Saturday, April 27, 2013

Beauty Queen Lends Support for Autism

One of the best ways to raise autism awareness is to involve a public figure in the picture.  This helps to gain interest from people who would not otherwise pay any attention to autism awareness.  Jessica Billings, Miss Pennsylvania participated in the HeART for Autism family program earlier today.  This beauty queen is passionate about raising autism awareness.  Jessica has an older brother who is on the autism spectrum.

Click here to read more:

Red Sox Raise Autism Awareness

In light of autism awarenss month, many people and organizations are getting involved with the action.  This includes the Boston Red Sox.  Tomorrow, the Red Sox are going to offer accomodations for those on the spectrum who would like to attend the big game.  Also, during pregame ceremonies, children on the spectrum will also perform activities that include throwing the first pitch of the game.  Among the accomdations offered will be a quiet zone for children dealing with sensory issues as well as providing information about how families of those children on the spectrum should prepare for game day.

To read more, click here:

Friday, April 26, 2013

What DSM-5 Means for Autism

Starting a May, the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistic Manuel of of Mental Disorders, otherwise known as DSM-5, will be published and implemented in the medical community.  This development has received a lot of media attention lately due to the effect that this revision with have on the way autism spectrum disorder is diagnosed.  Most notably, individuals who receive an autism spectrum disorder diagnosis will no longer be labled with the following two conditions: Aspergers Syndrome and pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified.

There has been some concern as to whether the revision will effect services received by those on the autism spectrum.  Services that are necesarry for daily function and peace of mind.  While only time will tell, the revision website states that "no information about treatment is included in DSM.  While determining an accurate diagnosis is the first step for the clinician in defining s treatment plan for a patient, DSM contains no recommendations on what that course of treatment should be." (DSM website)

Since individuals on the spectrum are so different from one another, treatment is varied depending on individual needs.  While there are many concerns based on the information on this website, those on the spectrum will continue to receive present services ASD related needs.  Of course, only time will tell as these changes go into effect next week.

For more information about DSM-5, click here:

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Junior Positively Autistic: Ryan's Spectrum Talk 04/25 by Positively Autistic | Blog Talk Radio

Tune into the next broadcast of Junior Positively Autistic: Ryan's Spectrum Talk.  This show will air Thursday, April 25th at 6 pm EST, 3 pm PST, and 11 pm GMT.
This show will be the first broadcast in the series adults with Aspergers.  The point of the series will be to highlight a number of unique adults diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome at different life stages to give them an  opportunity to tell their stories.  Featured guests will be John Bowen Brown and Cassidy Eden.
Mark your calendars.  Hope you can make it.  If you are busy during the scheduled show time, you can always come back and listen to the show on demand at your convenience.

Junior Positively Autistic: Ryan's Spectrum Talk 04/25 by Positively Autistic | Blog Talk Radio

In Recognition of a Hard Week

I just wanted to take a moment to say that I am saddened by the tragedies that have happened this week in Boston and in West, Texas.  My heart goes out to all those who were affected by both tragedies.

Autistic Empathy

There was a time in my life when I really didn't understand autism.  While trying to describe what autism was to a friend, I said that people on the autism spectrum do not feel emotions.  I now know just how wrong I was.

An article titled "A Radical 'New Autism Theory" explains about a new theory that I do not feel is radical at all.  It puts into words a feeling I have been examining within myself.  I have come to the conclusion that my autism makes me sensitive to the emotions of the people around me.  I can't always say what is causing someone to feel distressed but I suspect that I can sense other people's emotions as though they are my own.  Not in any situation but only when the emotions are strong.  One time, I had to give someone bad news and I  knew they were getting distressed because I started to get distressed too.  It was clear to me that the emotion I was feeling wasn't mine.  So you could say that I am a little bit of an epath.  It was strange to discover that I possess some empathetic qualities which I'm sure many other people on the spectrum also have.

In "A Radical New Autism Theory," an individual on the autism spectrum was interviewed, speaking about how they can "feel all the emotions of someone in a room" faster than they are able to process.  I'm sure that the degree of emotional sensitivity varies from person to person, but I now know that I can feel what others around me are feeling, to a certain extent.

It was very difficult for me to recognize this tendency for the longest time, since I used to assume, as many people on the spectrum do, that everyone knows what I know and feels what I feel.  It has taken me a long time to recognize that the reason I have difficulty handling conflict is because the emotions of those around me affect me.

I'm certain that I will speak about this topic more in the future.  To read the article that inspired this blog post, click here.

Thoughts?  Leave a comment below.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Junior Positively Autistic: Ryan's Spectrum Talk 04/18 by Positively Autistic | Blog Talk Radio

Tune into the next broadcast of Junior Positively Autistic: Ryan's Spectrum Talk.  This show will take place Thursday, April 18th at 6 pm EST, 3 pm PST, and 11 pm GMT.

This show will be the first in the series Adults with Aspergers featuring autism advocate Erin Clemens.  Individuals with Aspergers Syndrome are still unique individuals that are not defined by their diagnosis.  Albert Einstein and Henry Ford are both believed to have had Aspergers Syndrome.  

Tune into the show to celebrate the special talents of people with Aspergers Syndrome.

Junior Positively Autistic: Ryan's Spectrum Talk 04/18 by Positively Autistic | Blog Talk Radio

Friday, April 12, 2013

The Future of Autism Awareness

Autism is characterized by a set of behaviors that is subjective in nature. There is a human element involved that cannot be characterized through data or statistics. Everyone on the spectrum has a story to tell and they should be encouraged to tell those stories. The 1/50 numbers have been viewed as a wake-up call for many people.  Businesses are beginning to recognize that autism is not going to go away and cannot be ignored any longer. Many businesses are beginning to develop products and services to meet the needs of those on the spectrum.

We also need to help businesses see the potential value in hiring employees on the autism spectrum.  Those with lower functioning autism, under the right conditions, could potentially perform a simple, repetitive task with the efficiency of a factory machine.  Those with higher functioning autism, such as Aspergers, are being found more and more in the tech world working with computers.  With the numbers going up, for whatever reason, we need to help those who have been diagnosed with autism to best fit into the world.

Business executives don't like uncertainty and we need to help them see how people on the spectrum can be predictable if certain actions are taken and sensory issues are identified and removed. We also need to remove the misconceptions people have about autism and that's where awareness comes in.

Any thoughts?  Leave a comment below!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Autism Scholarship Offered in Bahamas

An important milestone in the fight for autism acceptance has been reached.  When I was growing up in the 90s and early 2000s, living with autism was more of a solitary journey.  Not only did children on the spectrum feel isolated but in many cases their family members also could feel isolated as well.  This was especially true for family members of those with classic autism.

No longer does anyone on the spectrum feel alone.  There are many online resources available for individuals on the spectrum as well as their family members.  Autism Brainstorm is one such online community that connects those on the autism spectrum.  Anyone with an Internet connection can participate.

In the Bahamas, a scholarship is being offered to junior high school students and high school students who submit a 300 word essay on the topic of autism awareness month.  The scholarship is offered through FirstCare Medical Plan and R.E.A.C.H. Bahamas, as well as the Ministry of Education.  The grand prize winner will receive $300  with the first and second runner up receiving $200 each.  All winners will also receive prizes from a number of corporate sponsors.  More information about the scholarship, which is offered only to students living within the Bahamas, can be found here.

It is my hope that this scholarship will be one of many that provide incentive for grade school and college students to learn more about autism.  These students are the future of America and will someday make the decisions that will effect the lives of those on the autism spectrum.

Also, read the article that inspired this post.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Empire State Building Lights up Blue for Autism

Due to urging from Autism Speaks, the Empire State Building in New York City recently lit up blue for autism awareness.  The involvement of such a prominent American symbol is working to raise awareness for autism.  To view this awesome sight and find out more about the Autism Speaks "Light it up Blue Campaign" click here:

Further Evidence that Autism is not linked to Violence

This video from CNN presents further evidence that autism is not related to violence:

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Broadcast in Recognition of Autism Awareness Month

Tune into the next broadcast of Junior Positively Autistic: Ryan's Spectrum Talk. During this broadcast, I will be discussing Autism Awareness Month as well as giving some personal insights into my life as an individual with high functioning autism. This show will air Thursday, April 4th at 6 pm EST, 3 pm PST, and 11 pm GMT. If you cannot tune into the broadcast live, you can use the same link to listen to the show on demand. I hope you can make it.