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Operation Autism directly supports U.S. military families touched by autism and autism spectrum disorders. It serves as an introduction to autism, a guide for the life journey with autism, and a ready reference for available resources, services, and support.

Blog

The Things Autistic People Are Passionate About
May 24th, 2018

studentofficedeskworkadulttransitionjobcareerlearnfeaturedimageSelf advocate Sue Abramowski explains how many people with ASD feel about their interests and passions, and how these passions are unique and something to be proud of. This was originally posted on The Mighty. If you’re familiar with autism, I’m sure you’ve heard of the term “special interests.” Everyone has something they have a...

An “Invisible Barrier”: Is College Any Different?
May 23rd, 2018

questionquestionmarkunsurelifeconfusedmaybesadfeaturedimageMany of ­my interpersonal relationships have ended abruptly or in disappointment. Sometimes these experiences make me think there is an “invisible barrier” that constantly surrounds me. Prior to attending college, I had expected to overcome my difficulties with communicating my feelings and emotions to connect with people who I wanted to become friends with. But as...

My Fiance and I are Both Autistic, But Different
May 17th, 2018

lovedatingrelationshipsexengagedmarriagemarriedweddingloveringhugsmilehappyfamilyfeaturedimageSelf advocate Jackie Parslow shares her experiences about being in a romantic relationship with someone who is also on the autism spectrum. This was originally posted on The Mighty. My fiance Peter and I are both autistic. While we love each other dearly, there are still obstacles with communication and other differences. As Dr. Stephen...

The North Face Endurance Challenge Series
May 3rd, 2018

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One Part of Sensory Overload That You Might Not Think About
May 3rd, 2018

bikebicycleexerciseathleteoutdoorsraincityjobfeaturedimageSelf advocate Jordan Aukema shines some light on the often times overwhelming experience of sensory overload and strategies on how to cope by detailing his own encounters with this challenging phenomenon. This was originally published on The Mighty. When you hear “sensory overload,” what do you think? Most would think a loud room with lights and things rubbing against...

My College Experience as Someone on the Autism Spectrum
April 26th, 2018

clocktimeschoolworkcareerjobeducationlearnlearningfeaturedimageSelf advocate Erin Clemens shares her thoughts regarding her undergraduate experience while studying to become a teacher, and what motivated her to finish college and beyond. This blog was originally posted on The Mighty. School was always a challenge for me. I remember struggling to understand what the teachers wanted from me. I remember fearing...

The Surprising Similarities Between Art Therapy and Autism Support Dogs
April 19th, 2018

colorcreativeartschoolchildkidlearnfeaturedimageWith her years of teaching experience, writer Amanda Ronan explores how the two distinct therapeutic approaches of art therapy and support dogs seem to have some interesting overlaps in the results produced with kids on the spectrum. This post was originally published on The Art of Autism.  In my first years of teaching in the...

Team Member Spotlight: Hillary Minicucci
April 10th, 2018

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Elopement and Autism
April 5th, 2018

kidchildrunfreefreedomboltflaparmsgrassskyoutdoorsoutsideplayrunskipfeaturedimageWandering, or “running away” from a caregiver, is a common problem in children with autism. Crystal Sanford explains this phenomenon and what families can do to prevent this behavior. This blog was originally posted on Sanford Autism Consulting. Wondering what “elopement” and autism have in common? Do individuals with autism often secretly run away to get married? Alas,...

Four Love Lessons I’ve Learned from Individuals with Autism
March 29th, 2018

lovemarriagemarriedrelationshipdatingengagedringflowerhandsexfeaturedimageSociety gives us many images of what “love” looks like. Whether it’s through TV shows, music, or the newest top celebrity, our minds can become flooded with thoughts about what it looks like to have that “picture-perfect” relationship. While there are many people and things in my life who have taught me about love by showing it...

Latest News

Pediatricians in Canada May Miss Autism Diagnosis
May 25th, 2018

naturepeoplegirlforestoutsideoutdoorsyounggirlsiblingalonefeaturedimageAccording to research presented at this year’s INSAR Conference by Melanie Penner, Canadian pediatricians disagree with specialists about 25 percent of the time when it comes to autism diagnosis. Penner states that the study should be expanded to determine why this is occurring and to obtain stronger results.

Observation in Infancy May Alter Course of Autism
May 24th, 2018

babychildyoungsiblingfamilymotherfathermomdadparentparentingfeaturedimageNew studies have found that early clinician involvement in children with ASD may alter the trajectory of the disorder: children who had been observed and followed by researchers since infancy had autism that was of lower severity and higher cognitive functioning than those who were not. Parental behavior shifts may account for this change as...

Therapy Dogs Help Kids with ASD in the Dentist’s Office
May 23rd, 2018

pets + featured imagesVisits to the dentist can be especially overwhelming for individuals on the autism spectrum. Started by a father of a child with ASD, the non-profit “Junto a Ti” specializes in visits to the dentist for children with autism. The therapy dogs help children of all developmental levels to feel calmer.

A.I. Powered Baby Translator May Help Lead to Autism Diagnosis
May 22nd, 2018

Though its only in an experimental phase, the baby translator app “Chatterbaby” may help us find signs of autism earlier in development due to the neurological clues often found in infant cries. In the future, researchers hope this app could help us identify earlier stages of ASD.

Autism Gender Differences and the DSM-5
May 18th, 2018

womenfuntravelgirlsunworkcareerjobfeaturedimageGirls with autism have been often overlooked, and new research that has studied autism presentation in females shows that it can often greatly differ from how it appears in males. Autism is also a disorder that can really change over the course of one’s lifespan and as one progresses through various developmental stages, which may...

Geography May Influence Autism Therapy
May 17th, 2018

familyparentparentingparenthooddadmommotherfatherkidchildtoddlerinfantoutdoorsoutsidefeaturedimageAccording to new research done by the University of Houston, where families are located in the United States can significantly influence what type of therapy their children with autism receive. For example, people in the northeast are more likely to have sought out occupational and speech therapies whereas in the Midwest and South, medication-based therapy...

New Survey Identifies Factors That Help Adults with ASD Get Jobs
May 16th, 2018

Psychologist Matthew Lerner reports that the most important factors that people with autism have identified for getting a job are past work experience and vocational training. For maintaining a job, however, one of the most significant factors is focusing on individual strengths like attention to detail. To sum it up, people with autism can be...

The Evolution of the Autism Diagnosis
May 15th, 2018

librarybookslearnreadinternetelectronicsmediatechnologyfeaturedimageThis article explores the history of autism, and how it has changed from being a form of schizophrenia to a cluster of related developmental disorders to finally a spectrum-based disorder. It also explores controversies within the DSM, and how views of autism may change in the future.

A Robot Who Helps Kids with Autism
May 14th, 2018

videogamesplayteenagerteenboymangamesviolencebadnegativeeffectsfeaturedimageNao is a human-like robot that is being implemented into therapies and social skills training for children with autism. Initial studies in Europe have shown promising results, which might be due to the fact that these children can more easily predict the robot’s behaviors as opposed to typical spontaneous human interaction. 

Strong Light Reflex In Infancy May Predict Later Autism Diagnosis
May 11th, 2018

babychildinfanttoddlerkidchildrenplaylovelifehappysmilemomdadmotherfatherfamilytoysleepfeaturedimageNew studies published in “Nature Communications” have shown that children who later receive a diagnosis of autism were more likely to have a strong pupillary light reaction as infants. These new findings support the view that autism has a strong basis in sensory processing, and how we process stimuli plays an important part in the...