What Do Bees Have to Do with Autism?

By Megan Amodeo Bees are really extraordinary creatures. Sure they can sting you, but they also make honey. They buzz around pollinating flowers and fruits with tiny wings that shouldn't be able to support their body weight. They shouldn't be able to fly, but they do it every day. Bees also live in colonies. They work together to achieve a common goal. You might be thinking this seems like a bunch of random facts about bees. Shouldn't I be telling you something about autism? Funny you should ask. With spring hopefully just around the corner, … [Read more...]

What Does Your Autistic Daughter Wish You Knew?

The Autism Women’s Network (AWN) has been around since 2010. They have built a supportive community and set of resources for autistic people who identify as women. What Every Autistic Girl Wishes Her Parents Knew is their first book release (and their first time as editors of an anthology). The women who contributed to the book come from AWN’s online community—some are writers whose work we’ve admired for years and some will be brand new discoveries for readers. The editors at AWN plan on making this the first of many books covering … [Read more...]

Why It’s Mandatory for Court Personnel to Be Autism Aware!

By Trish Ieraci Do we need all court personnel to be autism aware? When he was 13, my son with autism was subpoenaed to appear in court. He was a victim—A young man in school felt it was okay to hit my son, not once, but twice within the same week. Supposedly my son looked "funny" to him. The case was turned over to the State Attorney's Office. When we received the subpoena I knew that I had to prepare my son.  I advised him that we would have to go to court. The first words out of my son’s mouth were "I'm going to kill him.” I knew my … [Read more...]

Bully Protection 101 for Kids with Autism

By Connie Hammer Being a friend and being a bully are two very different things. Can your child tell them apart? Learning the difference between a friend and a bully can be difficult for the autistic brain to comprehend but not impossible. It is vitally important because children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are especially vulnerable to mistreatment from a bully. Research shows that children with special needs such as autism are two to three times more likely to be bullied than kids that are not autistic. Why is … [Read more...]

4 Ways to Differentiate in a Special Ed Classroom

By Trisha Katkin As teachers, we are always told, “every child is unique,” and “each one is different.” And I believe that this is true. HOWEVER… When you are trying to handle a busy class with students that are all on different wavelengths, it can be mind-boggling to figure out how to accommodate everyone. It gets tricky when you have students of various abilities, strengths and weaknesses. So, what can you do? Differentiate! Differentiation is the process by which one accommodates students and their various needs. It’s what … [Read more...]

Aspergers Syndrome and the ‘Can’t Love’ Myth

I don’t need flowers, candy, cards or a special day to know that I am loved, especially by my son with Aspergers Syndrome. There’s a myth that people with autism can’t show love. But they can. You just have to notice because it won’t be expressed in ways you might expect. It may be subtle but it’s there and it shines brightly when you pay close attention. During his high school years, my son was on a class trip. We were encouraged to send notes, letters, and cards of encouragement while the he was away. He must have been 14 or 15 at the … [Read more...]

Artists with Autism and Supportive Self-Employment

Business: Artists With Autism, Inc. Mission: “Promoting Micro-enterprising, Providing Opportunities, Creating Independence” What is Artists With Autism? Artists With Autism is the only not for profit social enterprise of its kind providing a retail gallery as a platform for more than 50 artists, authors and crafters with autism spectrum to show and sell their handmade art and crafts. They receive 100% of the proceeds from their sales. Why did you feel that starting your own business was the answer? We believe supported … [Read more...]

Why Autism Gives Me the Strength to Fly!

By Megan Amodeo In just a few short days I will turn the chapter and enter year number 44 of my life. It has been 8 years since two of my three children were diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders. It has been 8 years since I was also deemed as an autistic mom, wife and woman. I started to think about all the things in my life that have changed or been altered by our autism diagnoses. I honestly felt a huge sense of relief the moment my daughters were diagnosed. That may sound strange to typical parents, but I have never been typical. I … [Read more...]

A Poppin Good Business for a Special Entrepreneur!

Business: Poppin Joe's Kettle Korn Motto:  “Have a ‘Poppin’ great day!” What is Poppin Joe’s Kettle Korn? Poppin Joe's Kettle Korn was established to show that I, Joe Steffy, a young man with autism and down syndrome, am able to work. The kettle korn business gives me an opportunity to do a variety of tasks I can chose between while at work each day. We sell fresh popped kettle korn at festivals, and in local retail outlets. Poppin Joe's also does private events and fundraisers for our local community. Why was starting your own … [Read more...]

Celebrating Diversity Awareness in Children’s Books

Geek Club Books is participating in Multicultural Children's Book Day to celebrate diversity awareness in children's books. More specifically, we are advocating for there to be more stories with main characters who are on the autism spectrum. Here is a link to the reviews and interviews we've published as a part of this special day: No Limits: No Boundaries! My Journey Through the ABC’s Soccer Bugs, a Children's Book that Honors and Celebrates Diversity Lucy's Amazing Friend: A Story of Autism and Friendship Multicultural … [Read more...]