Anita just turned 54, and was only diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome 2 years ago, only by chance. She had not ever heard of the word Asperger’s, until a coworker’s son was diagnosed with it and gave her a handful of information about Asperger’s. As Anita read on, she realized she had Asperger’s. That very night she stopped at the bookstore on her way home from work and purchased Tony Attwood’s “COMPLETE GUIDE TO ASPERGER’S SYNDROME.” All of the pieces of the puzzle of her life fell into place and made a picture. She finally knew why she never fit in, why she was different. She had gone her entire life without knowing she had a syndrome that affected every aspect of her life.
Anita graduated from Columbia University in New York City in 1988 with a Master of Science in Nurse Anesthesia, and has been working full time ever since as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist. Her specialty is anesthesia for neurosurgery, trauma, and transplants.
While still working full time as an anesthetist, she became an internationally published military aviation photojournalist, and wrote articles and did photography for numerous military aviation magazines, including Combat Aircraft, Wings of Gold, Naval Aviation News, Air Sports International, and more. She’s flown in fighter jets and helicopters.
Anita is an accomplished equestrienne, and has competed in jumping competition at the Grand Prix level, and has made a lifelong passion of horses.
Anita spent 7 years ice dancing, and skated in numerous ice shows and competitions.
After learning about Asperger’s and receiving her formal diagnosis, Anita Wrote a memoir, ASPERGER’S SYNDROME: When Life Hands You Lemons, Make Lemonade. Anita then teamed up with the world’s leading Asperger’s expert, Dr. Tony Attwood, and Craig Evans of Autism Hangout (dotcom) to create a soon to be released book from Jessica Kingsley Publishing, Been There. Done That. Try This! The Aspie Mentor Guide To Life On Earth. This first ever book contains life’s wisdom from Dr. Temple Grandin, Anita Lesko, Jennifer O’Tool, Liane Holliday-Willey, Dr. Stephen Shore, Dr. Lars Perner, and many more! It is set for release in February 2014.
Dr. Temple Grandin’s book, DIFFERENT…NOT LESS features Anita Lesko in Chapter 7: Anita Lesko, Nurse Anesthetist & Aviation Writer.
Anita can also be seen on The Autism Channel on the documentary, Born With Asperger’s.
Anita Has just started a not-for-profit organization, The Flying High With Autism Foundation. The first event is an Autism conference to be held at the University of West Florida in Pensacola, Florida, June 7th & 8th, The Flying High with Autism Conference, with world-class speakers. After the conference, Anita is planning an international school for children on the spectrum, ages pre-school through 22. Anita is also planning the Flying High Asperger’s Institute for teens through adulthood. Anita’s goal is to make Pensacola, Florida, the Autism Mecca of the world!
Anita also is a consultant for Life Coaching and job-related issues for adults on the spectrum.