Online college education for Autistic students

As graduation season is approaching and already occurred in some places around the country, Autistics students in high school are getting ready to begin a new journey. Today, there are so many routes Autistics can take for their college education. The most important tip to remember is to choose based on strengths and format of college, from learning style to services provided by the college. Ever since beginning my 100% online Bachelor’s degree program as a college student through Purdue University Global, I have been really enjoying my experiences so far. I get to attend class live and see my professors once a week. I complete assignments and take exams on my own time, but by a deadline date. This is good because it provides me structure while working at my own pace. My professors have been really responsive whenever I ask them questions, such as during live class or virtual office. I get feedback from my professors on every assignment once graded. Best of all, I still get to work full time as a paraprofessional for elementary school students with disabilities while growing my education. I shared some personal benefits of attending college  online, so here are a few benefits of attending college online for students on the spectrum:

  1. Private classroom setting: Autistics can stay more focused than in person, traditional classroom setting because of lack of distractions, such as noises.
  2. Controlled and familiar environment: Autistics have the  freedom to choose an environment they want to learn in and avoid the stress of unfamiliar social situations.
  3. Self-pace and flexibility: Autistics can take advantage of working faster if assignments are not difficult and slower when needing more time to work on assignments.

Do you think Autistic students can excel online in their college education just as much as in person? Share your thoughts in the comments section!

 

The importance of Literacy

Growing up, I struggled with reading comprehension. My language development took so much longer that my comprehension was not always great. I grew over the years by reading books I’m interested in, getting extra support in literacy during my school years, and practicing my reading comprehension skills in workbooks. Here are a few important tips to help Autistics with literacy:

  1. Teachers: help Autistic students pick out books they are interested in while knowing their reading level.
  2. Parents: read books to your Autistic child aloud at home.
    • They can use their auditory to develop vocabulary from books read aloud.
    • Reading aloud helps bond relationship between parents and child as well.
  3. Parents: purchase workbooks that allows your Autistic child to practice literacy skills.
  4. Teachers and Parents: practice various literacy skills with Autistics in school and home. These are some skills that recommend to teach and practice often:
    • matching skills
    • sorting
    • creating scrapbooks
      • This allows Autistics to use their organization skills, develop imagination skills, and practice other various skills in this activity.
    • the alphabet
      • Parents and teachers: use visuals and associations for Autistics to remember the alphabet. This helps improve for Autistics to make connections when reading stories.

Literacy is applied in every aspect of life, from home to school to work. Just like anyone else, Autistics can develop their literacy skills.

Autistic YouTubers

There are so many YouTubers on the Autism spectrum that have their own channel to promote, educate, and advocate for people on the Autism spectrum and for people with other disabilities. Here are some channels to check out that I have watched myself:

The Aspie World: https://www.youtube.com/c/TheAspieWorld

Tips 4 Inclusion: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxRAvrg43SfeQH5EsXI4mrg

Jesse Saperstein: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCypJuEygdud2PEzMRfrs0-w

Purple Ella: https://www.youtube.com/user/purplemumify

Speechless with Carly Fleischmann: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCeKKQlMB1NeOLN31_CSJFRQ

Children’s Book about Autism and Friendships

Friendships are so important because friends love and accept you as you. As an Autistic paraprofessional who works with elementary school students with disabilities in various classroom settings, it is important to teach peers in the classroom about Autism. Also, it is important to teach peers in the classroom about being a friend to anyone, including people with disabilities. Here is a brand new children’s book to check out:

This brand new children’s book is by a young, Autism and disabilities advocate named Timothy Rohrer. He advocates about inclusion and educates about Autism and various disabilities. In this brand new book, Timothy transforms into the main character, Timmy. Timmy shares Timothy’s journey on the Autism spectrum and the importance of friendships. If you are interested to read this book, purchase it on Amazon!

Employment

In the world today, we still face an issue about Autistic adults gaining employment, especially for a dream career. A lot has to do with the balance between level of education and work/volunteer experiences. No matter what, workplaces should be focusing on the individual themselves, especially for their talents and strengths that are already part of them. These are some examples of strengths and talents of Autistic individuals when it comes to the workplace:

The good news is that there are a lot of great companies out there in the world already that became inclusive for hiring Autistic adults. Check out this website to find out some inclusive work companies here: https://www.appliedbehavioranalysisprograms.com/companies-for-people-with-autism/

100th Blog Post and Blog Anniversary!

Today is a big day for the blog, “The World of Autism”! I celebrate 100 blog publications now, and its the blog’s 2 year anniversary! Want to know how the blog was created!?

The blog was first created back in spring of 2019. I was thinking of ideas for my social media class when I was attending my last semester of my community college. My mom thought of an idea that I should create a blog about my life experiences being Autistic. Plus, my mom shared a blog would help me improve on my writing skills. That was how the blog came to be!

The blog was originally just about my life experiences being Autistic. Over the past couple of years, it became more than just that. The blog came to be as it is today, thanks to everyone’s’ contribution in the community! By providing various experiences, this helps our world with increasing awareness, appreciation, acceptance, and advocacy.

Get ready for more of the following here on “The World of Autism”: my life experiences being Autistic, guest interviews from everyone in the community who are impacted, guest story blogs from self-advocates, information about Autism, and etc.

Autism Month

Every April is Autism month. Although, everyday is journey for all Autistics. Over the years, the community has been pushing for the world to go from awareness to acceptance and advocacy. Acceptance becomes more than just awareness and appreciation because it becomes everyday living. People learn to embrace others with no judgements. Also, people learn to show compassion, sensitivity, and empathy towards others. Here are some ways to grow on acceptance and advocacy:

  1. The world needs to keep in open mind.
    • Get to know every individual as themselves beyond their diagnosis while keeping in mind. Embrace with love and no judgements.
  2. Make the first approach towards Autistic individuals.
    • EX #1: Parents should encourage peers to say ‘hello”, find out shared interests, and ask to play games with them. This can help create more friendships!
    • EX #2: Workplaces should ask Autistic employees about tasks in the workplace itself that match with their strengths. Communication is key, and this can help create more inclusive work environments!
  3. Develop programs, services, and events to meet needs of Autistic individuals.
    • EX #1: I was in a social skills program created by my speech language pathologist in my middle school years, and I learned to make my own group of best friends.
    • EX #2: Utilize Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) of Autistic students in generalized environments within schools, such as specials, academics, and etc.
  4. Create organizations to bring the community together.
    • EX #1: There are many great organizations throughout the U.S that are designed to meet the needs of families and autistic individuals. Organizations vary state by state.
    • EX #2: Social media can be utilized for support groups for everyone! Bridge the Gap!

Poem #2: “The Malingerer Goes to the Movies”

The poetry collection series continues here on, “The World of Autism”, by collaborating with another self-advocate from the community, Scott Norman Rosenthal! He was a guest on the blog. Scott Norman grew up writing poetry, and he wanted to share some of his own poems here. The 2nd poem in the series is by Scott called, “The Malingerer Goes to the Movies”:

   “The Malingerer Goes to the Movies,”

          (a Dis-Ability Coming-Out  poem,  for Colin Kempner, and Judith Wright)

                                        1.

                         You’re sitting there,

                and it’s getting harder to breathe.

               It feels as if a little man,  like a gnome,

                           has crept up the back of your seat,

                and dropped a net into your head,

                                    over your brain…

    You glance at the woman sitting next to you,

                   and she isn’t there…

    You look at the screen, and it seems unreal,

                   like a bad film…

                        Are you in a theater at all?

                 Are you in a room filled with water?

                     ARE THERE ANY PEOPLE HERE!?   

                                      2.

        Show’s over, you’re out in the parking lot,

                         wondering how to get home…

                                         (Scott Norman Rosenthal, Autumn ’82)

                      

My biggest change: new life in Florida

March 27th, 2021: Pool day at community clubhouse before celebrating Passover the same day! #PassoverinParadise

After almost 20 years of living in New Jersey, my family and I moved to Florida in mid-March of 2021. I experienced ups and downs with this change. I was stubborn and stressed out by the amount of cleaning I did for my old house, inorder to keep it clean and maintained, and the amount of packing and loading of moving pods while studying for college. I was crying sometimes too. I had some emotional attachment to my house that I have grown up in. Plus, I knew I was going to miss my friends and all of my best friends in NJ, NY, and Staten Island so much! You know who you are! Most of all, I knew was going to miss my younger brother, since he still attends college in New Jersey; I know I will be with him real soon. On the other hand, I knew in my mind I was so ready for the change in environment. More importantly, I was ready for a new fresh start in my life.

Now that I have been living in Florida for almost a month, I have been adjusting well. I have been video chatting with my older sister and younger brother every week, once a week. I love the warm weather and sunny days! There have been some cooler days, but I still spend time out. I have been outside and active with my family. For the most part, we have been going for walks everyday. I have been going to the community clubhouse to hangout by the pool and hotub. Inside the community clubhouse, I have been playing pool. I have been exploring around my new home town, such as the giant mall center, main street, parks, and etc. I live in a town where there are endless things to do!

I cannot wait to make so many memories in Florida! I look forward to meeting new people and reuniting with some people I have known since high school who live in Florida. Cheers to a start of a new life journey in Florida!

Poem #1: “What do feelings look like?”

Huge news as we get ready for Autism Awareness month!! A poetry series collection is starting here on “The World Of Autism” by collaborating with Mike McDonald, who was one of my guests featured on my blog. Mike McDonald is a young adult on the Autism spectrum, and one of his special interests is poetry. Here is the first poem by Mike called, “What do feelings look like?” :

What do feelings look like?

I don’t see emotions

instead I see

a strange puzzle

that leaves me

perplexed

a puzzle that

you think you got

the right pieces in

but when you look

closely

it looks like

an abstract painting

the shapes

very

oddly

placed

in my mind

that it

leaves me

on edge

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