Research Trail Project  1
My Topic: Stimming aka stereotypy

Systems Diagrams & Blog Post

Guide Draft Development Post

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“How to be a Marlin” Final Prototype Coming Soon


When I was first given this topic, my knowledge of stimming was minimal. I knew it had to do with body movements and muscle jerking. My mother, who works as a pre-school teacher, told me about stimming in the context of people with autism. A week of research has led me to speak with inspiring individuals, learn about a fascinating topic, and has sparked a genuine investment in supporting an often-overlooked group of people. 

Here is my research!


Overview Information
Technical Materiality Examples
In-depth Research
My Tentative Focus
Additional Sources to look further into

Overview Information & Discoveries:

From Wikipedia:

  • Self-stimulating behaviors (stimming), usually involves repetitive movements or sounds.
  • This hits close to home because I am diagnosed with ADHD and have a variety of mechanisms to control it
  • There’s a spectrum of stimming, everyone does it but it mostly goes unnoticed. Only when it’s disruptive should it be treated
  • People with stimulation processing disorder exhibit stimming behaviors
  • Managing the sensory and emotional environment while increasing the amount of daily exercise can increase the personal comfort levels of the person which may reduce the amount of time spent stimming. Things such as puzzles, fidget spinners, stress, and fidget toys can also be used to help instill safe stimming habits

  • Stimming is a repetitive body movement that self-stimulates one or more senses in a regulated manner.
  • Psychiatrists call it stereotypy or self-stimulatory behavior
  • For hyposensitive (under-sensitive) people, it may provide needed nervous system arousal, releasing beta-endorphins. For hypersensitive people, it may provide a "norming" effect, allowing the person to control a specific sense, and is thus a soothing behavior.
  • It can also serve as a way to communicate, or to calm down.
  • Stimming is a natural behavior that can improve emotional regulation and prevent meltdowns in stressful situations.
  • Celebration of stimming is a common aspect of neurodiversity, acceptance, and autistic culture. Many argue that stimming is not only an important coping mechanism but an action as natural and beautiful as smiling or laughing.
  • Stimming plays a noticeable role in autistic art with many Autistic artists drawing illustrations of diverse and often happy stimming people.
  • Some therapists, especially in ABA, believe that stimming should be suppressed, so that autistic children will appear more normal. They use the words quiet hands to train autistic children not to stim. Frequently this involves physically restraining the child until the child complies automatically. This is considered abusive

Important Terms:

Self-stimulatory behavior
Quiet hands
Stim circles, social stimming
ASD- autistic spectrum disorders
ASC autism spectrum condition
Interpersonal synchrony
“Falling off the service cliff”
Noncontingent access

Technical Materiality Examples:

Temple Grandin’s The Squeeze Machine

Research Supporting the Squeeze Machine:
  • Deep pressure is calming and relaxing, while light touch alerts the nervous system
  • Research on autistic children indicates that they prefer proximal sensory stimulation such as touching, tasting, and smelling to distal sensory stimulation of hearing and seeing
    • Autistic children will often seek out deep pressure sensations.
  • The squeeze machine device developed by the author consists of two padded side boards which are hinged at the bottom to form a V shape. The user steps into the machine and lies down on the inside in the Vshaped crevicelike space. The inside surfaces of the device are completely lined with thick foam rubber. Deep touch pressure stimulation is applied along both sides of the person's body, with lateral pressure pushing inward onto the body (Fig. 1). The V-shaped space supports the body fully from head to toe, so that the users can completely relax. The contoured padding provides an even pressure across the entire lateral aspects of the body without generating specific pressure points. The foam-padded head rest and padded neck opening are covered with soft fake fur. When the neck opening closes around the neck, it enhances the feeling of being surrounded and contained by the embrace of the deep touch pressure squeeze.

"Stimtastic is affordable stim toys, chewable jewelry, and fidgets for Autistic adults and teens (and kids too!). Owned by an Autistic person, Stimtastic celebrates stimming as a natural part of life on the spectrum."

A website that sells sensory toys and products to address stimming:

“Our goal is to provide tools that help you build skills (while having some fun along the way)! Our tools are designed to help students understand what is expected of them in class, manage their anxiety, and support focus. Our products help students become more independent and teachers more successful in general and special education settings.“

The Ability Project:

This is an interdisciplinary research space dedicated to the intersection between disability and technology, with an aim to foster collaboration among individuals with disabilities, community organizations, and NYU students and faculty. A variety of students and professionals—engineers, designers, educators, speech and occupational therapists, and individuals with disabilities—work together to create opportunities for teaching, learning, and research. Students across three of NYU’s schools comprise the Ability Project whose majors range from occupational therapy and integrated digital media to interactive telecommunications. Project’s fundamental principles is that technology serves people best when they participate in its design. Participatory research ensures access to the critical knowledge of those living with disabilities while also offering opportunities for those without disabilities to better understand what life is like for their collaborators. Collaboration, rather than problem solving in silos, produces more creative results.

The Ability Project partnered with AT&T for ConnectAbility Challenge, a three-month technology challenge designed to spur innovation for people with physical, social, emotional, and cognitive disabilities. Here are some of the winners: 
  • The Kinesic Mouse by Xcessity is an assistive technology based on the Microsoft Kinect for Windows™ 3D sensor. This software enables severely disabled people to access a computer completely hands–free. Head movements and facial expressions are used to control the mouse cursor and the mouse buttons.

  • LOLA a funny digital tool that sends the user reminders to train your brain with social and daily living skills. The concept for the app was developed by a kid (and his father) who is a student with Aspergers and is part of the Tech Kids Unlimited community. It is a digital tool that helps users train their brains, by using humor and personal challenges to strengthen their social and daily living skills. It utlizes push notifications to remind kids of the challenges they have set. It encourages more independence and personal space from caretakers.
  • Drumpants (Taps) gives a voice to people who have limited mobility or difficulty speaking, including those with ALS, Cerebral Palsy or brain injuries. The user can simply tap wearable Bluetooth triggers to speak customizable phrases through an app on their phone. It could also be used as a hands-free phone interface: controlling lights & door locks, screen readers, and other apps like music players and the camera.

Tech Kids Unlimited:

The mission of TKU is to train the techies of tomorrow to get them gainfully employed in the field of technology. Students learn website creation, app development, video editing, stop motion animation, 3d printing, programming and more. Tech Kids Unlimited is the only technology program in the U.S. whose constituency is solely special needs students ages 7 to 18.

Adaptive Design Association:

The mission is to instigate a revolutionary shift, one where we reject barriers and segregation and choose instead to imagine and build custom adaptations; where we share designs and stories; and where we respond to difference and disability, not with fear or neglect, but with solidarity and love. They envision a world where adaptive design centers exist across the world and all people with a disability have access to assistive devices are are valued by family and society.  

Initial Topics of Interest:

Technology used to reduce stimming (wearables and machine learning), the history of using a forceful treatment like electric shock and constraint to reduce stimming, stimming in people with not-as-severe autism or ADHD, "falling off the cliff" (the lack of resources for adults with autism).


Interview #1:  Kristina Iacovino (REED M.A., BCBA, REED’s Director of Adult Resources)

There’s a lot of articles on the differentiating views of stimming? Some believe it should be restricted under all circumstances. More recently, people believe stimming is an effective coping mechanism and self-regulatory behavior. It can even improve performance. Is this addressed? Are trained professionals taught to restrict stimming so they appear “normal” in social situations?

The type of children we work with at the REED Foundation are highly impaired but I have worked with children who are higher functioning. Those who are higher functioning have the view of "stimming is part of who I am. I am not embarrassed. I am an autistic adult." It can go either way. In my eyes, there's not a right and a wrong. Individuals who are able to communicate often say that stimming is an important coping mechanism, it's part of who I am.

For our students at the REED Foundation, who are highly impaired, our goal is to reduce it as much as possible because it is interfering with their everyday lives. They can't learn. They do it at such high frequencies that if we didn't intervene in some way, they might be flapping their hands all day. If they are doing that, they are missing out on crucial skills that promote independence. Our whole purpose is to promote independence for self-worth and prepare them for the world. We reduce it as much as possible so you are able to learn.

The other thing I would say is we do try to reduce it, but also try to replace it. We in the ABA field don't say "no, we you can't do it," instead we try to set up conditions for when it is okay. You and I both have the social awareness to do certain things in private and not do them in front of people. We try to reduce our students ' stimming to a manageable number and we'll teach them to do it in a private area. We control it so it can be done appropriately. For example, a big goal for all of us, but especially these children is getting a job. We have to teach them that they have to do their work for 2 hours and as soon as you get your work done, you can have a break and stim freely. It's about teaching our students when it is appropriate and when it's not.

Does REED always use Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) as your treatment?

We are an ABA school and we follow evidence-based practice. How we treat is finding the function of behavior, which is a staple of ABA. We always want to figure out why. If you know the why, then you are able to treat it. If someone wants attention from somebody, then we try to teach them how they can get attention from someone appropriately. If it's because you don't want to do something, we teach them the language of how to communicate that.

Are you always able to locate the function?

There's always a function to behavior but some are more tricky to determine. Research shows that stereotypy is often automatic. There are four functions to stereotypy: attention, escape, access to tangibles, and automatic. We find that stimming is often automatic.

What are the proven ways that REED uses to reduce stimming?

It depends on the student and the function. A lot of times we will teach them to work nicely and controlled stimming. The basic first step is to teach them when it is appropriate and when it's not. When they don't engage in that certain behavior, they get access to something preferred. Don't hand flap for five minutes, then you get access to the playground. That's called differential reinforcement of other behavior (DRO). You can do anything you want, but you can't do that certain behavior. For more intense cases, for those that need to do that certain behavior, we give them access to other mechanisms like fidget tools and stimulation activities to occupy their senses. We have one kid who loves squeezing things. He loves the sensation, not because he's mad or he's trying to hurt you, he just enjoys the sensation. So we give him this bracelet that has squeezy toys attached to it. Every time he has that urge, he has it right there. That's a replacement behavior.  He can do it, but it's more of an appropriate way to fulfill that desire. We had another kid who enjoys dumping water. We taught a replacement behavior under positive and appropriate conditions. He got to water all these plants outside. That is an appropriate normal activity that can lead to a job someday.

Is the term “neurodiversity” familiar to you? Is there a need to communicate a message that variations in human functioning and behavior are healthy, natural, and valuable for human diversity?

The general answer is yes. The world has come a long way in some others and not so much in others. But the fact is there's a lot more to be done to be accepting of these children. I have seen discrimination and these people not have the same opportunity for a job.

Are the children that you work with aware of the stigma and discrimination against them? Are they aware that they stim?

Overall, these children would not recognize stimming. I think most of the students know they stim because we teach them when is the right and wrong time to do it. They know the behavior, but they wouldn't be able to identify the behavior because they have autism.

Can you talk a little about “falling off the cliff?” What are the options for autistic adults?

The biggest obstacle for people with autism is a funding source and an entitlement program. When you are under 21, you have the right to schooling. The funding is 3 to 4 times more than what it is as an adult. Tuition to come to REED is $100,000 a year. As an adult, you get a budget for your entire life based on a loose assessment that covers transportation, a day program, a living situation with staff. The point is the budget is small and all of these things cost a lot of money. Often times, adults can't get the services they need, especially coming from a school program with substantially more resources. The other issue is entitlement. Before the age of 21, you are entitled to an education. After 21, there's no entitlement. For these children, it's the same as you. You apply to colleges and programs, but if they don't get in, they have nowhere to go, which is a huge burden on the parents. 

Does your teaching mechanisms always lead to a progression? What are the dangers of suddenly not having access to the same mechanisms once someone turns 21?

Maintenance, to maintain a skill over time is pivotal. We can't teach someone how to make popcorn once, then in years, they know how to do it. We teach things in a systematic way. We need to teach our children how to make popcorn every day. Once they master that, we move on to once every few days. Then once every week and so on. This is the same for stimming. You have to keep your hands down for 2 minutes, now for 5, now for 10, and so on. We do everything systematically so we maintain what we are teaching. The idea that when you become an adult, it's appropriate behavior. I had a child who loved Starbucks. Over time, we got him to a point where it became a normalized behavior. He has a job and if he works for five days and gets his checks, I take to a Starbucks to get his caramel macchiato and a cake pop. It's important to maintain our systematic teaching as an adult. But when these people graduate from their school environments and don't have the same resources to keep them in check, all of a sudden, you aren't prepared for adulthood. When our students return from quarantine, we will definitely see a regression because the same contingencies were not in place.

Interview #2: Jill Nadison (REED Foundation for Autism Board of Directors)

  • Children with autism is the correct term
  • Jill started as the fundraising director, then she became the executive director
  • At REED, there’s an emphasis on decreasing or eliminate stereotypy since it often either interferes with learning, is socially unacceptable in many cases or both
  • REED uses something called Applied Behavior Analysis, which means you break everything down into manageable steps, you take data on what a child has learned something, then you analyze whether the child is ready to move on to the next task/ challenge
    • “we use behavior analytic strategies to reduce/eliminate these behaviors which always involved figuring out the function or the “why.” By figuring out why it’s happening, it helps us determine the “how,” as in how to decrease it and replace with something else that is more appropriate.”
    • REED only does things to that’s proven
    • REED wants people to be a part of society
    • REED asks this question in relation to stimming: How can the child be a part of society so it doesn’t get in the way of learning or affect social interactions?
  • Of 40 students, about one student returns to their public schools a year.
  • “Falling off a cliff” in autism- when they go from a school setting to adulthood. There is often dread regarding this transition
    • Federal law requires states to provide special services for autistic children to prepare them for adulthood but once the child graduates high school, the legal mandate ends
    • There is no federal requirement for providing supportive services in adulthood. Many services for adults with disabilities use different eligibility rules than in special education.
    • Many autistic adults “fall off a cliff” and can’t find the help they need for the rest of their lives
  • Stimming is a way for someone to express themselves
  • Jill told the story of a girl who wore a yellow bracelet when she came to school. This was her indication that this was her time to work and focus, but when she took it off she has the freedom to stim. This is a common mechanism to reduce stimming
  • If you can’t manage stimming, the behaviors interfere with learning.
  • If a child learns to manage stimming, REED will allow the child to stim more freely.
  • “You can never change a parent’s opinion”- REED often comes against stubborn parents who want a quick fix to stimming
  • Pro lo quo to go- customizable communication program. It allows for communication if someone finds it hard to find the words?
  • Some children are aware of their stimming. It really depends on the child, some students are able to express themselves, many are not

In-depth research:

Here is my initial research from academic articles. I have sited and taken notes for each source.

"Stim More! Creating a Judgment-Free Zone." University Wire, Feb 25, 2013. ProQuest,

  • People seek ways to limit stimming because of self-injurious behaviors, though usually referring to a violation of social norms as a pretext to stigmatize this harmless behavior
  • Autistic individuals have a different perspective: stimming comes from stress coping and pure joy
    • Those with disability are overloaded by the stimulation from their environment and stimming allows them to put space between them and their issues
    • Stimming can even be a social behavior for autistic individuals. It’s not uncommon to see autistics forming “stim circles” proving that they have their own social wavelength that “neurotypicals” don’t have access to
  • There’s no reason stimming should carry a social stigma

Kapp, S. K. (. 1. )., et al. “‘People Should Be Allowed to Do What They like’: Autistic Adults’ Views and Experiences of Stimming.” Autism, vol. 23, no. 7, pp. 1782–1792. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1177/1362361319829628. Accessed 10 Sept. 2020.

  • Autistic adults argue stimming serves as a useful coping mechanism and self-regulatory mechanisms which acted to create a calming feedback loop
  • This piece is the only known survey of autistic adults who share their experiences and perceptions (reasons why they stim, the value of it)
  • People stim to modulate inconsistent sensory input and provides familiar self-regulated feedback in response to unpredictable stimuli
  • Two major themes were identified from this study: ‘Stimming as a self-regulatory mechanism’ (see Figure 1) and ‘(De) stigmatization of stimming’ (see Figure 2), each comprising several subthemes (themes and subthemes were robust to both interviews and focus groups).
  • The results:
    • Many recount that stimming is involuntary and unconscious at the beginning of the behavior.
    • No participant disliked their stims, rather describing it as comfortable or claiming suggesting a self-regulatory behavior
    • “The accounts of our participants suggested that stimming created a feedback loop that regulated excess emotion and was self-perpetuated because of the soothing comfort or control afforded by the behavior.”
    • An overwhelming environment leads produce sensory overload that leads to noisy thoughts which can cause excessive uncontainable emotions
    • Stimming is a way to focus on one thing over which someone has control of, to block or reduce excessive input. It either comes externally (sensory bombardment) or internally (flooding of thoughts)
    • Participants described stimming in response to both positive and negative states but the potency of internal emotion that emerged from both is a constituent pattern with stimming calming a state of hyperarousal
      • ‘[s]timming is just a release of any high emotion, so really anxious, really agitated, really happy, really excited, just any high emotion, that’s when I stim’. Stimming appeared to function to calm.
    • Many report that certain stims can correspond to a different emotion.
    • One participant said she intentionally stims more because it helps
    • Many participants reported negative attention and feeling marginalized.
      • Many attempts to suppress their stims in public and try to stim while alone
      • Many attempts to transmute them into more socially acceptable forms that provide similar feedback like chess or sports
    • social acceptability of stimming was perceived to depend on a number of cultural factors including age, familiarity, and understanding of autism

A. Hartanto, C. E. Krafft, A. M. Iosif & J. B. Schweitzer (2016) A trial-by-trial analysis reveals more intense physical activity is associated with better cognitive control performance in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, Child Neuropsychology, 22:5, 618-626, DOI: 10.1080/09297049.2015.1044511

Stimming and ADHD
  • A study of hyperactivity in children with ADHD. They wore a device that tracks the rate of activity in association with cognitive control
    • The more intense movement, the better cognitive performance for those with ADHD

Bakan, Michael B. "The Musicality of Stimming: Promoting Neurodiversity in the Ethnomusicology of Autism." MUSICultures, vol. 41, no. 2, 2014, pp. 133-XIII. ProQuest,

  • Neurodiversity is “the understanding of neurological variation as a natural form of human diversity, subject to the same societal dynamics as other forms of diversity, such as race, gender, and sexual orientation.”
    • We need to frame those with autism in these terms, which contributes to the adoption of the neurodiversity paradigm where variation in functioning of human brains is regarded as a “natural, healthy, and valuable form of human diversity.”
    • This is in contrast with the “pathology paradigm” which yields to the “there’s something wrong with you” mindset
  • This piece places stimming as a manifestation of autistic neurodiversity rather than as a symptom
  • Artism Music Project-  has been conceptualized with the intent of taking applied ethnomusicological work with Autistic people in a new direction. It is a band of children with autism who go out in public and play concerts, and promote autism acceptance by giving people an opportunity to see kids who are on the spectrum not as disabled individuals or tragic figures, but rather as the caring, creative, socially engaged, resourceful, and fun-loving people they are.
    • Artism is about music and community and ability, not therapy and isolation and disability. It is about letting people be who they are, not trying to measure their aptitudes, and change them in ways that will make them more “normal” or “acceptable” in the eyes of others.
    • It’s an experiment in forming a band that celebrates neurodiversity
  • Stimming is presented in Bagatell’s work as a valuable mode of self-expression, a powerful vehicle for deep and meaningful communication, and a bridge to forming friendships and establishing communities.
    • “interactive stimming” is a key dimension of “autistic socializing”

Bagatell, Nancy. "From Cure to Community: Transforming Notions of Autism." Ethos, vol. 38, no. 1, 2010, pp. 33. ProQuest.

  • Interactive stimming- "a kind of spontaneous sharing of pleasure in fixations and stimming.”
    • According to interviews, autistic individuals don’t have to socialize to feel a bond. They can “share energy to be social.” 

Préfontaine I, Lanovaz MJ, McDuff E, McHugh C, Cook JL. Using Mobile Technology to Reduce Engagement in Stereotypy: A Validation of Decision-Making Algorithms. Behavior Modification. 2019;43(2):222-245.

  • iStim- app developed to support parents of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in reducing common repetitive vocal and motor behavior (stereotypy)
  • Reasons for the app:
    • Stereotypy is perceived is negative by others causing prejudice and reducing positive socialization opportunities
    • Stereotypy is associated with poorer expression of thoughts and speech comprehension, more limited abilities in self-caring, and lower levels of engagement in functional activities
    • Stereotypy may interfere with learning

→ this article demonstrates a need to reduce stereotypy because it makes ASD children less available to attend to natural learning opportunities
  • Interventions that have received support for reduction of stereotypy:
    • Noncontingent access to preferred stimuli (differential reinforcement)
      • Designed to reduce engagement in problem havior by providing continuous or regular access to preferred items that substitute or compete with targeted behavior
        • Access to visual stimulation to reduce motor stereotypy
        • Music in the background to reduce vocal stereotypy
        • Reduced engagement in vocal stereotypy during television watching by providing edible items for the absence of vocal stereotypy
      • Minimizes interference with ongoing activities but it’s difficult because it requires constant attention form parents who deliver the reinforcer
    • Noncontingent access has the advantage of ease in implementation because it doesn’t require continues attention from a parent
  • This app solves the problem of parents not being around enough or families not having access to behavioral treatment bc of limited train professional, high costs, location, etc..
  • iStim- app designed to support parents in reducing stereotypy
  • iStim conducts baseline assessments then suggesting to parents whether to use noncontingent access or differential reinforcement
  • The result was mixed: for some children it reduced stereotypy, for others, it increased functional engagement

Durand, V. M., and E. G. Carr. "Social Influences on 'Self-Stimulatory' Behavior: Analysis and Treatment Application." Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, vol. 20, 1987, pp. 119-132. ProQuest,

  • Response-contingent aversive procedures have been used to reduce stimming including electric shock slaps to the hand and physical restraint
  • Non-aversive interventions have also been used including differential reinforcement of behavior and differential reinforcement of incompatible behavior
    • These have been generally successful
  • Studies show allowing individuals to engage in stereotypy behaviors is reinforcing and procedures in eliminating the sensory feedback provided by the behavior have resulted in dramatic reductions in stereotyped behavior
  • This investigation demonstrates stereotypy serves social functions
  • The experiments point to the role of negative reinforcement in the maintenance of stereotypy behavior
  • Social environments serve to negatively reinforce stereotypy by removing aversive demands contingent on the performance of that behavior

Jamie A Ward, Daniel Richardson, Guido Orgs, Kelly Hunter, and Antonia Hamilton. 2018. Sensing interpersonal synchrony between actors and autistic children in theatre using wrist-worn accelerometers. In Proceedings of the 2018 ACM International Symposium on Wearable Computers (ISWC '18). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, 148–155.

  • Its important to measure someone’s raw social engagement, the degree to which they move in synchrony with others
    • This is called interpersonal synchrony and is less prevalent in ASC
    • Interpersonal synchrony measures the dynamics of interaction between people rather than the specific nature of their behaviors. It is more concerned with the temporal coordination and shared rhythm between interactants, rather than how they mirror or imitate, one another
    • In ASD, correlations were found between the ability to synchronize movement with others and sentence production [8]. The same work showed that ASD children are both less able to synchronize socially with others and that their manner of movement when imitating is different.
    • Understanding  interpersonal synchrony is important
  • Wearable sensing provides an opportunity to take research on interpersonal synchrony and autism out of the lab and into the wild
    • Body-worn accelerometers can be used to track ASC children as they go about their everyday lives but this comes at the cost of privacy
    • This article, instead, uses wearables to study synchrony in autism during an interactive theatrical performance
      • Theatre can provide a snapshot of real-life with many social situations and interactions built-in
  • Flute Theatre works with ASC children helping them learn how to synchronize their and engage socially through a series of theatrical games that make use of Shakespearean language and rhythm
    • Many children, who are severely autistic, learn to perform in front of audiences
    • We don’t know why this is so effective so they use wearables to record movements
  • There is also much potential for wearable applications that support and diagnose people with autism [6].
  • Google Glass has been explored as a tool to help ASC children with facial expression recognition [26].
  • Machine learning methods have been applied to wearable sensor data to automatically recognize stereotypical stimming behavior in autistic participants [2, 28].

My Tentative Focus:

I'm fascinated by this concept of "falling off the cliff—" how those with autism, once they graduate high school, no longer have the resources they need to integrate with society. I'm also interested in emerging technologies and wearables that can be used to reduce stereotypy. I'm envisioning a guide that addresses both of these topics. How technology can be used to help autistic individuals integrate with society beyond their childhoods.

Additional sources on technology and life as adults with autism:

Wearable aids such as Google Glass provide a means of helping children with ASD because they allow for the juxtaposition of the user’s field-of-view with virtual visual and audio feedback which creates an opportunity to reinforce real-world concepts such as a person’s emotional state while having a conversation with another person. SuperpowerGlass runs on Google Glass and delivers instantaneous social cues to children with ASD in their natural environment.

A really powerful article about a family struggling to care for their son with autism. With their son growing older, the family is scrambling for funding relief from the government and a viable program that fits their son’s needs. This is reflective of families across the country who struggle with finding resources for their children once they transition into adulthood. 

Adolescents and Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders, edited by Fred R. Volkmar, et al., Springer New York, 2014. ProQuest Ebook Central,
Created from nyulibrary-ebooks on 2020-09-16 14:59:54

  • Disproportionate amount of research when it comes to adults with autism
    • One reason is it reflects the goal of early treatment and identification in the hopes of improving long-term outcome. Improvements in care for children make it more likely for adults to be independent and self-sufficient
    • Vast majority goes to researching genetics to find causes and cures
    • Another reason is funding
  • After high school adults with ASD have low rates of employment, independent living, and lifelong friendships (see numbers on page 42)
  • Graduating high school is seen as a “rite of passage” but for ASD individuals continue to be dependent on their families providing basic needs, financial support, and companionship.
  • One of the problems is schools are committed to teaching academic skills but schools should focus more teaching ASD children on how to be a successful employee, friend, and active community member
    • Important skills ASD children should learn before adulthood:
      • Self-determinationt
      • Self-management
      • Independence
      • Career development
  • Children are entitled to a range of educational, health care, and social services. Public schools are required by federal law to provide free and appropriate education to children with special needs
  • Adults with ASD are eligible for housing, health care, and employment. Eligibility rather than entitlement is a major difference that requires the guardian to initiate a long process that determines eligibility. There’s no guarantee access to or acceptance in a progrom for services
  • Another key difference is the guardian are the decision makers for children but for adults, they can legally make their own decisions
  • Health care transition is critical.
  • Increasing employment opportunities for adults with ASD can alleviate the financial burden on adults. There is an increase in integrated care that provides both health and employment services
  • Those who don’t know adults have autism could easily misinterpreted their actions which could lead to challenges in holding on to jobs
  • The new environments, new people and expectations for independence that come with entering adulthood can be tricky for any young person. For someone with impaired abilities to communicate and manage relationships, to solve problems flexibly and to regulate emotions, this period can be harrowing. And the end of adolescence means the end of federally mandated special education services — just when the need for support may be greatest.
  • A study of 250 teens found that autism stimming has improved during adolescence but often after leaving high school these behavior progressions often slows or even gets worse 

Cargo Collective 2017 — Frogtown, Los Angeles