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The Impact of Bullying on Individuals with High Functioning Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome

Individuals with Asperger’s Syndrome (AS) and high functioning autism (HFA) often report being bullied at some point in their lives. Many describe in great detail the experience of being bullied, and some appear traumatized by the experience. In my clinical experience, individuals with AS and HFA...

Psychiatric Disorders Associated with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Co-existing psychiatric disorders in individuals on the autism spectrum are common. Based on clinical and community studies, there is strong evidence that up to 70 percent of people with autism meet diagnostic criteria for at least one emotional or behavioral disorder. The presence of these...

Assessing Young Children with ASD: A Multidisciplinary Approach

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, 1 in 54 children are diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) every year. But how can parents be sure that they have received the proper assessment? And what are the key steps in ensuring that these children receive the necessary level of...

Finding the Ability in Disability

Justin was 5 when he picked up his first set of markers and began drawing Disney characters. His parents, Maria Teresa and Briant Canha, would watch as he drew a single figure—from the Lion King or Winnie the Pooh—over and over again until another movie, show or character captured his...

Navigating the Transitional Years – With a Little Help

Each year, Andrea Melvin welcomes young adults with autism spectrum disorders to Manhattan Employment Services at YAI/National Institute for People with Disabilities, where she is supervisor. Having aged out of the school system, these young adults are often highly motivated to work and have...

Tools for Identifying Autism in Infants and Toddlers

All of us in the field of autism spectrum disorders — parents, doctors, therapists, researchers and activists — agree that early identification is essential for enabling early intervention and investigating underlying causes. Many of the tools, such as the Modified Checklist for Autism in...