My first professional blog attempt


Welcome All!

The objective of this blog is to advocate, educate and inform my readers by providing an 'insiders view' to the screening, assessment and interventions for adults with Asperger's Syndrome (AS). Timely articles and postings will include topics such as screening, evaluation, self-manangement techniques, specific differences, evidence-based interventions (EBI), Alternative Behavioural Analyses (ABA) and much more.

As a trained counsellor, I was recently diagnosed AS and so this blog also dares to share part of my own journey through assessment & adjustment -- and eventually seeing the issue "with new eyes"; and other salient issues that might affect those struggling to come to grips with their diagnosis (especially those diagnosed later in life, like I was).

Created as a practical and useful resource, this blog will attempt to offer its visitors essential information -- hopefully useful for informing other counsellors & mental health professionals, advocates, barristers, Special Ed instructors, and, most of all, for those NT adults with "Spectrumite" partners.






Thursday, 5 January 2012

DOES NEW ZEALAND HAVE SIMILAR ISSUES TO WALES??

The Welsh launch of "Don't Write Me Off" took place in 2009, with this news report as a follow up...

 

Third with autism 'lack income'

A boy with autism hides his head
80% of autistic people on incapacity benefit questioned wanted to work
A third of the 18,000 people with autism in Wales have no job and no benefits and are forced to rely on family and friends, says a charity.

The National Autistic Society Cymru said the majority wanted to work but lacked the help needed to find a job.  It said 80% of sufferers need help to apply for benefits and want it made easier for them to find work.

The Department of Work and Pensions said arrangements were in place to help those seeing advisers, if required.  The Don't Write Me Off report found there was a lack of understanding of autism amongst employment and benefits advisors and a shortfall in specialist employment services.

Half of people with autism have spent time with neither work nor benefits, with a third currently in that situation.
Because some people with Asperger syndrome can achieve academically, we may still need more support than our peers
David Penny, who has Asperger syndrome
Many were unaware they had the right to an advocate at benefits meetings, and in the worst cases parents were actively blocked from helping.


David Penny, 27, from Dinas Powys, has Asperger syndrome, a form of autism.

Mr Penny has a university degree but has had difficulty finding employment and had "significant" problems obtaining suitable benefits.

He now claims incapacity benefit and disability living allowance after a long battle to receive them.

He said: "Getting into university and completing the course was not easy, but the support I received from the disability officer was exemplary, and poles apart from the support and understanding I had since then.

'Stress'
"Looking back at the application process and medical assessment for incapacity benefit in particular, I don't think they were ever meant for people with my kind of disability.

"The questions asked failed to capture any of the difficulties I have in life.

"I was never offered a meeting with a disability employment advisor, and relied on my mum for support.

"This had an effect on my behaviour, because I have difficulty dealing with stress.

"Because some people with Asperger syndrome can achieve academically, we may still need more support than our peers."

The Welsh Assembly Government published an autism spectrum disorder strategic action plan in 2008 and set up a task group to look at the needs of adults.
NAS Cymru wants the group to consider issues relating to employment before making final recommendations to the assembly government.

Task force
Shirley Parsley, the charity's national coordinator, said: "People with autism say their experiences of the employment and benefits system are marred by anxiety, confusion, delays and discrimination.

"It is absolutely vital they are able to access the right help and services if seeking employment and are supported financially when they cannot work.

"We are also calling on the Welsh Assembly Government to act in order to improve the chances that people with autism have in gaining employment."
In a statement, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) said: "We understand that people with autism have complex needs so we have arrangements in place to help, such as bringing along someone to represent them in adviser interviews if needed."

'Positive impact'
An assembly government spokesman said: "Wales is the only country in the UK to have a government-led strategy for autism. One of the key points of this plan is to look at training and employment opportunities for adults with autism.

"We are currently working with Job Centre Plus, Careers Wales and employers to develop awareness materials which focus on the positive impact of employing adults with autism and the benefits they can bring to a business."

Monday, 2 January 2012

Girls on the Spectrum

Rudy Simone asks the question: "Is Asperger syndrome really less common in girls and women, or are females just better than males at masking autistic symptoms?"

What do you reckon???

Read more:
http://healthland.time.com/2011/12/27/mind-reading-a-qa-with-the-author-of-aspergirls/#ixzz1iLVLb88E

People with milder forms of autism struggle as adults — SFARI

A recent study done by Dr. A Myhre of the Univ of Oslo: "... investigated marital status, mortality and criminal records, and disability pension awards for 113 individuals who would meet contemporary criteria for mild autism. Of that number, 39 fall into the PDD-NOS category. More than half the participants — including 23 of the 39 with PDD-NOS — have an intelligence quotient (IQ) of 70 or less.All were treated in the children’s unit at the National Centre for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in Oslo, Norway, between 1968 and 1988. The researchers tracked these participants using government-issued identification numbers.They found that by age 22, 96 percent of the group had been awarded a disability pension from the government. Nearly all were unmarried — 99 percent of those with autistic disorder, compared with 92 percent of those with PDD-NOS. The crime rate for the group as a whole was little more than half that of the general population, although more individuals with PDD-NOS than autism had been convicted of a crime."

What are your thoughts/experiences re: her study findings? Are you surprised? Does it match your understandings?

The report is summarized at:

People with milder forms of autism struggle as adults — SFARI