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US Autism & Asperger Association

November 8, 2013

Welcome to USAAA WeeklyNews, an email newsletter that addresses a range of topics on autism, Asperger Syndrome, PDD, and other related disorders.

Please do not reply to this email as we are not able to respond to messages sent to this address. Contact us at www.usautism.org.


Autism/Asperger Professionals
Ability to hyper-focus served as a definite asset
The children show us the way in

shore and sarikahan

Sandra R. Wise, PsyD - "I am a student of human behavior. Academically, I have earned the title of Doctor of Psychology. My training was in clinical psychology and I have a professional license to practice psychotherapy. But, first and foremost, I consider myself to be a simple student of human behavior. One doesn't need a doctoral degree or a license to be a student of human behavior. One only needs curiosity about one's own kind, a desire to understand, a keen sense of awareness, good observational skills, and, of course, people to observe."

"One doesn't need a doctoral degree or a license to be a student of human behavior. One only needs curiosity about one's own kind, a desire to understand, a keen sense of awareness, good observational skills, and, of course, people to observe."
- Sandra R. Wise, PsyD

"One of the primary symptoms of Asperger's is intense concentration on a narrow focus. In this context, Michael's ability to hyper-focus served as a definite asset. As a coach on the sidelines, I quickly became aware that my verbal comments and input, rather than helping, might be taking away from Michael's ability to apply his intense visual focus to accomplish his goal. I decided to become less of a distractor, as I observed that this particular ability to focus narrowly - which some would call a deficit - was serving Michael well and that he did not need my help." (from "Of Mutts and Misfits: A View of Asperger's Syndrome from the Corral Fence"- USAAA 2012 Conference Manual)."

More...

"I might suggest that a good starting place for a "social solution" to a social problem might be found in socializing with horses, rather than humans. In many ways horses, especially the smaller breeds such as Crackers, can be less intimidating than humans to persons with Asperger's."
- Sandra R. Wise, PsyD


Raun K. Kaufman - "The children show us the way in, and then we show them the way out. Everybody loves the second half of this sentence, but if we want to do that, we have to start with the first half of this sentence. We have to cross into their world first; hold their hands on their terms, and then, yes, we can lead them back across the bridge from their world to ours. That's the keystone. Rather than focus on this behavior issue, of how do we stamp out the autistic behaviors and the stims, and promote the normal looking behaviors, we ask how can we create a relationship with this child and how can we get this child to want to relate to other people. That means that rather forcing our children to conform to a world they don't yet understand, we start by joining them in their world.

"Let's experience what their life is like for a day. Our children are in pretty much of a constant state of overload. Your living room is like LAX [Los Angeles International Airport] to your child. They can't recognize patterns the same way we can, so everything that seems predictable and understandable to you and I seems totally unpredictable to our children."
- Raun K. Kaufman

The first principle is called 'Joining' and probably the most controversial piece of the program is basically all those stimming behaviors, the hand flapping, the repeating lines from movies, running around in circles, or ripping little pieces of paper, or if you have a child with Asperger's talking about airplanes over and over again; All of that everyone is trying to stamp out, not only do we not stamp it out, but we literally participate in it, joining in with the very behaviors that everyone else is saying to stop." More...


Dr. Sandra Wise and Raun K. Kaufman have presented at USAAA Annual World Conferences. Click here for video and audio presentations from the USAAA World Conferences.

FULL STORY
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Access to USAAA Newsletter Archive 2005 - 2013


Alex, Jamie Schneider, Nonverbal Twins With Autism, Finish New York City Marathon

twins

For 23-year-old identical twins Alex and Jamie Schneider, running is not just a way to stay in shape -- it's a way to connect with others.

The nonverbal siblings from Long Island both have severe autism. Both began distance running as therapy when they were kids, and on Sunday, they completed their first New York City Marathon, ABC News reports.

Alex Schneider, who runs with a coach, set a new personal record, completing the race in 3:14:35. His brother, meanwhile, who runs with their dad, likes to stop at every water stop to shake hands with people. But he made it to the finish line, too, and ABC caught the wonderful moment on camera (above).

FULL STORY

"They can't talk it out like you or me could," Allan Schneider told the New York Times in May. "We can try telling them everything's going to be OK, but they still don't understand what happened. We can't explain what a bomb is. We don't know how they internalize all this stuff."

FULL STORY
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Access to USAAA Newsletter Archive 2005 - 2013


Keeping Students with Disabilities Safe from Bullying

bullying

"This guidance explains that any bullying of a student with disabilities which results in the student not receiving meaningful educational benefit is considered a denial of FAPE. Furthermore, this letter notes that certain changes to an educational program of a student with a disability (e.g., placement in a more restricted "protected" setting to avoid bullying behavior) may constitute a denial of FAPE in the LRE."

As Secretary Duncan has noted, the Department of Education is committed to making sure that all of our young people grow up free of fear, violence, and bullying. Bullying not only threatens a student's physical and emotional safety at school, but fosters a climate of fear and disrespect, creating conditions that negatively impact learning - undermining students' ability to achieve to their full potential. Unfortunately, we know that children with disabilities are disproportionately affected by bullying. FULL STORY

FULL STORY
To leave comments, go to our Blog.
Access to USAAA Newsletter Archive 2005 - 2013


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logoIn this issue:
Autism/Asperger Professionals: Ability to hyper-focus

Alex, Jamie Schneider, Nonverbal Twins With Autism, Finish New York City Marathon

logoEducation News
Keeping Students with Disabilities Safe from Bullying


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