From Pennsylvania: Developing New Housing Options for Adults with Autism Will Foster New Opportunities

Pennsylvanians with autism could have broader opportunities to participate in and contribute to their communities if more effort is made to create affordable housing tailored to their needs, a new state report finds.

The report on housing options for adults with autism spectrum disorder, issued today by the Department of Public Welfare’s Bureau of Autism Services, offers a first-ever comprehensive look at the housing challenges facing Pennsylvanians with autism.

via Pennsylvania DPW Report: Developing New Housing Options for Adults with Autism Will Foster New Opportunities,… — HARRISBURG, Pa., April 22 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ –.

Parenting an Autistic Adult

When we talk about autism (which we are doing often during Autism Awareness Month), we tend to talk about children and ways that their parents can help. But children grow, and the parents of autistic children become parents of autistic adults, a role that is less defined and less discussed. In a guest blog today, Laura Shumaker, author of “A Regular Guy:Growing Up With Autism,” describes one weekend with her grown son Matthew, navigating the changing rules one interaction at a time.

via Parenting an Autistic Adult – Motherlode Blog –

Adults with autism train for work with soup business in Phoenix

The Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center has started a job training program for adults with autism.

An eight-week pilot program is under way with help from Arizona Public Service.The students taking part in the program are part of the Entrepreneurial Center for Special Abilities.

They have a station set up in the building to sell soup to employees and the general public.

via Valley adults with autism get chance to open for business – Phoenix Arizona news, breaking news, local news, weather radar, traffic from ABC15 News |

Comparing how people with and without autism view “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf”

Public Radio International’s Studio 360 has an interesting audio post and slide show on a Yale School of Medicine study that compares how people with and without autism viewed the movie “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf.” Eye-tracking technology showed that the two groups looked at entirely different things, sometimes in surprising ways.

Science is looking for ways to better understand an autistic person’s perception of the world. Using laser technology, Ami Klin and Warren Jones of the Yale School of Medicine screened “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf” and tracked the gazes of autistic viewers precisely, to study how they perceive social interactions. Biologist David Gruber visited their lab to learn about the technique.

via Studio 360: Autism, Flanagan, Shearwater.

Information seminars held in N.J. on autistic children transitioning into adulthood

LIVINGSTON — Danielle is seated at a cafeteria table, a visitor to a Livingston High School club built around the special needs of her and her classmates from The Children’s Institute, a school for those with socialization and language disorders often born of autism. And she’s brimming with revelations about what makes Danielle, well Danielle.

“I can make peas. I can make cookies. I can make brownies. I can make cakes,” 18-year-old Danielle says.

Then, like life itself, the topic suddenly takes a turn.

via Informative seminars held throughout N.J. on autistic children transitioning into adulthood | –

Holly Robinson Peete: 8 Facts About Autism the Media Is Not Covering

Autism mom Holly Robinson Peete has a great post in the Huffington Post about the things that don’t always grab headlines — things like race, puberty, marital status… read on:

Over the years many parents have reached out to me for emotional support after their child was diagnosed with autism. I particularly remember getting Jenny McCarthy’s phone call shortly after her son’s diagnosis. Like most moms and dads, she needed to connect with somebody who knew first hand the swift gut-kick of this difficult diagnosis, somebody who had been in the trenches for 7 years already.

via Holly Robinson Peete: Shifting Focus: 8 Facts About Autism the Media Is Not Covering.

Program gives autistic students confidence to join work force – Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

This Pennsylvania program gives students with autism a taste of the work world before they turn 21. The unemployment rate for autistic adults is 80 percent, according to this story from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

Shawn Curren hates when his hands are dirty.

When the students in his class at NHS Human Services Autism School in Whitney pass around cheese curls to eat, Curren, 16, of Greensburg immediately has to wash off the orange powder left on his fingers.

But when his boss at Adam and Eve Pet Station near Latrobe asks him to dig into a bag of hay and pull out handfuls to put in a rabbit cage, Curren obliges happily.

“Try to get it around the bowl here,” pet store owner David Shultz tells Curren as he scoops up one last handful. “That’s good!”

Curren’s foray into the working world is part of NHS Human Services’ transition program for autistic students who attend the organization’s schools in Herminie and Unity.

via Program gives autistic students confidence to join work force – Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

Study projects housing needs of autistic adults

It is projected that as many as 500,000 autistic children will reach adulthood in the next 15 years. These adults will have varying levels of independence, and will outlive their parents. Where will they go? This is the question that a collaborative report by the Urban Land Institute Arizona (ULI), the Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center (SARRC), and Arizona State University (ASU) tries to answer.

via Study projects housing needs of autistic adults | Autism Support Network.

Parents of the disabled want a say

The mother of an autistic adult featured in this Salt Lake Tribune Article says she knows her son best. She and other parents of adult disabled children want their voices heard when decisions are being made about where their children should live.

Parents of the disabled want a say

In one group home, Philip Paulsen was left unattended and was seriously burned in a cooking accident. While playing with water — a habit when he’s anxious — the severely autistic adult caused $5,000 in damage to a supervised apartment. He was evicted for assaulting a caregiver.

As his mother, 73-year-old Mary Paulsen rounds the corner to old age, she feels the “security, consistency and supervision” her son needs can only be found at the state-run Utah Developmental Center in American Fork.

But with a movement to keep the disabled out of institutions underway for decades, Paulsen and other parents feel shut out of decisions about where their loved ones will live. They’re now asking lawmakers to endorse legislation that would make it easier for parents to institutionalize their mentally disabled children.

via Parents of the disabled want a say – Autism Parents Club.

For Some Jobs, Asperger’s Syndrome Can Be An Asset

Statistics on the unemployed have been dominating the news for months.

And while the current portrait of the jobless might seem dire, consider this: According to new data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, less than 20 percent of the disabled population in the country has work.

But Aspiritech, a nonprofit in the suburbs of Chicago, is trying to help improve the job outlook for people with Asperger’s and high-functioning autism.

The company trains people in data entry and computer program testing — skills that come naturally to many with the disorder.

via For Some Jobs, Asperger’s Syndrome Can Be An Asset : NPR.