We are very excited about this new resource for our community. Please see the official press release from July 25th below:
“Seattle Children’s Hospital today announced a $7 million gift from Charles and Barbara Burnett and Tessera to help launch the Alyssa Burnett Adult Life Program to provide lifelong services for people with autism and other developmental disabilities.
The donation includes the Tessera Center for Lifelong Learning, which will become the new home of Seattle Children’s Alyssa Burnett Adult Life Center. The Tessera Center was founded in 2004 by the Burnett family to provide young adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and other developmental disabilities an opportunity to build skills that foster independence and social connections, and improve their overall quality of life. Read full post »
Voice your needs in the National Housing and Residential Supports Survey
Autism Speaks is hosting a national survey about the housing needs of adolescents and adults with autism in the United States. Their goal is to increase support for both the public and private sectors to expand housing and supports for individuals with autism.
The survey takes about 15 minutes and is designed for individuals with autism ages 14 and older and their caregivers. Voice your concerns in the first survey of its kind, but hurry, the survey will close on August 9th! Autism Speaks is hoping to have 10,000 responses by Friday (just 3 days to go!) and to share the results on October 1st.
National Housing and Residential Supports Survey (En Español)
FAQs about the survey Read full post »
Guest Writer: Ben Wahl, MSW, is the program director of Aspiring Youth Program
Nowadays it is quite common to hear the CDC statistic that 1 in 88 children (and 1 in 54 boys) in the US have an Autism Spectrum Disorder. There is much debate about whether there is actually an increase in occurrence or whether we have just gotten better at detection. There is similarly loud debate about the new criteria for ASD in the DSM 5. For the young people I work with, though, the debate is beside the point. What they experience is what matters; and that experience is often isolation, confusion, frustration, anxiety, and depression. Read full post »
This past summer, after being asked for years by both parents and colleagues for resources and materials related to sexuality and autism, I decided to offer a skills group covering everything from hygiene to flirting to understanding different types of relationships. Drawing from a number of resources, including the King County FLASH curriculum for special education students as well as resources written directly for youth with ASD, and probing my colleagues, especially those who have children and teens with autism, I developed a 10 week curriculum and embarked on a true adventure in teaching and learning. Read full post »
Like so many other aspects of growing up, bullying is a “typical” challenge this has unique dimensions for children with autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) and their caregivers. Due to a number of high-profile cases in the news and the expansion of bullying into the realm of social media, bullying is getting a lot of media attention and as a result, is now appropriately recognized as a public health issue.
An explosion of research on bullying has identified far-reaching impacts not only on victims and perpetrators, but bystanders as well. Bullying is no longer considered socially normative or tolerable, as it once was. The consequences are too dire and far reaching. Victims experience the direct effects of fear, embarrassment, and vulnerability that can impact social and emotional development and impede learning. Furthermore, children with limited communication skills are at risk of expressing the associated distress in potentially harmful ways including self-injury, escape behaviors (running away from individual or situations) and aggression directed at caregivers. Children who observe bullying and parents who feel helpless to protect their children can experience an erosion of their sense of safety. Read full post »