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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Dysfunctional sensory system is a common Symptom of Autism as well as other developmental disabilities. In this, sometimes one or more senses can either be hypo or hyper sensitive to stimulation and can lead to behaviors like rocking, spinning, and hand- flapping, irritability and hyperactivity.
There are three basic senses that are critical for our survival- tactile, vestibular, and proprioceptive. Sensory Integration techniques or therapies of these senses can facilitate attention and awareness, and reduce overall arousal.
In this article, each of these sensory systems will be covered. There also will be a Do-it-yourself (DIY) activity mentioned to overcome dysfunction and improve functioning of these sensory systems. Click here to read the rest of the story.
Published by: Speaking of Autism
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.