A common problem with austistic spectrum disorders is difficulty understanding the ‘unspoken rules’ of social interaction. The videos in the etiquette series spell out some of these ‘unspoken rules’ for different situations (just look for the tag ‘etiquette’). Dr. Frank Gaskill discusses topics relevant to Asperger’s every week on his YouTube channel ‘Dr G Aspie Show‘. The following two-parter is a series on interview skills with Michelle Fish, CEO of Integra Staffing:
Autisable is a blogging network run by the Autism Society, where users can submit blog posts. If you run an autism blog, it’s an effective way to reach a wider audience. If you’re interested in autism blogs, visit the site to read a wide range of high-quality posts by various bloggers. Click here to submit a post to Autisable.
Sleep can be a problem for someone with ASD, given our susceptibility to sensory overload. This video from goop shows how the comfy beds are made at the famous Connaught Hotel in London. I like that they don’t overdo it with bed coverings, just a good duvet. The Connaught style is something you can very much do at home for a good night’s sleep.
Absent-mindedness or ‘brain fog’ comes with many autistic conditions. I’m constantly losing my umbrella, and occasionally forget to bring my wallet with me. The Wallet TrackR is a card-sized electronic tag that works with your iphone, and alerts you when you’re separated from the tag, which can be attached to just about anything (or placed in your wallet). It’s currently on pre-order at Indiegogo.
ScienceNews reports that electrical stimulation through electrodes planted deep in the brain of a severely autistic boy appeared to alleviate some of his symptoms:
The boy in the study, who was 13 at the time of his experimental surgery, suffered from severe autism symptoms: He couldn’t talk or make eye contact, woke up screaming repeatedly during the night, and habitually injured himself so badly that his parents restrained him almost constantly to protect him. Multiple rounds of psychiatric drugs failed to stave off his worsening symptoms.
In an effort to help him, doctors led by Volker Sturm of the University Hospital of Cologne in Germany implanted electrodes into the boy’s brain. Through trial and error, the doctors realized that stimulating a part of the amygdala, a brain structure important for emotions and memory, improved the boy’s symptoms. Stimulating other brain areas had no effect or worsened his symptoms.
After eight weeks of continuous electrical stimulation, the boy shifted on a clinical scale that measures irritability from “severely ill” to “moderately ill.” The boy also improved on a scale that measures autism symptoms. He began to make eye contact and was better able to control his behavior.