Friday, December 20, 2013

Positively Autism December Newsletter

Main Articles/Resources:

December Newsletter Topic: Employment and Autism -

Autistic Traits: A Plus for Many Careers -

Self-Advocacy: Teach Skills Needed for Independence -

Choosing the Right Job for People with Autism or Asperger's Syndrome -

Autism Asperger Publishing Company's Employees with Autism -

Five Tips for Individuals with Autism on Finding Employment -

Different . . . Not Less: Inspiring Stories of Achievement and Successful Employment from Adults with Autism, Asperger's, and ADHD -

The Hidden Curriculum of Getting and Keeping a Job -

Developing Talents: Careers For Individuals With Asperger Syndrome And High-Functioning Autism -

Employment Toolkit for Adults on the Spectrum -

Free Stuff:

Jedi Knight Application (Practice Name, Address, Phone, etc.) -

Christmas Social Stories and Activities
  • "Visiting Family at Christmas" Social Story
  • "Going to Visit Santa" Social Story
  • "Getting Presents at Christmas" Social Story
  • "What to Expect at Christmas" Social Story
  • And more!


December Positive Autism News -

December Positive Autism News

These 8 Inspiring People Will Change The Way You Think About Autism And Asperger's

Finding His Voice: Autistic Young Man Loves Reading to Children

An Organic Greenhouse Run by Farmers With Autism

Autistic High Schooler Runs A 5K In 15 Minutes, Qualifies For Nationals After Running Changed His Life

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Employment Toolkit for Adults on the Spectrum

From Autism Speaks:

"Autism Speaks wants to help you with your employment search by giving you tools and tips to use while you look for a job. As an adult on the autism spectrum, you have strengths and abilities that employers are just beginning to understand. We have written the Employment Tool Kit to help you research, find and keep employment in the current, competitive labor market. Stories, tips and resources were developed by a collaboration of people, including adults with autism, dedicated to increasing the employment participation of adults on the spectrum. Download the Employment Tool Kit here!"

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Developing Talents: Careers For Individuals With Asperger Syndrome And High-Functioning Autism

By: Dr. Temple Grandin and Kate Duffy

Book Description (from This updated and expanded edition considers the continuing dismal employment statistics for individuals with ASD. The authors take an in-depth look at entrepreneurship. Using real-life examples, they point out that many of the unique characteristics of individuals on the autism spectrum lend themselves well to entrepreneurial ventures. The book explores many unnoticed aspects of Vocational Rehabilitation programs that provide job training and placement for people with disabilities, as well as Social Security Administration programs that offer vocational assistance. Employment figures and prospects have been updated, and new jobs have been added that are well suited for those on the spectrum.

Monday, December 16, 2013

The Hidden Curriculum of Getting and Keeping a Job

By Brenda Smith Myles, PhD, Judy Endow, MSW, and Malcolm Mayfield, BS

Book Description:

Adults on the spectrum often have difficulty getting and keeping a job that is unrelated to their job skills. This practical and easy-to-use book provides necessary yet often untaught information on a variety of topics related to getting a job, finding a mentor, networking, using agencies, interviewing, talking with supervisors, dealing with on-the-job-frustrations, understanding the social rules at work and many other topics. Authored by two individuals on the spectrum who have extensive experience in helping others become employed, Judy Endow and Malcolm Mayfield, as well as Brenda Smith Myles, an internationally known writer and speaker on autism spectrum disorders.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Different . . . Not Less: Inspiring Stories of Achievement and Successful Employment from Adults with Autism, Asperger's, and ADHD

By: Dr. Temple Grandin

Book Description:

This book is a compilation of success stories from adults with autism and Asperger's Syndrome.  Each shares what helped them during their childhood and young lives that made them the independent adults they are today. 
One of the most important missions Temple Grandin has is making sure people with autism and Asperger's make something of their lives.  As Temple says quite bluntly, "Being on Social Security is NOT a job choice."

These unique individuals often have great potential in parts of their minds that neurotypicals never even start to tap.  This needs to be shared with the world. 

However, in order to share their hidden genius, they have to overcome many social obstacles.  The point of this groundbreaking work is - it is possible, and it is WORTH it.  Let these crusaders, handpicked by Temple herself, show how it can be done.

Let this work by Dr. Temple Grandin inspire you to your true potential.  You will soon see why it means so much to her.


Thursday, December 12, 2013

Five Tips for Individuals with Autism on Finding Employment

This is a post by Kerry Magro, Social Marketing Coordinator at Autism Speaks. Kerry was diagnosed with autism at age four. He is a self-advocate and recently released his debut book "Defining Autism From The Heart" in which he discusses his life on the spectrum.

Last March, I started working full time for Autism Speaks as a Social Marketing Coordinator. After finishing my course work for my Masters in January, I was thrilled that Autism Speaks would offer me an opportunity for my first full time position within their organization.

My employment record before this included several internships and part time jobs. As we get further into National Disability Employment Awareness Month, I wanted to share some tips I’ve learned from my experiences with individuals with autism looking for employment.

1. Find your passion and maximize it.
 During college, I was constantly told about the hardships I would face trying to find a job in this economy. One way I managed to work through that was working on my first book called “Defining Autism From The Heart”. I have always loved to write and using that passion to do something I was interested in really benefited me. During college, I also started the paperwork to establish my 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization to build on another passion of mine, Self-Advocacy. I know these both seem like big projects and they did take a few years of work to accomplish. But no matter what you do, you should always be reflecting on what you’re passionate about and try to turn those passions into opportunities for yourself.

2. Ask Questions.
 In school they always tell you that the only dumb question is not asking that question. I’ve always seen asking questions as a critical element to whatever you are doing. No matter what type of education you have, self-advocating and being aware are key to any success you’ll have. Many young kids I know with autism have trouble with this. For those educators out there, teaching these “social skills” and self-advocacy skills can be critical to future success.

3. Do Your Research.
 This goes hand-in-hand with what I mentioned earlier about reflection. Research needs to become both an internal and external factor in your efforts to find a job. You need to target your strengths and then capitalize on them. Take the first two tips above, internally try to process this and then switch to external research, which is ultimately who is hiring and if a job isn't available, what possibilities there are in these situations to create volunteer/internships. Getting experience as a volunteer or an intern may open the door to entry-level employment within organizations or companies.

4. Don’t Run From Learning Experiences.
 Many individuals with autism who get an early diagnosis have already been working a nine to five job focusing on their therapies. So as young adults, they have already had work experience getting themselves to the point where they can be employed today. Hard work is not new to them. No matter what’s on the table, you should always give it a test run! Make sure you are very open about the accommodations you need in that workplace and then give it a few days to feel it out.

5. Don’t Sell Yourself Short! Reach for the Stars!
 No matter if this is the first job you are looking for or your 30th, never sell yourself short. Always go in with the mantra that no matter if you have autism or you don’t, you can and will achieve greatness. I always tell kids I consult for to “define their autism.” Go look for work with the confidence that you are who you are and that you have a passion and unique ability that can be valued in the workforce. Then find the places that will best value that.

Individuals with autism are reaching adulthood every day. I encourage those young adults out there who do have positive job experiences to share them with our community. When I was a kid, I didn’t know that one day I would have a job in something I enjoyed, but I do now and it’s an amazing feeling! Our autism spectrum is very huge, don’t get me wrong, but I do believe there are opportunities out there and more will be available in the future.


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Autism Asperger Publishing Company's Employees with Autism

Zach Zaborny has turned his experiences with Asperger’s and interest and education in publishing into a career as a marketing associate at AAPC — a career move that brings him full circle to the company that made its mark on his family and childhood more than a decade ago.

Read more:

Friday, December 6, 2013

Self-Advocacy: Teach Skills Needed for Independence

For most of your child’s life, you have probably been advocating for your child– making decisions for him or her.  However, as individuals with autism age, they will need to advocate for themselves to the best of their ability.  Helping adolescents with autism to develop a sense of self will aid in the transition process and will develop a skill that will benefit them throughout their lives.

Read more:

Monday, December 2, 2013

Dec. Newsletter Topic: Employment and Autism

To wrap-up 2013, we'll finish our blog post series on employment issues for adults on the autism spectrum. Be sure to check back throughout the month for employment tips, resource kits, books, and more. We'll also share Christmas and December holiday resources and freebies!

If you missed our November newsletter on employment resources, you can find it here:

Want to get a jump-start on Christmas preparation with our free social stories and activities? Find them all here:

Autism-Related Cyber Monday Deals


Lots of awesome autism parents and special education teachers sell helpful resources on Here are a few of the sales. Use promo code CYBER at checkout to save up to 28%!

Positively Autism (folder games, Christmas token boards and activities, first-then charts, behavior support and more!) -

Inspired by Evan Autism Resources (activities for sorting, emotions, academics, and more) - . It looks like this store has 10% off with the promo code; most stores will have 28% off.

Autism Educators (folder games, common core, matching, emotions, academics, and more) -

The Autism Helper (data sheets, adapted books, visual supports, social stories, folder games, and more) -

Different Roads to Learning:

Save 20% today only! Save on flashcards, games, timers, reinforcers, and more for your special needs student! We hope you will take this chance to spread the warmth and share this offer with your loved ones, and to find the perfect gift for your special student.
Save 20% by entering the Promo Code THANKS13

Sale ends 12/2/13 at 11:59 pm EST. Offer does NOT apply to ABLLS-R & VB-MAPP Assessment Kits (DRK 700-703) and 10- and 25-packs of VB-MAPP Protocols (DRB 682 & 683). Cannot be combined with any other offer.


Autism Asperger Publishing Company is offering 60% off on some of their titles. It looks like there is a new book on sale each hour, so check their website frequently. More details at their website:

Future Horizons

Future Horizons (an autism, Asperger's and sensory publishing company) is having a "Winter Warehouse" sale. More info:
If you're buying toys, books, therapy supplies, tablets, etc. for your child or students with autism, now's a great time to shop Amazon!