Ferrets, Autism Awareness, and Acceptance!

Some of you are probably scratching your heads, wondering “Now he’s talking about weasels?” because everyone knows that a ferret is a “domesticated polecat” and a member of the weasel family. And some of you know that a group of ferrets is a business. So what business do ferrets have with autism? This week I’d like to introduce you to a particular business of ferrets – the Fantastic Ferrets, and more particularly to two hobs (yes, those are male ferrets) Alex and Hayden. The Fantastic Ferrets just completed the fifth grade in Greenville, Pennsylvania. It appears that Greenville is a
Read More

Play to their strengths!

I’m sure you have heard the advice “play to your strengths” before. We are all more comfortable when doing something at which we know (or believe) we are skilled. And, in a competitive environment (like a tennis match, for instance) we know if we use our strengths well and hit to our opponents weak side, we are more likely to emerge victorious. So my frequent opening question – What does this have to do with autism spectrum disorder (ASD)? I’m glad you asked! My sister had difficulty learning addition and subtraction in elementary school and didn’t like math at all.
Read More

Technology and ASD: A match made where??

Not that long ago (or so it seems to me), I bought my first calculator, which cost about as much as a smartphone does now. It was great. It could add, subtract, multiply, and divide, was the size of a paperback novel, and could work without being plugged in for at least part of the school day. And after using it for a few weeks, I decided I could find more answers in less time using my trusty old slide rule. As the years passed, technology and I both matured, and I often find technology to be quite helpful, and
Read More

What do the genes say?

A lot of research on autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is looking at the genetic makeup of individuals with ASD and their family members for a number of reasons. If it can be determined that a specific gene or genetic combination is reliably related to ASD, then the presence of that gene or combination could be useful in arriving at earlier and more accurate diagnosis. It might also provide a genetic component to treatments that are likely to be of greater benefit to the individual.
Read More

What is the latest in research?

A keynote speaker at the 2014 International Meeting for Autism Research spoke of the importance of cooperation and collaboration among agencies in order to develop new and effective interventions. This blog entry provides information about this research meeting, and introduces an online survey to help us better understand the needs of families.
Read More

Siblings: The “Other” Children Impacted by ASD

According to the most recent data from the CDC, we know that more children have autism spectrum disorder (ASD) than have cancer and diabetes combined. But that does not really tell us how many children are affected by ASD. ASD also affects the families and communities of each of these children. This blog post talks about the extended impact of ASD, and links to a report
Read More

MTV, ASD, and Extraordinary People

What do MTV, TED Talks, and ASD have in common? MTV has a documentary showing two young adult brothers who have ASD, and TED Talks has a short presentation by a writer about her two brothers with ASD she describes as extraordinary! Read more about it, and find links to the online videos in this TAP blog post.
Read More

It’s a Dog’s World

There are many ways to reach, teach, and assist individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). One way that has been showing promise is through the use of animals - whether as companion animals (pets), service animals, or animal-assisted therapy. Find out more in this post.
Read More