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

Don’t Divide the Autism Spectrum: Unite the Whole Community

Despite clear alternatives, some prominent voices in the autism world, whom I wrote about in November, are continuing to push for a new category which they are calling “Profound Autism.” They are completely ignoring Autistic voices. The Autism Self Advocacy Network (ASAN), “has continually...

Creating a Summer Routine: Enriching (And Fun!) Activities for Children With Disabilities

Summer is a time of fun in the sun and making new memories. Although my children are now grown, I distinctly remember the days when they could not wait for their summer break to begin. As a parent, this time of year brought both feelings of excitement and apprehension. I wondered how I would...

Advocating for the Overlooked Needs of Autistic Individuals in the US Criminal Justice System

Over the past 7-15 years, many forensic/clinical professionals working in the US criminal justice system recognize the need for significant change within the US criminal justice system for autistic individuals to be treated humanely and with dignity. “Recently, a diverse team of autistics, family...

Rethinking Guardianship: Empowering Autistic Individuals and Preserving Rights

Often when I encounter families with young autistic kids, they are admittedly very anxious about their child’s future. Who will take care of my child when I die? How can I make sure I am an active decision-maker in their lives when they reach adulthood, especially if they are non-speaking or have...

An Autistic Woman’s Success Story: Kaelynn Partlow, Therapist, Dog Trainer, and Star of the Hit Netflix Series “Love on the Spectrum”

Perhaps because of the stigma we are up against and how misunderstood we know we are, many in the autism spectrum community feel as though the entertainment industry has historically mis- and under-represented us. The autistic character of Raymond Babbitt from the popular Oscar-winning movie Rain...

The Invisible Struggle: Autism Diagnosis in Immigrant Families

According to Constance Baker Motley, the first Black woman elected to the New York State Senate in 1964, “something which we think is impossible now is not impossible in another decade.” About 11 years back when I was graduating as a Doctor of Social Work, I held similar thoughts for the...

Autism Spectrum News Spotlight on Excellence: An Interview with Rita Gardner, President & CEO of Melmark

Overview David Minot, Executive Director of Mental Health News Education, the non-profit organization that publishes Autism Spectrum News, interviewed Rita Gardner, President and CEO of Melmark, a multi-state, non-profit human service provider with premier private special education schools,...

The Power and Potential of the IEP

To address the inequity of limiting special needs children from obtaining an appropriate public education, the Individualized Education Program (IEP) was implemented in 1975 across the United States school systems. The IEP is an educational road map for children with disabilities. It is required by...

Creating Inclusive Work Environments for Employees with Disabilities

Historically, adults with disabilities have faced high levels of discrimination in the workplace environment. The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, or ADA, was enacted in an effort to eradicate discrimination against employees with disabilities while also requiring employers to provide...

The Importance of Special Needs Trusts for Children with Autism

When my child with ASD and intellectual disability was young, I had no idea what tomorrow would bring, much less what would happen years from now, when I would no longer be there. My son’s behaviors were anxiety-provoking enough without me having to lie awake at night thinking about the future....

Autism, Online Offending, and Victimization

Individuals on the autism spectrum are particularly vulnerable to committing online offenses, in many instances unwittingly. They are also victimized by online predators, financial scams, and extremist groups. Consequently, they are increasingly interacting with the criminal justice system as...

Rights and Challenges for Autistic People with Communication Disabilities in the Legal System

Police should be the last resort.... I shouldn’t have to call the police if my son is having a meltdown. When I get up in the morning, I say, “Thank God he’s not dead,” and “Thank God I’m not dead.” - Kerima Çevik, activist and parent of a nonspeaking autistic son (Sokol,...

Preserving Educational Stability: Understanding the Role of Pendency in Tuition Reimbursement Cases for Students with Special Needs

Parents of children with special needs sometimes face a daunting challenge when it comes to securing appropriate educational services. Fortunately, many legal avenues exist to advocate for an appropriate education. One critical aspect that often goes unnoticed is the indispensable role of pendency...

Navigating the Legal Rights and Entitlements for Your Student with Autism

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is the federal law that governs the education of children with disabilities, including autism. Congress’ purpose in passing IDEA 48 years ago was to open the school doors for children with disabilities and provide them “a free appropriate...

Understanding and Resolving Conflict in Divorce Involving Autistic Children

Divorce is complicated enough, but when there is a child with autism or other disability involved, it takes things to another level. I should know. I unexpectedly faced divorce after 21 years of marriage, and it took incredible amounts of time, money, and emotional energy to get through the...

Navigating Legal Challenges in Autism Healthcare: Ensuring Access to Services and Insurance Coverage

Prevalence rates of autism are at an all-time high, and we know that early and intensive treatment produces the optimal outcomes for autistic individuals. According to the CDC, “most children (85%) identified with ASD had concerns about their development noted in the records by 3 years of age.”...

Enhancing Communication and Accessibility: Assistive Technology for Individuals with Autism

What do a wheelchair, closed captioning on a television screen, and a visual schedule all have in common? They are part of an extensive list of products or services that enable those with disabilities to access activities of daily living. Like a wheelchair, assistive technology can provide...

Strategies for Navigating College for Students with Autism

College is a transformative period in a young adult's life, offering a platform for growth, self-discovery, and academic achievement. However, for students on the autism spectrum, navigating the challenges of college life can be particularly overwhelming. College students with autism spectrum...

A Call for Reform of the Least Restrictive Environment

Section 1412(a)(5) of the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) outlines regulations regarding the least restrictive environment (LRE). The statute states: To the maximum extent appropriate, children with disabilities, including children in public or private institutions or other care...

Mesa, Arizona: Leading the Way as an Inclusive and Accessible Travel Destination

Mesa, Arizona has emerged as a groundbreaking destination, setting new standards for inclusivity and accessibility. With the prestigious title of being the first-ever Autism Certified City in the United States, designated by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education...

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