Social Skills and College for Students with Aspergers Syndrome

Top of the Spectrum News

Social Skills and College for Students with Aspergers Syndrome

Guest(s): Dr. Marc Ellison/Executive Director of the West Virginia Autism Training Center

This edition of Top of the Spectrum New discusses social skills and college for those with Aspergers. Dr. Marc Ellison, who has successfully created a wing for those with Autism at the Marshall University West Virginia Autism Training Center, offers insights for college preparation. Since 2002, Marshall University has successfully supported (and graduated) over 100 students with Aspergers Syndrome.

How I Feel Living with Autism – The Story Behind our Logo!

One of the highlights when Sam and I speak at autism conferences is the reaction to a simple painting he had done depicting how it ‘feels’ to have autism. His interpretation offers a great insight and a relate-ability satisfying most neurotypical minds.  As a result to the overwhelming positive feedback…we’ve removed the puzzle piece and incorporated Sam’s painting into our logo!

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We’ve re-posted his story below and thank you for your continued support, feedback and most of all…our common ground of supporting those with High Functioning Autism and Aspergers Syndrome.       –Jennifer Allen

How I Feel Living with Autism

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“I painted this abstract picture to show neurotypicals what it feels like to have Aspergers Syndrome. At the time, I was enrolled in Art Appreciation I at Northeast Lakeview College. One day after class, I was at home and suddenly felt like painting, so I got some brushes, a canvas, and some acrylic paint and began to paint while envisioning the picture and its message in my mind. The black and white background represents how aspies tend to see the world in a black-and-white perspective and that we tend to act monotonous. The colors inside the head represent how our minds are bursting with extraordinary ideas. The white lines above the head represent how when we try to say what’s on our minds, it tends to get distorted by our social awkwardness.”            by: Samuel Allen

 

A Message to Fathers

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.  

 

College and Aspergers Syndrome

Top of the Spectrum News: College and Aspergers Syndrome

Guest(s): Dr. Marc Ellison/Executive Director of the West Virginia Autism Training Center 

Dr. Marc Ellison and his staff have created a template most colleges dream about…a successful program whereas a person diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome or High-Functioning Autism have a support team living in the dorm with them ensuring success. In this first, in a three-part series with Dr. Ellison, Jennifer and her Asperger diagnosed son Sam discuss how you can ensure college success if you are on the spectrum.

 Note: Dr. Marc Ellison blogs weekly for Aspergers101 and you can read his content in our Education-College blog tab at the top of our website. Dr. Ellison is a Professor and recently named Executive Director of the West Virginia Autism Training Center at Marshall University.

Microsoft Recruiting Employees With Autism

The launch of a new pilot program positions Microsoft as the latest corporate giant looking to tap the employment potential of those on the spectrum.

The company says plans are underway to hire individuals with autism for full-time positions at its Redmond, Wash. headquarters.

Microsoft says it will hire people with autism for full-time positions in Redmond, Wash. through a new pilot program. (Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)

Microsoft says it will hire people with autism for full-time positions in Redmond, Wash. through a new pilot program. (Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)

Microsoft said it will work with Specialisterne, a nonprofit that focuses on helping people with the developmental disorder apply their talents to work in the technology field, to facilitate the hiring effort.

Initially, the program is expected to include about 10 people with autism, a Microsoft spokeswoman told Disability Scoop.

“Microsoft is stronger when we expand opportunity and we have a diverse workforce that represents our customers,” wrote Mary Ellen Smith, Microsoft’s corporate vice president of worldwide operations, in a blog post announcing the pilot program. “People with autism bring strengths that we need at Microsoft, each individual is different, some have amazing ability to retain information, think at a level of detail and depth or excel in math or code.”