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Since 2008, Autism Spectrum News has been your trusted source of science-based autism education, information, advocacy, and quality resources.

Exploring Autism Traits Among Jeopardy Contestants

The popular television quiz show Jeopardy requires contestants to have broad trivia knowledge. As rote memorization is a common strength among individuals with High-Functioning Autism (HFA), it is of interest as to whether Jeopardy contestants have higher symptomology of HFA than the general...

Reducing Staff Turnover Among Autism Service Providers

Autism service providers have the unique challenge of helping the individuals they work with achieve meaningful and sometimes life-changing outcomes while managing their own mental and physical exhaustion. The burnout rate among Registered Behavior Technicians (RBTs) and Board Certified Behavior...

Supporting Autism Service Providers: Challenges, Solutions, and Collective Action

Alex, an autism service provider and early intervention specialist, begins his workday at the community’s autism support center, where he’s scheduled to work with Mia, an eight-year-old girl on the autism spectrum. Mia, who is non-verbal, has shown a keen interest in participating in activities...

Interdisciplinary Approach to Obtaining a Medical Diagnosis for Individuals With a Complex Behavioral Profile

Individuals with complex behavioral and medical profiles require an interdisciplinary approach due to multiple specialized areas of need. This approach allows interdisciplinary teams to efficiently address multiple presenting needs simultaneously and comprehensively (Boivin et al., 2021). This...

Establishing and Promoting Self-Care Within a Human Service Agency

In an industry faced with post-pandemic staffing shortages, the question of how to promote self-care and decrease burnout among autism service providers has become more critical than ever before. Burnout can be defined as a work-related illness that results from ongoing psychological stress (Leoni...

Autism Treatment Should be Guided by Recent Research Reflecting the Expansion of the Diagnoses

When I first began working as a behavioral interventionalist while pursuing my undergrad psychology degree in 1996, we treated children with autism in much the same way many providers do today. Over the past three decades, we’ve learned a great deal about autism. So, why are many still relying on...

Innovative Recruitment Campaign Launched in NY State to Address Direct Support Professional Workforce Shortage

Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) provide crucial services for more than 125,000 New Yorkers with developmental disabilities, including autism spectrum disorders, all across the state. The important roles that DSPs serve cannot be understated; I see it every day in my interactions and visits to...

Tailored Professional Development for Licensed Care Staff to Support Community Living for Adults with Autism

Across the next decade, we can expect a 123% increase in the number of youth with autism transitioning out of school-based services (IACC, 2017). These increases have placed a growing demand on the service systems supporting transition-aged youth and adults and magnified the need for effective and...

The Increasing Popularity of Telehealth Services for Autism Spectrum Disorders

Children and young adults with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) often find it challenging to visit the doctor’s office due to a variety of sensory, social, and communication barriers. The sights, sounds, smells, and textures commonly found in a doctor’s office can be overwhelming and can trigger...

Empowering Autistic Job Seekers Through Mentorship

When it comes to job search and employment, autistic adults may face specific challenges, including difficulties with social interactions, executive functioning, and communication. Additional obstacles include employer bias and a lack of understanding. These issues create significant barriers to...

Tapping Your Strengths for Autism Services Advocacy

When most people think of advocacy, they think of lobbying, lawsuits, or legislation. Legislative advocacy has significantly increased access to autism services over the years. However, if it isn’t something you’re already experienced with, it’s outside of your comfort zone. What you might...

Supporting Autistic Service Providers Through Understanding, Inclusion, and Accommodation

When I opened my autistic-centered psychotherapy private practice in 2022, I never imagined that a significant portion of my clientele would comprise other autistic service providers. It makes sense now, upon reflection, since our field’s challenges are profound, and many of us are drawn to this...

What Families With Autism Should Consider When Evaluating School Programs

One of the greatest challenges parents of children with disabilities face is finding the most appropriate educational program. When searching for a school for a child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), the task can be complex. Understanding instructional and social variables can help parents make...

Preparing Autism Service Providers for Natural Disasters and Other Emergencies

When confronted with an emergency, people with autism spectrum disorder are at a greater risk for injury or death than their neurotypical peers. Many autistic children and adults lack safety awareness or the ability to follow basic safety rules. Even if they have these critical skills, each...

What I’d Like to See Change in the Disability World Over the Next 50 Years – Part 2: Know and Teach the REAL History

Occurring all across Western culture is a deep reckoning with the historical treatment of people of African descent. And assisting mightily in this process is the concept of unlearning. Without unlearning, we now know that we will continue to sanitize and apologize for our ancestors. Unlearning...

ECHO Autism for Mental Health Clinicians: Creating Access to Specialized Care in Local Communities

The growing population of individuals on the autism spectrum who have co-occurring mental health conditions necessitates a workforce of mental health professionals who are competent and confident in working with these individuals. Unfortunately, the current research depicts a large gap between that...

Service Providers Need Enhanced Autism Education from the Autistic Community

When I was finally diagnosed in late 2000, public awareness about the autism spectrum, especially the milder variants such as Asperger Syndrome as it was then known, was at best minimal. In particular, the vast majority of mental health professionals (the service providers most likely to address...

Autistic Lived Experience: A Song Request at a High School Dance That Backfired

Had I known then what I know now, the DJ calling the shots at this dance would not have heard this request despite how much I loved the song in question. It comes down to the fact that context matters, as do the hidden rules of the social situations in which we find ourselves. These realities often...

Pulling It All Together: How to Create a Multidisciplinary Team for Your Child With Autism

When families receive an autism diagnosis for their child, they may not realize they are also likely receiving a diagnosis for other medical and behavioral health conditions that have not yet been identified. Autism is a chronic condition that requires ongoing treatment and support. Certain...

The Impact of Professional Networking for Autism Service Providers

It is often said “it takes a village” to provide support to families impacted by autism. Parents of autistic children may find that to be true, especially when looking for resources to support their children and for themselves, but it also applies to professionals looking to network or for ways...

Enhancing Dental Care for Individuals on the Autism Spectrum: Strategies and Collaboration

For individuals on the autism spectrum, navigating dental care can present significant challenges, often resulting in long waits and apprehension. In such instances, the partnership between dental practitioners and professionals who work with individuals on the autism spectrum becomes not only...

Unspoken Injuries: Supporting Health Professionals Coping With Client Loss

“I was delighted to get my first consultant job working in an in-patient [psychiatric] unit… In my second week, I had my first patient die by suicide. In my third week, I had my second patient die by suicide. In my third month, there was a very distressing…death by suicide on the...

How to Create a Safe and Engaging Sensory Experience at the Pool

The pool is a great tool to use to cool down and engage individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) over the summer. Not only can water exploration in the pool provide socialization opportunities in a natural environment, but water can meet essential sensory needs as it provides deep pressure...

Promoting Quality Applied Behavior Analysis Services through Nonprofit Accreditation

Individuals with autism demonstrate persistent differences in social communication and interactions as well as restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, or activities (American Psychiatric Association, 2013, 2022). Autism exists on a wide spectrum, and there is a great deal of...

The Case for Acceptance Commitment Therapy for Sensory Processing in Autistic Young Adults

In my career as a clinical service provider for Autistic young adults, I have seen how understanding the senses can impact one’s emotions. It is so important to be aware of how Autistic people learn, communicate, and think with all of their senses. Recently, The DSM-5TR has included “sensory...

The Neuro-Strength-Based Support Framework: A Collaborative, Strength-Focused Approach to Autism Interventions

Autism remains an enigma to some despite decades of research and a plethora of interventions aimed at addressing its myriad facets. Historically, interventions have been crafted to mitigate perceived developmental, sensory, and behavioral deficits without a solid foundation in the bio-neurological...

Value-Based Developmental Disability Care Driven by Innovation Can Efficiently Battle Rising Healthcare Costs

There’s a fundamental truth that often gets lost amid the complexities of behavioral health insurance costs: the paramount importance of outcomes. The call for value-based care across all healthcare is becoming louder, signaling a desire to shift from the traditional fee-for-service model to one...

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