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Partnership Solutions Acquires Medicare Accountable Care Organization Serving New Yorkers with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

NEW YORK – Partnership Solutions, which supports and facilitates comprehensive health care and habilitative services for New Yorkers with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), announced today that it has acquired the Alliance for Integrated Care of New York (AICNY), which works to...

Paying It Forward: How a Simple Act of Kindness Can Go a Long Way

When my husband, Matt, and I set out on a quick trip to Florida with my 21-year-old daughter, Annie, who has autism and intellectual and developmental disabilities, among other differences, I had no idea how simple acts of kindness in the days to come would leave a lasting impact. We had...

NY State Governor Hochul’s Proposed Budget Prioritizes Independence for People With Developmental Disabilities

Governor Hochul has released her Fiscal Year 2025 Budget proposal which is the first step in the New York State Budget process. The Governor and the Legislature will begin negotiations and reach an agreement on a final enacted New York State Budget. The final Budget deadline outlined in the New...

Sensory-Friendly Tools and Resources for Autism Caregivers

As registered and licensed occupational therapists (OTR/L) in pediatric school-based settings, many of the students we support are diagnosed with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD). Therefore, we have extensive experience with various developmental, motor, social, and sensory conditions, and the...

Meeting the Sensory Needs of Autistic Patients with Dental Care Challenges

Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) face many dental care challenges. As a result, ASD patients continue to experience obstacles in accessing quality dental care. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 1 in 36 children in the United States has been...

Addressing Sensory Behaviors Through the Lens of an Occupational Therapist and a Behavior Analyst

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a prevalent developmental and neurological disability that affects one in 36 children (CDC, 2023a). Individuals with ASD may have significant impairments in social communication and interaction, restricted or repetitive behaviors or interests, sensory features, and...

Autism Spectrum News Interviews Jessica Sassi, PhD, BCBA-D, LABA, President and CEO of The New England Center for Children

Autism Spectrum News recently had the pleasure of speaking with Jessica Sassi, PhD, BCBA-D, LABA, who was appointed President and CEO of The New England Center for Children (NECC) in 2021. In this exclusive interview, David Minot, Publisher of Autism Spectrum News, speaks with Dr. Sassi about her...

The Autism Society of America Awards the Cast and Crew of “How to Dance in Ohio” with the 2023 Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation Leader in Adult Autism Award

On December 1, 2023, The Autism Society of America’s CEO Chris Banks and Linda J. Walder, Founder and Executive Director of The Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation, honored the cast and crew of the new Broadway musical How to Dance in Ohio with The Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation Leader in Adult...

Genetics, Diagnosis, and the Male-Female Gender Gap in Autism

I hesitated to write this article. What business does a psychologist like me have writing about genetics and the gender gap in autism? I am not a geneticist. At most, genetics plays a small role in my professional life. But questions kept nagging at me. Some are specific to autism spectrum disorder...

Helping Youth with Autism and Co-Occurring Low Vision and Blindness

The prevalence of autism has been increasing over the years. The CDC estimates that 1 out of every 44 children has an autism spectrum condition (CDC, 2021). It has changed from a low-incidence disability (i.e., 1 in 10,000) to a more common one. Blindness, on the other hand, is currently considered...

Supporting Students’ Self-Regulation Needs: An Occupational Therapy Perspective

Self-Regulation is an individual’s ability to process and manage behavioral and emotional reactions to what is happening in their immediate environment. Throughout the day, a child’s nervous system is constantly attempting to process the sensory components of opportunities presented to them....

Designing a Sensory-Friendly Workplace for Autistic Adults

Autism is a lifelong condition, yet there is a noticeable lack of research on adults on the autism spectrum (Fairbank, 2023). Despite limited studies, challenges are emerging, one being a lack of sensory-friendly workplaces (Pryke-Hobbes et al., 2023). While the struggles of entering the workforce...

Find Autistic Talent with Hire Autism

Unemployment rates for autistic adults in the United States are staggeringly high. Recent statistics show that between 50% to 90% of autistic adults are unemployed or underemployed, making autism the highest unemployed disability (Steven Zauderer, Cross River Therapy). In addition, studies in the...

The Role of Sensory-Focused Education in Inclusive Classrooms

In inclusive classrooms, all student learners have strategies, techniques, support, respect, and a welcoming environment to promote academic success (Webster, 2014). Inclusive classrooms require the integration of differentiated instruction tailored to the unique academic, mental, and physical...

The Regulating Benefit of Rituals

The ball boy hands him the tennis ball. He drops it to the ground twice, his torso bent over and neck extended, looking at his opponent. He swipes his face swiftly, touching his right cheek, nose, left cheek, and back to nose. He moves his water bottle just outside the boundary line. Wipes the...

The Silent Roadblock: Understanding the Ripple Effects of Feeding Difficulties on the Spectrum

While it’s widely documented that autism spectrum disorder (ASD) affects social interaction, communication, and behavior, there is a less spotlighted, yet pivotal, piece to these neurodivergent children: feeding difficulties. It’s estimated that up to 80% of autistic children have some form of...

Establishing Sensory Inclusive Theater Experiences

Many sensory inclusive theaters and performing arts venues have incorporated sensory-friendly (SF) or relaxed performances (RP) to increase access to the arts for all patrons. Often, these events are geared towards children or younger audiences and for individuals who experience hypersensitivity....

Inclusive Housing: How Sensory-Friendly Features Can Help Address a Growing Need

Home should be a place where you can relax, feel safe, unwind from the day, and feel like it is your space. However, not everyone has that option. To illustrate, in our work of supporting inclusive housing for autistic adults for over 16 years at Madison House Autism Foundation, we have found that...

Autistic Lived Experience: Unable to Be There for a Friend in Need

In hindsight, I view my sophomore year of college as being the most challenging year of my life. Up until then, I was living in the sweet bliss of unawareness. I had no concept of how compromised my self-esteem was or what self-esteem even meant, and I had a flawed sense of how my words and actions...

Advocating for Sensory-Inclusive Education: IEPs, Classrooms, and Schools

There are many lists and suggestions for sensory-inclusive education for autistic students. Gaining a sense of your student’s unique sensory profile – what causes distress or helps them stay regulated – is important. They may be impacted differently at school than at home. How can a caregiver...

Nurturing Comfort: Sensory Processing Through an Autistic Lens

What grates on your nerves? The slurping sound made by an open-mouthed eater or by someone smacking gum and popping bubbles? What about ticking clocks? Or the coworker who repeatedly clicks their pen, ad nauseam? Why do such noises bother autistic people? Maybe it’s because stimuli and sensory...

I’ll Always Be a Sea Creature

Note: This article has been reprinted with permission. You may view the original article, published on November 28th, 2023, at www.neurodiversitypress.com/2023/11/28/ill-always-be-a-sea-creature. At swim practice, I would pretend I was a sea creature. And when I got a little older, I’d still...

All Are Welcome: Creating an Inclusive Festival

Almost 11 years ago, I founded an organization, Autism Personal Coach, that provides coaching to autistic adults and teens to improve the quality of our lives. Within the first year of our existence, I realized that the lack of community was a glaring and alarming need for many of our clients. That...

The Power of Sensory Integration: Enhancing Communication for Non-Speaking Individuals

Communication is complex and extends beyond verbal expression. This is especially important to understand in non-speaking individuals. Non-verbal cues such as facial expression, body language, and sensory experiences play crucial roles in conveying and understanding messages. Sensory integration...

Sensory Sensitivities, Accommodations, and Technological Solutions

Various organizations and venues have recently provided “autism-friendly” and “sensory-friendly” events. This is certainly a welcome trend because it not only addresses an issue that is nearly universal in the autism community but also helps promote autism awareness among the public. Much...

Harnessing the Power of Nature: Outdoor Sensory Activities for Autism Spectrum Disorder

Holistic health improves when children spend time playing outdoors (Dankiw et al., 2020; Gill, 2015; McQuay et al., 2020; McCormick, 2017). Children with autism spectrum disorder demonstrate increased world connections with outdoor sensory activities, as the natural environment affords more...

Supporting Sensory Diversity: Building Inclusive Classrooms

Traditional classrooms were initially designed in the early 1900s, and some school districts have retained a similar structure. These settings typically involve large groups of children seated, remaining stationary, and primarily learning through listening and reading. Traditional classrooms...

New Therapeutic Puppet Aids in Tele-Delivered Autism Therapy

A talking blue stuffed toy is not what comes to mind when most people think of an autism therapist. However, as therapy has found itself transformed in the last several years with the pandemic and rise of telehealth options, a therapist now can come in all shapes and sizes - including, in...

Cruising Tips for a Fun Autism Friendly Family Vacation

Do you wish you could go on a family vacation but think it’s too hard to manage with a child on the autism spectrum? With proper planning, a cruise can be a great way to combine fun and predictability for the perfect autism friendly family vacation. As a mom of children on the spectrum,...

Sensory-Friendly Hospital Experiences for Children with Autism

Going to the hospital is typically accompanied by fear and stress, which is never easy for any family. For parents of children with autism, it can be even more overwhelming to think about going to the doctor’s office or the hospital. 95% of children with autism also have sensory processing...

Setting Students Up for Success: Balancing Sensory Needs in the Classroom

Sensory considerations play a key role in developing a classroom environment conducive to learning. When classrooms are arranged with sensory needs in mind, teachers will often see increased levels of social participation and task engagement. Some students face challenges finding their voice in a...

Monica Carr, PhD, Joins the Autism Spectrum News Editorial Board

Mental Health News Education, the nonprofit organization that publishes Autism Spectrum News, is proud to announce that Monica Carr, PhD, a Research Fellow at The University of Melbourne, Australia, and a Research Associate at The University of Waikato, New Zealand, has become the newest member of...

Five Comfort Tools to Empower Your Driving

When driving a vehicle, sensory issues are important considerations for autistic people. Driving uses almost every sense in the body, like sight, smell, and sound, and all these senses are processed simultaneously, every time you get behind the wheel of a car. If you’re not able to process...

NYU Libraries Opens Low-Sensory Room for Neurodiverse Students and Others Who Benefit From a Calming Environment

NYU Libraries has opened a low-sensory space on the first floor of Bobst Library, providing students who are neurodiverse with a dedicated room to support their academic success. With the new space, and two more study rooms scheduled to open on the 9th floor in the spring of 2024, Bobst...

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