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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 & Transitions

      First Person Autism

      Young Adulthood on the Spectrum: An Interview with a Friend


      Updated on 10/22/18 8:40 PM

      Updated by Emma Shanahan on 10/22/18 8:40 PM

      First Person Autism

      First Person Autism: Review of Netflix Series Atypical

      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.

      Updated on 10/2/17 8:30 AM

      Updated by Nathan Hughes on 10/2/17 8:30 AM

      About Autism

      First Person Autism

      Advice for Parents and Caregivers

      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.

      Updated on 1/23/17 8:16 PM

      Updated by Catlaina Vrana on 1/23/17 8:16 PM

      First Person Autism

      Product Reviews

      Book Review: “Why Johnny Doesn’t Flap”

      This is a book review of “Why Johnny doesn’t Flap,” a book about an autistic boy’s neurotypical (meaning without neurological disabilities) friend, Johnny. I will give a brief description of the book’s story, illustrations and message.

      Updated on 1/17/17 8:41 AM

      Updated by Catlaina Vrana on 1/17/17 8:41 AM

      First Person Autism

      Advice for Parents and Caregivers

      Autism and the Holidays: Advice from the Front Lines

      Navigating the holidays with autism

      The time has come for families and friends to get together and celebrate. This particular time of the year means many things: inviting extended family over, wrapping presents, pie, singing, joy, worshipping, and making cookies! However, holidays also mean a messed up routine, sensory chaos, and unwritten social rules.

      Updated on 11/29/16 8:53 AM

      Updated by Catlaina Vrana on 11/29/16 8:53 AM

      About Autism

      Autism & Transitions

      First Person Autism

      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 9:59 AM

      Updated by Nathan Hughes on 11/11/16 9:59 AM

      First Person Autism

      Advice for Parents and Caregivers

      How To Make Life Easier for a Person Who Uses Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)

      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.

      Updated on 10/24/16 5:28 PM

      Updated by Catlaina Vrana on 10/24/16 5:28 PM

      About Autism

      First Person Autism

      Autism Explained

      An Autistic Woman Explains Common Autism Characteristics and Misconceptions

      Basics- What is autism?

      Autism is a pervasive developmental disorder. It is a condition that affects every part of a person’s life. Autism is diagnosed by looking at the three ‘pillars’ of autism:

      • Repetitive behavior
      • Language
      • Communication

      So, let’s take a closer look at these things. (If you would like to learn more the National Autistic Society has some great information)

      Updated on 10/9/16 2:30 PM

      Updated by Catlaina Vrana on 10/9/16 2:30 PM

      About Autism

      First Person Autism

      Author Catlaina Vrana On Her New Book “Ella Autie”

      Hi! My name is Catlaina, and I am the author of "Ella Autie". "Ella Autie" was a book made for my senior project. Here is a quick summary:

      Updated on 10/8/16 2:53 PM

      Updated by Catlaina Vrana on 10/8/16 2:53 PM

      First Person Autism

      Book Review: The Reason I Jump by Naoki Higashida

      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.

      Updated on 9/27/16 8:00 AM

      Updated by Nathan Hughes on 9/27/16 8:00 AM

      First Person Autism

      A Special Thank You to a Special Teacher

      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.

      Updated on 9/12/16 10:27 AM

      Updated by Nathan Hughes on 9/12/16 10:27 AM

      First Person Autism

      The Positive Side of Autism

      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.

      Updated on 8/4/16 9:33 AM

      Updated by Nathan Hughes on 8/4/16 9:33 AM

      First Person Autism

      Top Blogs by People with Autism

      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.

      Updated on 7/16/16 6:49 AM

      Updated by Nathan Hughes on 7/16/16 6:49 AM

      First Person Autism

      Autism & Career Options

      Career Choices for People with Autism: First Hand Advice

      Finding a Job that Matches Your Skills

      Many people struggle with finding a job and establishing a career for themselves. In addition, there are often multiple applicants for only one job vacancy, which can be discouraging to any jobseeker. However, for people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (or ASD), this search is often much more difficult. The social difficulties that result from ASD can cause these individuals to struggle in job interviews and in finding a work environment that is appropriate for their needs. When I look at my own experiences as someone who has ASD, finding stable employment has always been difficult for me. However, I have learned lessons during my journey that may be helpful for individuals with ASD, their parents and their teachers as they transition into the world of work.

      Updated on 6/28/16 12:15 PM

      Updated by Nathan Hughes on 6/28/16 12:15 PM

      First Person Autism

      My Thoughts on School Experiences and Being on the Autism Spectrum

      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. 

      Updated on 6/17/16 2:16 PM

      Updated by Nathan Hughes on 6/17/16 2:16 PM

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      We want to know what you think! Please share your questions and comments about our articles or let us know about other topics you would like to see covered in our blog. --Angela Nelson, CEO, Stages Learning Materials and Editor, Autism Resources & Community