What is the difference between Job Placement and Job Carving?

by: Raeme Bosquez-Greer

“Job Carving” is a term for customizing job duties and can be used in different circumstances:

* To create specialist job roles thus freeing up the time of specialist staff.

* To swap job duties to make the most of individual skills.

Many families are not aware of the possibilities available to their young adults with disabilities and how job carving can be part of job placement.

Job placement is when you fill out an application, take an assessment and hope the student will do well in the interview.  Student must often go to multiple interviews to practice and practice marketing themselves.  Just like the rest of us.

Most often we are assigned this case because the student has social anxiety, and an array of other invisible disabilities.  An employer shouldn’t ask “What’s wrong with him/her?”, though I’ve heard that question and have had to educate employers on many occasions.  Sometimes an employer asks these questions because they know no better.

As a job developer our first job is to advocate for this student.  At the risk of not being hired it is ethically a bad choice to not educate the employer regarding questions that are not appropriate.  Parents, please understand you are not alone and we are here to advocate for you as well.  We will do our best to assist you with job placement but if your family does not have a realistic entry job it will take a very long time to be placed and be successful and be happy.

How a Coach Can Help Navigate Life With Aspergers

I thought I should answer the question many readers may have on their minds: what is Coaching, and how can a Coach help a person on the Autism Spectrum?

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In my practice, I often work with things like planning, prioritizing, estimating, “good enough” thinking, initiation, motivation. I also work with my clients on understanding social cues, self advocacy, setting realistic goals and making friends.

Unlocking the Potential: An Evening with Dr. Temple Grandin

Tickets Now on Sale!

Photo: Matt Nager Photography

It is with great enthusiasm that we will welcome Dr. Temple Grandin to San Antonio and South Texas during Autism Awareness Month, April 19th, for an insightful and encouraging evening titled: Unlocking the Potential. We can hardly wait!

Dr. Grandin will share her personal story and insights on how to prepare for a productive life of independence living with Autism. Attendees will also hear from Chief People Officer Tina James to learn how local industry giant HEB is launching an innovative program that utilizes the talents of those on the spectrum. Mr. Ron Lucey, the Executive Director of the Texas Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities will open the evening with a message from our state’s capitol.  Asperger101’s Unlocking the Potential will be an evening well spent for those seeking encouragement and concrete guidance for living to the highest potential with Autism and Asperger Syndrome.

We hope you enjoy!     -Aspergers101

Evening Line-Up
5:30p – 6:30p 
VIP Meet and Greet with Temple Grandin, Tina James, and Ron Lucey
 
Hors d’oeuvres in the mezzanine catered by Page Barteau
(VIP Tickets Only)
  • Three cheese stuffed mushrooms topped with panko breadcrumbs
  • Fresh tomato, house pulled mozzarella and basil skewers drizzled with a balsamic reduction
  • Chicken wrapped in bacon and stuffed with jalapeños
  • Beef tenderloin sliders served on a yeast roll with raspberry chipotle
Book signing beginning at 6p
 
6:30p 
Doors open for general admission & continued book signing 
7:00p – 8:45p 
Speaker Presentations:
Jennifer and Samuel Allen
Co-Founders of Aspergers101 and Driving with Autism
  • Evening Co-Hosts
Ron Lucey
Executive Director of the Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities
  • Equal Access to Independence (How Texas is leading the nation in supporting citizens who have diagnoses that could cause communication impediments with a peace officer on the road)
Gail Saltz, MD (special pre-recorded video)
Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the New York Presbyterian Hospital Weill-Cornell School of Medicine and a psychoanalyst with the New York Psychoanalytic Institute
  • Pre-recorded video: The Power of Different (Dr. Saltz will not be present but has recorded a special video for the event referring to her latest book, an illuminating and uplifting examination of the link between brain differences and aptitude)
Tina James
Chief People Officer at HEB
  • Bridges: Connecting Extraordinary People to Career Opportunities (Announcing a new program placing college graduates with High-Functioning Autism or Asperger’s in the IS department at HEB)
Temple Grandin, Ph.D.
Inventor and Professor of Animal Science at Colorado State University
  • Diagnosis to Adulthood: Preparing for a Life of Independence (Dr. Grandin’s personal story and guidance in building a life of independence for those with Asperger’s)

Reading Emotions: Appreciation

Gus has just been reminded of one of his favourite products and he looks down and smiles to himself, nodding approval.

(Note: The silent video for “Appreciation” comes second after “Sadness”)

You see the smile staying on his face as he thinks about the brand. Then he looks up and gives a direct look and smile, sharing his positive feelings.

Moving Beyond Black and White Thinking and Learning to Live in the Gray Area: Using Floortime as ABA Tactic

Once a child is becomes more competent in his or her ability to think multi-causally, the next focus of higher level social-emotional thinking is the capacity to understand the gray areas of life. Adolescents and young adults with Aspergers or HFA are especially prone to hitting an emotional rut when speaking in terms of “never” and “always”—hallmark terms associated with “black and white” thinking.

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“He never calls on me during class” or “She always gets to play the game first” are common phrases that parents or peers hear when the speaker’s ability to think and feel in more varied degrees is constricted. Not only is this harder to negotiate socially for the partner, but it’s not a very fun state for the black and white thinker either. Such polarized patterns of thinking can lead to social isolation brought on by the extremity of the speaker’s emotional response.

How I Overcome Obstacles with ASD and Steps How You Can as Well

by: Maverick Crawford III

Autism or Autism Spectrum Disorder is a neurological disorder with a range of conditions characterized by challenges with speech communication, non-verbal communication, social skills, and repetitive behaviors. The word “spectrum” refers to a wide range of differences, challenges, and strength each person with autism has. Studies show that 1 in 88 children will develop autism, and it is the fastest growing disability nationwide. With this statistic, it is important for school officials, doctors, counselor, parents or anyone to fully understand the overall needs of children with autism. Adults with autism make up about 1.7% of the college population with an 80% incompletion rate. The main reason for these numbers is that most colleges, unfortunately, do not understand how to accommodate the needs of students on the spectrum.

Challenges facing those with Autism:

  1. Organization problems: College students on the mild end of the spectrum may tend to misunderstand social and communication cues. When it comes to a student with Autism either living independently or with family, can struggle because it more responsibilities all at once can cause an overload. The duties of managing homework, job, independent living, maintain health, meetups for group projects can all be overwhelming with trying to plan and organize it.
  1. Self-Advocacy: The main shocker for high school to college transition is that it is up to you to convey your needs. In grade school, you parent, teachers, and counselors decided and advocated your educational needs. Once the child becomes a teenager (high school age), they are allowed to sit in their IEP (Individualized Educational Plan), but they do not fully understand their accommodations. Most colleges do not require IEP’S, but they do require the students to understand and advocate for their needs.

Aspergers Syndrome: The Challenge of Reading Facial Expressions

Top of the Spectrum News

“Social Expectations: The inability to read facial expressions

For neuro-typicals, reading facial expressions comes easy but for those on the spectrum this is near impossible. The difficulty that those with Autism experience in reading facial expressions is due to the different wiring in the frontal lobe of the brain. This Top of the Spectrum News video offers solutions and tools, such as observational learning.

Reading Facial Expressions is Important for Social Success

by: Raeme Bosquez-Greer

Learning to translate and digest the meanings of different facial expressions can help determine other people’s needs and foster true communication.

This works both ways. Individuals with Autism has trouble interpreting facials expressions and social cues and they often don’t express their own facial expressions and appropriate social cues.

Most professionals in an Autism related field understand that many individuals on the spectrum have a flat affect. My biggest challenge is educating the public, employers and employees that a person’s expressions does not mean the individual does not have feelings. I have taken many students to interviews where I had a sensitivity meeting with the employer prior and the employer still interviewed the individual and stated, “Next time show me a genuine SMILE.”. Educating employers is an ongoing challenge for an Employment Specialist. I have parents say to me. “Lacy likes ice cream …get her a job in an ice cream shop.” I then have to try to get Lacy a job in an ice cream shop where she has to demonstrate good customer service by greeting and smiling to the customer. This has nothing to do with her liking ice cream.

Do we put Lacy in the back room organizing the gallons of ice cream and have her do custodial work or after 23 years attempt to teach her and parents how important it is to learn to smile naturally? I can always tell when parents catch their child’s Autism early and have provided training to their child at a very young age. Smiles are more natural and social cues are taught early. It is a huge bonus for me and them if a child starts learning early. I have been removed from many cases due to my honesty and tact. I am always professional but very realistic. I will never say the Lacy’s in this world cannot ever provide customer service but it does take a great deal of training both at home and with an employment specialist.

Ridgefield Resident Shares Journey with Asperger’s Syndrome in New Book

Written by Kerry Anne Ducey

Ridgefield resident Alex Fischetti, at 2009 graduate of Ridgefield High School and member of SPHERE, just released his first book, The Lonesome Boy and the Blonde Haired Angel, available in print and Kindle via Amazon. In the beautifully illustrated picture book, Fischetti shares his personal journey from a world of social isolation as a result of Asperger syndrome, to a life of joy. We sat down to ask him a few questions about his newly released book.

Why did you write The Lonesome Boy and The Blonde Haired Angel?

Answer: I wrote this book because I wanted to pay the BEST tribute I could to a person whom, if The Lord hadn’t led me to her,  I would probably not be here talking to you right now. I was a very isolated person and my heart wasn’t really open to the positive surroundings around me. I wasn’t totally alone, but I didn’t really know how to connect like I do today. I never even went to any dances or proms! Now I’m blessed to know so many beautiful people. The book and my experience is a true testament how one person can make a gigantic impact on another through simple acts of kindness and love.

I know that the process of getting it published wasn’t easy. How did it happen?

Answer: It was a very long process. I’m still learning as I go about promoting this thing!  I could not ask for a better partner to have with me on my journey to publishing this book than my illustrator, Cleo Miller. She and I went through the Amazon outlets Kindle Direct Publishing and CreateSpace and we just constructed everything from there. It’s incredible how amazing the book looks and how Cleo’s masterpiece of watercolor drawings make it into an attractive book. I know it will be sold in massive volumes!

Tell me about the real-life blonde haired angel.

Answer: Her name is Reeny Sempsrott and she lives in Vero Beach, FL. Reeny is one of the one in a billion people who, if you spend just a minute with her, will fill your day with sunshine! She has influenced me in so many ways from offering encouraging words and bringing me a positive spirit. She is always praying for anybody in need and inspired me to ask The Lord for the courage to open my heart to others. I can’t say enough about Reeny. I love her so much and will be eternally thankful to the Lord for her being my angel.

Your use of biblical quotes throughout the book compliments the story beautifully. Did you choose them?

Answer: Thank you so much! Yes! I chose every single one! I flipped through both the Old and New Testament to try to find the best verses that go with each page. There are some well-known ones featured like Jeremiah 29:11 and there are those you may not immediately remember, but they are powerful. I’m praying those who aren’t as deeply rooted in their faith as I am will read the verses that go with the story and be influenced by them as well!

In the story, you are the lonesome boy. Has writing the book changed that feeling?

Answer: It has! Reading this and looking at the life I have now makes me so grateful to the Lord for blessing me with what I have. I always tell my friends that for the longest time I hardly knew anybody and now I know everybody! Through the Lord’s grace in bringing Reeny into my life, I was able to come out of my lonesome cocoon to become the social butterfly you all know today. Praise the Lord’s name for helping me come so far!

What do you hope readers gain by flipping through the pages of your book?

Answer: I pray that anybody who reads this book will come to realize that in this oftentimes dark world of ours there are rays of light that can ignite your soul and not only positively impact you, but all those around you. It can be a family member, a friend, a co-worker, anybody! As long as you keep your eyes and your heart open to finding that special somebody. it’ll happen like it happened to me.

More books in your future?

Answer: You better believe it! I have another book in the works that I won’t go into too much detail about it right now – I want it to be a surprise! All I can say is that it’s about another angel in my life and there is a lot of dancing is involved! I’m so excited to share it with the world just as soon as the first book hits one million in sales!

Purchase The Lonesome Boy and The Blonde Haired Angel here.

Published on Wednesday, 07 February 2018 16:37

Written by Kerry Anne Ducey

Autism Does Not Define Him

Our son Sam is now 22 years old. Together we have discovered Autism first from a stage of confusion, then diagnosis and ultimately the journey toward understanding and adjustment.  This journey hasn’t been taken by just Sam or me. The education and life-changing decisions included our family of four and those whose chose to remain linked to us either by love or simple curiosity. Autism became us. As we learned to navigate the education system, employment and higher education, we’ve taken you along.

Through our website Aspergers101, together we have reached for stories of enlightenment and searched to navigate our next stage in life. Now at age 22, driving and nearing college graduation, Sam has reached a personal plateau that bares sharing. With an absolute delivery he declared, “Autism does not define me”.  He further went on to explain that up til now, he would introduce himself to educators, peers or the seldom few who initiate conversation as “Hi I am Sam…and I have autism.” He felt he owed them an ‘explanation’ for his social awkwardness, his lack of eye contact or his seemingly bland behavior.