Autistic Teenager Creates App To Help People On The Spectrum

Source: Forbes
Written by: Nicholas Fearn

An 18-year-old software developer has created an iOS app to help those on the autistic spectrum in their day-to-day lives.

Ethan Shallcross, who has a form of autism and lives in the English town of Torquay, developed Aumi to enable people to manage their anxiety, monitor their mental health and reduce burnout.

“The app has been built with people on the autism spectrum in mind, and his has influenced the design and functionality of the entire app,” he says. “However, it is not just for people on the autism spectrum. People who have high anxiety, are frequently burnt out, or struggle with their mental health may also find it useful.” Click here to read the rest of the story.

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Most States Failing To Meet Requirements Under IDEA

Source: Disability Scoop

Fewer than half of states are meeting their obligations to properly serve students with disabilities, the U.S. Department of Education says.

In an annual review of performance under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, federal officials found that just 21 states deserved the designation of “meets requirements” for the 2017-2018 school year.

The remaining states were classified as “needs assistance.” Click here to read the rest of the story.

Beyond Fire Drills and Shirt Tags

Source: Psychology Today

Hearing…..Sight…..Smell…..Taste…..Touch

These are what usually come to mind when we think of the Senses-The Five Senses.

Notably, it was Aristotle who defined the senses in this way. He even gave them a name: “The 5 Outward Wits.” The idea stuck and even today we often think of the senses as these 5 independently operating systems that arise from our interaction with the world outside of ourselves. However, a growing body of research demonstrates that the senses are much more varied and complicated than once thought.

Understanding the workings of our sensory system is crucial if we are to properly understand and support children on the autism spectrum. Difficulty with regulating sensory input is a common occurrence in autism. When the brain cannot effectively filter or organize sensory input, the sensations can break through in a manner that is experienced as harsh and overwhelming. This results in sensory sensitivities.  Click here to read the rest of the story.

How Reflective Supervision Sessions Help Teachers Cope with the Stress of the Job

Source: KQED News

It was a Friday morning in early May, just before Mother’s Day, when a group of preschool teachers settled onto oversized pillows and colorful beanbags for a conversation that would lead to tears, frustration and — eventually —  a sense of clarity on a delicate matter involving a child.

Karen Massingille, a preschool behavioral health therapist, sat on a tiny child’s chair, looking at the nine women seated around her in a cozy, carpeted corner of the sunlit room.

She took a few deliberate breaths, then started to speak.

“It’s Mother’s Day,” she said. “Anybody have any plans?” Click here to read the rest of the story.

13 Amazing Artists on the Autism Spectrum You Need to Check Out

Source: The Mighty

Art is a cathartic outlet for many reasons. It’s a way to express feelings that you can’t easily articulate, advocate for a cause or a belief and, for some, it can also be a means of making a living. This can especially be important for people on the autism spectrum, some of whom have difficulty with communication. In Mighty contributor Kate Smith’s article, “How the Arts Gave Me a Voice Before I Knew I Have Asperger’s,” she wrote:

What I did know from an early age was that the arts were my everything — my way to express myself, my way to feel connected and my way to feel truly alive. … Art became my lens through which I saw the world, and it seemed to be the only way I could express myself in it.

In addition to being a way for people to express complicated emotions and thoughts. Click here  to read the rest of the story.

The Most Supportive States for Raising a Child With Autism

Source: Autism Parenting Magazine

Being a parent is challenging in its own right, and parenting a child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) brings its own unique challenges. All parents want what’s best for their children, and it takes time, effort, and money to develop the whole child. However, navigating systems of support for children in the US can be complex, to say the least. From deciding which daycare is best for your child and then finding a school that suits his/her needs, to securing a job with a salary that pays enough to support a family and also provides adequate healthcare, it is a real struggle for many parents in the US to make ends meet. Add a $50,000 bill to pay for Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy for your child with autism, and that struggle can become an insurmountable obstacle without outside support. Click here to read the rest of the story.

Researchers devise a more ‘child-friendly’ test for autism

Source: Medical News Today
Written by: Maria Cohut

The current methods of diagnosing autism in children use questionnaires and psychologist evaluations. However, these methods can be stressful for those at a young age. New research now suggests an easy, more stress-free test that simply tracks the gaze.

“The current approaches to determining if someone has autism are not really child-friendly,” notes Mehrshad Sadria, who is currently pursuing a master’s degree at the University of Waterloo in Canada.

Sadria and colleagues have been busy looking for an alternative means of diagnosing autism — which specialists refer to as autism spectrum disorder (ASD) — early on in life. Click here to read therest of the story.

The Effectiveness of Visual Schedules for kids with Autism

Source: Autism Parenting

Everyday tasks can prove to be a challenge with an autistic child because they need constant reminders.  Transitioning from one task to another can cause anxiety or a meltdown to occur.  However, social stories, visual schedules, and reminder strips can help alleviate the stress and anxiety associated with the everyday tasks that so many of us do with ease.

To many parents, hearing the word “schedule” can be overbearing.  When it was first suggested that I create a picture/visual schedule for my autistic child, I thought that it wouldn’t be helpful. I mean, if my child is already so rigid with the order of things – wouldn’t creating a schedule make her even more dependent on everything being in order all the time?  I came up with many excuses to avoid making the first picture chart.  I found it intimidating to create charts and schedules, but at the same time I understood that no one could make the chart for us.  Since every family has their own routine, it must be created for the individual.  Of course, there are some tasks that need to be performed everyday such as waking up, going to the bathroom, getting dressed, eating breakfast, brushing teeth, combing hair, and putting on shoes.  However, on weekdays “putting on shoes” would be followed by “put on coat” and “get on the bus.”  The problem is, my child wasn’t attending school every day of the week and was too young to understand the days of the week.  So then I would have to deal with meltdowns when the weekend came or if there was a cancelation of school because of inclement weather. Click here to read the rest of the story.

Sensory-Friendly Home Modifications for Autism and Sensory Processing Disorder

Source: Big Rentz
Written by: Lior Zitzman

When you have a child or family member on the autism spectrum, creating a safe and functional home environment is an important task. Autism can have a huge impact on an individual’s development, lifestyle, and social connections. People on the spectrum can be particularly sensitive to lights, sounds, and other stimuli. Many crave order and routines to make sense of the world. Safety can be a concern for those who wander, are drawn to water, or are prone to head banging or self injury.

According to the Autism Society, about 1 percent of the world’s population has autism spectrum disorder, and the condition affects about 1 in every 59 children born in the United States. This means that in America, 3.5 million people are on the autism spectrum. This number is growing as diagnostic criteria are becoming better understood.

Children and adults with autism often struggle with sensory integration, the neurobiological process of  interpreting and managing the sensory input they receive. It can be hard for them to make sense of sights, sounds, smells, and other sensory information.There are three main sensory systems that may be affected when an individual has autism. Understanding these three sensory systems is key to understanding individuals with autism and how they interact with their home environments: Click here to read the rest of the story

How to design a neurodiverse workplace – simple tips from inclusivity experts

Source: Telegraph
Written by: Sian Phillips

For a significant minority, including those with ADHD, autism and dyslexia, background noise and bright lighting in the workplace is a problem. But there are ways to improve the working environment

Maybe it’s a colleague’s booming voice, a garish, ill-chosen mural or the persistent pong of garlic from the canteen, but every workplace has its irritating quirks.

While most people can ignore such annoyances, for a significant minority it is impossible and keeping them out of work.

Background noise is commonly a problem for people with dyslexia, ADHD and autism – so-called neurodivergent conditions – while bright lighting can also be a source of stress that can be particularly acute for some people. Click here to read the rest of the story.