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In recent years, the diagnosis referring to High Functioning Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, was removed from the Diagnostic Statistical Manual in favor of Autism Spectrum Disorder. As a spectrum disorder, it reinforces that the disorder is diagnosed based on problems in the same foundational areas, with a diverse range of abilities. Rather than being compared on […]

One of the most common myths about teens with autism is that they have no social skills. While they may struggle with making friends, it is not because they don’t care about other people, but rather because they have difficulty understanding their own emotions and seeing other people’s point of view. They are better at […]

Have you ever seen cartoons where they depict the brain as an office with each employee in charge of different functions? The executive functions of the brain are in charge of networks responsible for time management, emotion regulation, and planning ahead. Teens with executive functioning disorder have bosses in these areas, but they have trouble […]

Autism affects three main areas of one’s life: social interactions, verbal and nonverbal communication, and repetitive or ritualistic behaviors. These areas become extremely critical during the teenage years as young adults are trying to find their place in the social world. Autism can make this more challenging. Some common signs of one living with autism […]

Neurodiversity refers to a recent paradigm shift in embracing infinite variations in cognitive functioning, rather than labeling some people’s brain chemistries as superior to others. Following a neurodiversity paradigm, people with autism are understood as having different underlying neural connectivity than neurotypical people, who do not show signs of mental health or executive functioning issues. […]

Most teenagers experience mood swings due to hormonal changes and are more likely to pick fights over gaining independence; however, teens with autism are more likely to have emotional meltdowns when they are overwhelmed or overstimulated, rather than when trying to assert their independence. Teens with autism may be more sensitive to intense emotions, but […]

Self-esteem is a powerful predictor for personal success. Although self-esteem refers to the relationship you have with yourself, it is easily influenced by the way you are treated by others and how secure you feel in social relationships. For teens on the autism spectrum who may struggle with social cues and feeling a sense of […]

Many parents struggle with how to explain puberty to their children and how much information is necessary to include, preferring to use the metaphor of the Birds and the Bees than to talk openly about sexual development. For preteens with high-functioning autism going through puberty, they are less likely to understand that the Birds and […]

The goal for students with learning disabilities is to be able to learn in the least restrictive environment, but the general education classroom is not always equipped to provide adequate direct services that will help your child feel like they’re on the same page as their peers. A common myth about special education is that […]

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is more common than you would think, as its symptoms fall along a spectrum and many aren’t immediately noticeable at birth. Current estimates suggest that between 4-6% of individuals are affected by fetal alcohol syndrome, which means it is 3 times as likely to be diagnosed as autism spectrum disorder. The high […]