Lara Schaeffer

Advisory Board Member, New York City Regional Center for Autism Spectrum Disorder

Lara Stanton Schaeffer received her Master’s in Education from Harvard University and from there started a life of teaching, mentoring, and counseling at the high school level. After her daughter received a late diagnosis of autism at fifteen years old, Lara sought evaluation too, and her ASD was formally diagnosed in 2019. Soon after, she came to realize that many other people are in the same position as she and her daughter had been, and she also realized that she needed to help.

Spurred to act to bring about a change, Lara began to seek advocacy opportunities to broaden public and professional awareness of the widely varying presentations of autism. Lara is now a Certified Autism Specialist, an Advisory Board member for the New York City Regional Center for ASD run through New York University, and is committed to educating about the consequences of autism going undiagnosed. Lara is also especially dedicated to dispelling myths and misconceptions about females and autism.

In July 2022, Lara founded Exceptional: Autism Consultation focusing especially on individuals and families who are affected by a late diagnosis of Autism. In October 2022, Lara launched an Instagram platform, Sharing Autism, aimed at an audience of young adults who are socially conscious but not neurodivergent, in her ongoing efforts to broaden the recognition of autism and to lessen its stigmatization.