Autistic Workers Make Good Employees

I’ve noticed a recent trend at businesses including Schnucks and Trader Joe’s — their transparency and pride in hiring autistic employees. The fact more companies are striving to have an increasingly diverse and inclusive workforce makes me smile. Hiring individuals with autism is just another indicator of how we are progressing as a society, recognizing all individuals have a place to contribute and add value.

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Preparing for Summer Fun with the Kids!

Written by: Dr. John Carosso, Psy.D
Go ahead, you can admit it; it’s kinda scary…
On one hand you’re excited for the start of summer and to have far more access to your kids. If you’re a SAHM, then you’re home all day with the little darlings and the sky is the limit in terms of the potential for fun-in-the-sun!! Even if you work, it’s most likely you’ll be seeing your kids quite a bit more over the next few months. Of course, you’re thrilled; they’re your kids and you want nothing more than to be around them and enjoy their company. However, deep down, you’re also a little scared…


What is ADHD, Part III

Written by Dr. John Carosso

Okay, this is the final segment of this blog series on ADHD. We started out with a discussion of what causes ADHD (disturbance of the prefrontal lobe) and the negative impact on executive functioning. We then moved into specific strategies to enhance executive functioning, and some more general interventions to make day-to-day activities go smoother. Finally, in this third segment, here are more helpful tips and suggestions I trust you’ll find to be helpful…

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What is ADHD, Part II

Written by Dr. John Carosso

Where’d we leave off?

We left off with the discussion of ADHD being a disorder within the pre-frontal cortex that manifests in deficiencies in what’s called ‘executive functioning’.  The more a parent can externalize these executive functions, and help the child carry-out the pre-frontal cortex duties in the child’s natural environment, the more success will be experienced. In the last post, each executive function was described, and specific skills to target any shortcomings.

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What is ADHD?

Written by Dr. John Carosso

Is ADHD just a bunch of symptoms?

We tend to describe and explain ADHD by its outward appearance and core symptoms: impulsivity, hyperactivity, and distractibility. However, that does not explain ‘what is ADHD’ or what causes the disorder.

Let’s dig deeper

If we look beyond and beneath the signs and symptoms, and consider the cause of ADHD, we can get a much better grasp on effective strategies.

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“What About The Siblings of My Special Needs Child?”

Written by Dr. John Carosso

A parent on Facebook asked a good question regarding the difficulty of her other children, the siblings of her special needs child, not understanding the difference in discipline between them and their brother, and how this causes dissension and frustration. In addition, from other parents, there has been concern expressed about siblings copying maladaptive behavior, and feeling as if they are not getting as much attention. All of these issues will be addressed in today’s post.

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Autism-Friendly Shopping Hour

In Manchester, U.K, a superstore staged its first ever ‘quiet hour’ to help autistic and disabled shoppers this weekend… and now EIGHT other shops at Manchester Fort are set to do the same.

Simon Lea, manager of the Asda Living store at the Cheetham Hill complex, came up with the idea to helping people who felt intimidated or stressed by noise and disturbance.  And his idea for a super-quiet shopping environment struck a chord with thousands of people around the country with autism or other conditions and their families.

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The Power of Social Groups

In Columbia, South Carolina two teenaged boys are locked in a game of chess, while another pair plays with Lego Bionicle action figures and Game Boy video games. One boy puts together a floor-sized puzzle. Another is blissfully occupied by his iPad.

Meanwhile, their mothers sit nearby around a sofa and chairs, bonding over shared experiences and leaving their kids to be themselves.  The moms, for a while, don’t have to worry whether their autistic children are following the rules of the “typical world.” They don’t have to worry that anyone will look with misunderstanding or judgment toward their kids’ behavior or their own parenting.

Boy With Autism Sees Snow White

Many families come home with cute photos and fond memories after a Disney vacation, but for one family from North Carolina, it was a much more profound experience.

While on a family trip to Walt Disney World in November, concerned mom Amanda Coley kept a close eye on her son, Jackson, who was diagnosed with autism weeks later.  “He pretty much ignored [all of the characters],” the North Carolina mother told CBS News. “He wasn’t super fearful or nervous; he just didn’t have any interest.”

But when “Jack Jack” caught a glimpse of a warm Snow White, his attitude changed. The non-verbal toddler who’s known to shy away from strangers was suddenly all smiles.

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On the Brink of Breakthroughs in Diagnosing and Treating Autism

There’s a popular saying in the autism community: “If you’ve met one person with autism, you’ve met one person with autism.” Although this phrase is meant to convey the remarkable variation in abilities and disabilities among people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), we’re learning that it also applies to the extraordinary variability in how ASD develops. When I first began doing research on autism decades ago, we thought of it as one condition and aimed to discover its “cause.” Now we know ASD is actually a group of lifelong conditions that can arise from a complex combination of multiple genetic and environmental factors.

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