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
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.
High-functioning autism is a term used for people with autism spectrum disorder without an intellectual disability, but Australian researchers say it should be abandoned because of the misleading and potentially harmful expectations it creates around the abilities of children on the autism spectrum.
Coined in the ’80s, it is now part of everyday language and has come to imply that people can function adequately, whether at school or at work, without much in the way of challenges.
For many individuals with autism spectrum disorder, this couldn’t be further from the truth, according to lead author Gail Alvares.
Alveres and her team from the Telethon Kids Institute and the University of Western Australia reviewed data for 2225 children and young people (aged 1-18) diagnosed with autism, about half of whom had intellectual disability, and half of whom did not.
They found those with an intellectual disability had functional skills which closely matched their IQ. However, those typically deemed to be high functioning due to having an average or higher IQ, had functional abilities well below what would be expected, given their IQ. Click here to read the rest of the story.
I want you to imagine that you are a kid once again, maybe ten or eleven years old. You are sitting down in the evening with your family for dinner. The table is set, and your parents bring out what will be tonight’s entree: a cut of cold, raw chicken breast. It’s slimy pink mass slides onto the plate in front of you, and soon after your whole family is chowing down on the raw cuts of meat. You can’t stand to even watch anyone else eat the raw chicken, let alone fathom yourself choking it down. Yet, despite the very real disgust and aversion you feel towards the raw chicken breast, somehow it’s you who are strange for not wanting to eat it. Maybe you’re called “picky” or told that you simply need to and just learn to enjoy raw chicken like everyone else. Maybe you go hungry every night at dinner because the only thing being served are items as aversive as the cuts of raw chicken. Click here to read the rest of the story.
Train operator GWR is now working for their second year in providing bespoke autism awareness raising sessions for their front line staff, allowing them to be better prepared to help people living with the condition use public transport.
Looking to provide the best possible experience for all passengers, GWR is working in collaboration for a second year with UK Autism charity Anna Kennedy Online increasing autism awareness to help its staff improve in meeting the needs of those travelling with autism.
For many with an Autism spectrum condition, some of the more commonly experienced issues is increased anxiety and sometimes overwhelming sensory processing information as well as the need for structure and reassurance. Click here to read the rest of the story.
Autistic and children and adults usually have more than one co-disorder. For some, it is having difficulty with sleeping. 40% to 80% of autistic children and adults suffer from insomnia and other sleeping disorders.
Autistic children and adults experience insomnia at high levels. Insomnia is characterized by difficulty in falling and staying asleep which is caused by anxiety, stress and depression. Autistic children and adults have high levels of both anxiety and depression. There is also evidence that children with autism spectrum disorder are reported to experience high levels of Parasomnias, defined as a group of sleep disorders involving unwanted events displayed by complexed behaviors during sleep. This includes:
Published By: Runners World
Written By: Alison Wade
Tommy Des Brisay had an insatiable need to move when he was a child.
He began walking at 8 months old. He would bounce on his backyard trampoline for hours and climb heights fearlessly. He slept only three hours a night until he was 7. As he grew older, he would go on long tandem bike rides, cross-country ski, and lead his father on walks that would leave them stranded miles from their home in Ottawa, Ontario.
And when he was stressed or upset, Des Brisay—who was diagnosed with autism when he was 2 and a half—would run. This posed a danger, because he didn’t understand what could harm him: traffic, exposure to weather, strangers. Click here to read the rest of the story
Luke is one of 500,000 US teens that are anticipated to ride the crest of a wave of people with autism exiting the public school system within the next 10 years, a tsunami that society and employers alike are not ready for. According to the AFAA, or Advancing Futures for Adults with Autism, just over 50 percent of young adults on the autism spectrum worked for pay eight years after they finished high school. Ninety percent of adults with autism are either unemployed, or under-employed, and under 16 percent have full-time jobs.
Luke’s main issue is an inability to express himself verbally. That, coupled with limited social skills, got an “autism” label smacked on him, where he has joined company with 1.5 million other Americans. Click here to read the rest of the story.
Published By: Houston Chronicle
Written By: Suzanne Garofalo
When Olivia Shanks landed in the hospital, it changed her life.
She didn’t arrive as a patient, though — she came to work. The 21-year-old, who has high-functioning autism, has struggled to get places on time. Some basic workplace tasks stressed her out. Dependence on others dinged her self-confidence.
Her work in Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital’s food-services department came via one of Houston’s nonprofit groups providing job training and support for a population that’s exploding but finds few opportunities to live as fully as possible. Click here to read the rest of the story.
Section 504 is a federal law designed to protect the rights of individuals with disabilities in programs and activities that receive Federal financial assistance from the U.S. Department of Education (Edefines a physical or mental impairment as any physiological disorder or condition, cosmetic disfigurement, or anatomical loss affecting one or more of the following body systems: neurological; musculoskeletal; special sense organs; respiratory, including speech organs; cardiovascular; reproductive; digestive; genito-urinary; hemic and lymphatic; skin; and endocrine; or any mental or psychological disorder, such as mental retardation, organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness, and specific learning disabilities.