Archive for the ‘Website Exclusive’ Category

Addressing a National Shortage of Autism Specialists

I remember the day as if it was yesterday – Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2003. It was my birthday, and I had just met with my 21-month-old daughter’s pediatrician to discuss her “global developmental delays.” In the most caring way, he told us, “You will need to see a developmental-behavioral...

Adaptive Sports Promote Physical, Social, and Emotional Health for People with Disabilities

As COVID hit in March 2020 I was let go from my job at an adaptive sports organization for people with physical disabilities. Instead of bemoaning the fact that, along with many others, I now had no income, I started talking to some friends and colleagues about starting an adaptive sports...

Making It Through Loss and Pain When You Have Autism Is a Challenge

I am writing this piece to let any autistic individuals know that, when life throws challenges, you can make it through the pain. You may hurt, feel like your life has turned upside down, and you may feel lost. Taking on painful challenges can make you stronger. Individuals with autism can conquer...

Managing Back-to-School Jitters: Tips to Help Children With Special Needs Ensure a Smooth Transition

Remember how it felt as a child before your first day of school? Perhaps you experienced butterflies in your stomach or loss of sleep the night before. You were excited to see your friends, but also nervous about what the new school year would bring. That is exactly how I am feeling about sending...

The Pandemic Has Devastated the Autism Community. It’s Also Been an Important Learning Opportunity

The world has been living through a global emergency since the coronavirus pandemic took hold early last year, and autism families have been hit particularly hard. People with autism thrive on routine and predictability, which are precisely what was lost amid COVID-19. While I know autism families...

No Labels on My Clothes, No Labels on Me: Why Functioning Labels Need to Be Cut Off and Tossed

Autistic folk spend an inordinate amount of time discussing the torture of labels on our clothes. In a discussion about sensory issues, right after we discuss how much we loathe the grocery store, the hatred of tags on our clothes comes up. It’s amazing how something so small, can invisibly...

“Profound Autism” Is the Term We Need to Provide Critical Specificity to a Broad Spectrum

“What is your disability, because I’m not seeing one?” a young man on a date asks during an episode of Love on the Spectrum, Netflix’s recent reality show hit. “What does autism look like to you?” the young woman sitting across from him retorts. [caption id="attachment_5177"...

Where Is the Reform Movement in the Field of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities in New York State?

All human services are facing twindemics of the Coronavirus and its economic consequences. The losses of staff and people in need of services are tragic. Here is the dilemma: Does even talking about reform in the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) make sense in the face...

High School Student Forms Nonprofit Devoted to Improving Neurodiversity in the Workplace

Isabella He, a junior at Mission San Jose High School in Fremont, California, started the nonprofit organization SN Inclusion to bring career-technical education to individuals with special needs. [caption id="attachment_5220" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Isabella He with the founder of...

Remote Learning: Autism Science Foundation Goes Virtual with Day of Learning Conference

We all know 2020 is a challenging year, but it’s not without its silver linings. One unexpected upside? The Autism Science Foundation’s annual Day of Learning, a TED-style science conference, went virtual this year on Sept. 22, allowing attendees to take part from all over the world. Although I...