Changing the Mindset of Youth on the Spectrum

Changing the Mindset of Children and Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Using "Inner Speech" May Help Autism

Psychologists have found that people with autism possess the ability for "inner speech," which is the process of talking things through in their heads--though they do not use it in the same way as typically developing people. 

In a study conducted by researchers in the UK, the tendency to "think in words" was found to be strongly connected to a person’s communication skills. Because these skills are rooted in early childhood, the researchers suggest that teaching children with autism to think in words may help them better execute daily tasks later in life.

Special Needs App of the Day: iBioMed

Developed by the parents of a child with autism and seizures who were looking for a way to make their lives easier, the iBioMed app helps caregivers keep track of their children’s health information--particularly those with complex conditions such as multiple sclerosis, autism, Fragile X syndrome, cerebral palsy, and diabetes. It also gives parents the ability to easily share health records with other family members and other caregivers.

One Family’s Journey with Autism

Altering Our Perspective: One Family's Journey with Autism

 He came to us on a Tuesday, slowly and painfully easing his way into the world just after the new year. When the doctor placed Benjamin on my belly I felt that we had finally done it … after several miscarriages and several visits to the fertility specialist, we finally had our baby. I felt lighter, could breathe more easily, and for a moment, believed that all was right with the world.

Ann LeZotte and Julie Jack, a Deaf Heroine

As a young child, Ann LeZotte was diagnosed as autistic because she banged her head. Eventually it was discovered that her head-banging was merely a response to the fact that she could not hear. Born prematurely and deaf, Ann also has trouble with lung function.

Special Needs App of the Day: iWriteWords

iWriteWords teaches your child to write using whimsical sounds and graphics. The way to play is to help Mr. Crab collect all the numbers in sequence on the screen by tracing them with your fingers. As the numbers are traced, a letter appears. Once all the letters in a word are made, a cute drawing appears that illustrates the word. Drawings are done in a bright and childlike style.

New Definition of Autism Worries Some

One in 110 children in the U.S. are currently estimated to have autism, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. With the rate of diagnoses skyrocketing in recent years, some newly proposed changes to the definition of autism would likely slow the rate of diagnoses but would also make it difficult for families whose children would no longer fall under the umbrella of autism spectrum disorders.

Special Needs App of the Day: Going Shopping

Some children with special needs react with difficult behaviors like tantrums when going into a store. Going Shopping Social Story is an app that focuses on things that can be fun while shopping. Because children with special needs such as Down syndrome or autism often need more visual examples of what they can or cannot do, this app uses brightly colored images to illustrate good shopping behavior. Going Shopping Social Story also helps your child know what to expect at the store.

Lip Reading Study Could Offer Autism Clues

A new study conducted by researchers at Florida Atlantic University is proving that infants use more than their ears to learn how to talk. The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, tested groups of babies ranging from four to 12 months as well as a group of adults for comparison. Some infants watched a video of a woman speaking in English (their native language), while others watched a woman speaking In Spanish (a foreign language to them). 

Many People with Autism Suited for Jobs

Employers are realizing more and more that there is a group of potential employees in the autism community who can be productive workers if given a chance. Chris Simler is the director of career development services at Turning Pointe Autism Foundation, which has a program that focuses on teaching career and life skills to individuals preparing to transition to the workplace. He stresses that "there is no typical job for a person with autism." They can work in retail, accounting, data entry, and even social work.