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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.


To Hug Or Not To Hug: Navigating ASD Social Interactions
August 15th, 2018

familyselfietechnologysmartphonepicturephototraveltogethermomdadmotherfathersiblingfeaturedimageEthan Hirschberg is a teenager who blogs about his autism. In this post, Ethan responds to Michelle, one of his readers that previously asked his opinion on being affectionate. This post was originally posted on his website, The Journey Through Autism. “Ethan, I have a question for you. I have two kids with High Functioning...

RUN FOR AUTISM 15th Anniversary
August 8th, 2018

Mike and Marine Scott GilmanThis fall at the Marine Corps Marathon, the RUN FOR AUTISM will celebrate its 15th anniversary.  We asked OAR Executive Director, Mike Maloney, to share how the program began and some of the highlights he experienced over the past 15 years.   In October 2002, just a few weeks before the Marine Corps Marathon, I drove...

Dating Tips from a Man with Autism
August 1st, 2018

loverelationshipgirlfriendboyfriendhusbandwifemarriageengagedholdinghandsfeaturedimageLouis Scarantino is a self-advocate for autism. In this post, he provides 10 tips for dating – these tips are geared towards others on the spectrum! This post was originally posted on The Mighty. Nearly everyone with autism has a desire to go on a date sometime. It’s a huge struggle for a lot of...

What Getting my Autism Diagnosis Showed Me
July 25th, 2018

girlalonesiblingoutdoorsoutsideflowersfamilywomanfeaturedimageChristine Christensen is on the autism spectrum and is a self-advocate. In this blog post, she discusses how being diagnosed with autism changed her, and the early warning signs that showed she has autism. This was originally posted on The Mighty. My previous therapist suggested I go in for autism testing. Being nervous about this,...

How Direct Support Services Help Me as Someone on the Autism Spectrum
July 18th, 2018

womangirladultskilllearnelectronictechnologycareerjobeducationtrainingfeaturedimageErin Clemens is a self-advocate who has Asperger’s Syndrome. In this post, she writes about how Direct Support Services help her attain the skills she needs to live a happy, successful, and independent life. This was originally posted on The Mighty. I’m on the autism spectrum. Sometimes this means I can use my amazing memory...

In Celebration of Autistic Motherhood
July 11th, 2018

familymotherchildkidmomdadfamilylifelovehappysmilekidchildtoddlerbabyfeaturedimageRhi, a self-advocate, discusses being on the spectrum and how that relates to motherhood. She writes how motherhood, especially with children on the spectrum, has changed her for the better. This was originally posted on Rhi’s website. NOTE: Rhi prefers to describe people with autism as “autistic people;” OAR prefers to describe people with ASD as...

Race Recap: Escape from Alcatraz
July 4th, 2018

AlcOn Sunday, June 3, nearly 2,000 amateur and professional athletes enjoyed sunny skies and 54-degree water to compete in the 38th Annual Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon.   The race features a 1.5-mile swim in the San Francisco Bay from Alcatraz Island to the shore, an 18-mile bike ride and an eight-mile run through the hilly streets...

Finding a Sense of Belonging: My Reflection of the “Invisible” Barrier
June 27th, 2018

videogamesplayteenagerteenboymangamesviolencebadnegativeeffectsfeaturedimageJames Taniguchi is a 2016 OAR Scholarship recipient. This is the second post in his series for OAR’s blog. Last week, I finished my 2nd year of college and would like to reflect on my experiences of trying to find a sense of belonging on campus. Using my socio-communication strategies (explained in my last 2 blog...

Spectrum Thinking
June 20th, 2018

puzzlegamecolorstoykidschildrenplayfeaturedimageRhi, a self-advocate, discusses being on the spectrum, especially how she differs from other people with autism. Rhi astutely states that the stereotype society has for people with autism is ill-defined and incorrect; she writes this post to illustrate that everyone has different strengths and weaknesses and suggests ways to embrace one’s talents. This was...

Navigating Through College Social Scenes: My Experience at a University (Part 2)
June 13th, 2018

manboystudentschooloutdoorsoutsidecitylifewalkwalkingfeaturedimageJames Taniguchi is a 2016 OAR Scholarship recipient. This is the second post in his series for OAR’s blog. In my last post, I explained some of the social and communication challenges that people on the spectrum experience in unstructured conversations. Many of the social approaches I mentioned rely on speaking fluently and understanding what others...

Latest News

Smithsonian Creates Exhibit for Special Olympics
August 16th, 2018

boychildkidparentparentinghandbubblewonderlearnlearningfeaturedimageThe Smithsonian museum, the National Museum of American History, recently created an exhibit for the Special Olympics. Curators created this exhibit in honor of how athletics help dramatically change the lives of people with intellectual disabilities over the past 50 years. 50 years ago, Special Olympics were founded, during a time when those with disabilities...

Hollywood Excludes Those with Disabilities
August 15th, 2018

Featured Image Blog 4 EmploymentPeople with disabilities are still underrepresented in major Hollywood movies. In 2017, 2.5% of characters had disabilities, while in 2016, 2.7% of characters had disabilities. To make it worse, those casted with disabilities have little diversity: most are white males. Researchers say that this small number of individuals with disabilities in Hollywood isn’t proportionate to the...

Kids with Autism Work Alongside Archaeologists
August 14th, 2018

Featured Image Blog 10 LandscapeArchaeologist Tom Penders created a program called Archaeologists for Autism for his daughter Becky, who is blind and on the spectrum. Tom felt that his daughter, and many other children with disabilities, were being excluded from fun events. Penders wanted to create a more inclusive and accepting environment, so he created Archaeologists for Autism, a...

Berkley Accommodates for Students with Autism
August 13th, 2018

deskcoffeeworkartdesigncollegeschooluniversityworkplaceofficejobcareerfeaturedimageHari Srinivasan, a student at Berkley, also has autism. When Hari steps into a new environment, he feels strange sensations that send him into somewhat of a frenzy. Hari, who is also non-verbal, has a difficult time communicating with everyone about his professors. Luckily, Berkley’s Disabled Students Program does the communication for him. For instance, Hari...

Dreams and Fears of High Schoolers with Autism
August 10th, 2018

graduatelearndiplomagrowtasselcollegeuniversityschoolfeaturedimageSelf-advocates, Evan and Aaron Newman, are about to graduate from high school in Salt Lake City. In this interview, they express their dreams and fears of adulthood; this article illuminates fears that many people with autism face. This interview was part of a research project based at the University of Utah, which wanted to see...

Conditions that Accompany Autism
August 9th, 2018

parentchildmomdadmotherfatherinfanttoddlerkidfamilylifesafetyhealthfeaturedimageDid you know that over half of the people on the spectrum have four or more other conditions? Such conditions, like epilepsy, gastrointestinal issues, sleep disorders, and developmental diagnoses, are important to know so health care professionals can properly care for individuals with autism. Additionally, learning about other conditions that accompany autism is important to...

Officers in Texas Receive Autism Training
August 8th, 2018

bikebicycleexerciseathleteoutdoorsraincityjobfeaturedimage50 North Texas police officers, school resource officers, and school administrators received training in Fort Worth, Texas; the goal of this session was to train professionals on how to work better with people who have autism in their community. This training coincides with the additional measures many parents have made for their children with autism;...

Google Glass Is Successful for Kids with Autism
August 7th, 2018

Featured Image Blog 8 ChildAlthough Google Glass wasn’t a huge hit in the mainstream market, a new study shows how these reality glasses, paired with certain software, makes a huge difference for kids with autism. This study used the Google Glass, paired with machine-learning-assisted software to help these children identify emotions as they navigate social interactions and maintain eye...

Boutique Provides Opportunities for Employees on the Spectrum
August 6th, 2018

colorcandyfoodeatgrowfeaturedimageA new boutique in Indiana is providing individuals with autism an incredible and unique career opportunity. The Hope Gallery, sells custom artwork that ranges from dog treats to woodwork! The founder of The Hope Gallery, Jennifer Parker, created this store because she realized that her son with autism didn’t have any career opportunities after high...

NPR Interviews New Yorkers on the Spectrum and their Stimming Toys
August 3rd, 2018

kidchildplaytoygamestruckcreativelearnbuildfeaturedimageAfter reading several articles about police brutality and people with autism, NPR went on the streets of New York to interview people with autism about their objects that they stim with, and/or other important objects they carry daily. This informative article does an excellent job in showing the diversity within the autism community.