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Preparing Youth with Autism for Employment

  Parents and professionals often contact me looking for help with a young adult with autism who is out of school, looking for work, and ill-prepared to do so. As a parent, I feel their pain. My son, Jeremy, severely impacted by autism, is working towards becoming a happy taxpayer. He isn’t there yet, but he is…

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Turn Autism Awareness Into Action With These Steps

How can awareness drive acceptance and the fullest opportunity for increased quality of life for those affected by autism? This April, we invite you to turn awareness into acceptance by looking through these steps to see which would be a good fit for you and your community. Taken from several past articles written for Autism…

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Find that First Job and Build a Career

Expectations for the adult lives of people with disabilities have changed greatly in a relatively short period of time. Until very recently, the norm for people with disabilities after they finished secondary school was to enter sheltered workshops or other limiting programs. More and more today, however, we see youth with disabilities engaged in curricula…

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A New Year’s Resolution: Creating Moments

Recently, I added a new job to my professional autism experience: Stepparent of Carmen, a young adult on the spectrum. Although I have always tried to think of autism practically, helping to parent Carmen has helped me to take this practicality to a different level. For example, Carmen’s father and I recently discussed the goals…

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Recipe for Unstructured Time: Add Fun. Reduce Anxiety.

Being the mom of a very anxious tween with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), I know that days off school, unexpected storms that wipe out power, and holiday breaks can breed anxiety and stress that’  s painfully present!  We spent many years with holiday horrors and vacation disasters before we locked down a routine and…

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Part of the Class

When asked by a playmate, “What is wrong with you?” my daughter simply replied: “There is nothing wrong with me… I am autistic.” As her mother, I see part of my job as helping to ensure that Kitty is a part of the class (not only in elementary school but throughout her life). Although there…

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Navigating Autism Research

The autism field is filled with articles, websites, books, and testimonials about the potential benefits of various treatments or intervention strategies. From diets to dolphin therapy to discrete trial training, the sheer volume of options along with their purported evidence can be overwhelming. These resources and tips can help families and practitioners navigate those claims…

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Best of The OARacle: Dealing with the Holidays

Surviving the Holidays In November 2003, Liane Holliday Willey, Ed.D., wrote a holiday survival guide for OARacle readers. Dr. Willey is a speaker and writer on Asperger Syndrome and a researcher who specializes in the fields of psycholinguistics and learning style differences. Her tips included these: Mitigate sensory overload by: Finding out when shopping malls…

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Understanding Disclosure and Workplace Accommodations

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal law that prohibits discrimination of individuals with disabilities. It requires employers to make modifications (which are called reasonable accommodations) that enable a person to participate in the interviewing process or to perform his or her work. In my coaching practice, I have seen many cases where…

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Tips to Deal with Bullying

As an autistic self-advocate, I consider myself fairly lucky to have been relatively unaffected by bullying for most of my life. However, it is an unfortunate fact that many other autistics are very likely to be affected by bullying at some point in their lives. We have trouble making friends; we have interests that might…

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