Autism Spectrum Disorder

 
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April is Autism Acceptance Month

Autism is the fastest growing developmental disorder in the United States. 1 in 54 children are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, totaling over 5 million young people and adults. Each April, we celebrate Autism Acceptance Month to spread awareness, promote acceptance, and ignite change.

 

Jersey City Parents Speak Up

 

I have a 17 year old son with autism.  I'd like people to be compassionate, patient, and understanding.  Be a friend and be nice.  My son is eager to make friends but it's hard because his peers may not know about autism.  I'm so protective of him, and fear someone might hurt his feelings.  If parents and teachers can explain to children about autism, their kids will be more open to making friends and helping other peers who have autism.

SPOTLIGHT

 
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Kerry Magro

Award Winning and Breakthrough Advocate Kerry Magro knew early on that he wanted to make a difference in the lives of others. Kerry was diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS), a form of autism, at age 4. Growing up, Kerry’s future was very uncertain.  Today, however, after countless hours of therapy and the support of a loving family, Kerry has conquered many of his challenges. Now, as an adult, Kerry is a professional speaker, best-selling author, movie consultant and non-profit founder.

Links & Resources

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Following actually autistic people on social media, reading their blogs and watching their videos can be one of the best ways to support, affirm and embrace your neurodiversity all year round — and educate others why we should be advocating for autism acceptance as opposed to “awareness.”

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Discover what’s possible when people impacted by autism inspire change and build community. Together with self-advocates, family members, educators, and international autism service providers, Rachel Harmon from the Global Autism Project explores stories of challenges and breakthroughs to extend the reach of human connection and remind people that they are not alone.

Brain

Learn more about neurodiversity, the viewpoint that brain differences are normal, rather than deficits.

Movie Fun

A list of the top movies around the web featuring autism; ranging from child friendly to adult films.

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This article discusses how twenty-year-old Jersey City resident Joseph Silver was thriving at his job at Gino's Pizzeria in Jersey City, NJ.  They hope more local businesses will employ people with disabilities.

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ASAN intern Lydia Brown explores the debate over person-first language (e.g., person with autism).

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Unpacking the debate over person-first vs. identity-first language in the autism community.

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Debra Muzika of the Art of Autism explores the history of the puzzle piece, the most common symbol for autism, and how people feel about it.

Reading Bible

Autism Speaks asked their followers on Instagram what books about autism they would recommend to others and here are their answers.

Young Family

Tools to help families access services and supports.

Happy Twins

Helping Siblings Understand Autism

Family Time

Creating an Autism-Sensitive Environment at Home

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Social stories and comic strip conversations can help people with Autism develop greater social understanding and stay safe.

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Many people with Autism communicate using methods other than or in addition to verbal speech.  Learn about augmentative and alternative communication methods.

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Ten common misconceptions and realities about autism

Homework Help

Seven strategies to help during the spread of COVID-19

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Visual schedules, token boards and resources

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Zoom tips for parents on how to best support their children with Autism during distance learning video chats and Zoom meetings.

Children

This Handy Handout provides information about joint attention in children with ASD.

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POAC offers daily and weekly live events for families, such as Zumba, yoga, storytelling, a parent support group, webinars, and more.

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These sensory activities are great for any kid, and if you have a child on the autism spectrum, he or she is sure to enjoy one of these 21 activities for kids with autism!

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Be Like Buddy offers a growing database of sensory-friendly activities across the US.  Theaters, museums, sports and musical venues, hair salons and eating establishments all make the list, so the world becomes more friendly and accessible to special needs families!

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Autism Little Learners created this social story to help children understand video chatting.

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Autism Little Learners created this social story to help children with wearing PPE.

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Autism Little Learners has created FREE social stories for a variety of occasions and experiences!

 

Meet Julia, an old buddy of Elmo’s and the newest friend on Sesame Street. Julia has autism…and she and Elmo share an amazing friendship.

 

"All My Stripes" is an excellent resource for talking to children about autism.

 

Disney Pixar's short Float was created and written by Bobby Alcid Rubio based on his experience with his son, who is on the autism spectrum. The challenges Rubio faced in raising a child with autism inspired the animated film, which tells the story of a father’s discovery of his son’s ability to defy gravity.  Learn more about Rubio's experience here. 

 

This is a picture book that introduces autism. When an autistic child joins a mainstream school, many children can find it difficult to understand and cope with a student that is somewhat ‘different’ to them. This story encourages other children to be mindful and patient of the differences that exist and to also appreciate the positive contribution that an autistic child can make to the group.

 

Louis has autism, but through imagination, kindness, and a special game of soccer, his classmates find a way to join him in his world. This powerful story highlights the advantages of inclusion for both children with autism and their classmates.