Autistic, Gifted, And Black: An Interview With Mike Buckholtz

Music producer, actor, and writer Michael “Hot Mike” Buckholtz is also an advocate for autistic people, especially those who, like himself, are part of the Black/POC communities. We recently chatted with Mike via email about his background, some specific challenges (and deadly prejudices) Black autistic people face, and ways he thinks younger autistic people of color can empower themselves. You can follow Mike on Twitter at @OfficialHotMike. Mike Buckholtz [image: Black-and-white photo of Mike Buckholtz: a Black man wearing a silver suit, glasses with blue lenses, and pulled-back locs.] TPGA: Can you tell us a bit about your fabulous career in music and entertainment, and whether being autistic has been a factor? Mike Buckholtz: I started out as a Hip Hop music producer for MC Hammer beginning in 1989. Hammer and I met in 1984 in the U.S. NAVY as barracks roommates. MC made a fantastic statement about that time. (I’ll…


Hey Parents of Autistic Kids: Here Are Five Big, Avoidable Mistakes

Shannon Des Roches Rosa Resting after a long hike. Photo © Shannon Des Roches Rosa [image: White teen boy with short brown hair, seen from behind, sitting on a hilltop bench overlooking an ocean.] If you’re the parent of an autistic kid, you probably get advice thrown at your head from every angle, all day long. You may even be all done with advice. And I hear you, because I am you. But I also have had the great good fortune to be connected with some of the most insightful autistic and autism professionals and thinkers on this planet, who have transformed my parenting approach completely, and to the benefit of my teen son Leo, as well as myself. 

 As I have become increasingly devoted to “learn from my mistakes, so you don’t repeat my mistakes,” here are five bonks I made during the early years of parenting…


The Shooting of Arnaldo Rios’s Caregiver Charles Kinsey: What You Need to Know

Shannon Des Roches Rosa Senior Editor Behaviorist Charles Kinsey trying to comply with police while protecting and reassuring his autistic charge Arnaldo Rios photo via The Advocate [image: Black man lying on his back with his hands in the air, in the middle of the street, next to a seated Latino man.] Here is what we are hearing right now, in the wake of Black autistic caregiver Charles Kinsey being shot by a North Miami police officer while trying to protect and support Arnaldo Rios, a Latino autistic man who had wandered from the group home where Kinsey worked: Black people are not safe. Latino people are not safe. People of color are not safe. Autistic people are not safe. People with Disabilities are not safe. And heaven help you if you fall into more than one of those categories, or are also LGBTQ+ or otherwise a member of a…