Autism Superhero: Jaydan

Meet the amazing Jay-tie! Mom says her Jaydan is an outgoing, kind and lovable superhero. He loves doing whatever he can to help mom...a good guy just like his favorite Marvel superhero, Spiderman. Jay-tie is active! He enjoys riding his scooter, dancing, singing and spending time with his family. Jayden, we agree with your mom...you are a superhero! Welcome to the Mighty League: Would you like us to feature your superhero and send a certificate? Have you seen our FREE autistic hero comics? Mighty League, Vol. 1: The Terrible … [Read more...]

Autistic Children and their Unique Sleeping Problems

By Megan Amodeo Bedtime can be met with joy after a long day, or resistance and frustration if you hate going to bed. I, for one, treasure my sleep. I look forward to going to bed after a tiresome and busy day. At some point in our lives, we experience sleep issues. Typical people experience sleep problems. Those of us on the autism spectrum experience sleep problems. Not everyone likes sleeping, or being anywhere near a bed. We have all experienced sleepless nights. Mothers with newborns are constantly up and down from dusk to dawn. I … [Read more...]

8 Comic Con Lessons that Super-Charged Our Advocacy

By James Sullivan and Jonathan Murphy James and Jonathan are two self-advocates who are getting out into their communities to talk about autism awareness and acceptance. They openly share their own experiences growing up on the autism spectrum hoping it will spark change—a change that will make this a more inclusive world for everyone. “Like a Comic Con,” said Jonathan. Recently, the pair attended the Silicon Valley Comic Con for a weekend of comics and pop-culture fandom. They knew that they’d have a great time but what they didn’t … [Read more...]

The Danger of Yes

By Becca Lory, CAS One of the biggest myths of autism is that we lack empathy. It is quite simply untrue. In fact, I would dare to say that most of us are over-empathizers. We tend to absorb the mood and energy of the people around us. This is intensified ten-fold with people we care about. When you put the over empathizing together with our social blindness, you end up with a grade A people pleaser who doesn’t know how to say no. Warning spectrumites, this combination is lethal! I know, saying no is hard. Moreover, knowing when to say no … [Read more...]

Can Jewelry have an Autism Employment Purpose?

Business: Designs By Siri Mission: To create a meaningful life for our daughter Siri and others on the autism spectrum. What is Designs By Siri? Designs By Siri is a handcrafted jewelry business. Siri makes wine glass rings, bottle bracelets, lanyards, anklets, key chains, bracelets and necklace sets. Why did you feel that starting your own business was the answer? Starting a business gave us a chance to bring employment opportunities to our daughter. There is no such business that we know of that would be able to teach her how … [Read more...]

Developing Social Skills and Friendship through Filmmaking

Shared interests. If your child with autism has something they’re really interested in, find a hangout, class, or group activity that focuses on that interest. If you can’t find something, start it yourself. Why? Because it’s one of the best ways for your child to learn and practice social skills and friendship. When my son, Jonathan, was younger, we found theater. Performing and getting involved in the theater community was life-changing for him. He found friendship, pride, confidence, and, for the first time, saw a path to his future as a … [Read more...]

Why Colin Farrell Believes in the Pledge for Inclusion

My memorable evening with Colin Farrell began with an inspiring message of inclusion by Bryan Neider. Bryan was happy at his job as a Senior VP at Electronic Arts, but his 25 years at EA doesn’t begin to compare to the experience he’s having as the CEO of Gatepath. “In joining Gatepath, I saw an opportunity to be a part of something bigger than myself—to be a part of an organization that has made a remarkable difference in the lives of those in our community for more than 96 years.” Bryan Neider with his Gatepath Ambassadors  From … [Read more...]

One Autistic Artist Dreams About “What Autism Really Is”

Last summer, we shared Diego Raf Diaz's story, an autistic artist with a dream to create an animated film. His first attempt at fundraising wasn't successful but Diego's determination to make his film still burns bright! If we, as an autism community rally around him and support his efforts...we can make his dream come true. Diego wants to use his talent as an animator to tell the real stories of autistic people. He's calling it, "What Autism Really Is." Diego was diagnosed with autism at an early age. He says that watching videos had a huge … [Read more...]

3 Hopeful Outcomes of the Autism at Work Summit

There’s been something happening with many employers. It’s a slow but steady shift but it seems to be gaining momentum. Companies are moving from having a charitable mentality, “We need to hire people with autism out of the goodness of our hearts,” to “We need to hire autistic employees because it’s a good business decision.” Yes, autistic employees are positively impacting the bottom line and more companies are adopting this new mindset. Anka Wittenberg, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer for SAP, stood at the platform to kick off the … [Read more...]

7 Positive Ways to Do Autism Awareness

When will the need for autism awareness end? Never! Even as the public moves towards acceptance and inclusion for those on the spectrum...we will need to continue awareness education. Yes, what we will talk about will change because people will evolve in their understanding. But it's important that we keep the conversations going so we can demystify autism. No, our work as a community is not done. In fact, we are just beginning. Here are 7 positive ways that self-advocates, parents, and educators are spreading autism awareness: Give … [Read more...]