Crafting Autism Employment with Creativity and Purpose

Crafters for Life

Business: Crafters for Life Mission: Create a constructive reason for autistic and special needs adults after aging out of high school to leave the house, learn social skills, and earn a paycheck. What is Crafters for Life? Crafters For Life is a company that employs autistic individuals and others with special needs to make and sell hand-crafted products. Our products include greeting cards, drink coasters, key chains, lavender eye pillows, drink tumblers and sugar scrubs. The company is based on a skills program in a high … [Read more...]

Staying Calm with a Calming Cushion

Calming Cushion

Product Review by Megan Amodeo Meltdowns can be challenging. It is often difficult to know what to do to calm children when they are overwhelmed and inconsolable. I recently had the opportunity to test and review the Bionix Calming Cushion. This device was designed to give children on the autism spectrum a way to calm their emotions during or shortly after a meltdown. The unit consists of a large rectangular cushion filled with beads (similar to a bean bag chair) and an air compressor. The cushion is about five feet in length and is a … [Read more...]

My Life-changing Second Awakening of Truth

Second Awakening

By Rochelle Johnson The air around me is suddenly crisp and clear and real and natural. I can taste it anew. Taste it in a way I don’t think I ever have before. Every drop of morning dew and a blade of grass, each little squawk of birdsong, is fresh and new and more real than it has ever been. I’ve undergone an awakening. An awakening of sorts that is so incredibly momentous that it is so almost impossible to put it into words. And yet, there is a word for it, there is even a word for the time of life I am in, there is even a sentence to … [Read more...]

Children’s Books that Honor and Celebrate Diversity

Celebrate Diversity

Author Bo Rush loves sports and the only thing he wanted to read about when he was younger was SPORTS. Today, he’s a language arts teacher who knows about the importance of developing a passion for reading. He’s written a series of books to grow that passion in young readers by appealing to their love of sports. Are you looking for story themes that honor and celebrate diversity? Bo's book, Soccer Bugs, combines fast-paced soccer action with powerful social issues, including bullying, diversity, autism, divorce, memory loss and … [Read more...]

Dealing with Failure is a Learnable Life Skill

Learnable Life Skill

By Megan Amodeo Life can be beautiful and wonderful. Life can also be disappointing and frustrating. Many of us on the spectrum see life as black and white or right and wrong. There often isn't any room for those in between ‘gray’ areas of life. You either make the baseball team or you don't. You get a good grade on your term paper or you don't. These seem like clear cut outcomes. Unfortunately, everything in life is not always so literal. Even when things are very black and white, there is always a little bit of gray. Gray areas … [Read more...]

10 Awesome Autistic Authors and Their Stories

Autistic Authors

Here's a round up of some wonderful autistic authors...the books they've written and the stories they've told! If you didn't catch their interviews the first time around, make sure you take a few minutes to click and read. You'll leave inspired...plus I'm confident you'll find some great books to add to your wish list. Children's Books Colin Eldred-Cohen Colin puts his creative and active mind towards storytelling. The Fire Truck Who Got Lost is his first children's book. It certainly won't be his last! Darius Brown Darius is an … [Read more...]

Finding Peace and Calm in a ‘Going Out’ Bag

Autism and Creature Comforts

By Megan Amodeo We all have certain objects, sayings, foods and routines that make us feel comfortable…our creature comforts. You may enjoy a warm blanket, a pair of fuzzy slippers and a good cup of hot cocoa on a winter day. A long hot bubble bath, with no kiddos banging on the door, is a necessary creature comfort for many of us moms. Creature comforts bring to mind favorite foods. I love a cup of chili on a cold rainy day. I'm sure we can all make a list of the things that make us feel happy and comfortable. My family goes on one … [Read more...]

Finding Friendship in the Flub-ups

Friendship in Action

By Lydia Wayman Every year, I look forward to the OCALICON autism conference in Ohio. The three days are the one time I get to be with my autistic friends who share my passion for advocating. It's an absolute whirlwind from start to finish. Teachers, therapists, and family members come to OCALICON to learn better ways to improve our lives. There are about a dozen autistic adults who attend, and since most of us are good friends, we tend to team up for presentations in different groupings every year. This year was extra special. I … [Read more...]

Autism Superhero: Hunter

Hunter

"Hunter was diagnosed November 1st of this year. This amazing little human is meant to be a rock star! He is always drumming or singing. Hunter doesn't speak well, unless he is singing. Fast music soothes his soul and mind. He is truly our family's hero. No matter how bad things get he smiles. Autism has been a stressful diagnosis and our roller-coaster, but we are making good out of every situation." Hunter, we agree with your mom...you are a rock star! Welcome to the Mighty League: Would you like us to feature your autism superheroes … [Read more...]

Yes She Can and Girl Power on the Autism Spectrum

Yes She Can

Business: Yes She Can Inc. Mission: Women with Autism. We work. With you. Yes She Can Inc. helps young women with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) develop transferable job skills and gain greater independence through our intensive coaching program at Girl AGain boutique. What is Yes She Can Inc.? We are a 501c3 nonprofit founded in November, 2013, by Marjorie Madfis, a mother of a daughter with ASD, following her 30-year career in corporate marketing. Marjorie was a pioneer in digital and social media marketing at IBM from where … [Read more...]