“Asperger’s High” actress/writer meets with Sam

If you haven’t seen it, here is “Asperger’s High”, a mock drama situated around a fictitious sitcom as seen on youtube.

Sam and Jennifer interview it’s very talented co-writer and actress, Leslie Tsina, below.  Tsina talks about the making of the mock drama “Aspergers High” with some behind-the-scene tidbits, reactions from the autism community and her future projects within this Top of the Spectrum segment.

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AS101: Planning The Transition from High School to College

As 2015 arrives, many high school seniors will begin planning their final stage of transition into higher education. Students will send out an application to their “first choice college,” and then several to their “Plan B colleges.” Each will then wait anxiously to hear back from those schools about their admission.


Many questions are considered by students when determining their college of first choice. Does the college have an established academic major the student wants to study? Does the campus size feel right? Is it safe? Do sufficient opportunities for social interaction exist?

Most students with ASD consider additional questions.

Mnemonic Devices

You might already use mnemonic techniques in your life. If you have five things to get at the grocery store: sugar, tea, apples, rice and soup, you might create and visualize STARS remember your list.

Detail of elementary school art class

In classrooms, mnemonics is a memory enhancing instructional strategy that involves teaching students to
link new information that is taught to information they already know.

Mnemonic devices are patterns of letters, sounds, or associated ideas that aid people in remembering information. Keyword, pegword, and letter strategies were the mnemonic devices used in the studies included in this meta-analysis.

These mnemonic techniques use acoustically linked proxy words to connect two pieces of information. For example, students were given the keyword “rainy day” and told to think of a frog sitting in the rain to remember that the scientific classification for common frogs is ranidae.

The following are some examples:

ASD: Sensitivity to Color

When our youngest son was no more than 6 years old, we would enter a restaurant or someones home and he would throw-up. He told us it was a picture or something on the wall that made him so ill. I thought it had to be due to the content of the picture but after years of testing…we found out it was the color! Yes…oftentimes those with sensory issues are not just sensitive to sound and noise…but have a severe sensitivity to loud splashes of color.  by: Jennifer Allen

Color Swatch Cutout


Dr. Temple Grandin: Don’t Give up on your Children with Autism

Billy Watkins, The Clarion-Ledger
December 8, 2014


We know her as hope, inspiration and enlightenment…but Dr. Temple Grandin’s message in this article is, to me, the strongest message she sends. Keep helping your autistic child be the best they can be under their diagnosis…don’t give up!   Jennifer Allen/AS101

(photo:Joe Ellis/Clarion Ledger)

A Message to Fathers

In this special edition of Top of the Spectrum News, Samuel Allen (diagnosed with Aspergers) addresses the fathers who are having a difficult time accepting their child’s diagnosis. This hits home for many as Sam speaks from the heart (he spoke while we let the cameras roll) how it feels to have Autism and a Dad who could have bolted from fear of the unknown.

Note: This video was graciously shot by High School Students at San Antonio’s School for Inquiry and Creativity’s Urban Film School Department.  


Challenging Behaviors and Appropriate Skills in ABA

As I mentioned in my previous blog, there are thousands of published research studies to support the effectiveness of ABA in treating autism and Aspergers. Specifically, ABA seeks to decrease challenging behaviors and increase appropriate skills that are seen in many individuals with autism or Aspergers.

Challenging Behaviors and Appropriate Skills in ABA

Results of your feedback are in…it helps with sleep!

Just over 2 months ago, Aspergers101 asked for 20 families to take part in a survey…the one requirement? Someone in your family, on the spectrum, to have had trouble with sleeping.  24 of our readers/viewers took part in the study. To bottom-line the results over 90% felt their overall quality of lives improved as their child (or self) finally had better sleep. Because we took part in the study I wanted to share with you the full report from the Sound Pillow Sleep System here.

Thank you, Jennifer Allen

Practical Solutions for College Success

It’s that time of year! Students are preparing for college – gathering items for dorm living, buying textbooks, and saying one last so-long to high school friends as the summer winds down. Colleges and universities across the U.S. are preparing for the fall term too. At Marshall University, (and many colleges across the country), incoming freshmen arrive on campus several days before classes start to adapt to the campus community.Lonely male student posing while his classmates are talking

Acclimation to campus can be especially difficult for students diagnosed with Asperger’s Disorder. Taylor and Colvin, in their article “Universal Design: A Tool to Help College Students with Asperger’s Syndrome Engage on Campus” (2013) provide helpful suggestions to institutions of higher learning that could make the orientation for students with ASD more effective.