Help Your Teen with Autism Navigate the Dating Scene

Autism researchers and therapists from UCLA’s Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior wrote an article regarding autistic teens and dating. Dating can be intimidating and challenging but despite this reality it has the potential for being a positive and worthwhile experience. What advice do parents need for discussing dating and intimacy with their autistic teenage sons and daughters? Here are some general guidelines: Encourage open dialogue Be proactive Don’t delay discussions Role play Discuss who,when,where and how to ask someone out Explain how to handle rejection Discuss steps of going on a date Discuss how to end a date Discuss different levels of intimacy Discuss how to dress for a date Read full article here: 10 Steps to Help your Teen with Autism Navigate...

Girls with Autism – Are They Being Served?

Autism is a neurobiological disorder, primarily affecting brain development, which continues to mystify researchers as to its exact cause or causes. Genetic research in 2010, however, uncovered some new information that may eventually reveal some breakthroughs. In 2012, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new statistics showing that prevalence of autism has risen by approximately 23 percent, and now affects 1 in 88 children in the United States. Out of this number, 1 in 54 boys typically receive an autism diagnosis, while girls with autism usually factor in as 1 in 252 among the overall population. The CDC designated autism as “the fastest-growing serious developmental disability in the U.S.” The Under-served Population Because the number of boys with autism is so much greater, girls with autism often end up as being the under-served population. If you are the parent or caregiver of a teenage girl or young woman with autism, then you unfortunately know this is true. Since girls represent “only” about 20 percent of the total number of individuals with autism, much of the emphasis remains focused on boys with autism. Even at 20 percent, however, girls with autism represent a large number of the population. The conservative figure is anywhere from 1 to 1.5 million individuals diagnosed with autism. Two of the hallmark symptoms of autism tend to be difficulties in development of 1) communication and 2) social skills, which creates a greater burden for female teens and young adults who desire to both communicate and socialize with their peers. Instead of easily socializing with peers and others, girls with autism often experience difficulty...