About two weeks ago, I began to watch the show Atypical on Netflix. This is a program that was of great interest to me, as it is about an 18-year-old high school senior who is living with Autism Spectrum Disorder. The plot revolves around this young man (Sam) as he tries to find a girlfriend and have an intimate relationship for the first time. I looked forward to seeing how this progressed due to my own experiences in high school with wanting to date and feel loved by a partner. However, I quickly realized that were certain aspects of Atypical that made me feel slightly uneasy due to the broad generalizations of autism that were displayed at times. Despite this, I was not disappointed with this program overall, as it provided a thoughtful and entertaining perspective about a topic that is often ignored when we talk about growing up with autism.
Leveraging Special Interests to Help Children with Autism: An Autistic Person* Shares Her Experiences
Having a special interest in something is a major part of the repetitive behavior that comes with autism. In fact, researcher Tony Attwood (2003) found that special interests seem “to be a dominant characteristic, occurring in over 90% of children and adults with Asperger’s syndrome.” Your child, client, or student with autism may have an intense interest in one particular subject. While hearing someone you love go on and on about his or her favorite subject may get tiring, special interests are important. A 2007 study done by Winter-Messiers (2007) reflected that special interests should be treated seriously because they may be beneficial in building up skills that would be hard to obtain otherwise.
As you may have read in my article discussing my first book, “Ella Autie”, I looked through many children’s disability books to see what I liked about them and what I didn’t like about them, so I could change my own material for the better. In this book reveiw, I will be talking about “Why Johnny doesn’t Flap,” a book about an autistic boy’s neurotypical (meaning without cognitive disabilities) friend, Johnny. I will give a brief description of the book’s story, illustrations and message. In doing this, I hope to bring awareness to stellar children’s books that teach about special needs. Let’s get started!
Navigating the holidays with autism
I hope everyone’s been having a great holiday season! Whether enthusiastic about it or not, the time has come for families and friends to get together and celebrate. This particular time of the year means many things for me: turkey, inviting aunts and uncles over, wrapping presents, my siblings asking me to wrap their presents for them, pie, singing, joy, worshipping, and getting really excited about making cookies! However, holidays also mean a messed up routine, sensory chaos, and unwritten social rules.
As an autistic person, I am very familiar with AAC. I use it, and I am around others who use it too. Because it is AAC awareness month, I thought this was a good opportunity to write about it.
An Autistic Woman Explains Common Autism Characteristics, Misconceptions, and the Neurodiversity Movement
Basics- What is autism?
Autism is a neurological pervasive developmental disorder. That means it is a different way of thinking and growing that affects every part of a person’s life. Autism is diagnosed by looking at the three ‘pillars’ of autism:
- Repetitive behavior
So, let’s take a closer look at these things, from an autistic perspective. (When explaining language and communication I’ve kept my explanations pretty individualized- if you would like to learn more about these categories in general, the National Autistic Society has some great information)
Hi! My name is Catlaina Vrana, and I am the author of "Ella Autie". I started "Ella Autie" as just an assignment for my senior project, but it has led to many great opportunities. Here is a quick summary of Ella Autie:
Whenever I sit down to write a new blog entry, I mentally acknowledge the importance of self-advocacy in the lives of people with autism. It is vital that we tell others how we are feeling and what we are thinking, so that the community can understand our needs. I write these blog entries for similar reasons, and I appreciate the opportunity to tell family members and professionals about my experiences so that they can learn from them. However, I have recently read a book where a 13-year-old boy with autism describes the thought processes and emotions that result in his autistic traits. This book, titled “The Reason I Jump,” is a vital resource for those who are seeking to understand children who are on the lower end of the autism spectrum, and I enjoyed reading it very much.
A Former Student with Autism Shares his Gratitude for a Teacher that Helped Him Succeed
When I was growing up, school was very rough for me. I struggled with many of the same social and emotional challenges that many others on the spectrum had, and each day I am thankful for the fact that I survived. However, there were some school years that were better than others. I smile as I remember certain teachers who encouraged me to try my best and were forgiving of the challenges that I had, and I remember other teachers with frustration as memories of meltdowns and misunderstandings play in my mind. I could write an entire book about the latter, but I now want to focus on a teacher who truly helped me as I attempted to succeed in a mainstream elementary school setting. I will give her the pseudonym of “Mrs. Johnson,” although this teacher deserves to be known.
Note: Nathan Hughes is a writer who works for Stages Learning. He provides an inside view of his experiences living with autism. Stages Learning is dedicated to providing our community with useful articles relating to autism. For more about our products and resources for children please see our collection of learning tools.
Nathan Hughes has curated a collection of the most useful and interesting blogs that are written by people like himself: People with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Nathan’s selections reflect a variety of experiences and provide advice, wisdom, experiences, poetry and art from people with ASD who are reaching out to help others.
First Hand Experiences of Being a Student with Autism
As an individual with Autism Spectrum Disorder, I have found myself reflecting on both the challenges and strengths that my differences have brought me. On one hand, I had a rather hellish experience with school for much of my kindergarten through twelfth grade career, and I had social difficulties that resulted in my not having many friends growing up. On the other hand, academics and computer-related skills were always easy for me and the unique personality that my autism helped to create (although misunderstood at times) was occasionally endearing to people. Although this is clearly a mixed bag of positives and negatives, I am very proud of who I am and I cannot even imagine how being any different would improve my quality of life.