adult with autism 'looks like' and what sorts of ways they can participate in society. 

The predominant stereotype is that individuals on the spectrum are tech-savvy and excel in math and sciences. Although we have some individuals who 'fit' this stereotype, there are many others who are not oriented towards the sciences, but rather are creative and enjoy drawing, music, theater, and dance. While others have not found their niche and are wondering why they don't seem to have a 'special' talent. 

Often, these individuals struggle with social anxiety and they may have low self-confidence and low-self esteem after trying to 'fit-in' to traditional approaches that have not worked for them.

Individuals with autism deserve a chance to contribute to society in a way that suits their personal and particular styles and meets their needs, but this requires a team of creative and innovative professionals to bring strategic approaches to this unique population; including breaking through traditional barriers to develop new opportunities for these adults.

In The Reactor Room, we are smashing stereotypes and breaking down barriers of adults on the autism spectrum in Houston, Texas. 
— Dr Heidi Stieglitz Ham

How Does The Reactor Room Program Work?


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New Possibilities

The Reactor Room is a ’call-to-action‘ and it was borne of the vision and mission of Spectrum Fusion.

The purpose of the Reactor Room is to improve the possibilities for adults with autism, and their families, by generating novel solutions for adults on the autism spectrum who may be ’stuck‘ in their current situations and unable to use their skills, interests, or strengths to their full potential.

Reactor Room Program Teams

Life-changing ideas are the result of brainstorming and collaboration powered by teams of bold and innovative individuals from all walks of life. We bring the best that Houston has to offer, for the brightest future for adults on the autism spectrum.


We are a team of business experts, entrepreneurs, community connectors, therapists, and health care professionals.




Pathways to Progress

These individuals may require unique strategies to sort through the complexities of adult life, and explore pathways to achieve meaningful progress in their lives.

Positive outcomes of the Reactor Room include experiences for these individuals to gain exposure in their areas of interests or strengths by shadowing a professional in their desired career, access to business and marketing experts for product development, employment opportunities and scaffolding for business proposals, and volunteer experiences.


Reactor Room Team Members for the First Event on July 18th, 2017


Professor Katherine Loveland

UT Health Sciences Center
Autism Specialist

Colleen Russo

Executive Director of The HUB

Judy Blake

Family-To-Family Network
Autism Advocate and Community Connector

Lauren Yeldell

Texas Siblings Leadership Network
Advocate and Social Worker

Denise Hazen

Creative Director of Aspire Accessories
Autism Advocate and Social Enterprise

Wendy Richards

Special Education - The HUB Houston

David chenier

Chief Procurement Officer ConocoPhillips
Business Leader

John Buckley

CEO Air Liquide
Business Leader

Kemal Farid

Blue Vine Ventures

Alaina Schuster

Director of Development Rice Business
Business Leader

Kodie Hinkel

Graduate of Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship

Jennifer Moody

Freelance Editor and Author
Specialist Knowledge for Participants


 Join Us Today To Become A Reactor Room Activator

Through the Reactor Room, we reach out to everyday people, employers and organizations across Houston to provide ways for adults on the spectrum to connect to the community. We call this an 'activator'. Together, we are generating brilliant ideas for life-changing possibilities. 

Sometimes people without autism might not know what they can do to make a difference in the lives of people with autism. The first step is to have an open mind and heart, and be ready for your world to change. We are as excited as you are to meet our members.

When you’ve met one person with autism, you have met one person with autism.
— Dr Stephen Shore

THe university of texas health science center

Dr. Katherine Loveland has a wealth of knowledge and years of experience as Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at McGovern Medical School at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth).

Dr. Loveland runs her C.L.A.S.S. (Changing Lives through Autism Spectrum Services) that has been a lifeline to so many adults on the autism spectrum in Houston. 



Colleen Russo, Executive Director, at The HUB Houston, has dedicated her career to educating individuals on the autism spectrum. Colleen is a treasure to so many families in the Houston area, and they rely on her, not only for her expertise, but for her love, guidance, and support. The HUB is an organization that fosters belonging and community. The HUB's programs are many, but their strengths include links to employment, and unique and interesting social outings for their members (they even take trips together to exotic places like Wisconsin) The HUB is doing important  work for the families that they serve. Colleen is always thinking of ways that her 'HUBsters' can connect and engage with the community, and we look forward to learning more about her exciting ideas that make a difference to so many families. Colleen is a member of The Reactor Room team.

longtale publishing

LongTale Publishing, founded in 2007, produces works in the categories of juvenile fiction. LT Press is an adult imprint of LongTale Publishing. LongTale uses a hybrid publishing model, giving the author more control of their work and ownership of their copyright, while following a traditional standard of publishing. We do not act as an investor in the projects. 


Foley Learning

Former division head of training for one of North America’s top ten language service companies, Ryan Foley regularly presents as an expert in verbal and nonverbal communication, deception detection, and public speaking nationally, and contributes analysis on presidential debates on Fox 26 News Houston.

Ryan is currently a mentor with the entrepreneurship program at the Wolf Center at the University of Houston. We are looking forward to input from Ryan and future entrepreneurs. 

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family to family network

Creating success for children and young adults with disabilities by empowering their families as they navigate the complex education, health care & social service systems!

By providing  information on the various systems, referrals to community resources, training events on various disability topics in the office, community and at our annual conference, a website devoted to providing accurate & consistent information on the special education process, a Guided Transition program, as well as a Leadership & Advocacy training program; families and individuals with disabilities have an opportunity to network and learn from one another. 

By working together, we can create communities where ALL children belong and excel.

Family to Family Network believes that ALL children should be included and supported in our schools and community in order to ensure the future success of children with disabilities.

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autism society of texas

The Autism Society of Texas changes lives by connecting families and individuals to community resources and support throughout Texas. Offerings include support meetings; on-line networking opportunities; Sensory Friendly films; and fun family activities. 


Texas sibling leadership network

Brothers and sisters (Sibs) of individuals with special needs have the longest relationship of anyone in the lives of their sibling. We believe that Sibs have much to offer one another in way of guidance, encouragement, and support if given the opportunity.

As the Texas chapter of The National Sibling Leadership Network our vision is for brothers and sisters of siblings with special needs to share lived experiences, access information, and advocate collectively for and with their sibling.

We are committed to providing resources and support to siblings in person and online.

We are hoping to expand across our beautiful state! If you are interested in joining TXSLN please send us a message.

A world-class business school is the perfect place to foster creativity

February 2017 (Date to Follow)


Rice university jesse h jones school of business

McNair Hall, Room 314

6100 Main Street, Houston TX 77005