Bio: Jackie McMillan knows autism from the inside out. Born in a time of great pressure to institutionalize or hide ‘damaged’ children, Jackie didn’t know until she was 23 years old that what she struggled with was autism. By then, over half of her life had been invested in trial and error to figure out what made her symptoms better or worse. At age 11, one month away from her normal environment had brought gradual but dramatic improvement to her almost-constant mental fog, emotional turmoil, and physical pain. Within two days of her return, those improvements were crushed, but this experience inflamed her curiosity and determination to understand why! That addictive taste of how much better her life could be led Jackie around the next corner, and the next -- through two years of pre-meds, a degree in environmental studies, and many years working in the health field. It is still enticing her to hunt through medical and complementary health research, interspersed with science fiction, appropriate technology, green living, and other involvements that renew her hope for the future. Despite Jackie’s ongoing challenges, better functioning continues to emerge. For over 20 years, her driving passion has been fighting ignorance around autism by sharing tools, knowledge and strategies to help herself and other autistics cope better in an out-of-balance and over-stimulating world. Jackie lives by the motto: If you know things have to change, you might as well enjoy it!