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A lot of people use empathy and compassion interchangeably, although there are several key differences. One myth about teens with autism is that they lack empathy. While teens with autism often care a lot about relationships and are sensitive to the emotions of others, they have a hard time understanding other people’s needs and possible […]

As a spectrum disorder, there are a wide variety of symptoms that describe Autism. The developmental nature of the disorder means many symptoms don’t stand out until individuals struggle later in life. While children who are diagnosed in elementary school receive early intervention and support, when someone isn’t diagnosed until adolescence or early adulthood, they […]

Teens with autism struggle with becoming more independent and making decisions on their own. They are more likely to reject help and act impulsively or self-destructively or rely on caretakers to continue to meet their needs. Neither of these paths are effective in helping teens with autism live healthy, independent, and productive lives. While it […]

There’s a reason we call dogs a “man’s best friend.” Mutual relationships between animals and their owners or caregivers build a sense of confidence and responsibility that are beneficial for mental health issues. Animal therapy is a growing field that uses a variety of animals, particularly dogs, cats, and horses, in therapeutic settings to improve […]

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 […]

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 […]

Autism spectrum disorder is somewhat complex. There is not one universal profile that applies to everyone with autism. The disorder looks different on an individual basis. While there are stereotypes and common assumptions, it is important that you educate yourself on the full realm of the disorder. There are different levels of autism. Each level […]

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 […]