Lonnie Bedwell's resume includes kayaking the Grand Canyon twice, appearing on the Steve Harvey Show, NBC's Today Show, Bobby Bones, being covered by local media numerous times, and having several speaking engagements throughout the year. Lonnie hunts, keeps his home and yard, works, has climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, teaches kayaking, and has touched the lives of millions of people who have interacted with him or watched from afar as he conquers the world. Lonnie is the father of three adult daughters and has several grandchildren. Did I mention that he is blind? Despite this, he has accomplished much. He lost his vision several years ago in a hunting accident, but he never gave up and never lost his sight. He also served in the Navy, so we certainly appreciate his service. I am sure that when people think of Lonnie Bedwell, they think of the following: motivator, hero, go-getter, hard worker, dancer, and someone who never gives up.
Welcome WWE wrestler Rob Van Dam or RVD, Mr. Monday Night, or The Whole Damn Show to Autism Rocks and Rolls. His lovely wife, Katie Forbes, joins him too. During the 1990’s, RVD became one of the most popular wrestlers in the business and performed the 5-Star Frog Splash many nights in the ring. RVD has lots of championships under his belt, such as the ECW World Tag Team Champion, Hardcore and Intercontinental, and even the ECW TV Championship. Over the years, RVD has called ECW, Impact Wrestling, and WWE home.
We are repeating and making history. We are still in England, but for the first time, we are interviewing a play therapist, and that play therapist's name is Jack Mason Goodall. I met him through my speaking gig in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. He is the founder of Autism Optimism International. This place believes in everyone as they try to see everyone’s abilities. I will finally say this is a new one for me because I will be learning about play therapy. Let’s get to it and welcome Jack.
Jeff Teresi equips business professionals with the tools to break through to their next big breakthrough over and over again both professional and personally. After years of studying and learning from the experts in personal development, Jeff is most content creating creative content. As a speaker, author, and hall-of-fame business achiever, one of his greatest motivators is motivating others. Jeff loves to travel, speak, and teach around the world at in-person and online events. When he’s not passionately presenting, Jeff's main joys come from being a husband and father, playing Frisbee with their dog, and receiving face-licks from their fur ball of a bunny.
My very best friend in the whole world, Mr. BJ Yoho. BJ is from Bloomfield, Indiana and we have gone to school together since pre-school. He is truly like a brother to me and a part of my family. BJ, like me, has had some trials and tribulations in his life, but has overcome so much. BJ was born with special bifida and has been in a wheelchair for most of his life. But let me tell you, this has not stopped him. He is a celebrity in our community. One of the most amazing things BJ has done is bring joy to the patients at Riley Hospital in Indianapolis, Indiana. He has turned over the reins to another young lady, but for years, BJ and his mother, Blaine Yoho, collected thousands of toys and personally delivered them to Riley Hospital for the children staying there around Christmas time. Our community even has a BJ Yoho Day!
Anthony Ianni, Alum of Michigan State basketball, has been termed one of the most sought after speakers in the world today. And he is going to be with us on Autism Rocks and Rolls! Ianni was diagnosed with PDD, Pervasive Developmental Disorder or Asperger's, when he was 4. This did not stop him from being one of the most talented basketball players at Michigan State.
Austin Riley is a race car driver in Canada and like Sam, is on the autism spectrum. He too is breaking down barriers and showing the world, hey, we are here, we are functioning, and look at what we can do. He is doing this one lap at a time.
Mandy Harvey placed 4th on Season 12 of America’s Got Talent and even scored Simon’s golden buzzer! Ms. Harvey lost her hearing due to a connective tissues disorder, but she has not let this get her down. With the aid of visual tuners that help her find the correct pitch when singing, Ms. Harvey is a performer and is going strong. Like me, I feel that Ms. Harvey is not letting this get her down. I think her situation, like mine, shows people that quitting is not the answer. She is showing that even though she lost her hearing, with help and resources, she can still do what she loves, SING!
Serena "Southpaw" DeJesus is in the Bantamweight category and is known for not pulling punches with her words..and fists. Oh yes, she has autism, which does not keep her down. She actually uses MMA fighting for an outlet to cope with autism. DeJesus is standing tall and being a role model to those on the autism spectrum.
Abe Shapiro, founder of The Neurodiversity Coalition at Indiana University
Sam's grandma, Tay Tay, Terri Pursell

Honestly, Mick Foley has been my favorite WWE wrestler since I was 10 years old. Today, at 19, I can honestly say, I know everything there is to know about Mick Foley and WWE wrestling. Today, he is here on Autism Rocks and Rolls. Foley has portrayed Cactus Jack, Mankind, and Dude Love or the three faces of Foley on WWE. Foley is known as a hardcore brawler using barbed wire, thumbtacks, and trashcans in his matches. His Hell in a Cell match with the Undertaker is regarded as the greatest Hell of Cell Match of all time. Welcome WWE’s Hardcore Legend, four-time world champion, 11-time world tag team champion, and WWE Hall of Famer, Mr. Mick Foley.

Sam's friend Adam Millichip and his students run The TWS Sports Podcast. We are encouraging everyone to check out this podcast that was nominated for the Best Sports Podcast Awards this year. This podcast talks to autistic athletes. Be sure to hear what they have in store for you.
Now today’s episode is different because this is not as much as someone with autism but more of someone with an inspiring story. The guest we have today is Sonny Von Cleveland who I met while advertising my show. Sonny for sure has a story because from age 5-10 he was sexually abused and served time in prison for 18 years but a meeting with a man while in solitary confinement changed his way of life as he runs a cat business and now has a wife from London. He is living proof that anyone can change their way of life.
Diane Strand at JDS Creative Academy inspires and enhances education and training in the visual, performing and digital arts. Their target population is anyone looking for an education in the arts or enrichment in the STEM to STEAM model of education. They serve many populations: foster, trauma, and autistic youth as well as autistic young adults, and the general population ages four to adult.
Sam’s friend, James Cox, is the host of the very awesome podcast, When Words Fail, Music Speaks. We highly recommend that you check out his work. The podcast does not only dive deep into the world of music, but shows that music can often help those suffering from depression or just can uplift a person on a bad day. Music has been a healing power for Sam. The two podcasters will get into the topics of disabilities, music, of course, and just have a great conversation!
The hard rock band, Gutterfire, from Australia, became a fan of Sam’s podcast, so we are now fans and friends of them! Known for songs such “Quantum Bacterium” and “Jaws of the Universe,” their music will seriously bring the party. Many call it a unique style known as “Armageddon Rock!” This band is very supportive of their lead singer who is on the autism spectrum. Like Sam, this goes to show that anyone can live out their dreams of being a rocker in a band or a professional podcaster! People like the members of Gutterfire and Sam are breaking down barriers one song and podcast at a time.
Simon Majumdar, author, travel and food writer, and a well-known Food Network personality on shows such as Guy's Grocery Games, Cutthroat Kitchen and Iron Chef America. Mr. Majumdar also supported The Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders in Orange County in a Cutthroat Kitchen episode

James Durbin, 4th runner up on American Idol Season 10. Durbin was born with autism and Tourette's, but this has not slowed him down. He is a rocker, an advocate for those with disabilities, a voice-over artist, and basically an inspiring and kind human being. Check out his music and James, keep rocking!
According to the IMBd Website, Garrett earned a victory in his first sanctioned MMA bout in 2014. In 2017, G-Money won the first ever Adaptive MMA Championship Belt. He continues to compete in MMA and is an avid CrossFit competitor. Garrett has Down-Syndrome, but Down-Syndrome does not have him.
Peter Lantz is a video game developer. He codes, creates art, and does design work. Mr. Lantz believes he can focus well because he has autism.
Sam's pre-interview with Simon Majumdar
Temple Grandin, Professor of Animal Science at Colorado State University and one of the most well-known experts in autism and cattle handling. Dr. Grandin has immensely improved the treatment of animals over the years, creating several cattle handling systems and improving the treatment of animals in slaughterhouses. What an honor it was for Sam and his family to speak with her!
For today’s episode, we have some new content in this show because I do have another professional wrestler. I have a 2-time ECW Champion and a 27-time WWE Hardcore Champion with me. Raven has wrestled for companies such as WCW, ECW, and even WWE. He is widely known for his psychological mind games and his punk-rock persona. The feud he had with the Sandman in the mid-1900s is described as one of the most emotional wrestling rivalries in history. The reason why I said I have new content is that this is my first guest with type 2 diabetes and BPD (borderline personality disorder), and I am excited to learn more about it. So without further ado, I’d like everyone to help me welcome Raven to Autism Rocks and Rolls.
In WWF, Al Snow created the gimmick of carrying “Head” around with him in his prime. This quickly caught on and allowed Snow to have a very amazing and long career with WWF/WWE. In September of this year, Al Snow could add “hero” to his list of accomplishments. While visiting Santa Rosa Beach in Destin, Florida, Snow jumped into the ocean and saved a child from drowning. Let’s get pumped up to hear the WWE 6 time WWF Hardcore Champion, 1 time WWF Tag Team Champion with my good friend, Mankind or Mick Foley, and is ranked number 52 out of the top 500 wrestlers of all time.
For today’s episode, we have one of my connections from my previous season. During Season 1 of Autism Rocks and Rolls, I was on her podcast called Hello World With Miyah Sundermeyer, and I figured I would return the favor. Mrs. Sundermeyer is not only friends with Temple Grandin like me, but she is employed at The Center for Leadership in Disability at the School of Public Health at Georgia State University. We are also alike, not just because we both have autism, but we have similar beliefs because we both believe in the importance of self-advocacy and equal opportunities for every man and woman. Let’s welcome leader and podcast host Miyah Sundermeyer to Autism Rocks and Rolls.



All the way from Scotland, David Cubby, competed in Britain's Got Talent in the 14th series. Cubby has a degenerative eye condition that causes his blindness and he has had it since birth. He once said, “I don’t let it get me down and I don’t take it seriously.” He is not only funny and got a standing ovation from Simon Cowell and the rest of the judges, like many guests on my show, he is breaking down barriers. He also said “What might be a negative in my life, I have turned into a positive.” Autism Rocks and Rolls is built on that foundation and motto. Society thinks we are broken, but we are not. Join me in welcoming a very funny and world-changing comedian who happens to be blind to Autism Rocks and Rolls.
Marie Adell, mother, entrepreneur, and former special education teacher talks to Autism Rocks and Rolls. Marie’s goal is to help others understand autism like her family has had to do over the years. She is mom to a daughter on the autism spectrum and has made it her life’s goal to be inspirational and to bring awareness, acceptance, and attention to helping those on the spectrum be successful. She has not only traveled for educational purposes to places like Ethiopia and Indonesia, but she also works on other podcasts as a guest to spread her knowledge.
Sara Tomko, actress from Resident Alien and Sneaky Pete, is not only an advocate for social justice, working to stop the problem of racism, spreading the message of equality, a singer, an actress, but she is an advocate for mental health as well. Ms. Tomko believes that everyone should take care of themselves, disability or not.
Armani Williams, NASCAR driver who openly talks about having autism
Jason McElwain, or J-Mac as his family and friends call him, came to fame after his coach at Athena Greece High School put him in the game. Nobody knew what he would do next. He made 20 points in the game. Like Sam, Jason does not let autism bring him down. He is breaking barriers, telling the world to watch out. He has created a platform for autism and is blazing through life with positivity and a mission to take the stigma off of autism.
Sam's parents, Doug and Gina Mitchell
Sam's grandpa, Big Joe, Joe Pursell
Shane and Melissa Bosstick run the ATA school in Bloomington, Indiana. Sam went to this school for 5 years and his teachers here helped him tremendously.
Megan Corwin, has been a family friend of Sam's his entire life. She is actually like an aunt to him. They prove that you do not have to be blood to be family. This girl has supported Sam his entire life. We love our Megan!