As autism spectrum disorder (ASD) becomes increasingly prevalent, it is important for companies to understand how people with autism can be a true asset to an organization. Hiring and creating a functional workspace for individuals with diverse talents and needs can help organizations reach their business goals, create a healthier and more inclusive workplace, and provides more opportunity for individuals with ASD to contribute their talents and skills in a meaningful way.
Paul Shattuck, an associate professor of health management and policy at Drexel University’s Dornsife School of Public Health and director of the Life Course Outcomes Research Program at the A.J. Drexel Autism Institute, recalls when autism was almost unheard of:
“It’s big news. Twenty years ago when I started in this field, autism was a condition that few people had heard of unless they had seen the movie Rain Man. But since the diagnostic criteria for autism have changed, we now include more people under that umbrella term than ever before.” -Paul Shattuck
Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies has completed the process to become a Certified Autism Center, an international designation from the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES) that demonstrates the organization’s commitment to ensuring guests with autism and sensory sensitivities have the best possible experience.
“Often the roadblock isn’t the children, it’s finding businesses that are willing to adapt their operations to accommodate and meet the needs for special needs children,” says Chris O’Shea, who has a child is on the autism spectrum.
While no studies have been done on why people with autism tend to be drawn to water more often than other individuals, there is substantial anecdotal evidence of the fascination with water among the autism community.
“I am kind of obsessed with flowing water. Nifty water features and mountain streams are like an on switch for happy. I can stare at them for ages. Even better if I can get down to the water and wade in it, play in it, float things in it, splash in it. Mountain streams are the best though – the water is always cold and clear. Fountains can be good, but they are often warm, which isn’t nearly as good.”Continue Reading →
Mesa, Arizona is booming with activity and a caring community of over half a million, the 37th largest city in the country. With almost 160 square miles, it is the perfect place to visit on a family vacation or even to consider calling home if looking for a change of scenery.
Mesa Parks has been at the forefront of the inclusive culture surrounding autism and cognitive disorders in Mesa, Arizona. Continue Reading →
The Mesa Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities Department has become the first parks and recreation organization in the U.S. and the world to become a Certified Autism Center, a designation from the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES) that demonstrates the organization’s commitment to ensuring guests with autism and sensory sensitivities have the best possible experience.
“Mesa is well known as a destination for families to both live and visit,” Mayor John Giles said. “I am proud that our Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities Department took that priority a step further to ensure that children on the autism spectrum have a fun experience in Mesa.”
Francesco Paladino, Life Coach, Motivational Speaker, Certified Cognitive Coach (CCC)
“My training with IBCCES was the most layered and priceless education I received. My awareness of communication and client obstacles has been heightened. As a coach and a motivational speaker, I am better because of my training.”
Leading Nonprofit and Certification Board Partner to Expand Reach
Autism is a developmental disability that affects an ever-increasing number of children and adults across the US and the globe. Two of the most influential organizations in this space are now working together to improve the lives of individuals on the autism spectrum. The Autism Society of America and the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES) announced a significant partnership that will allow the oldest and largest autism grassroots autism organization in the world and the industry leader in training and certification to work together to increase the quality of life and services provided to individuals on the spectrum. Specifically for families who want to travel or experience attractions but are hesitant due to potential lack of awareness or accommodations, this partnership will further the work already being done by IBCCES and the Autism Society to ensure all families have options.
Feeling anxious is a fairly normal reaction when experiencing exciting, stressful or new situations. However, students who experience anxiety at school could potentially have a more serious anxiety disorder that requires treatment.
Anxiety becomes an issue when it begins holding the student back from opportunities, such as participating in extracurricular activities or social engagements. The National Institute of Mental Health reports that approximately 25% of teens between 13 and 18 years old have an anxiety disorder and slightly less than 6% have a severe anxiety disorder.
This means one out of every four teenagers is struggling with anxiety that is negatively impacting their daily life.Continue Reading →
First Chamber of Commerce in the Nation to Earn Designation
The Mesa Chamber of Commerce is the first of its kind in the country to earn the Certified Autism Center designation from International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES). The Certified Autism Center designation is awarded by IBCCES to organizations who have completed a training and review process and are committed to serving individuals with autism and other sensory needs.
Water is a very powerful and healing tool for people who are on the autism spectrum. It can be extremely therapeutic and also provides behavioral benefits along with the physical benefits of being active in the water.
Being in the water often gives a sense of calm to individuals on the spectrum, especially children. The buoyancy and pressure of the water creates a supportive environment where they are able to develop their sensory processing skills through hydrostatic pressure, vestibular stimulation and proprioceptive feedback.
On top of this, when children are able to play and have fun in the water the positive effects are seen long after. Continue Reading →