Monthly Archives: December 2012

December 29, 2012

Autism Through Despair, Acceptance, and Understanding

Asperger and autistic people have a deep, strong, and very unique connection to nature. Yet, even though we may seem different, we are still human beings who live and breathe just like everybody else.

Caryn Sullivan’s son, who was 20 at the time her post was written in April 2012, was diagnosed with autism in the 1990s. Caryn offers incredible insight in regards to how April, which is slated as Autism Awareness Month should be called Autism Acceptance Month. In her piece, she provides her insight as well as her son’s insight on autism.

It’s a wonderful read. Take a look.

December 28, 2012

Approaches in helping ASD and Aspies

ValueOptions is a developer of managed behavior health and employee assistance services services for companies, health plans, and all levels of government here in the United States. The Health Performance Solutions (HPS) is one of their divisions that specializes in developing services and products that help manage behavior risks to the productivity of employees and the company in general. I came across one of their Power Point slides that explains how to help manage those that have Asperger’s and traumatic brain injury, including what approaches work best and finding resources for further help.

You can view the slideshow (PDF format) here.

December 17, 2012

‘Sensitive Santa’ minimizes trauma for autistic kids

One of the most memorable things about Christmastime for a lot of people is going to the shopping mall to see Santa. For those that have autism, however, this can be very difficult and stressful due to the hyperactivity that is associated with shopping malls. As such, Touchstone Behavioral Health out of Arizona brought “Sensitive Santa” to Mesa. The environment is completely different — instead of the long lines and noise of the mall, children wait in a quiet, calm setting to wait their turn to see Santa instead of waiting in lines. It turns into a more positive, attentive experience for the autistic child.

“Sensitive Santa”, portrayed by Touchstone therapist John Pettingill, moves slowly and quietly, a contrast to the more hyperbolic and melodramatic performance put on by your typical shopping mall Santa Claus that could be traumatic for autistic children. It’s turning out to be a popular thing across the country, as evidenced by this story from Connecticut last year.