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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.


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...

Team Member Spotlight: Linda Beck
June 6th, 2018

rsz_20171008_104531Linda Beck’s association with OAR began over a decade ago when she met Dr. Peter Gerhardt at the National Autism Conference at Penn State.  Dr. Gerhardt is the Founding Chairman of the Scientific Council for OAR, current Co-Chair of the Council, and a member of OAR’s Board of Directors.   Linda’s son had recently been diagnosed...

College Social Scenes: My Ways to Overcome Social Challenges
June 1st, 2018

careneedsafetyhelpassistancetroublefeaturedimageJames Taniguchi is a 2016 OAR Scholarship recipient. This is the second post in his series for OAR’s blog. As I mentioned in my previous post, this blog will focus on my college experience so far and the social strategies I’m using to overcome my challenges with verbal communication. This post is intended to help students...

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

questionquestionmarkunsurelifeconfusedmaybesadfeaturedimageJames Taniguchi is a 2016 OAR Scholarship recipient. This is the first post in his series for OAR’s blog. Many 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...

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...

Latest News

The Awesome Co. Celebrates Autism
July 13th, 2018

womenfuntravelgirlsunworkcareerjobfeaturedimageThe Awesome Co., founded by self-advocates and mothers of children with autism, is a very special company. Not only does it primarily employ people on the spectrum, but its designs are also innovative. They produce shirts with logos in fanciful fonts that say “Autism is Awesome,” or “Love is Awesome,” in attempts to show that...

Teens with Autism Learn how to Code
July 13th, 2018

computerworkcareersalarymoneyjobtransitionelectronicstechnologylearngrowskillsfeaturedimageTech Kids Unlimited, a Brooklyn based non-profit internship, teaches teens on the spectrum a variety of technical and work-related skills. As a result, this non-profit company helps teens with autism build their resume with the new skills taught at Tech Kids Unlimited, ultimately helping them secure a job in the future. The interns come out of...

Dr. Grandin Discusses the Relationship between Autism and Visual Thinking
July 12th, 2018

colorcreativeartschoolchildkidlearnfeaturedimageDr. Grandin, self-advocate and professor of animal sciences at Colorado State University, told an audience how people on the spectrum who process information visually see things that other people might not see. She provides examples of people who would have been diagnosed with autism today, like Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, and Jane Goodall. The purpose...

Blue Badge Parking Permit Includes Autism
July 11th, 2018

safetytrafficlightroadroutetravelcommuteskygostopslowfeaturedimageIn the UK, a new law passed that allows the blue badges (which allow the driver to park in a handicapped spot) to include autism and other invisible illnesses. This pass enables its users to park free of charge and park alongside yellow lines for up to three hours – which improves transportation, socializing, and...

New Survey Expands Autism Diagnosis to Infants
July 10th, 2018

babychildyoungsiblingfamilymotherfathermomdadparentparentingfeaturedimageTwo new parent questionnaires have been developed to help diagnose autism in infants and ethnic-minority groups. Although it can only be administered by experts, the questionnaire consists of 26 questions. So far, it accurately spotted autism in 6-month-olds 67% of the time, and accurately ruled out autism for these infants 86% percent of the time.

Love Island Contestant Reveals his Diagnosis
July 9th, 2018

mentalhealthstigmadisabilityanxietyautismmedicalprofessionaltherapyfeaturedimageNiall Aslam, a former contestant on Love Island, recently revealed that he has Asperger’s. He received this diagnosis as a kid, but kept it as a secret until he realized he could use his famous platform to advocate and share his experiences. Niall’s announcement immediately brought more autism awareness to the UK community, and inspired...

Project Search Helps Those on the Spectrum Find Jobs
July 6th, 2018

work + “featured image”Project Search is a program based in Glasgow, UK that helps people on the spectrum find full-time employment and learn the skills necessary for independent living. Within the past 6 years, it has helped 74 people find full-time employment! Darren, a self-advocate, says that this program has helped him economically and socially; he’s gained new...

Great News, Drivers!
July 5th, 2018

safetytrafficlightroadroutetravelcommuteskygostopslowfeaturedimageGreat news, drivers with autism! A new study shows that even though it takes people on the spectrum a longer time to learn how to drive, they can do it just as well as neuro-typical people. The study explains that newer, or practicing, drivers on the spectrum have a harder time in unusual situations, like...

Great Reminder to Take an Autism Diagnosis Seriously
July 4th, 2018

Featured Image Blog 4 EmploymentSarah Bartkowski, a self-advocate, recently had a scary experience at the dentist. She went with her mom, expecting to have only one cavity, but instead had several and needed a wisdom tooth removed. Even though she told the dentist and the other employees of her diagnosis, they ignored her and overwhelmed her with procedures in a...

Benefit Concert by FOCUS Center for Autism was Huge Success!
July 3rd, 2018

riverwaterpeoplegatheringsocialpartyhangingoutswimmingpartysummerfamilyfriendsfeaturedimageFOCUS Center for Autism, located in Connecticut, recently held a concert to benefit the autistic community! The concert was a major success – over 100 people were in the audience, and musicians played original songs, as well as some throwbacks (like Michael Jackson)! This was FOCUS Center for Autism’s first time hosting a concert in...