Texas Tech Hosts Authors to Discuss Autism
October 16, 2009
Burkhart Center welcomes authors of Autism is Not a Life Sentence
Texas Tech University’s Burkhart Center for Autism Education and Research will
host authors Lynley and Jazz Summers to speak about Autism Spectrum Disorder at 9
a.m. Wednesday (Oct. 21) in the Allen Theatre in the Student Union Building as part
of the 2009 Burkhart Lecture Series.
That evening the Summers also will speak at the Lubbock Memorial Civic Center Theater
from 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Jazz Summers was diagnosed with autism as a child. The doctors told her mother, Lynley
Summers, she would never be able to attend a general education class or communicate
effectively in spoken English. How wrong the doctors were.
Jazz Summers no longer considers herself disabled. She speaks nationwide to spread
the word about autism awareness and advocacy for all people with disabilities. She
has won local awards for her singing talent, but also has been acclaimed nationally.
She has been selected to attend the Missoula Performing Arts Camp in Montana for three
consecutive years and was among 42 individuals in the world chosen from submitted
videotapes. The first year Jazz Summers was selected, they did not know and could
not tell she was on the autism spectrum. Even after disclosing this information during
her first year at the camp, when she applied again the next year, she was selected
again from the thousands submitted.
Jazz Summers was inducted into the National Honor Society in May 2005 and is now enrolled
at University of Central Arkansas majoring in vocal music and performing arts.
“Jazz was diagnosed with autism at a young age, and has overcome many obstacles to
become the exceptional young woman that she is today,” Susan Voland, program coordinator
for the Burkhart Center said. “Her mother, Lynley, refused to give up hope, and in
the process became her daughter’s biggest advocate.
“Their story will inspire everyone, especially those touched by autism. The Summers
believe that by sharing their story, they will be able to help other families affected
by this disorder.”
-30-CONTACT: Susan Voland, program coordinator, Burkhart Center for AutismEducation & Research,
(806) 742-1998, ext. 458 or firstname.lastname@example.org.