For those in the autism community, Alex Plank is the well-known creator of Wrong Planet. Having started the community at 17 years old, the Wrong Planet was created as a way to connect with people on the autism spectrum, ADHD, PDD and other neurological differences. For those interested in the super cool Alex Plank, a wealth of information is found when you search him by name or by the community created. For instance, a quick Google search revealed that he is not only the consultant for the hit TV series The Bridge, but also works directly with Diane Kruger on her character. Alex also started an Internet TV program called Autism TV Talks. And if that wasn’t enough, Mr. Plank can now add director to his list of accomplishments. He recently completed a documentary expose entitled Shameful, which looks at how people with autism are treated and viewed in France.
In the autism community, EVERYONE knows Alex. Shannon Penrod of Autism-Live reported that, “For my son, Jem, the sun rises and sets with Alex Plank. He thinks he’s so cool.” He’s taken long car rides with Temple Grandin. He’s friends with the ever-friendly Stephen Shore. Alex, Lindsey Nebeker and David Hamrick used to be neighbors. When you mention his name, it’s always “Oh yeah, I know Alex…He’s great.” For me personally, Alex Plank is more than great. In a world where you can be anything, Alex is his own self. He shows us that there is great beauty in accepting ourselves for who we are…and the world loves him for it. Alex brings such positivity to our autism community. If you don’t know him yet or have not heard his story, its one you don’t want to miss.
After meeting him at the Temple Grandin & Friends event, I realized pretty quickly, that I just wanted to get to know this guy a bit more… And after hanging out and exchanging a few texts I realized how awesome Alex Plank is! So with his help I decided to gather some additional information about my new friend that I could pass along.
So here it is, 10 fun facts about Alex Plank that you won’t find on Google.
1. Best Sunday (fun day) activities include brunch with friends, hiking, and hanging out at the pool. If a pool is not available, he likes the beach too!
2. Favorite TV shows to binge-watch right now… Seinfeld. In fact, Alex and his friends got so in to the show during one Sunday in June, one guy actually channeled Kramer and broke the door.
3. We actually almost share our birthday (Alex 6/27, Jenny 6/29). We discovered this during our text exchanges. Okay, so while Alex’s birthdate can be found on Google, mine probably isn’t. So this one still counts.
4. He loves traveling to meet new people in foreign places. Favorite trip was Denmark, but he’s been to Amsterdam, London, Paris, Mexico, and all over the United States.
5. Speaking of the United States, he loves US war history and contributed much to Wikipedia’s pages about the American Civil War.
6. He’s never bought anything from an infomercial. EVER!
7. His favorite childhood movie is The Matrix with Keanu Reeves.
8. Speaking of Keanu Reeves, Alex owns the same type of Jag XjS convertible that got its door blown off in the movie Speed.
9. Alex loves cars. His 90’s Jag XJS two-seater convertible with a V12 engine is my favorite (See pics)
10. Popcorn and sashimi are his food obsessions.
Last, extra special fact: When I asked him how he got to be so cool, without hesitation he said, “My parents believed in me.”
It has been three months since I met Alex and I can’t wait to find out more from him at Love & Autism: A Conference with Heart. He’s exactly what many people assume autistic people are not: he’s witty, approachable, social, he cares about his hair, he knows the trendy spots to go to in LA, and he’s easy to talk to. He’s also not ashamed to be on the autism spectrum.