There are many different factors that go into successful employment for people with and without autism. As part of the ASF policy brief on employment, the US, Australia and Sweden held meetings with autistic adults, family members and employers and asked “what are the issues in your words”? Then they were mapped onto areas of functioning, not ability or disability. One thing that stands out is “matching interests and skills to job requirements”. This is important, but a complicated issue. This week’s podcast reviews what autistic people say, how it maps onto functioning and why we need to be careful about taking a one – sided approach to autism. Listen to the podcast here.
This week’s podcast is dedicated to the “T” in LGBTQ – trans. Several studies over the past few years have linked higher rates of gender variance in people with autism and higher rates of autism traits in those who are trans. Why? Are they biologically or psychologically linked or both? This is important for understanding, not treatment or intervention. This week’s podcast celebrates trans people who are also autistic.
This week’s podcast is dedicated to the recently released INSAR – supported employment policy brief. This was a 2 year project by ASF, Stony Brook, University, Karolinska Institute in Sweden and Curtin University in Australia to provide a cross-cultural perspective on getting autistic people who want to work, employed, and stay employed. Thank you to all the participants in the surveys, community meetings, and GNF Marketing for putting together a document that is not just informative, but fun to read. Listen to the podcast here.
Happy President’s Day! This week’s podcast is focuses on a topic that has been on the mind of families affected by autism: autism and violence and victimization. The studies reinforce 1) the lack of an association between autism and criminality, 2) the association of an autism diagnosis with being the victim of abuse. This includes self report data, database analyses and assessment of people who cannot report their abuse. This sobering podcast was posted today because gun violence is an issue at the forefront of this president’s administration. While this podcast is not focused on gun violence, hopefully this data will reduce the misconceptions and stereotypes around autism and violence. Listen to the podcast here.
There is demonstrated genetic overlap between many neurodevelopment disorders including ASD, ADHD, and schizophrenia, and now there is data showing similarities in the structure and size of the brains in people with autism and those with ADHD. These differences depend on how severe social difficulties are, but the similarities are seen with ASD and ADHD, but not OCD. In addition, this week there are new depressing results from the Interactive Autism Network on unemployment and females with ASD. The results may not surprise you, but they will upset you. Listen to the podcast here.
Dr. Inna Fishman from San Diego State University explains how findings from brain tissue helps scientists interpret data which studies how brain regions connect to each other and why this is important for understanding autism subgroups. Also, researchers from the Karolinska Institutet examine ADHD diagnosed in adults, and find it is similar to autism. Listen to the podcast here.
Children are not small adults, and this was illustrated this week in two papers studying features of autism across the lifespan. Their symptoms may change, which has implications for treatment – you can’t take an intervention designed for a child and give it to an adult. Hear more on this week’s podcast with an interview with Vanessa Hus-Bal from the new Rutgers University center on autism in adults. Also included is a new study from Julie Lounds Taylor about the stress response in adolescents vs. adults.