New book, ‘Autism Tomorrow,’ helps parents guide autistic children into adulthood

Dr. Temple Grandin, Dr. Tony Attwood and 14 other autism experts contributed advice in a new book on facing adulthood with autism. The book, “Autism Tomorrow: The Complete Guide to Help Your Child Thrive in the Real World,” addresses independent living, employment, puberty, sexuality, bullying, social skills, communication, financial planning and more.

Autism Today, a leading autism spectrum disorder education and awareness organization, announced that the unique comprehensive book, “Autism Tomorrow, The Complete Guide to Help Your Child Thrive in the Real World,” is now available. The book is a compilation of advice from leading experts in autism spectrum disorders with each author adding valuable insight to help parents, care providers and educators guide children into adulthood.

via Essential New Book, ‘Autism Tomorrow’, Helps Children Transition into Adulthood.

Autistic adults, advocates, visit Washington

The  Advancing Futures for Adults with Autism recent Congressional briefing brought together policymakers and advocates, including this young man with autism who described his goals and college dream.

Joey Rosenbloom, 22, uses a “life writer” to communicate. Sharen Rosenbloom assists her son in every task, from tying his shoes to combing his hair. But the reality Joey faces is what will happen when his mother is gone – an issue that 500,000 autistic children growing into adulthood must figure out. Autism spectrum disorder ranges from mild to severe developmental disabilities. ASD affects people in social and behavioral ways. Some are unable to develop life skills because they cannot speak and are unable to interact with people, while others cannot control their actions. Autism is not just a childhood disease – it never goes away. The Advancing Futures for Adults with Autism consortium met in Washington on Thursday to urge policymakers, advocates and others to make numerous changes. Those include training service providers how to interact with autistic people, new funding to meet individual needs and expanding incentives for housing. Joey and five other autistic people, ages 22 to 54, told the audience of 250 people what they face now and what’s ahead.”My goal is to find a university longing to house and educate individuals living with autism,” Joey said, using his device. “I dream of living on a campus and learning from professors and not just special educators.” via Autistic adults face insecure future.

Man with autism starts dog treat business

I hear dogs love them.

David Shunkey of Albuquerque, New Mexico, makes Peanut Butter Puppy Bites, which are crisp canine treats shaped to resemble dog bones. Like any upstart business owner would, Shunkey has been getting his small business off the ground, looking for markets, and refining his recipe. The only difference is this businessman has autism.

A National Institutes of Health website defines autism as causing “severe and pervasive impairment in thinking, feeling, language, and the ability to relate to others.” Its severity ranges over a wide spectrum.

“David is nonverbal,” said Heather Gooch, who is program manager of supportive employment with Community Options in Albuquerque. She spoke for Shunkey with his permission. “He knows sign language and can understand more than he can sign. We also read his facial expressions and body language, and he uses different sounds to communicate. He has a speech language pathologist on his team and they have developed a communication dictionary to document his sound and hand movements. So if there is someone new working with him, they know how to communicate with him.”

Community Options has an on-site job coach helping Shunkey with marketing, baking, and selling. His dog treats are all natural, and include whole wheat flour, unbleached white flour, corn meal, rolled oats, eggs, safflower oil, vanilla, and peanut butter.

via Person with Autism Starts Business – Roseville California News including Rocklin & Placer County.

Quality of life for autistic adults subject of new study

In the 1980s, 400 Utah children diagnosed with autism became the subject of long-term study.

They have contributed greatly to researchers’ understanding of the disorder’s prevalence and characteristics. Just last year, a study showed a surprising number grew up to have fulfilling lives as adults with jobs, meaningful relationships.

Now researchers want to know the “whys” behind the good and less than favorable outcomes, which will entail tracking down as many of the original 400 as possible.

via Quality of life for autistic adults subject of new study | The Salt Lake Tribune.

Young adults with Asperger’s syndrome struggle to find jobs

Her resume attracted plenty of attention.

Hospitals, technology companies and a major research organization indicated that Chelsea Ridenour – computer and math whiz, summa cum laude graduate of Capital University – looked good on paper. Some called for interviews.

And then, suddenly, it didn’t seem to matter that she is intelligent and dependable and tenacious. Ridenour can communicate with a computer in six languages, but she can’t chat her way through a face-to-face meeting with a stranger.

“People try to be nice. They’re not deliberately not nice,” the Hilliard resident said. “They just don’t understand.”

Ridenour is among a rising population of young adults whose coming-of-age stories are at best complicated and oftentimes heartbreaking. They are grown-ups with Asperger’s syndrome and other autism disorders, conditions that society seems to handle best when boys and girls are young and in school.

But Ridenour is 23. What she needs is a job.

via Young adults with Asperger’s syndrome struggle to find jobs | The Columbus Dispatch.

Residency program offers activities, safe haven for adults with autism

MADISON TWP. — Here they’re not clients. They’re not patients. They’re farmers.They have a purpose.

That is why Connie and Larry Proctor were finally comfortable with moving their 27-year-old son Adam — who has severe autism — out of their home and into Safe Haven Farms in May.

He was one of the first residents at the farm: a group of new homes on a former horse ranch in Madison Twp. soon to also house an activity center, garden and other amenities.

via Residency program offers activities, safe haven for adults with autism.

Students With Autism Learn How To Succeed At Work

People with autism often have a hard time finding and keeping jobs, so more schools are creating programs to help students with autism get prepared for the workplace. One of those programs helped change the life of Kevin Sargeant.

Just a few years ago, when Kevin was still in elementary school, things weren’t looking good for him. He was antisocial, desperately unhappy and doing poorly in school.

“He was pretty much a broken child, the way I would describe it,” says his mother, Jennifer Sargeant. “We really didn’t see that he would be able to go to college, even have a job. That just wasn’t in our future for him.”

Kevin, now 18, says his autism left him unable to handle the social interactions at school.

via Students With Autism Learn How To Succeed At Work : NPR.

Autism: Healthcare beyond pediatrics

Here’s a post from sfgate.com autism blogger Laura Shumaker on healthcare and adults with autism and other developmental disabilities. There’s an effort underway to develop a pilot program that would train San Francisco’s doctors to recognize health issues in this population. Read on to see why this is important:

Talia Schultz of San Francisco, who has autism and few words to tell people what’s wrong, was rushed to the ER with an infected gallbladder. Her sister Sarah, who had assumed 40-year-old Talia’s care a month before after their mother’s death, felt terrible.”I had no idea she was so sick!” she said.

Talia developed complications during an emergency gallbladder surgery, resulting in a more extensive surgery and a longer, very expensive, hospital stay.

“People with autism often don’t have typical pain behavior like grimacing or clutching their stomach,” says Dr. Clarissa Kripke, Director, Developmental Primary Care, Department of Family and Community Medicine at UCSF, “so it can be hard for others to recognize.”

Dr. Kripke sees situations like Talia’s at least daily.As children, the developmentally disabled can usually depend on parents and pediatricians to be their medical advocates. Yet when they grow into adulthood, there are few experienced physicians and other trained health care providers to take care of them. And there’s no system to ensure their care as their aging parents can no longer advocate for them.

via City Brights: Laura Shumaker : Autism: Healthcare beyond pediatrics.

Helping autistic adults find their way in Ontario

Colin Baxter knows his autism makes finding work in film production an added challenge. But an adult autism centre opening today aims to help the 27-year-old and others like him achieve their goals.

The Autism Centre on Main Street East is an “out-of-the-box” way of assisting adults with autism according to Lisa Schumph, program manager for The Salvation Army Lawson Ministries which built and operates the centre.

The centre, which could serve up to 140 people, will fill a niche since autistic adults don’t have structured activities the way children do and can become more isolated from their community.

via TheSpec.com – Local – Helping autistic adults find their way.

Farm Helping Women With Autism

There’s a special place tucked into Albuquerque’s south valley: a four-acre farm devoted to helping women with autism.

Mandy’s Special Farm was founded in 2000 by Ruthie Robbins after a disappointing trip to a group home in California that wasn’t the right place for her daughter, who has autism.

“Her life was just difficult, and was going to stay difficult, until we found a place to meet her needs,” said Robbins. “Driving home, I’m depressed, my husband’s depressed, our daughter’s just out of control almost, from tantruming to not understanding what’s going on and I looked him in the eye somewhere in Arizona and said, ‘We can do this better.

‘”Mandy’s Special Farm is the only place of its kind in the United States. Four women currently live at the residential learning center, caring for animals and tending to gardens and orchards.

via Farm Helping Women With Autism – Health News Story – KOAT Albuquerque.