Boy with Asperger’s lives 11 days in NYC subway system

Day after day, night after night, Francisco Hernandez Jr. rode the subway. He had a MetroCard, $10 in his pocket and a book bag on his lap. As the human tide flowed and ebbed around him, he sat impassively, a gangly 13-year-old boy in glasses and a red hoodie, speaking to no one.

After getting in trouble in class in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, and fearing another scolding at home, he had sought refuge in the subway system. He removed the battery from his cellphone. “I didn’t want anyone to scream at me,” he said.

All told, Francisco disappeared for 11 days last month — a stretch he spent entirely in subway stations and on trains, he says, hurtling through four boroughs. And somehow he went undetected, despite a round-the-clock search by his panicked parents, relatives and family friends, the police and the Mexican Consulate.

Via Runaway Spent 11 Days in the Subways

Asperger’s Syndrome Symptoms

Asperger Syndrome is different from other autism spectrum disorders in part because it is often diagnosed in older children and adults to very young children. That’s because Asperger syndrome is a relatively mild form of the CIA, which does not include problems with basic language skills. Many people with Asperger syndrome are very bright and capable.

via Asperger’s Syndrome Symptoms.

Autism Through a Sixth-Grader’s Eyes

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is becoming a household phrase. The prevalence of autism has risen to one in every 150 American children and almost one in 94 boys.

No two cases of ASD are exactly alike. Some individuals are nonverbal, but others are quite verbal. Some benefit from special diets, while others do not. Autism can be very difficult to recognize in young children, pre-teens, teenagers and adults because characteristics vary.

Paul, 12, is a sixth-grader with Asperger’s syndrome, which is considered a milder form of autism. According to Paul, “This is probably the hardest case to recognize, as it always appears that the child with Asperger’s is acting weird. They are also the most picked on due to their lack of social skills.”

via Autism Through a Sixth-Grader’s Eyes on ADVANCE for Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists.

Glimmer Of Hope In Jobs Report For People With Disabilities

For the first time in four months, unemployment among people with disabilities dropped slightly in September, the Labor Department said Friday.

The hint of positive job news comes on the heals of President Barack Obama proclaiming October as National Disability Employment Awareness Month.

Unemployment among people with disabilities fell slightly to 16.2 percent in September, down from a record high of 16.9 percent in August. Meanwhile, unemployment for the rest of the population hit 9.2 percent, down slightly from 9.3 percent in August. These numbers are not seasonally adjusted.

via Glimmer Of Hope In Jobs Report For People With Disabilities – Disability Scoop.

A Sixth-Grader Talks About His Asperger’s

Paul is a Madison, Wisconsin, sixth-grader who happens to have Asperger’s Syndrome. His speech-language pathologist, Penny Bright, of Mind Matters Clinics, has worked with him during the last couple of school years. She explains that many of the interventions that have helped Paul gain communication and socials skills include Berard Auditory Integration Training (AIT), and Fast ForWord®, along with speech therapy. Paul says that he has had his ups and downs at school; he found elementary school to be easy, but a year at a French Montessori school to be a bit more difficult. He especially liked the format where he could learn at his own speed and learn from others.

via Autism | A Sixth-Grader Talks About His Asperger’s | Healing Thresholds | Connecting Community and Science to Heal Autism.

Teaching Strategies for Asperger’s Students

Since the 1960′s there have been numerous legislative acts intended to protect the rights of children with disabilities. One key piece of legislation, the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA), provides that children be placed in the least restrictive environment possible for their education. Anderson, Chitwood, and Hayden (1997), state,

“before IDEA, our schools almost always segregated children with disabilities from children without disabilities. Now, however, our nation has legislation that requires all students to have equal access to education. As a result, increasing numbers of children with disabilities are being integrated into regular education classrooms. Under IDEA, students with disabilities are guaranteed services in the least restrictive environment.” (p. XV).

via Teaching Strategies for Asperger’s Students.

Parenting a child with autism: from diagnosis to awareness

Outside of the Lyte Auditorium silence plagued the nighttime area of Stayer and Lyle Hall.

Inside, however, was a different situation. There were teary eyes and heart-rending stories in the dimly lit auditorium as the keynote speaker gave her perspective and lessons as a parent of a brilliant, but socially awkward son with autism.

On September 15, 2009, the first event of the Frederick Douglass Black Culture Celebration presented Holly Robinson Peete, an actress, singer, wife, mother, philanthropist, child advocate, and author.

via Parenting a child with autism: from diagnosis to awareness.

The Autistic Surfer

In the latest issue of Outside Magazine, I profile Clay Marzo, a rising star on the pro surfing circuit. In December 2007, Clay was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, a mild form of autism. What’s so intriguing about Clay’s story is that his Asperger’s isn’t a hindrance or handicap. Instead, it’s a crucial part of his success, allowing Clay to focus, for hours at a time, on nothing but the physics of waves and the mechanics of surfing:

via The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan.

Wallet Card for people with AS

Wallet Card

An important time for a person with AS to disclose the fact that they have AS is when interacting with a “first responder,” i.e. a police officer, fire fighter, or emergency medical technician. This kind of disclosure may be especially hard, because the situation may be an emergency, or one in which you feel threatened or unsafe. If you are an adult or teen with AS, we suggest that you carry a copy of the card below in your wallet at all times, to use in such difficult situations.

via AANE – Wallet Card.