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Autism Resources and Community (ARC)

Welcome to the Autism Resources & Community (ARC)!

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      Winner of the Feedspot Top 50 Blogs on Autism Award

      Action Behavior Center's Top 25 Autism blogs of 2020

      Study.com Top Homeschool Blogs for Special Needs Resources

      Applied Behavior Analysis Programs Guide 30 Best Autism Blogs 2019

      Autism & Emotions

      Helping Children with Autism to Communicate & Recognize Emotions

      Recognizing, Showing, and Regulating Emotions

      Think about the different ways that you recognize the emotions of others in your daily life. Do you focus on their facial expression? Their body language? Or their tone of voice? While some of us may do these things in our daily lives without thinking twice, for children with autism it is often difficult to communicate their emotions and recognize the emotions of others. Parents and educators often find that their children or students with autism display inappropriate behaviors due to their difficulty recognizing and communicating their emotions. For example, children may have tantrums that seem easily triggered, they may become aggressive, or may become withdrawn. Although difficulty communicating and understanding emotions is not a universal challenge in those who have autism, it is very common. Therefore, parents and educators should become familiar with the different ways to help children communicate and recognize emotions.

      Updated on 4/2/17 2:05 PM

      Updated by Kasey Salvatore on 4/2/17 2:05 PM

      Autism & Emotions

      Advice for Parents and Caregivers

      5 Ways to Help Reduce Anxiety in Children with Autism

      It’s likely that we all know someone who experiences anxiety, and there’s no doubt that anxiety can be exhausting and can interfere with daily life. For children with autism, anxiety can occur more frequently and can be very intense. Seemingly simple daily activities such as leaving the house, interacting with peers, riding in the car, or taking public transportation can become increasingly difficult and anxiety provoking.  In order to help children who may be experiencing anxiety, it is important for parents and teachers to understand anxiety and how it may be affecting children with autism.

      Updated on 3/6/17 10:10 PM

      Updated by Kasey Salvatore on 3/6/17 10:10 PM

      Interviews from the Field

      Interviews from the Field: Kristy Johnson

      Kristy Johnson is a mother of a child with significant special needs, as well as a researcher in the field of neurodevelopmental disorders. While she has always been very involved in science and engineering, her son greatly influenced her decision to pursue research in this field. Her current research is focused on designing a device that engages children who have neurodevelopmental disorders using the gold standard principles of therapy. Kristy provides wonderful insight into being a parent of a child with special needs (and a parent to an infant), conducting research in her field, being married to someone who also works in academia, and balancing these aspects of her life. Kristy has a strong passion to provide children with the materials they need to thrive.

      Updated on 1/8/17 9:51 PM

      Updated by Kasey Salvatore on 1/8/17 9:51 PM

      Interviews from the Field

      Interviews from the Field: Sarah Scruton

      Sarah Scruton is an English teacher at Triton Regional High School in Byfield, MA. Although Sarah is a general education teacher, she provides excellent insight into how to make accommodations for students with special needs within an inclusive classroom, the pros and cons of being a teacher, alternative assessment, and advice for future educators. Furthermore, Sarah strongly believes that if a student is separated from the classroom due to their learning needs, they are also being separated from the overall school culture.

      Updated on 11/18/16 8:02 AM

      Updated by Kasey Salvatore on 11/18/16 8:02 AM

      Interviews from the Field

      Interviews from the Field: Timothy Jepson

      Timothy Jepson teaches chemistry to sophomores at Triton Regional High School in Byfield, Massachusetts. Although he teaches general education, it is imperative that he make accommodations within his classroom for students who have special needs. Additionally, Timothy has a strong belief that high-stakes testing can interfere with the quality of education. Throughout our conversation, Timothy provided excellent insight into being a general education teacher, providing accommodations for students with special needs, and advice for aspiring teachers.

      Updated on 11/15/16 8:04 AM

      Updated by Kasey Salvatore on 11/15/16 8:04 AM

      Interviews from the Field

      Interviews from the Field: Stephanie Hicks

      As a behavior analyst, Stephanie Hicks experiences the field of special education through multiple lenses. Stephanie works mainly with classroom teachers, parents and a variety of therapists on how to manage and teach behaviors to children with autism. In addition to observing behaviors and writing plans to increase or decrease those behaviors, Stephanie finds it extremely important to consider other factors while writing a plan for a child. She carefully considers developmental milestones, relationships, school anxiety, sensory issues and anything else that may influence behaviors. Additionally, Stephanie conducts workshops regarding new research and strategies for working with students who have autism.

      Updated on 11/13/16 1:51 PM

      Updated by Kasey Salvatore on 11/13/16 1:51 PM

      Interviews from the Field

      Janet Sauer: Parent, Professional and Educator

      Interviews from the field

      As a Special Education Associate Professor at Lesley University, a parent of a child with special needs, and a previous K-12 educator, Janet Sauer has many insights into the field of special education. Janet has a passion for social justice, as well as inclusive education for all students. Through our conversation, it was clear that Janet believes that the structural aspect of our education system can sometimes be what hinders inclusive education. Therefore, a major focus of her research is to find a way to change the system to benefit all students.

      Updated on 9/19/16 12:07 PM

      Updated by Kasey Salvatore on 9/19/16 12:07 PM

      Interviews from the Field

      Interviews from the Field: Casey Bryn McCarthy

      Interviews from the field

      As a speech-language pathologist working in Early Intervention, Casey Bryn McCarthy has a passion for communication and expression. Her passion for communication developed at an early age after working with children who have special needs. At fourteen years old, she began working at summer camps and volunteering at daycare centers, where she gained experience working with children with a diverse range of skills. Through these opportunities, Casey became particularly interested in children who have autism and cerebral palsy, and she now works with these children on a daily basis.

      Casey Bryn McCarthy

      Casey attended Wheelock College for her undergraduate education where she studied Developmental Psychology with a minor in Early Childhood Education. She then attended the Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions where she received a Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology. During graduate school, Casey participated in a 6-month clinical placement within the Augmentative Communication Program and Autism Language Program at Boston Children’s Hospital working with children with complex communication needs, including those with autism spectrum disorders. Casey has been working as a speech-language pathologist for almost a year now, and it was clear from our discussion that she has a strong belief that all children deserve access to a means of communication.

      Updated on 8/29/16 3:35 PM

      Updated by Kasey Salvatore on 8/29/16 3:35 PM

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      Thank you to our community for all your suggestions, comments and ideas! Please keep sending them: we love to hear about your experiences and are always open to writing about topics that you are interested in learning about.