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Autism Resources and Community (ARC)

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Autism & Transitions

Autism & Career Options

Top Work Places Supporting Adults with Autism

Individuals with autism too often have been underrepresented and discriminated against in employment. A 2017 report from Drexel University found that only 14 percent of adults with autism held paid jobs in their communities. Another study found that employment rates for people on the spectrum were about 25 percent lower than those for people with other disabilities. Qualified autistic job seekers are being turned away: 45 percent of adults on the spectrum were over educated for the job they were performing. Of the 35 percent of autistic adults with college degrees, only 15 percent are employed.

Updated on 10/23/18 1:00 PM

Updated by Emma Shanahan on 10/23/18 1:00 PM

First Person Autism

Autism & Transitions

Young Adulthood on the Spectrum: An Interview with a Friend

 

Updated on 10/22/18 11:40 PM

Updated by Emma Shanahan on 10/22/18 11:40 PM

Inclusive Education

Autism and Physical Spaces

Autism & Transitions

Inclusion Toolkit: Top Ten Products to Accommodate Students with Autism in the Classroom

The beginning of a new school year can be a difficult time for some children with autism. Shifting from the comfort of home to an environment packed with loud voices, stiff chairs, slamming doors, and a new structure can trigger anything from distraction and discomfort to full meltdowns.

Updated on 8/19/18 3:56 PM

Updated by Emma Shanahan on 8/19/18 3:56 PM

Advice for Parents and Caregivers

Autism & Transitions

Autism & Emotions

Parent Strategies for Helping Children with Autism Cope with Transitions and Changing Routines

Transitions from one activity to the next can be difficult for any child, especially if they are being asked to leave a preferred activity to instead do something they need to do. While some behaviors in response to transitions may look similar between neurotypical children and children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), the reasons behind the behaviors can differ. When a child is navigating life with ASD, the world can be an unpredictable place, and a set routine can help them feel more in control, greatly easing anxiety and frustration. If that routine needs to change for any reason, it can feel like someone pulled a rug out from underneath them, and they may feel emotionally overwhelmed in response.

Updated on 5/8/18 12:30 PM

Updated by Lauren Panzano on 5/8/18 12:30 PM

Advice for Parents and Caregivers

Autism Treatment Options

Autism & Transitions

How to Prepare For Your IEP Meeting - For Parents of Children with Autism

Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) are defined as written plans outlining a program designed to meet the unique needs of one child. Walking into an IEP meeting prepared will help you and the school design the best plan for your child. Children with autism have distinctive needs, and in your role as an advocate for your child you can help school personnel understand what accommodations will be most successful in supporting your child’s strengths and weaknesses. 

Updated on 3/15/18 10:27 PM

Updated by Lauren Panzano on 3/15/18 10:27 PM

Advice for Parents and Caregivers

Autism and Physical Spaces

Autism & Transitions

How to Choose a Summer Camp for Your Child with Autism

Summer camp can be a positive and enriching experience for children on the autism spectrum, providing an alternative to the rigorous school year routine and opportunities for peer interactions. However, finding the right fit for your child can be intimidating and does require research and planning - here are some steps to help get you started.

Updated on 1/15/18 8:59 PM

Updated by Lauren Panzano on 1/15/18 8:59 PM

Advice for Parents and Caregivers

Autism & Transitions

Top 10 Tips for Traveling with Kids with Autism

Travel can be a beautiful way to explore a new environment, bond as a family, and learn together. For children on the autism spectrum, travel can also mean venturing through unfamiliar routines and adjusting to stressful, chaotic situations. However, with thoughtful preparation, traveling can be an opportunity to show your child that a break from the usual routines can be a wonderful adventure. Use these 10 tips to help create a travel experience that is rewarding for everyone in your family.

Updated on 12/20/17 9:00 AM

Updated by Sophia Chung on 12/20/17 9:00 AM

Autism & Transitions

Advice for Parents and Caregivers

Tips and Strategies for Helping Children with Autism Develop New Routines

With difficulty making sense of their surroundings and feelings of anxiety, children with autism often develop routines and rituals to have some form of order and structure to their lives. Everyday routines such as washing and teeth brushing are generally consistent. There are times, however, when routines change during events such as fire drills, field trips, and special occasions. During times of transition or change, children may be more likely to have tantrums, aggressive behavior, and show resistance. It is important to prepare children for the possibility of change and help them understand the procedures they need to follow during novel situations.

Updated on 10/1/17 11:30 AM

Updated by Grace Chen on 10/1/17 11:30 AM

Advice for Parents and Caregivers

Autism & Transitions

Helping Children with Autism Develop Friendships

5 guidelines for the class or the home

Friendships can have a major impact on wellbeing and personal growth, yet building new relationships can be anxiety provoking for adults and children alike. So, imagine how hard it can be for children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), who may struggle to perceive social cues and respond in conventionally acceptable ways. As a result, they may have few friends and shy away from conversations or other interactions. Children with ASD need opportunities to build meaningful relationships and have many wonderful qualities to offer others. Using various strategies to help children with ASD build supportive friendships can help them live happier lives and realize their potential. Below are some approaches to consider and build upon:

Updated on 9/11/17 11:44 PM

Updated by Grace Chen on 9/11/17 11:44 PM

Autism & Emotions

Advice for Parents and Caregivers

Autism & Transitions

How to Help Young Children with Autism Avoid Behavior Problems

Linda Hodgdon has been a long-time friend of Stages Learning and is author of the best-selling book, "Visual Strategies for Improving Communication." We have invited her to impart some of her wisdom and experience in a guest blog and she discusses an important topic that comes up often in the autism space.

If you have a student with autism, you probably have a list of situations where you deal with problem behaviors and meltdowns. Children with a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are frequently identified because of their difficulties with communication and behavior.  Visual strategies provide a solution.

Updated on 3/17/17 11:17 PM

Updated by Linda Hodgdon, CCC-SLP on 3/17/17 11:17 PM

First Person Autism

About Autism

Autism & Transitions

Autism & Career Options

Work Environments, Adjustments for Employees with Autism

Advice for entering the job world

It is common knowledge that people with disabilities tend to experience higher rates of unemployment and underemployment. Many employers seem to be unwilling to give disabled individuals a chance when they feel that their company’s success is at stake. However, according to the latest employment statistics, autistic adults are the most unemployed group when all individuals with disabilities are compared. The social idiosyncrasies of this group may lead employers to believe that they cannot complete the necessary tasks for the position, which is clearly an incorrect assumption. As someone with Asperger’s, I too have struggled to find full time employment, but my knowledge of what makes an ideal working environment has been very helpful with my journey. I would like to share my thoughts in this regard, and I hope that you find my advice to be beneficial as you enter the working world.

Updated on 11/11/16 12:59 PM

Updated by Nathan Hughes on 11/11/16 12:59 PM

Autism & Transitions

Advice for Parents and Caregivers

Strong Start: Back to School Tips

Tips for getting back into gear for the school year

Summer is an important time to take a break from school routines, spend time with the family, and explore extracurricular interests. However, the transition from the more laid-back schedule of the summer to that of the school year can be stressful for students and parents alike. This article offers tips to help you and your child with your back-to-school transition.

Updated on 8/20/16 5:11 PM

Updated by Grace Chen on 8/20/16 5:11 PM

Advice for Parents and Caregivers

Health & Nutrition

Autism & Transitions

6 Strategies to Prepare Your Child for Back to School, Haircuts, Hospital Visits, And More!

Preparing Your Child with Autism for the New Year

Activities that are comforting, thrilling, or intolerable to people with autism can vary considerably from what a neuro-typical child or adult may experience in the same situation. For example, haircuts or birthday parties can be extremely unpleasant. Carly Fleischmann, a woman with autism, wrote a book about her experiences and a team of talented disability rights allies helped her produce this video, demonstrating her experience within a coffee shop.

Updated on 8/14/16 5:27 PM

Updated by Briana Brukilacchio on 8/14/16 5:27 PM

Autism & Transitions

Advice for Parents and Caregivers

Inclusive Education

Transition: A Guide to College Readiness and Applications for Students with Autism

Tips and Strategies for Transitioning to College with Autism

Of the roughly 50,000 young Americans with autism who graduate from high school each year, less than 7,000 end up with a college degree (Wei et al 2015). This discouraging statistic has given rise to countless transition programs that we hope will allow more students to enroll in appropriate postsecondary programs, benefit from their time on campus, and enter rewarding careers. A series of steps from transition meetings to college admissions, outlined below, function as a roadmap for teens and parents who have set their sights on higher education.

Updated on 7/1/16 2:54 PM

Updated by Briana Brukilacchio on 7/1/16 2:54 PM

About Autism

Health & Nutrition

Autism & Transitions

Advice for Parents and Caregivers

Talking about Puberty with Children with Autism

All bodies go through puberty, regardless of the developmental "age" of a child or the level of their cognitive or academic skills. It can be startling for parents to see their child with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) begin to develop an adult body and characteristics when they do not have the adult skills, reasoning, or competences to go along with it. Regardless of a child’s cognitive abilities, they will go through puberty and they will need support to understand the changes that are happening to their body, as well as assistance to know that these changes are normal and not something to be scared of. Children with ASD will also benefit from understanding about the social rules that accompany puberty, including those that relate to privacy, hygiene, and relationships with others. While schools teach about puberty and sex education in their health or wellness programs, children with autism often need much more explicit instruction about these topics than what they receive in school. Therefore it often becomes the parents’ responsibility to teach about these topics in a way that will be accurate, meaningful, and appropriate to their child with ASD.

Updated on 6/30/15 12:27 PM

Updated by Jenna Wharff, Ed.M. on 6/30/15 12:27 PM

About Autism

Teaching with Pictures

Health & Nutrition

Autism & Transitions

Advice for Parents and Caregivers

Teaching Stranger Safety to Kids with Autism

Teaching young children about safety around strangers is nothing new. In fact, most adults can remember their own parents and teachers talking to them about the dangers of “taking candy from a stranger” or “getting in a car with someone you don’t know” at an early age. For today’s youth, these same ideas still exist, but parents can find it even more challenging to protect their children from strangers, not only in the physical sense, but also virtually, in a world of cell phones, texting and social media. For parents of children with autism, these challenges can be magnified because of the social and communication weaknesses experienced by their children. Autistic people do not always pick up on the subtleties of social interactions as easily as their typically developing peers. They may not understand why it is okay to hug their friend on a play date but it’s not acceptable to hug a stranger on the sidewalk. These types of safety skills often need to be explicitly taught in order for kids with autism to understand, practice and generalize them in everyday life.

Updated on 5/30/15 7:50 PM

Updated by Jenna Wharff, Ed.M. on 5/30/15 7:50 PM

Autism & Transitions

Advice for Parents and Caregivers

3 Ways to Build Skills for Transition Now!

Planning for a young adult with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) or other special needs to transition from special education to adult services can be overwhelming for children and their parents alike! Many parents are so intimidated by the transition process that they refuse to think about it until their child turns 14 and a statement about that student’s transition services is required by law to be in their individual education program (IEP), or age 16 when those services must start to be implemented. Other parents may think that they don't need to consider transition until their child is older since the actual transition from special education doesn't happen until students turn 21 (or the age at which special education services end in their state). However, as with any change, the sooner parents and their children start preparing for transition, the smoother the actual shift from special education will likely be.  Despite what some may think, there are skills that can be taught to children at a young age that will make any transition easier as they get older. Three of these skills and the importance of implementing them at home are discussed below:

Updated on 4/27/15 2:42 PM

Updated by Jenna Wharff, Ed.M. on 4/27/15 2:42 PM

Autism & Emotions

Advice for Parents and Caregivers

Autism & Transitions

Helping Kids with Autism Understand Death

Coping with the death of a loved one is difficult for everyone. The idea of death can be particularly scary for kids, and the thought of not being able to see or talk to a loved one again may be confusing and overwhelming.

Updated on 3/25/15 2:00 PM

Updated by Jenna Wharff, Ed.M. on 3/25/15 2:00 PM

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