Autism books: Writers share journeys with autism, Asperger’s

As autism spectrum disorders have become more common, the trickle of books, articles and films about living with these afflictions has become a flood.

Amidst the multitude, perhaps the most helpful titles are the autobiographies written by autistics themselves, whose accounts of their struggles to achieve a normal life provide inspiration and proof that success is possible.

These memoirs provide insight into lives whose challenges are nearly incomprehensible to those of us not facing them.

via Diane Bronson: Writers share their journeys with autism, Asperger | savannahnow.com.

College students with Asperger’s; Teach independence in high school

Education of autistic students and preparing them for life after school were the big topics at the National Autism Conference at Penn State last week. More than 2,000 teachers, people with autism, parents of autistic children and others attended the five-day Pennsylvania conference. One researcher told attendees that high school is the time to start teaching the independence needed for college and beyond.

Dr. Janet Graetz, assistant professor of human development and child studies at Oakland University in Michigan, presented a session on her study that followed 19 college students with Asperger’s syndrome.

Graetz found that students living with Asperger’s exercised less, had high anxiety levels and failed to take advantage of campus disability resources as the school year went on.

She stressed the importance of teaching independence in high school to students with disorders like Asperger’s syndrome.

“Students in high school must be taught self-advocacy,” Graetz said. “The best thing you can do for your student who is younger is to teach them about self-advocacy.”

via Autism Conference Held at Penn Stater

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.