We need more than Autism Awareness--We Need inclusion

     April 2 is Autism Awareness Day and has been so since 2007 when the United Nations general assembly passed a resolution confirming Apri...

Tuesday, April 5, 2022

We need more than Autism Awareness--We Need inclusion

     April 2 is Autism Awareness Day and has been so since 2007 when the United Nations general assembly passed a resolution confirming April 2 as World Autism Day. Autism Awareness once a year is not enough autism awareness. We need autism Inclusion 365.
    As the name indicates, we practice not simple autism awareness but autism inclusion 365 days a year. How does that work? Include autistic people in the group. Develop a developmentally diverse group with neurotypicals and various developmental diversities. Developmental Diversity and inclusion take autism awareness to the next step because being aware of autism are not good enough. We must include them in our communities.
    What types of things can we do to be more inclusive? We can do all sorts of things to bring autism awareness, but inclusiveness is the next step. Are autistics included in the classroom or segregated? Are autistics included in everyday social activities? Remember that there may be an autistic in your community or small group.


Friday, March 11, 2022

March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month-This Includes Autism

    March is Developmental Disabilities Month-This Includes Autism. Autism is considered a neurodevelopmental disability. This means the disability is rooted in our nervous system. March has been De- 
velopmental Disabilities Month since 1987 when President Ronald Reagan made proclamation 5613 designating March based on Public Law 99-483. Click here to read the proclamation. To read Public Law 99-483, click here.
    According to Reagan's proclamation, "New opportunities have been created through the efforts of those with developmental disabilities and their family members, along with professionals and officials at all levels of government. Working together, they have brought about significant changes in the public perception of young people and adults with developmental disabilities, opening new doors to independent and productive lives."
    Developmental disabilities are a group of conditions that cause impairment during a child's developmental period and include physical, behavioral, social, and communicative impairments. Autism, Down's Syndrome, and other intellectual disabilities are considered developmental disabilities. This includes autism.
    Autism was the product of Eugen Bleuler in 1910 and Hans Asperger in 1940. Until 2013 there were three types of autism: autism, Asperger's Syndrome, and Pervasive Development Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified. In 2013, these three became autism spectrum disorder.
    What are some things we could do for Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month? The same thing could be done for the following month, April. April is Autism Awareness Month. Click here for some ideas. Happy Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month!

Thursday, February 24, 2022

Five Things People May Not Know About Autism

        People talk much about autism on the internet, but have you heard of the following.
  1. The Three Levels of Autism. Starting with the DSM V, Asperger's Syndrome, PDD-NOS, and classical autism were categorized into autism levels 1-3 (Howell, n.d.)
    1. Autism Level 1. People with level 1, a milder form of autism, may
      1. Problems starting conversations
      2. Trouble maintaining conversations
      3. Difficulty transitioning to other tasks
      4. Struggles making friends
    2. Autism Level 2. People with level 2, a more pervasive form of autism, may
      1. Have significant communication problems
      2. Talk in simple sentences
      3. Have a narrow sphere of interests
      4. "Struggle with change (Howell, n.d.)"
    3. Autism Level 3. The most severe kind involves
      1. Speaks only two or three words at a time
      2. Rarely engages in social interaction
      3. Rigid behavior
      4. Distinctive repetitive behaviors
  2. Autistic Agitation (Elsevier, 2012). Commonly referred to as a meltdown (Lipsky, 2011), agitation occurs when the stress load reaches capacity and the autistic can no longer control himself. He releases that pent up stress
  3. Autistic Catatonia (Wing & Shah, 2004). Autistic Catatonia is a rare condition that autistics can get that includes
    1. Slowness of movement and speech
    2. Difficulting initiating or completing actions
    3. Increase passivity
    4. Reliance on prompting by others
  4.  Epilepsy (Medi Matters, 2021). Although epilepsy is a separate condition, research shows a link between epilepsy and autism. 
  5. Intellectual Disability (Menezes, 2021). Again, a different condition, but a small number of autistic people have intellectual disabilities. Anyone below 70 has an intellectual disability.
Do you have autism? Do you need help? Please contact us at (520) 314-6896
Elsevier. (2012, May 31). New treatment for irritability in autism.             ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 23, 2022, from                                www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120531102107.htm

Lipsky, D. (2011). From Anxiety to Meltdown [E-book]. Jessica           Kinsey Publishers.

Medi Matters: Link Between Epilepsy and Autism. (2021, December 28). The Indian Practitioner, NA. https://link.gale.com/apps/doc/A688183667/HWRC?

Menezes, M., Robinson, M. F., Harkins, C., Sadikova, E., & Mazurek,     M. O. (2021). Unmet Health Care Needs and Health Care Quality in     Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder with and without Intellectual Disability. Autism, 25(8), 2199–2208.https://doi.org/ 10.1177/ 13623613211014721

Wing, L., & Shah, A. (2004). Catatonia in Autism Spectrum Disorders.     British Journal of Psychiatry, 176(4), 357–362.

Thursday, February 10, 2022

Lack of support for Autistics

     I recently read two research papers about autistics' lack of a support system.

The first paper discusses the way there is a lack of support. The second

paper discusses a lack of education among mental healthcare professionals.

    Crosbie, Bradley, Shaw, Cohen, and Cassidy did a study to see how recipients of services felt about the number of services they were receiving. The highest incidence of mental health issues is depression and anxiety. The highest incidence of desired support reported was mental healthcare (61.1%), mentoring (62.3%), social activities (50.6%), employment (45.1%), and mental health (40.7%).

    The article continued by explaining why people do not get support. The following reasons are:

·  Dismissed from treatment and support because perceived as "coping."

·  "Support geared towards children" only.

·  "Long waiting lists and lack of funding." 

    The Crosbie et al. and Lipinski, Boegl, Blanke, Suenkel, and Dziobek inform about the lack of knowledge among mental health professionals. Crosbie et. al. gives the following:

·  "Obstacles to accessing and receiving treatment and support."

·  "Not believed or listened to."

·  "Not suited to one's needs."

Lipinski et al. specifically discuss the mental health profession's lack of expertise to practice psychotherapy with autistics with a study that tests knowledge of autism. Needless to say, there is a lack of qualified services for adult autistics.


Adams, Dawn & Young, Kate (2021). A Systematic Review of the Perceived Barriors and Facilitators to Assessing Psychological Treatment for Mental Health Problems in Individuals on the Autism Spectrum. Review Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 1-50. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40489020002267.

Crosbie, L. S., Bradley, L., Shaw, R., Cohen, S. B., & Cassidy, S. (2019). "People Like Me Don't Get Support:" Autistic Adult Experiences of Support and Treatment for Mental

Health Difficulties, Self-Injury and Suicidality. Autism, 23(6), 1431–1441. https://doi.org/10.1177/1362361318816053

Lipinski, Boegl, Blanke, Suenkel, and Dziobe (2021) A Blind Spot in Mental Healthcare. Psychotherapists Lack of Education and Expertise for Adults on the Autism Spectrum. Autism 1-13. https://doi.org/10.1177/13623613211057973