Students with Autism (ASD)

Did you know that 80% of individuals diagnosed with ASD are under the age of 18? 90% of young adults with ASD are not employed or are underemployed. 34% of ASD young adults out of high school have NO engagement in the community, including work, career counseling, further education, and vocational training. 40% receive no services post high school education, including case management, mental health support, medical and speech.

How does Autism unfold across the lifespan? See my blog article which attempts to answer this question: here.

Meanwhile, the frustration of parents and educators continues to increase. Over and over, I have heard parents frustrated with an education model which does not prepare their children for real life. Statistics like those above prove what parents already know. Even the brightest student on the spectrum does not receive the social and life skills education that he or she needs to succeed in living and independent and rewarding life. Furthermore, the manner in which we “accommodate” students on the spectrum so that they may pass through school, especially high school, is not helpful towards the goal of a life well lived. Our flawed system of resource rooms, aides and special day classes are costly and not effective. It is the rare spectrum student who graduates from high school never having been bullied, misunderstood, and judged by others. More frequently, students exit high school with co-morbid issues like anxiety and depression. We can, and must, do better.

Autism Videos

People with ASD sometimes suffer from depression. It is especially hard to want social relationships with others, while learning the skills needed in order to maintain friendships, or take relationships to a deeper level. This is a poignant and beautiful video of suffering, and of hope.

Twelve steps you “must” take if your child is diagnosed with Autism?  Just watching this 3 1/2 minute video is overwhelming.  Doing each thing on the list isn’t possible for a set of parents who happen to be parenting an autistic child.  We must provide better methods of services.  Please read “Autism Services, A New Paradigm” and let us know what you think. Thanks.

FAQ’s About Autism Spectrum Disorder

What is Autism Spectrum Disorder?

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) includes the following diagnoses: (1) Pervasive Developmental Disorder—Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS) (2)Rett’s syndrome, (3) Asperger syndrome, and (4) Childhood Disintegrative Disorder

To learn more, click here for the National Institute for Mental Health: NIMH · Autism Spectrum Disorders (Pervasive Developmental Disorders).toggle]

What is Asperger’s Disorder & how is it different from classical autism?

Asperger’s refers to a form of ASD which includes social and behavioral differences, but does not include a language delay. Some people question whether Asperger’s is a form of Autism, on a spectrum which includes ADHD on one end and severe autism with a cognitive dysfunction on the other. We may find out that each of these are separate disorders, or, that they are all variations of the same disorder.

What is Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)?

ABA commonly refers to Discrete Trial Training or the Lovaas Method. It is a well established research based method of shaping behavior which is frequently used to shape positive behaviors of children with autism, while decreasing negative behaviors.

What is PRT?

Pivotal Response Therapy is a derivative of ABA. It includes the principles of ABA, but in a more naturalistic environment such as family chores rather than table time. PRT is also designed to increase and reinforce social and relational skills. More information can be found at: Koegel

Still have more questions?