Autism: Perhaps we should focus on our differences after all

#Autism: Perhaps we should focus on our differences after all (via www.lostandtired.com)

As an Autism parent and advocate, I find myself frustrated that we (Autism Community) can’t seem to get along with each other. That’s not to say that no one ever gets along.  It’s just that I still witness quite a bit of fighting amongst ourselves…

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Boy diagnosed with autism has higher IQ than Einstein; thriving despite failure of public school system

Boy diagnosed with autism has higher IQ than Einstein; thriving despite failure of public school system (via Natural Health Cures & Remedies)

(NaturalNews) When the experts told Kristine Barnett of Indiana that her two-year-old son would probably never be able to read or even tie his shoes due to his severe case of autism, the brave mother of three decided to take matters into her own hands. And as a result, she helped nurture the young…

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We thank Dinosaur’s and Roses a local Thrift Store and Art Studio in Las Vegas for Helping us with a fundraiser!!!

If you can share the link to this coupon or print it and share it as widely as possible that would be great!!!

We would like to thank Dinosaurs and Roses for believing in us and helping us with a fundraiser!!!

We are trying to help autism via technology, music and the arts and appreciate the help tremendously!!!

Dinosaurs and Roses Coupon

Technology, Music and the arts for Kids with Autism: Tech News Zone Wants to Help by Vickie Ewell!!

Ipads helping people with autism learn and communicate
Ipads helping people with autism learn and communicate

iPads for Kids with Autism: Tech News Zone Wants to Help

Tech News Zone’s Project TEACH offers kids with autism and their families the gifts of technology, music, culture, the arts, and educational assistance.

When the Apple iPad surfaced in April 2010, many schools adopted it to help children with communication and language skills – but with a starting price of $500, it’s pricey. Out of reach for many families with autistic children who could benefit from the device, Autism Advocacy and Technology News Zone, Inc. (a Nevada nonprofit corporation) wants to help iPads get into the hands of those children.

Established on January 11, 2011, the company has been actively seeking sponsorships and donations to purchase iPads and other technological equipment they can give to those in need; but the response has been lower than anticipated. Even so, David J. Berkowitz, Tech News Zone’s founder and president, remains hopeful that as word spreads and people become aware of their existence, his dream for getting iPads to kids with autism will become a reality.

How an iPad Can Help Autistic Children

Children on the autism spectrum struggle with communication, social, and engagement skills. They have difficulty integrating sensory information and dealing with change. An Apple iPad offers help in all those areas, as well as a unique ability to attract autistic children through their fascination with technology.

While many kids show an equal interest in an iPod, fine motor control difficulties can interfere with their ability to use the tiny icons. An iPad works better because it’s larger, but still portable. For an example of how this newest technological device helps children learn, you can watch a short video of a child with autism tracing letters and learning to spell and read whole words, rather than through phonics.

While many on the spectrum are lower functioning than the child in the video, other apps designed for those with special needs teach:

independence
counting
drawing
life skills
memory skills through remembering pictures
how to make digital puzzles

By keeping autistic children engaged in playing games, this newest trend can eliminate or lessen their desire to withdraw from the world around them. It also helps attention span, motivation, and their ability to interact with parents and educators.

What Makes Autism Advocacy and Technology News Zone, Inc. Different?

Helping autistic children overcome the negative aspects of autism is a goal that parents, educators, and companies like Tech News all share in common. While not the only ones attempting to raise money for iPads, this company differs because Berkowitz has Asperger’s Syndrome himself. “I know what it’s like to live with autism,” he says. “So I want to help.” With a strong passion for technology, as well as education, music, and the arts, his mission and dream to serve his fellow autistics and their families fuels the upward climb to overcome the obstacles that most newly organized companies face.

But being able to relate to what autistic children go through isn’t his only reason. After losing four rental homes in the last four years due to each going into foreclosure, Berkowitz also understands what it’s like to live on a shoestring budget, to have his credit ruined due to circumstances in life, and not be able to give your kids everything they need.

The drive to advocate for those even less fortunate than himself propels him forward. “I live, die, and breathe technology,” he says. “I love it, as do my kids. I am a brainiac, high functioning as pie.” In addition to the gift of technology, Berkowitz also wants to “help arts programs and inspire them to include those on the spectrum. I am Asperger’s, and my three kids are too. So I have a vested interest in making a difference.”

What Does David Berkowitz Want to Do?

In addition to securing as many iPads as he can get his hands on – through monetary donations, fundraising events, and corporate sponsorships – Berkowitz has implemented Project TEACH. Using each letter in the word to guide him, Berkowitz wants to give the gift of:

T = technology: provide tablets, AAC communications devices, and other computer technology to autistic individuals who need them.
E = educational assistance: ballet lessons, swimming lessons, and skills classes.
A = the arts, culture, and entertainment: donate musical instruments to individuals and classrooms; and provide free tickets to shows, concerts, the theater, and sports events to those who can’t afford them – “So more autistic individuals and families can enjoy their lives.”
C = care and assistance: pay it forward by helping all those in need.
H = holiday help: whether that’s Chanukah or Xmas.

Securing iPads for Kids with Autism is Only the Beginning

It takes a big heart to take on such a large project like giving away Apple iPads, but Berkowitz’s grandiose dreams come with no limits. In fact, he’d like the company to grow into a national foundation for autism one day. But for now, his focus is on getting the necessary funds to gain 501c3 status, engaging with others on Twitter, and running his website: TechNewsZone. “We need all the support possible,” he says. “We accept articles and stories, as well as rants, with regards to the daily struggles of autism.”

He’s also looking for people who can donate their older technological devices gathering dust in the closet, something they just want to update, or their old musical instruments. In addition, he’s always looking for help in building autism awareness and furthering his company’s goals. “If they can get us known, or on a show like Ellen, that would be huge.”

Sources

AOL News, “Engage and Educate Kids with Autism” (accessed June 15, 2011).

Autism Research Institute, Temple Grandin, “Teaching Tips for Children and Adults with Autism,” last revised December 2002 (accessed June 16, 2011).

Interview with the President of Autism Advocacy and Technology News Zone, Inc., David Joseph Berkowitz

John Bonjovi’s Acoustic Performance at the Obama for America Event in Las Vegas 10/6/2012 At the House of Blues

My family and I had the opportunity to attend an Obama for America event at the House of Blues at the Mandalay Bay Hotel, on October 6, 2012. We got to see an acoustic performance by John Bonjovi.

Please vote this year.

Part 2:–>

Part 3:–>

 

We are an arts nonprofit 4 autism, please help us to help autism!!!

We would like to thank John Bonjovi for the opportunity to see him and his fellow artists perform in person and helping the campaign!!

As a card carrying member of the middle class I support the president.

Support our campaign on indiegogo as well, http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/240108?a=1433442.

 

Curriculum ideas for the inclusive classroom and parents too by Mari Nosal!!!

I am a huge fan of Mari Nosal and her writing. Here stories are very informative and inspirational and I really enjoy them.

 

 

Have you ever wondered how to encourage empathy, increase fine and gross motor skills, social awareness, independent thinking, teamwork, independent play, or anything in-between within a classroom or at home? I have compiled quite an array of activities throughout my years. The majority of my activities were used and intended for a multi-age classroom. The children I’ve taught range in age between five and twelve years and include those with emotional, physical, behavioral, gifted, neurotypical, and learning disabled circumstances. The activities are therefore acceptable for a mixed range of abilities and ages. I have pondered what I have learned through many years of trial and error. My goal is to share these activities with parents and educators to enhance the lives of other children who could benefit from my ideas.

1) Musical Paper Plates: This game is an adaptation of musical chairs. Musical paper plates is especially suitable for children who present gross motor skill issues. The chance of injury is diminished as children cannot fall on a chair when children are vying for the last coveted spot. Plates are strategically spread out in a circle. When the music stops, a plate is removed. For children who present with socialization issues and struggle with the concept of being “out”, leave all paper plates in the game. Thus, no one wins or loses. An adaptation I made for letter and number recognition is to write numbers or letters on the plates and keep everyone in the game. i.e. If a child lands on the letter A etc., I differentiate my question according to each child’s ability and ask questions such as, What is the name of your letter? What sound does your letter make? Can you name a word that begins with your letter? Can you spell the word ? My goal is to provide a game here that includes all children, no matter what their ability is, at their level, and without singling children out. I make the same adaptations with numbers. If the child steps on number five, I may ask them to stomp their feet five times, give them a math problem to solve, ask what number they are standing on, and more. The options within this game are limitless. The game then continues with no one left out of the game. This game has proved to be extremely popular with the children.

2) Enhance Thinking Skills: One child sits in the middle of a circle and mimes emotions. The child who guesses the emotion goes in the middle and the game continues. This game is an awesome springboard for discussing feelings and reinforcing social awareness. An adaptation is to pick moral oriented situations out of a bowl, and having children act them out.

3) Share a Book: This is a voluntary activity that proved popular with the children. Rather than reading for the children, ask for volunteers who would like to read during circle time. This enhances reading skills, positive self efficacy, and teamwork. I adapt this activity so all children can participate no matter what their abilities or age. If a child volunteers to read to the class, but is an early or none reader, they are allowed to choose another child to assist them. I wish to emphasize that no child should ever be forced to read if they do not wish to. Forcing a child with a developmental challenge, reading issues, speech problems, etc. to participate can backfire. The child will lose self esteem, become embarrassed in front of peers, and withdraw. I still recall being an advanced reader in elementary school. I also suffered from “watery S’s.” My second grade teacher would force me to display my reading skills in-front of the class. It was humiliating and still resides in my memory today. After the fact, I recall pretending I struggled in reading so the teacher would stop choosing me.  Some children will participate in the future if they are not forced and are allowed time to feel safe within the group.

4) Don’t Squish the Bug: This game can be played in a group, modified for two individuals, played one on one, or done just plain solo according to the child’s skills and social development. This game is great for increasing hand-eye coordination. The children fill balloons with jello and enjoy a game of catch, or adapted catch as mentioned above. It is suggested that this game be played outdoors. It is fun. However, when the balloon inevitably breaks – jello, jello everywhere. :-0)

I hope you enjoy my ideas. I would love feedback. If there is enough interest I will continue with weekly or bi – weekly curriculum ideas. Happy teaching and parenting.

Mari Nosal M.Ed.

 

Accommodation and Compliance Series: Employees with Asperger Syndrome By Melanie Whetzel, M.A.

autism
autism

Since I am Asperger’s I have had trouble getting along and really relating to so called normal or neural typical people. Being Asperger’s we are different, even though I am a brainiac  per se, I still think differently. I find that we are more honest, more direct, and do not have filters. I have had employers who do not understand or seem to even understand the differences.
https://askjan.org/media/asperger.html

According to Melanie Whetzel, M.A.:

Introduction

JAN’s Accommodation and Compliance Series is designed to help employers determine effective accommodations and comply with Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Each publication in the series addresses a specific medical condition and provides information about the condition, ADA information, accommodation ideas, and resources for additional information.

The Accommodation and Compliance Series is a starting point in the accommodation process and may not address every situation. Accommodations should be made on a case by case basis, considering each employee’s individual limitations and accommodation needs. Employers are encouraged to contact JAN to discuss specific situations in more detail.

For information on assistive technology and other accommodation ideas, visit JAN’s Searchable Online Accommodation Resource (SOAR) at http://AskJAN.org/soar.

Information about Asperger Syndrome

What is Asperger Syndrome?

Asperger Syndrome is one of several categories of autism spectrum conditions (DSM-IV, 1994).  These conditions are expected to be combined into one autism spectrum category in the near future.  The rationale for this proposed revision is that because autism is defined by a common set of behaviors, it is best represented as a single diagnostic category (DSM 5 Development, 2010).  Therefore, discussion of Asperger Syndrome should be understood as relating to the autism spectrum generally.

Characteristics of Asperger Syndrome and other autism spectrum conditions include strong focused interests, social and communication differences, unusual sensory processing, atypical and repetitive physical movements, and motor skills difficulties (dyspraxia).  These characteristics have been consistently noted throughout the history of the research literature on autism spectrum conditions (Sanders, 2009).

What causes Asperger Syndrome?

The cause of Asperger Syndrome is unknown.  Evidence points to genetic factors playing a prominent role, and many research studies have focused on genetic factors (NIMH, 2006).  A comprehensive review of studies addressing possible perinatal influences concluded that no single cause can be identified (Gardener et al., 2011).

How is Asperger Syndrome treated?

Although no specific treatment is necessary for Asperger Syndrome in and of itself, medications may be prescribed for co-occurring conditions such as anxiety and depression, which are more often found in people on the autism spectrum than in the general population (NIMH, 2006).  Counseling and behavioral therapy may be helpful in such areas as time management, goal-setting, and decision-making (NIMH, 2006).

Asperger Syndrome and the Americans with Disabilities Act

Is Asperger Syndrome a disability under the ADA?

The ADA does not contain a list of medical conditions that constitute disabilities. Instead, the ADA has a general definition of disability that each person must meet on a case by case basis (EEOC Regulations . . . , 2011). A person has a disability if he/she has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a record of such an impairment, or is regarded as having an impairment (EEOC Regulations . . . , 2011).

However, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the individualized assessment of virtually all people with autism spectrum conditions, including Asperger Syndrome, will result in a determination of disability under the ADA; given its inherent nature, Asperger Syndrome will almost always be found to substantially limit the major life activity of brain function (EEOC Regulations . . . , 2011).

For more information about how to determine whether a person has a disability under the ADA, visithttp://AskJAN.org/corner/vol05iss04.htm.

Accommodating Employees with Asperger Syndrome

(Note: People with Asperger Syndrome may experience some of the limitations discussed below, but seldom develop all of them. Also, the degree of limitation will vary among individuals. Be aware that not all people with Asperger Syndrome will need accommodations to perform their jobs and many others may only need a few accommodations. The following is only a sample of the possibilities available. Numerous other accommodation solutions may exist.)

Questions to Consider:

  1. What limitations does the employee with Asperger Syndrome experience?
  2. How do these limitations affect the employee’s job performance?
  3. What specific job tasks are problematic as a result of these limitations?
  4. What accommodations are available to reduce or eliminate these problems? Are all possible resources being used to determine accommodations?
  5. Can the employee with Asperger Syndrome provide information on possible accommodation solutions?
  6. Once accommodations are in place, would it be useful to meet with the employee with the Asperger Syndrome to evaluate the effectiveness of the accommodations and to determine whether additional accommodations are needed?
  7. Do supervisory personnel and employees need training regarding Asperger Syndrome?

Accommodation Ideas:

Speaking/Communicating:
Individuals with Asperger Syndrome may have difficulty communicating with co-workers or supervisors.

  • Provide advance notice of topics to be discussed in meetings to help facilitate communication
  • Provide advance notice of date of meeting when employee is required to speak to reduce or eliminate anxiety
  • Allow employee to provide written response in lieu of verbal response
  • Allow employee to have a friend or coworker attend meeting to reduce or eliminate the feeling of intimidation
Time Management:
Individuals with Asperger Syndrome may experience difficulty managing time. This limitation can affect their ability to complete the task within a specified timeframe. It may also be difficult to prepare for, or to begin, work activities.

  • Divide large assignments into several small tasks
  • Set a timer to make an alarm after assigning ample time to complete a task
  • Provide a checklist of assignments
  • Supply an electronic or handheld organizer, and train on how to use effectively
  • Use a wall calendar to emphasize due dates
Atypical Body Movements:
Individuals with Asperger Syndrome may exhibit atypical body movements such as fidgeting.  Atypical body movements are sometimes called stimulatory behavior, or “stimming.” These body movements often help calm the person or assist them in concentrating on tasks, but can also disturb co-workers at times.

  • Provide structured breaks to create an outlet for physical activity
  • Allow employee to use items such as hand-held squeeze balls and similar objects to provide sensory input or calming effect
  • Allow the employee to work from home
  • Schedule periodic rest breaks away from the workstation
  • Review conduct policy with employee
  • Provide private workspace where employee will have to room to move about and also not disturb others by movements such as fidgeting
Company Structure, Conduct Policy, and Discipline:
Individuals with Asperger Syndrome may not be familiar with or understand abstract concepts like corporate structure, hierarchies of responsibility, reporting requirements, and other structural elements of the workplace.

  • Explain corporate structure to employee, using visual charts and clear descriptions of positions and reporting structure. Do not assume that employee will understand structure from a simple chart of job titles
  • Review conduct policy with employee
  • Adjust method of supervision to better prepare employee for feedback, disciplinary action, and other communication about job performance
  • Provide concrete examples to explain expected conduct
  • Provide concrete examples to explain consequences of violating company policy
  • Use services of the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) if available
Stress Management:
Individuals with Asperger Syndrome may have difficulty managing stress in the workplace. Situations that create stress can vary from person to person, but could likely involve heavy workloads, unrealistic timeframes, shortened deadlines, or conflict among coworkers.

  • Provide praise and positive reinforcement
  • Refer to EAP
  • Allow employee to make telephone calls for support
  • Provide sensitivity training for workforce
  • Allow the presence and use of a support animal
  • Modify work schedule
Maintaining Concentration:
Individuals with Asperger Syndrome may experience decreased concentration. People with Asperger Syndrome report intolerance to distractions such as office traffic, employee chatter, and common office noises such as fax tones and photocopying.

  • To reduce auditory distractions:
    • Purchase a noise canceling headset
    • Hang sound absorption panels
    • Provide a white noise machine
    • Relocate employee’s office space away from audible distractions
    • Redesign employee’s office space to minimize audible distractions
  • To reduce visual distractions:
    • Install space enclosures (cubicle walls)
    • Reduce clutter in the employee’s work environment
    • Redesign employee’s office space to minimize visual distractions
    • Relocate employee’s office space away from visual distractions
  • To reduce tactile distractions: Instruct other employees to approach the individual in a way that is not startling, such as approaching from behind, touching the employee, or other tactile interactions, if the employee is bothered by those interactions.
Organization and Prioritization:
Individuals with Asperger Syndrome may have difficulty getting or staying organized, or have difficulty prioritizing tasks at work. The employee may need assistance with skills required to prepare and execute complex behavior like planning, goal setting, and task completion.

  • Develop color-code system for files, projects, or activities
  • Use weekly chart to identify daily work activities
  • Use the services of a professional organizer
  • Use a job coach to teach/reinforce organization skills
  • Assign a mentor to help employee
  • Allow supervisor to prioritize tasks
  • Assign new project only when previous project is complete
  • Provide a “cheat sheet” of high-priority activities, projects, people, etc.
Social Skills:
People with Asperger Syndrome may have difficulty exhibiting typical social skills on the job. This might manifest itself as interrupting others when working or talking, difficulty in listening, not making eye contact when communicating, or difficulty interpreting typical body language or nonverbal innuendo. This can affect the person’s ability to adhere to conduct standards, work effectively with supervisors, or interact with coworkers or customers.

  • Social skills on the job:
    • Provide a job coach to help understand different social cues
    • Provide concrete examples of accepted behaviors and consequences for all employees
    • Use training videos to demonstrate appropriate social skills in workplace
    • Encourage all employees to use appropriate social skills
    • Use role-play scenarios to demonstrate appropriate social skills in workplace
  • Working effectively with supervisors:
    • Provide detailed day-to-day guidance and feedback
    • Offer positive reinforcement
    • Identify areas of improvement for employee in a fair and consistent manner
    • Provide clear expectations and the consequences of not meeting expectations
    • Give assignments verbally, in writing, or both, depending on what would be most beneficial to the employee (e.g., use of visual charts)
    • Establish long term and short term goals for employee
    • Adjust supervisory method by modifying the manner in which conversations take place, meetings are conducted, or discipline is addressed
  • Interacting with co-workers:
    • Provide sensitivity training to promote disability awareness
    • Allow employee to work from home when feasible
    • Help employee “learn the ropes” by providing a mentor
    • Make employee attendance at social functions optional
    • Allow employee to transfer to another workgroup, shift, or department
    • Encourage employees to minimize personal conversation, or move personal conversation away from work areas
Memory:
Individuals with Asperger Syndrome may experience memory deficits that can affect their ability to complete tasks, remember job duties, or recall daily actions or activities. They also may have difficulty recognizing faces.

  • Provide written instructions
  • Allow additional training time for new tasks
  • Offer training refreshers
  • Prompt employee with verbal cues
  • Use a flowchart to describe the steps involved in a complicated task (such as powering up a system, closing down the facility, logging into a computer, etc.)
  • Provide pictorial cues
  • Use post-it notes as reminders of important dates or tasks
  • Safely and securely maintain paper lists of crucial information such as passwords
  • Allow employee to use voice activated recorder to record verbal instructions
  • Provide employee directory with pictures or use nametags and door/cubicle name markers to help employee remember coworkers’ faces and names
  • Encourage employee to ask (or email) with work-related questions
Maintaining Concentration:
Individuals with Asperger Syndrome may experience decreased concentration. People with Asperger Syndrome report intolerance to distractions such as office traffic, employee chatter, and common office noises such as fax tones and photocopying.

  • To reduce auditory distractions:
    • Purchase a noise canceling headset
    • Hang sound absorption panels
    • Provide a white noise machine
    • Relocate employee’s office space away from audible distractions
    • Redesign employee’s office space to minimize audible distractions
  • To reduce visual distractions:
    • Install space enclosures (cubicle walls)
    • Reduce clutter in the employee’s work environment
    • Redesign employee’s office space to minimize visual distractions
    • Relocate employee’s office space away from visual distractions
  • To reduce tactile distractions: Instruct other employees to approach the individual in a way that is not startling, such as approaching from behind, touching the employee, or other tactile interactions, if the employee is bothered by those interactions.
Organization and Prioritization:
Individuals with Asperger Syndrome may have difficulty getting or staying organized, or have difficulty prioritizing tasks at work. The employee may need assistance with skills required to prepare and execute complex behavior like planning, goal setting, and task completion.

  • Develop color-code system for files, projects, or activities
  • Use weekly chart to identify daily work activities
  • Use the services of a professional organizer
  • Use a job coach to teach/reinforce organization skills
  • Assign a mentor to help employee
  • Allow supervisor to prioritize tasks
  • Assign new project only when previous project is complete
  • Provide a “cheat sheet” of high-priority activities, projects, people, etc.
Sensory Issues:
Individuals with Asperger Syndrome may have difficulty with sensory processing and can experience oversensitivity to touch, sights, sounds, and smells in the workplace.

  • Fragrance sensitivity:
    • Maintain good indoor air quality
    • Discontinue the use of fragranced products
    • Use only unscented cleaning products
    • Provide scent-free meeting rooms and restrooms
    • Modify workstation location
    • Modify the work schedule
    • Allow for fresh air breaks
    • Provide an air purification system
    • Modify or create a fragrance-free workplace policy
    • Allow telework
  • Fluorescent light sensitivity:
    • Move employee to a private area to allow for personal adjustment to appropriate lighting
    • Change lighting completely
    • Allow telework
  • • Noise sensitivity:
    • Provide sensitivity training to promote disability awareness
    • Allow employee to work from home when feasible
    • Help employee “learn the ropes” by providing a mentor
    • Make employee attendance at social functions optional
    • Allow employee to transfer to another workgroup, shift, or department
    • Encourage employees to minimize personal conversation, or move personal conversation away from work areas
    • Allow telework
Multi-tasking:
Individuals with Asperger Syndrome may experience difficulty performing many tasks at one time. This difficulty could occur regardless of the similarity of tasks, the ease or complexity of the tasks, or the frequency of performing the tasks.

  • Separate tasks so that each can completed one at a time
  • Create a flow-chart of tasks that must be performed at the same time, carefully labeling or color-coding each task in sequential or preferential order
  • Provide individualized/specialized training to help employee learn techniques for multi-tasking (e.g., typing on computer while talking on phone)
  • Identify tasks that must be performed simultaneously and tasks that can be performed individually
  • Provide specific feedback to help employee target areas of improvement
  • Remove or reduce distractions from work area
  • Supply proper working equipment to complete multiple tasks at one time, such as workstation and chair, lighting, and office supplies
  • Explain performance standards such as completion time or accuracy rates

Situations and Solutions:

An employee with Asperger Syndrome works for a large marketing firm. Though she is knowledgeable in her field, she has difficulty participating in work activities with her team. JAN suggested job restructuring, which allowed her to work independently while providing information to her team electronically. This gave the employee the social distance she needed to be comfortable, yet also provided the team with information needed to move forward with marketing campaigns.

A new hire at a fast-food restaurant has Asperger Syndrome. He completes his job tasks quickly and efficiently then remains idle until someone tells him the next task to perform. The manager complains that the employee “just stands around” and “looks bored.” JAN suggested the use of a job coach to help learn the job, and how to stay occupied during down time. JAN also suggested using a training DVD from The Conover Company to help build workplace social skills.

An applicant with Asperger Syndrome is applying for a research position with a chemical company. He has a verbal communication deficit, though can communicate through handwriting and by email. The employer wants to provide accommodations during the first stage interview, which involves answering questions from a three-person search committee. JAN suggested providing the questions in advance and allowing the applicant to furnish written responses during the interview.

A professor with Asperger Syndrome had difficulty keeping daily office hours, and experienced anxiety because the timing of students’ consultations was unpredictable. JAN suggested modifying the schedule as an accommodation. The professor keeps all required office hours, but only during three workdays. JAN also suggested adjusting the method by which students obtain appointments, asking students to schedule at least one day in advance and when possible, allow the professor to conduct consultations electronically, by phone, or by instant messenger. In addition, JAN suggested documenting each student consultation to ease his anxiety about the meeting and to refresh his memory about previous meetings with the student.

Products:

There are numerous products that can be used to accommodate people with limitations. JAN’s Searchable Online Accommodation Resource (SOAR) at http://AskJAN.org/soar is designed to let users explore various accommodation options. Many product vendor lists are accessible through this system; however, upon request JAN provides these lists and many more that are not available on the Web site. Contact JAN directly if you have specific accommodation situations, are looking for products, need vendor information, or are seeking a referral.

Symptoms of High Functioning Autism

Autism I am what I am so get over it
Autism I am what I am so get over it

I feel that some people have a problem dealing with people that have autism or in my case Asperger’s Syndrome they do not really get us.

It is like the old song “What it feels like to be misunderstood,” At times I am too open and honest, and do not have the filter that others have to protect themselves from society. I do not have the swagger or attitude that most people have. I say what I mean and mean what I say.

At times I am irritable or cranky, am frightened of dogs, but so what I can also read a 300 page book in a couple of hours, and win video games quickly.

At times I am am bored, feel like an old soul born with less interest and excitement by the zeitgest of life, however we are intrigued and more interested by other things in life like technology.

I wish people would just accept people for who they are…

Here is a bit more info on autism from a website that I can relate to, WiseGeak–>http://www.wisegeek.com/what-are-symptoms-of-high-level-autism.htm

People with high functioning or high level autism can function normally in society, but may have some of the symptoms of autism. The condition is often called Asperger’s syndrome, although some experts disagree on whether the two are synonymous. Symptoms of high level autism can vary from person to person.

According to the clinical definition of high level autism, the autistic can speak and act normally in everyday society. People who suffer from severe autism are defined as being unable to do so. Research has shown that people with high level autism have an intelligence quotient (IQ) of 70 or above.

Social interaction problems are a symptom of high level autism. The high level autistic may appear serious and uncommunicative, although being uncommunicative may only take the form of a lack of participation in small talk conversations. High level autistics may also have difficulty maintaining eye contact with others.

Individuals with high level autism prefer routine and order. These symptoms may present themselves in early childhood. Personal relationships are often a problem for people with high level autism. Affected individuals can sometimes be perceived by others as too geeky or intelligent. Rejection can lead to low self esteem.

Other symptoms of high level autism may include irregularities with coordination and motor skills. These problems may be very low level and may only take the form of clumsiness in situations such as sports activities. Although the high level autistic may not express certain emotions, such as empathy, he or she is certainly capable of feeling them.

High level autistics may have advanced learning abilities. They are also talented at problem solving, and many go on to careers in science and engineering. People with high level autism are often gifted academically and will do well if they have encouraging teachers. They are often extremely talented wordsmiths and have a great love of language. A passion for obscure subjects and an in-depth knowledge of these subjects are also symptoms of high level autism.

It is unfortunate that many narrow-minded people simply dismiss the high level autistic as a nerd or boffin. People who are not aware of the problem can often make judgments without fully appreciating the situation. High level autism is a complex disorder that affects one person out of every 90 people.

I am so tired of the lack of acceptance of people who are different, some of us are just wired differently!!!

Help for an Arts Foundation for Autism as seen on www.specialneeds.com

We were recently written about on specialneeds.com–>http://www.specialneeds.com/products-and-services/autism/help-arts-foundation-autism Please check them out, they are a simply great website with tons of special needs resources and articles.

Help for an Arts Foundation for Autism
Help for an Arts Foundation for Autism

This guest piece is written by a man passionate about his vision. David Berkowitz lives in Las Vegas, is an honorably discharged veteran and spent the last 20 years in sales and marketing. David lives with Asperger Syndrome and is raising three kids also on the spectrum. Looking to improve the lives of individuals with autism through technology and the arts, David wants to share a bit about his vision with our readers. He is trying to make a difference for autism, please help him in his efforts.

AUTISM ADVOCACY AND TECHNOLOGY NEWS ZONE
By David Joseph Berkowitz

As an individual with high functioning Asperger syndrome, a kind of autism, and the father of three kids who are also on the spectrum for this disorder, I have always felt a need to make a difference for the people with autism. I dream of establishing a national organization like the American Heart Association or American Cancer Society to make living on the spectrum better for those with autism related disorders. Utilizing my knowledge and passion for technology with my personal experience and interest in autism, I launched http://technewszone.com, on January 11, 2011. We are a state nonprofit seeking our 501c3. Our intent is to become a national Arts and Technology Foundation within the autism community.

We are a tech-focused state nonprofit. As we get funded we intend to help those on the autism spectrum by giving the gift of the arts and technology to make the lives of people with autism better, and to support their families and the educational facilities that serve them.

We are determined to make a difference in the lives of people with autism and their families.

Our Plan:

Our intent is to give the gift of the arts and technology through donated musical instruments, arts supplies, and tablets and along with proper training to children and young adults with autism, their families, and the educational programs and schools that could make use of them. We also plan to fund applications to use with the technology. We plan to help the arts in schools as well as promote inclusion of people on the spectrum.

Tablets and musical instruments are a very kinesthetic devices and they make learning easier for many people with autism. Tablets like Apple iPads aid in education and improve the level of involvement in many aspects of their lives. However, a decent tablet runs $400-$800 which is very expensive for most families of people with autism. In addition, musical instruments, the arts such as dance classes are very costly to the individual.

We also give the gift of music and the arts, and to save the music especially for people with autism and special needs. Schools are very short on funding especially for the arts and music. Most parents of kids with autism cannot afford instruments, band trips, choir events and other arts materials. We want to help.

We will donate musical instruments to people with autism and education to improve quality of life. In addition, we will give the resources to provide help to theatre programs in both private and in public schools, as well as other arts that accept people with autism in their programs. We strive to promote inclusion and acceptance.

In order to further the quality of life for people with autism we want to expose them to cultural events. We will donate tickets, to musical events, theater, and other arts to enrich their lives.

I feel that many people with autism are talented in the arts and music. Even if not talented in the arts, I feel they can definitely benefit from the exposure to arts, music and technology.

The first help we need is funding for our 501c3, as well as a lawyer or cpa to do the paperwork properly. We also need exposure such as on TV, in the newspaper, magazines, and web based as well. We can not do it alone and need support to make a real difference.

Please help us help others for the next school year.

We need your help to donate of tech, music and the arts for the school year starting in September. We want to give tablets to people with autism, as well as gift cards and tickets to concerts to make their holidays happier. Please go to our website now and make a donation today to help us make a difference for people with autism and their families. Even a $ 5.00 gift card or a donation on our website will make a huge difference in the quality of life for people on the autism spectrum.

We are also seeking corporate sponsors who can help us in the future as well.

In addition we need media exposure so please put a link to this article on your website as well.

Our tech and autism blog is http://technewszone.com, and we will soon have our autism nonprofit site up as well at http://www.autismhelpusa.com as well soon.

To make a donation–> http://technewszone.com/tech-news-zone-and-paying-it-forward-for-autism-zone/donate-today-autism-technology-music-arts/

I am smart, different, and am going about it on my own; I am not rich and need support so that I can help other people with autism. If you are interested in helping our organization, Autism Advocacy and Technology News Zone, Please do not hesitate to contact me.

About the Author:
Autism Advocacy andTechnology News Zone, Inc. A Nevada Nonprofit Corporation

www.technewszone.com
Twitter: itechnewszone

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Autism-Advocacy-and-Technology-News-Zone-Inc

Email: davidb@technewszone.com