The Resource Page
Recently, we have also added a page – Books in our Library – that you might find helpful. All of the books have been donated to our organization. We present them to you with summaries culled from book-seller sites that do not necessarily reflect our opinions.
You may also want to check out our Watercooler blog written for and by people with Asperger’s Syndrome or by people who love them.
The Devastating Impact of Covid-19 on Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities in the United States (NEJM Catalyst) — According to a recent study of 64,858,460 patients across 547 health care organizations, “reveals that having an intellectual disability was the strongest independent risk factor for presenting with a Covid-19 diagnosis and the strongest independent risk factor other than age for Covid-19 mortality.” Many in this group have difficulty with social distancing and are inconsistent mask wearers.
Even without COVID, the life expentancy of this population is 20 years lower than those of their counterparts in the general public.
Increased mortality in those with intellectual disabilities is caused by a number of factors and the impact of each is not well explored; in some cases, the cause of their disability or complications associated with their disability (in particular, difficulties with aspiration) may contribute to higher risk of mortality. In other cases, socioeconomic factors, obstacles to receiving the full amount of health care to which they should be entitled, and obstacles to effective advocacy for this population may contribute to an inability to receive appropriate and effective health care, which in turn leads to increased morbidity and mortality.
Sleep Help For People With Autism Spectrum Disorder (weightedjournal) — Everyone will tell you that sleep is probably the most important thing neede by our bodies. Having a good night’s rest is very thereputic for our bodies. This is no less true for people on the Autism Spectrum. “The lack of sleep can heighten some behavioral characteristics such as aggression, hyperactivity, and the ability to concentrate. Therefore, people affected by [ASD] can find it quite hard to sleep, which can lead to various struggles at school, in the workplace and can generally affect their life quality.”
Here is a list of topics covered by this article.
- What is ASD?
- Deficits in Interaction
- Behavioral patterns
- Mental health disorders
- Irregular circadian rhythm
- Medical issues
- Light therapy
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
- Sleep restriction
- Stimulus contral
- Relaxation training
- Sleep training
- Schedule checklist
- Keep bedtime routine
- Changes in the routine
This post also lists a number of blogs that deal with this issue.
What Disabilities Can a Service Dog Help With? (petlisted) — Accoding to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a “person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities” is defined as disabled. This webpage lists the different conditions that rescue dogs may be able to help with. It also gives pointers about how to go through the process of acquiring a service dog.
“There are many organizations that provide training for different types of service dogs,” writes Cortney Childers, the author of the page. “Don’t discount the power of research; spend time finding groups both locally and nationally, until you come across one that matches your needs. With some work and a little luck, you’ll have an amazing four-legged service companion in no time.”
Check out the following items listed on the webpage.
- Things to know before you start
- Researching service dog training programs
- Multiple or varying diagnosis
Autism and Addiction (Sunshine Behavioral Health) — According to new research, addiction may be more likely for those who have mild autistic symptoms than those with no autism at all! “Substance abuse is … [a] self-stimulating behavior….. The ‘substance’ can vary from alcohol, prescription medications such as opioids or stimulants, and illegal drugs such as cocaine, heroin, and fentanyl.” There is a new awareness of the link between autism and addiction. If a person does not get diagnosed until his late teens or later, his addiction is not linked to autism. According to a Sweedish study, people on the high end of the Spectrum (those previously diagnosed as having Asperger’s Syndrome) have twice as much chance of becoming addicted as their counterparts. And the statistics are even worse for those who have ADHD.
The authors of this page don’t limit the information they share to the relationship between autism and addiction. They also delve deeply into information about autism itself like
- What is autism
- Different types of autism
- Risk factors for autism
- What is addiction
- Dual diagnosis
- And more
A number of adults on the Autism Spectrum have other problems beside being Aspies. Some have mobility issues as well. But they are not alone. There are a number of people with disabilities with mobility issues. Here we present three web pages to aide those on the Spectrum and others with mobility issues.
Car Modification for Persons with Disabilities: What You Need to Know (fitmycar.com) — “Thanks to adaptive driving and assistive technology, people with disabilities can confidently and safely drive themselves to any destination.” Here are the topics covered on this helpful page:
- Who Benefits from Assistive Technology?
- Car Modification and Its Benefits
- Types of Assistive Modifications for Cars
- Best Cars for Mobility Disabilities
A Beginner’s Guide to Understanding Cars for Handicapped (BraunAbility) — Today, it is possible to make various modifications to a vehicle that allows a person with limited mobility to still drive a car. This page provides information to get a person with mobility challenges to prepared to become an independent driver. Topics covered are
- Get an Understanding of Driving With a Disability
- Enroll in Driving School and See Which Vehicle Modifications Are Needed for Your Disability
- Get Disabled Driving Lessons to Get Used to the Equipment
- Pass Your Exam
- Be Sure That The Vehicle Passes All the Prerequisites If You’re Going to Modify It
- Understand What Modifications Are Necessary
- Study the Disabled Driving Laws
Car modification, registration and license for physically challenged (ragesonleashed) — “Most of us are passionate about driving and riding here. This becomes all the more important if you are physically challenged because, driving is one place where there is absolutely no difference between physically challenged person and others, movement wise.” Topics covered on this page are the following:
- Before buying
- Buying process
- After buying
- Learner’s license
Having a disability should not limit a person’s mobility. We hope these site are of value to you.
Employment (Autism Society) – There are three types of employment, according to A Parent’s Guide to Asperger Syndrome and High-Functioning Autism: competitive, supported, and secure/sheltered. Each type is described in detail in this post.
To look for employment, begin by contacting agencies that may be of help, such as state employment offices, vocational rehabilitation departments, social services offices, mental health departments and disability-specific organizations. Many of these agencies, as well as other valuable services and supports, can be found in the Autism Society’s nationwide online database, Autism Source. Search or call today to find programs in your area!
CIP Berkshire (cipworldwide.org) – CIP, the College Internship Program, started in 1984, serving as a “psycho-educational alternative to traditional ‘medical model’ facilities.”
With assistance from our Professional Advisory Board Members, CIP has developed comprehensive curriculum specifically for Asperger’s syndrome, high-functioning autism, nonverbal learning differences, ADHD and other learning differences. Further development in academic supports include tutoring, advising, executive functioning skills groups, study halls and academic liaison with colleges and universities.
CIP provides various services:
- Transition Programs for Students with Autism, Asperger’s, ADHD, and Learning Differences
- Full-Year Post-Secondary Support Programs
- Two-week Summer Experiences
- College Academic, Social Skills, Employment, and Life Skills Support
- Independent Living in Fully Furnished Apartments
- Enrollment Options at World-Class Educational Institutions
- Internship, Job & Career Development
Choosing the Right Job for People with Autism or Asperger’s Syndrome (Indiana University Bloomington) – This reprint of a post by Temple Grandin discusses how to choose jobs that emphasize a person’s strengths. We have also posted this information a few years ago, but it is worth reviewing here. Dr. Grandin created two lists: one that she feels are “bad” jobs for people on the Spectrum and another that, in her estimation, are “good” jobs. She also gives some job tips to Aspergians: “Jobs should have a well-defined goal or endpoint; Sell your work, not your personality. Make a portfolio of your work; and The boss must recognize your social limitations. She also writes that
It is important that high functioning autistics and Asperger’s syndrome people pick a college major in an area where they can get jobs. Computer science is a good choice because it is very likely that many of the best programmers have either Asperger’s syndrome or some of its traits. Other good majors are: accounting, engineering, library science, and art with an emphasis on commercial art and drafting. Majors in history, political science, business, English or pure math should be avoided. However, one could major in library science with a minor in history, but the library science degree makes it easier to get a good job.
Her lists for both bad and good jobs include reasons why each is either good or bad for people with Aspergers.
27 Companies Who Hire Adults with Autism (workology.com) – Jessica Miller-Meller, the founder of Workology, lists various useful resources beside the list of companies hiring those with autism. The following topics are covered: 1) Autism workforce training and employment programs; 2) Companies hiring adults with autism; and 3) Updating hiring processes & training programs for all employees.
Why SAP Wants to Train and Hire Nearly 700 Adults With Autism (Inc. com) – is a German multinational software corporation that makes enterprise software to manage business operations and customer relations. The company is especially known for its ERP software. SAP is the largest European (and non-American) software company by revenue and is the world’s third-largest publicly-traded software company. So, it is especially exciting for the Asperger community that the company has a goal of having 1% of their workforce be members of the autism community.
In 2011, when SAP was approached by the Autism Society of India to create educational software for children with autism, its employees had very little personal experience with autism. But that introduction led to the employment of close to 700 people on the Spectrum by 2013 and the education of its non-autistic personnelle. At first, autistic individuals were hired for browser testing. But things have expanded since then. Jose Velasco is an executive at the Newtown Square, Pennsylvania location of SAP that is located 12.6 miles from Philadelphia. He is the father of two children on the Spectrum, so he has a vested interest in the success of the Autism at Work program, which he heads.
Velasco explained how the company reexamined the entire employee experience, starting with hiring. Instead of traditional interviews, SAP held Lego-centric “hangout days.” Candidates were put in groups of eight and given Lego Mindstorm robotics kits…. The goal: to gauge several skills, including “the ability to read instructions and execute instructions. If the instructions are incorrect, do they go up and ask for help? Do they help colleagues?”
…Successful candidates then progressed to a four-week course…. “Transitions from Point A to Point B–junior high to high school, high school to college, college to professional life–are always difficult. So we try to soften the transitions.”
Asperger’s and Autism Resources (Life in Progress) – Often people on the Spectrum don’t know where to turn for help. Many visit our Website, but our resources (that are plentiful) may not have the answers sought. So, we want to share with you a webpage that provides more resources that are divided into five categories: organizations, employment rights, hiring resources, books, and articles. We hope that the information on this page will be helpful to everyone on the Spectrum and those who love them.
Life in Progress was the brain child of Ed Hunter, who has been a professional job coach for the last 15 years. “I am the parent of a brilliant, funny adult who was diagnosed with Aspergers, graduated from college with a degree in IT, and now also has a rewarding career,” writes Mr. Hunter. “I experienced his challenges in finding meaningful work, and saw how he, and others, struggled with the social demands of job-seeking…. I realized… that more students were coming to college diagnosed with Autism than ever before. These young people each had wonderful skills and talents. They yearned for opportunities to utilize their gifts in rewarding work. Just like everyone else.”
Eye ‘jumps’ in autistic people may be especially fleeting （Spectrum News）- Neorotypical people shift their gaze to take in all the details of a given scene, but many people on the Autism Spectrum have difficulty in this department. This may account for autistic people’s difficulty reading social cues says Jonathan Moens, the author of this interesting article.
The findings may challenge the prevailing view that autistic people avoid looking at social stimuli, such as faces, because they have low social motivation. Instead, the investigators say, eye-movement problems may interfere with autistic people’s ability to shift their attention fluidly to social stimuli….
A lack of eye-movement coordination and flexibility could hinder social interactions in childhood and contribute to core autism traits, such as the tendency to avoid eye contact, says Johan Lundin Kleberg, a clinical psychologist and postdoctoral researcher at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden….
Nico Bast, head of clinical research at Goethe University Frankfurt in Germany, theorizes that people with autism have perception difficulties no matter what the stimuli. In other words people on the Autism Spectrum respond to any stimuli be it a person or scenery “that are far away from the current focus of attention,” the same way.
Neurodiverse Housing, with Ashley Kim | EDB 210 （Different Brains）- Housing for neurodiverse adults is not often addressed but is a major issue. Different Brains presents a video and audio recording of a discussion between Ashley Kim of Elevare Community of Los Angeles, that provides supportive housing and services for adults with special needs, and Harold “Hackie” Reitman, M.D., founder of Different Brains. There is also a full transcript of the conversation.
[A]s a housing person, I try to focus more on the local issues because housing challenges of building housing are very localized, as well as you know, nationwide. But I try to learn from great models all over the country, you know. At first, I started out looking at some great models in California. And when I realized after so many other great teachers out there, I started traveling and reaching out to these communities and we do a lot of advocacy work together. So, in the process I’ve learned a lot from my teachers. So, what I’m sharing today is nothing that I came up with. It’s all something that I am shamelessly copying from others….
[T]hose type of arrangements [mixed-use communities] are very ideal for individuals that are fairly independent. But in many ways, families and individuals that I meet require a lot more of attention to care and while those type of arrangements could work for some individuals, others may not be. And so, for me when I see the type of housing that works beautifully are, you know communities that have what’s called “Continuum of Care models.” So, an individual can actually be fairly independent at a certain point but as they age, their needs change. You know, these types of communities actually have a variety of options available so that that person would never have to leave that community but continue to be a part of them, they’re you know, connected community that there (sic) a part of.
IEP and Autism （my – Most autism parents with a child in public school will find themselves figuring out an IEP (Individualized Education Program) – a plan with school officials for the child to receive specialized instruction and services which can be an exhausting job for a parent.Education Programs(IEPs) are one of the top 10 topics most discussed on MyAutismTeam. People talk about a range of personal experiences and struggles.
Dentist Visits and Autism (my)-Children with autism may be uncomfortable at the dentist because it is a new situation, they have to sit very still, or they are afraid of the tools or drill. But preparing children ahead of time can ease some anxiety. Learning tips and tricks from parents who have been there can help you make your child more comfortable at the dentist.
Doctors and Autism (my)-There are also a variety of doctors who can prescribe them, like pediatricians, developmental pediatricians, psychiatrists, neurologists, specialists, and naturopathic doctors. So, there is no one “right” type of doctor.Here are types of doctors described by Dr. Todd Levine, an Autism expert.
Fever’s immune effect on brain may ease autism traits (SPECTRUM)-An immune molecule produced during a fever improves sociability in three mouse models of autism. The findings may explain why fevers have sometimes been reported to temporarily improve autistic children’s behavior. The findings also hint at the prospect of a targeted therapy that could harness fever’s benefits without its harmful side effects.
Five hot topics in autism research in 2019 (SPECTRUM)-This year, researchers unearthed clues to the causes of autism — and how to treat it —from a variety of sources. Here are the year’s top five topics in autism research: Brain makers, Matters of the heart, Gut reactions, Opportune moments and Errors in detection.
Early life experiences may shift severity of autism (SPECTRUM)-A child’s environment exerts a strong influence on the severity of her autism, according to a study of 78 pairs of identical twins in which at least one twin has autism. The results suggest that having a brain condition makes children more susceptible to random events that occur early in life.
Adolescent anxiety predicts later psychiatric diagnoses in autistic people (SPECTRUM)-The Swedish study found that anxiety is predictive of these other conditions regardless of an autism diagnosis. The findings suggest that clinicians should consider the full range of an autistic person’s traits instead of that the associations with the greatest magnitude are due to neurodevelopmental [conditions] in childhood.
What’s the connection between autism and sleep? (SPECTRUM)-Here’s what researchers know so far about the causes and consequences of — and treatments for — sleep problems in autism. Sleep problems are common in children with autism. People with autism tend to have insomnia with 15 percent of their sleeping time in the rapid eye movement (REM) stage. Melatonin supplements, insomnia drugs for adults such as Ambien, and a regular sleeping habit can help a lot.
Autism Speaks Revenue Surges (Disability Scoop) -“For 2018, Autism Speaks said it spent $19.6 million on employee compensation and benefits. The group’s president, Angela Geiger, took home over $642,000, more than double the earnings of any other executive at the organization.”
Lyft Offering Rides To Job Seekers With Disabilities (Disability Scoop) – In an effort to help people with disabilities access job training and get hired, Lyft’s Jobs Access Program will provide complementary or lower-cost rides to individuals with disabilities and other targeted groups in more than 35 markets across the U.S. and Canada.
Online Matching Service Pairs Adult Roommates With Developmental Disabilities (Disability Scoop) -One of the biggest fears for parents of adults with disabilities is what will happen to their loved ones when caregivers die. Blanton started the company’s roommate matching service in 2013 to help families find compatible roommates for their children with autism and other developmental disabilities.Another company in Minnesota created a roommate matching service in 2018 to pair people with disabilities with typically-developing caregivers