March Special Needs Article Links

Welcome to the March article links. These are articles that I tweeted and or received from viewers during the month of March on special needs and developmental disability topics. Enjoy!

3 key lessons no one told about dyslexia (The Pavlovic Today)

7 key social skills to help children with autism cope with bullying (Upbility)

7 signs adult ADHD might be interfering with your performance at work (Techco)

7 tips for motivating kids on the autism spectrum (PopSugar)

11 signs of autism in girls (Very Well)

Helping Asperger’s teens transition to college (My Asperger’s Child)

Helping your ADHD child with homework (Healthy Place)

Is sensory processing disorder the same as sensory processing sensitivity? (The Highly Sensitive Person)

Organization and attention challenges related to sensory processing disorder (The O.T. Toolbox)

Parents: Don’t hide your children’s autism diagnoses from them (Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism)

Sensory processing disorder at home ideas (Kids Activities Blog)

Sleep strategies for kids with autism and sensory needs (And Next Comes L)

What an autistic shutdown is like for me (The Mighty)

What teachers should know about ADHD and ASD (Edutopia)

 

What’s the Difference Between High and Low Functioning Autism?

Teacher helping student in classroom
Source: (Very Well)
Author: Lisa Jo Rudy

People with autism are often described as being “high functioning”  or ” low functioning” But there are no such diagnoses in the diagnostic manual.

In 2013, new diagnostic criteria for autism were created to describe three levels of autism. These levels are supposed to describe the level of support each individual requires.  But there is nothing in the criteria that describes which strengths or challenges would slot an individual into a particular level.

And of course the level of support required by any individual varies based on the situation and setting.

So what is meant by these terms? The answer isn’t obvious. Click here to read the rest of the story.

Social Skills Resources for Parents and Special Education Teachers

For some autistic children, social situations can be overwhelming and cause a great amount of anxiety. One of the characteristics of having an autism spectrum disorder is social interaction. Dr. Lorna Wing described social interaction as:

  1. not paying attention to others
  2. being aloof, distant and uninterested
  3. being alone and withdrawal
  4. difficulty in making and sustaining relationships
  5. a lack of social skills

social-skills

Social skills vary from conversation to friendship skills. The following links provides social skills resources on a variety of topics:

5 tips for running a social skills group ages 7-11. This site provides tips on increasing social skills via working in a group.

12 activities to help your child with social skills. This article by the Friendship Circle describes 12 ways to help improve social skills

101 ways to teach children social skills. Written by Lawrence Shapiro, this ready-to-use reproducible activity book (pdf) contains information on communication, being part of a group, caring about yourself, and problem solving.

Building social skills through activities. Danny Pettry created an e-book that focuses on various activities that will increase social skills for children.

Kind words sensory lesson friendship activity. This article includes information on why kind word are important through sensory play.

More tools for teaching social skills in school. Examples of role-plays, worksheets and student behavior.

Social skills activities. Free printable activity sheets on developing and practicing social skills.

Social skills lesson activities. Developed by special educator Angela Cardenos, this website includes various lessons on social skills and friendship

Social skills lessons on friends. A lesson plan and activity on identifying the qualities of a friend and naming behaviors that a friend may exhibit.

Social Skills Worksheets. This site includes printables for social skills designed to develop appropriate social skills.

Why “High Functioning” Autism Is So Challenging

Man with head in the clouds
Source:(Very Well)
Author: Lisa Jo Rudy

The autism spectrum is very large.  If you think of it as a rainbow (or a bell curve), you’ll note that there’s an awful lot of the spectrum that is at neither one end nor the other — but somewhere in the middle.

At this point in history, we don’t have good information to tell us whether MOST people on the autism spectrum are “somewhere in the middle,” but it is clear that the lion’s share of media attention goes to folks at the high and the low ends of the spectrum — that is, the profoundly disabled and the very high functioning. Please click here to read the rest of the story.

Girls With Autism May Mask Condition With Social Skills

Researchers are looking into a gender effect in autism diagnoses.
Source: The Associated Press/Mashable

Think autism and an image of an awkward boy typically emerges. The developmental disorder is at least four times more common in boys, but scientists taking a closer look are finding some gender-based surprises: Many girls with autism have social skills that can mask the condition. And some girls are born without autism despite the same genetic mutations seen in boys with the condition. Click here to read the rest of the story.

Letter to Toni Braxton Regarding Diezel’s Autism Status — The Liberal Aspie

Anonymously Autistic

Autism is NOT a disease that can be cure it is a way of thinking and experiencing the world. One does not simply git rid of Sensory Processing Disorder or change the wiring of their brains.

It is mentally damaging to make Aspies learn to blend in like neurotypical kids because it implies that they way they were born was not good enough.

WHY can’t he just be a wonderful Autistic boy? Why does he have to be “normal”. Poor kid is going to have self esteem issues in the future.

Dear Toni Braxton, Recently, you have announced in an interview with Access Hollywood that your youngest son, Diezel, “is no longer autistic,” giving credit to Suzanne Wright–in light of her death from pancreatic cancer–for his ability to “overcome his diagnosis.” I’m sorry to have to say this as a fan of your music, but… [. . .]

To say…

View original post 152 more words

5 Great TED Talks on Autism

autism.ted

Steve Silberman: The Forgotten History of Autism

Science journalist describes the history of autism through the work of Hans Asperger and explores neurodiversity and the link between autism and genius.

Chris Varney: How My Unstoppable Mother Proved the Experts Wrong

An advocate for children rights, Chris Varney, diagnosed with autism as a child explains how his mother and a community of support, instilled the importance of believing he can do anything.

Rosie King: How Autism Freed Me To Be Myself

In her TED Talk, Rosie shares the importance of being able to step outside the box, and questions why brilliant people strive to be “normal.”

Benjamin Tarasewicz: Breaking Barriers of Autism: The Power of Kindness and Friendship

A high-schooler and musician diagnosed with autism, Benjamin provides inspirational stories and tips for reaching out to people with differences.

Temple Gradin: The World Needs All Kinds of Minds

An expert on animal behavior, Temple Grandin has designed humane handling systems for half the cattle-processing facilities in the U.S., discusses the different types of thinking across the spectrum.

Book Review: The Out-Of-Sync Child Grows Up

 

outof sync

The Out-of-Sync Child Grows Up: Coping with Sensory Processing Disorder in the
Adolescent and Young Adult Years
By: Carol Kranowitz
Forward by: Lucy Jane Miller
Published by: Peguin Random House
Pages: 320
Format: Paperback, Kindle

This book is the long-awaited follow-up to the best seller, The Out-Of-Sync Child. Presenting information and advice for tweens, teens, and young adults living with Sensory Processing Disorder, and their parents. The purpose of the book is to offer coping strategies for SPD, help readers living with SPD share their stories and to increase public awareness about SPD.

The book is broken into 4 parts. Ms. Kranowitz begins the first chapter with background history o how she started gathering information on SPD. Chapter 2 describes typical and atypical development. Part 2 describes coping with daily activities and part 3 explains coping with relationships while part 4 provides insight into living an “In-Sync” life.

The book also provides personal stories from people with SPD. Their stories move the book from one of practical tips to truly understanding the experiences of a child with SPD. The format of the book will help people with SPD realize they are not alone and help both parents and professionals understand the needs of a teen and young adult with SPD.

 

 

 

14 Great Community Forums on Autism

autism community board

Imagine being able to find and locate information on autism from people who really understand.
Community boards are a great way not only to locate information on autism but to connect with other families and professionals on the topic of autism. Community boards allow members to share tips, resources and information. Below, are 14 community forms for both  parents and professionals:

ASD Friendly

This forum was established in 2003 as a means to bring parents and caregivers together to share tips, vent and shared experience. Sub-forums also include pre-diagnosis and non-autism spectrum issues.

Animating the Autism Community

Founded by Gary Jesch, the goal of Autism Animated is to create a community that connects people on the topic of autism besides the forum discussion, the site include news, articles, shared blogs and RSS feed related to autism topics.

Aspergers and ASD UK Online Forum

An online forum from the UK has a number of sub-forums including a general discussion, education help and advice and resources.

Aspies Central

A forum created to discuss Asperger’s Syndrome, Autism, and High Functioning  Autism. Aspies Central contains discussion boards which include topics on PPD-NOS, social anxiety, and books on autism. The site also includes specific autism spectrum discussions including obsessions and social skills.

Autinet Forum

Autinet Forum is an electronic list which discusses all aspects of autism and developmental disorders but focuses primary on High Functioning Autism and Asperger’s syndrome.

Autism Community

Autism Community is a website that provides resources and information to help individuals with autism, family members, teachers and other professionals locate information. The site includes a forum section which is a great resource for anyone interested on the topic of autism.

AutismWeb

A website for parents and caregivers interested in topics relating to autism, PDD-NOS and Aspergers Syndrome. The website includes a moderated discussion board on topics relating to getting a diagnosis, educational help and autism book reviews.

Helpful Chat

A website that hosts chat rooms in the area of mental health. The site offers a webpage for individuals on the spectrum with peer support. The site includes an autism spectrum disorder chat room, forum and social network.

MD Junction- Autism Support Group

A community of family members and friends dedicated to dealing with autism. The site includes a discussion board and questions. Other groups includes topics on ASD families, Aspergers Challenged, and ADHD.

My Autism Team

A social network for parents of children diagnosed with autism. The site includes an activity page which allows members to post updates, an Q &A and locating provider services.

The National Autistic Society

The National Autism Society is located in the U.K. and provides information and support for families and professionals on topics surrounding autism. The site offers a community page. The goal of the community page is to help people on the autism spectrum, caregivers, relatives and professionals to share their thoughts and experience. The discussion forum requires registration with the  website and setting up a community profile.

Shared Abilities

A community for sharing information about special needs. The site includes information on various types of disabilities, provider locator, local news, events and community questions.

Wrong Planet

A Web community designed for individuals (parents and professionals) with Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, ADHD, PDD’s and other neurological differences. The site provides a discussion forum, an article section and a blogging feature.

Asperger’s Syndrome Resources

aspergers blog

What is Asperger’s Syndrome?

According to NINDS, Asperger syndrome is a neurodevelopmental disorder that is characterized be an impairment in language and communication skills and repetitive behavior with typically an IQ of 70 and above.

Other Known Names
  • High Functioning Autism
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Aspies
  • Autistic
  • Neurodiverse
Comorbid Attributes
Characteristics
  • Difficulty in forming friendships
  • A preference for playing alone or with older children or adults
  • May be socially awkward
  • May not understand conventional social rules
  • Limited eye contact
  • May not understand the use of gestures or sarcasm
  • Obsessive preoccupation with objects
  • Normal physical growth and development
  • Need for sameness.
Statistics
  • 1.5:1 to 16:1 per 1,000
  • Males more likely to have Asperger’s syndrome than females
  • Females with Autism Spectrum Disorder (high functioning may be underdiagnosed
  • All racial, ethnic and socioeconomic groups are impacted.
History
  • Leo Kanner, an Austrian-American psychiatrist in 1943 published a paper entitled, Autistic Disturbances of Affective Contact, which described 11 children who were highly intelligent but displayed an ‘obsessive insistence on persistent sameness.’ He later named the condition- “early infantile autism.”
  • Hans Asperger’s, a Viennese child psychologist published the first definition of Asperger’s syndrome in 1944. He noted in four boys, a pattern f behavior and abilities including a lack of empathy, little ability to form friendships and clumsy movement.
Online Community Support

Wrong Planet– A web community designed for individuals (and parents/professionals) with autism, Asperger’s syndrome, ADHD, PDD and other neurological differences. The website provides a discussion forum, articles, how-to-guides and therapy services.

Teaching Strategies – The following articles are for teachers and service providers on techniques and strategies when teaching or providing services to a child with Asperger’s Syndrome.

6 steps to success for Asperger’s syndrome

AS teaching strategies

Classroom tip for students with Asperger’s Syndrome

Teaching Asperger’s students: 32 tips for educators

Teaching strategies for Asperger students

Organizations

Asperger/Autism Network (AANE). Founded in 1996 by a small group of concerned parents and professionals. AANE works with individuals, families and professionals and provides information, education, community support and advocacy.

Asperger Syndrome and High Functioning Autism Association (AHA). AHA helps families and individuals become more informed self-advocates.

Selected Articles on Asperger’s Syndrome

A powerful identity, a vanishing diagnosis (New York Times)

Autism and Asperger’s not easily understood (Fort Madison Daily Democrat)

Autism can be an asset in the workplace, employers and workers find (NPR)

My lifelong struggle with Asperger’s (Policy.Mic)

Navigating life with Asperger’s (Voice of Muscatine)

Program created to help EMT’s with autistic patients (EMS1.com)

Unmasking Asperger’s syndrome (Business Standard)

What It’s like to live with autism as an adult (Good Housekeeping)

Articles For Parents of Children with Asperger’s Syndrome

8 tips for parents of kids with Asperger’s syndrome

Ask Dr. Sears: Coping with Asperger’s syndrome

Raising a child with Asperger’s syndrome

Understanding Asperger’s syndrome disorder- Parent Guide