The Value of Part-Time Employment and Autistic Adults

Employment is a major area of concern for adults on the autism spectrum. While some companies have targeted employees with autism for various job openings, others continue to cling to past stereotypes and limiting beliefs. Sometimes solutions to a problem are right in front of us, literally, yet for myriad reasons we can’t see them. Such is the case for many employers who can’t fill job openings because they are having difficulty finding qualified workers. There are several contributing factors, when combined, that makes this a thorny issue for companies. First, many of the really hard jobs to fill are part-time positions with no benefits. This is an important point of distinction that often goes unmentioned, when employment statistics are presented by state and federal agencies. Moreover, those same positions are often entry level, offering little or no opportunity for career advancement. The reality is there is a plethora of talent – but very little interest on the part of potential employees.

The robust economy is frequently identified as the reason for a shortage of qualified employees. To some extent this is true, but it does not explain why those positions are available even when the job market slows down. This scenario seems custom made for adults with autism for a number of reasons. The fact that there are a number of part-time job openings available is significant, as it pertains to adults on the autism spectrum. In many instances, adults with autism can only work part-time due to physical or financial restraints. Those who receive Social Security and Medicaid are permitted to earn additional income up to a certain limit without jeopardizing those benefits. The idea of earning extra money is appealing to some people with autism as they pursue living an independent lifestyle. Maintaining government benefits is an integral part of the equation that offers flexibility and income. In addition, part-time employment is often best suited for autistic adults because of secondary physical conditions which preclude working full time.

Managing underlying medical conditions is an accepted part of life for some people with autism. Time consuming obligations such as standing therapy appointments, mental health counseling, regular doctor visits regarding digestive issues, and coping with myriad sensory challenges are all common. The truth is so many autistic adults simply can’t work a full time job because of the time required to manage health concerns. The timing could not be better for both adults on the spectrum and companies seeking to fill part-time positions. This is the ultimate win-win for all involved as businesses can fill hard to place, and often repetitive, entry level positions. On the other hand, this is a legitimate chance to constructively address the dismal unemployment rate among autistic adults, which currently hovers around 80%.

The argument could be made that this is highly speculative as there just isn’t a large body of evidence to support this theory. However, the present course we’re on clearly is not working – at least for the majority of autistic adults. Society is not the shining example of inclusion when we have people with autism who possess amazing talent not participating in the labor market. Some modifications within the work place will be necessary, but such adaptations have proven extremely successful in the past. Moreover, the long range goals are encouraging as employers learn more about the nuances of autism and the unique skills they offer. For companies willing to invest in training and a supportive environment for autistic workers, the outcome can be very rewarding. Sometimes the solutions to problems that appear to be monumental are right in front of us, just waiting for an invitation.

Autism Diagnosis? Forget About It!

Autism! Pdd nos! Aspergers syndrome! ADHD! High functioning! Low functioning! Delayed! Hearing these words about your child can be crushing. They can devastate you to your very core. The good news is THEY DON’T HAVE TO! Let me tell you why.

It doesn’t matter. That’s right. It simply doesn’t matter. If you want to really help your child then read on. I’m serious. Don’t be like the thousands who wish they had “lived” this concept sooner.

Pretend for a moment you have a newborn. He is simply perfect. By the time he is two years old, his fingers are so long, they look strange. You go to a renowned physician and ask “What’s wrong with my child? Why are his fingers so long?” The physician smiles and says “Your child has a condition called spindle fingers. He has a natural gift for playing musical instruments. Many dream of having this talent.”

You’re absolutely thrilled and can’t wait to share the news. You rush home but on the way you stop to buy a toy xylophone, piano, drum set and flute. You set them out on the floor when you get home and you watch proudly as your toddler strums each one of them. You don’t care that everyone else thinks it just sounds like noise. You have a budding musician on your hands and he’s practicing!

As the months go by you encourage your child to play instruments. He gets a little older and expresses his preference for the piano. You take him to piano lessons, listen to famous piano players and perhaps even go to concerts. You explain to your son that his fingers are long because he is talented at playing the piano. Your son plays the piano beautifully. He is proud of his fingers and his talent. You are proud of your son.

You run into the physician a few years later. You tell him proudly about your child’s piano skills. He smiles broadly and says “I made it all up. There is no condition called spindle fingers”. “What?” you shriek “that’s impossible. My child is an excellent player.”

“Of course he is” says the physician “It’s called belief. You believed in your child’s fingers. You believed in his talent. You encouraged him. It didn’t matter how many mistakes he made. You hardly heard them because you knew he was on the path to greatness. Your son felt your belief. He saw it in your eyes. He felt it course through his being. It inspired him. Every time he looked at his long fingers he thought about his talent. He felt proud of himself. He knew he could do it. Your unwavering faith inspired him to be the best he can be.”

My advice to you is this. Forget about the boxes and the labels. Ignore the judgments. Your child is fascinating. Your child is a unique and wonderful being who is incredibly special. Give him the tools. Encourage him on his journey. Never lose faith in him. Stand by his side. Teach him as much as you can. Watch in delight as he soars far beyond everyone’s expectations. Everyone’s except yours and all those who joined your belief along the way!

Biomedical Autism Intervention – Sandy Stools and Autism

Many parents of children with Autism report that their child has stools with a sand-like appearance. This can be very concerning for parents who want to know what is causing this. There are a couple of very common reasons why children with Autism have sandy stools.

One of the most common causes of these comes from a lack of bile acid formation in the liver. Bile acid formation is required for fat soluble vitamin absorption. When there is a problem with bile acid formation, you will see sandy stools. One of the common remedies for this is from lack of bile acid formation is to treat with a supplement called Taurine.

Taurine is an amino acid that helps with bile acid formation and taking a supplement daily can help resolve the stools with a sand-like appearance. Another common cause of sandy stools is high oxalate levels. Oxalates are found in many leafy green vegetables and other foods. Adults who have high absorption rates of oxalates can be predisposed to suffering from kidney stones. Oxalates can combine with other minerals to create a crystal like structures that can look like sand in stools.

There are various resources on the internet to learn more about oxalates and what foods they are found in and give information on a low oxalate diet. Often times reducing the consumption of these foods can reduce the oxalate level and in return, can eliminate the stools your child may be having. So to recap, sandy stools can often times have two common causes. One cause may be a lack of bile acid formation in the liver. Supplementation with the amino acid Taurine can be very helpful in reducing it. Another common cause is a high level of oxalates in the diet. Reducing the amount of oxalates consumed can reduce it as well.

Keep Autism at Bay – Precautions That Pregnant Women Must Take

Pregnancy is one of the most overwhelming feeling for the parents expecting a child. It is during this phase that all the hopes and dreams of the parents are woven together for their little bundle of joy and their life seems well crafted during this time. Now that mentioning the dreamy and fairy tale part is over let me put some light to the aspect that deals with the complications. Well, not that pregnancy is all about complications but there are unfortunately few instances when cases get a tad little complicated, blame it on the gradual change in lifestyles with late marriages and even late family planning that complicates situations all the more. But once you seal the decision of having a baby and the plan is under progress it is important for women during this time to take some necessary precautions.

Pregnancy and the necessary precautions during that time

It is during the time of pregnancy that women must choose to stay extra cautious to take care of the baby, that is of course a given fact. This obviously comes as no breaking news that autism is on the rise and this news is enough for expecting mothers to take all the necessary precautions to keep that ill-fated neurological disorder away from your expecting child's life so that they can have a beautiful future. There are several factors bit we'll focus on two of the most critical and powerful ones because of which pregnant women might end up giving birth to an autistic child. To save them from doing so, this article attempts to highlight those major points. Take a look:

  • Epigenetic – A lot of recent medical research has proved that epigenetic is responsible if a new-born baby is down with autism, the latest one vouching for this is the study conducted in Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Interested in knowing how it works? Epigenetic control of genes allow the same cells clubbed together to grow in the womb and often is the reason for the child being born as autistic. Yes, the process is extremely delicate and as a would-be mother it is important that she must make sure to keep this cause as far away as possible. Epigenetic does not necessarily imply that it will appear during birth or early childhood days, there are certain cases that it shows up during the later years. Consulting your doctor at regular intervals is a must to keep this at bay.
  • Air pollution – Air pollution is also one of the major factors that increases chances that a pregnant woman might give birth to a child with autism problems. The air that an expecting mother is breathing demands purity and free from any kind of pollution because the baby is growing in the womb everyday and the baby's exposure to air pollution during their developing years is not a good sign. So it is time that people are extra cautious about these things because neglecting them now often impacts later with autism and if that disorder strikes it stays life long. You sure would not want that for your baby, so do what it takes to keep autism afar from your child.

It is important that as parents these things are given priority, after all, it's all about choosing the best life for your kid. So the extra zeal of cautiousness works wonders for a better future of your child. If you are someone planning to give life to a little bundle of joy make sure you take the extra steps as mentioned here.

Healing Autism Right Now

Autism or Autism Spectrum disorder is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by social, language and communication impairments. It affects 1 in 68 children worldwide. Parents usually notice signs of autism in the first two years of their child's life.
Some children with autism reach their developmental milestones at a normal pace and then regress. Children with autism also have restricted and repetitive behavior pattern like flipping objects over and over again, echolalia. Autism may be mild, moderate or severe.

Research has shown that there is neuroinflammation in the brains of individuals with autism and other mental disorders. This could be due to a number of factors such as the presence of environmental toxins in the body which can damage the DNA repair system in the cells. When the DNA repair system is damaged, free radicals accumulate. Free radicals are produced during normal cellular metabolism but when they accumulate in the cells due to DNA damage, they become harmful to the body.

In autism, gut inflammation, "leaky gut syndrome" and neuroinflammation are common. Leaky gut syndrome is increased intestinal permeability caused by mainly by environmental factors like toxins, antibiotics etc. In leaky gut syndrome, undigested food compounds pass through the gut into the blood stream and causing an allergic reaction which can lead to the development of various diseases.

When the gut microbiome is compromised, nutrient absorption is impaired and this can lead to nutritional deficiencies. These deficiencies can also damage the DNA and lead to disorders like autism and other diseases. For instance, for people with autism and other mental disorders, studies show that there are deficiencies in vitamins B6, B12, folate, and zinc. Vitamin B12 deficiency may lead to neurological damage and brain dysfunction. Zinc deficiency may lead to brain and immune dysfunction. All these can be treated by healing the gut and eating a well balanced nutrient rich diet. Eating a diet that consists mostly of fresh fruits and vegetables and some cooked food including animal protein can go a long way in providing the body great nutrition necessary for great health.

Raw food contains antioxidants that get rid of free radicals and help to repair the cells in the body. Probiotic food and probiotic supplements can help to heal the gut by increasing good gut bacteria and decreasing leaky gut syndrome. Adding vegetables, fruits and leafy greens to the diet is vital for good mental health and decreasing autistic symptoms. Juices and smoothies contain a load of nutrients and antioxidants which are healing to the gut and the body as a whole.