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Monday, July 13, 2015

Speaking up for Autism

Scrolling through my email one day a subject line caught my attention: "Help me help others with autism." The words help and autism captured my attention as did the sender's message. Let me tell you a little about her. Her name is Kathleen and she has Asperger's Syndrome. 

According to Wikipedia, Asperger's syndrome is an autism spectrum disorder, but it differs from autism as most who are diagnosed have linguistic and cognitive development. It can be characterized by difficulties in social interactions and nonverbal communication along with other repetitive or restrictive behaviors. And, what can be considered good news, is that a diagnosis of Asperger's no longer exists. In the 2013 fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders the diagnosis was changed to autism spectrum disorder and rated on a severity scale.

Sixteen-year-old Kathleen, who is working to get out of her shell, is busy attending high school and working as a "volunteer-intern-extraordinaire" at EducatorLabs where she helps with research and learns about outreach. She says, "I'm not letting [Asperger's] stop me."

"I'm lucky enough to get work experience, but I know not everyone else with Asperger's and other autistic disorders is so lucky and gets to live such an active life." Kathleen loves to write and she's been working on coming out of her shell by trying new things. And, to her credit, she wants others to do the same.

In order to do that she has been putting together some resources to help empower others with autism to be more confident, social and to help them overcome their obstacles. Her goal for contacting me and others is to hear back from at least 25 people willing to share her findings so she can get credit for volunteering.

This is a cause I believe in as well so I'm taking a moment to share these resources with you. Hopefully they wll help someone who is reading this right now or you'll be able to share the informtion with someone who needs it. 

Here are six resources Kathleen shared:

Autism Speaks Resource Guide
Career Assistance for People with Autism
National Center for Autism Resources & Education
AutismNOW Transition Planning
Aquatic Therapy for Children with Autism
Services for Autistic Individuals

Found via an google images search on 'Autism'.... inspiring acronym! (
Dianna206 Hubpages

** Here is a link for a complete, fully accessible guide to flying for people with disabilities.**

If you have other resources you'd like to share or simply want to respond, leave a remark in the comments section below. Also, don't forget to share this with your friends.

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