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ARI Adults with ASD eBulletin

February 14, 2014    



From the Editor:

Dear Readers,


I want to welcome you to the February 2014 issue of the ARI Adults With Autism eBulletin. This issue is unique in that all of the contributions were written by young women aged 19-26 who have an autism spectrum disorder. As a young woman with ASD myself, this issue is very special to me.


In this issue, you will have the pleasure of reading articles written by my peers. Melissa Williams and Lydia Wayman contributed poems, and Brigid Rankowski contributed an article on friendships. Also in this issue of the eBulletin, you will get to meet two young women with ASD who are visual artists, Haley Moss and Dani Bowman. 


Lydia, Chloe and Brigid at OCALI, November 2013.


As you read the stories below, I ask that you keep one thing in mind: please respect the words written by these young women with ASD. These entries are different compared other eBulletin articles you may have read in the past in that they discuss individuals' personal journeys, feelings, and emotions. The young women who contributed these pieces wrote what they wrote so that they can teach others.


Last but not least, I would like to thank Valerie Paradiz and Janine Collins for supporting me on this issue of the eBulletin. I especially would like to thank them for giving me the opportunity to act as the Editor in Chief.


I hope you enjoy this February eBulletin as much as I do!





Chloe Rothschild 

Editor in Training

Fish Out of Water

Lydia Wayman


One, two, three... 


It starts to feel like my brain is tingling from the inside.


Four, five, six...


I'm not counting in seconds, not in minutes, but in hours.


Seven, eight, nine...


I search for anyone, anything who will ground me through my ever-increasing internal chaos.




When given the cue, I cannot break the surface fast enough, gasping for breath. I've done this thousands of times and yet, after twenty-five years of daily descents, I am no more sure that I will survive the next one.


I'm really not a writer. Writers have readers. I write because it's the only way for me to get from one day to the next without semi-spontaneous internal combustion taking effect.


I'm not a writer. I'm a processor of the world, an organizer of experience and, certainly, a weaver of words. Much like typical people have no need for the world to tune into their every thought as they learn and grow by connecting this neuron to that one and forming new pathways, it matters little to me whether others read the ways in which I develop my sense of myself and the world.


To read the rest of Lydia's poem, click here.


You also can follow her blog, Autistic Speaks

Find Your Passion 

Haley Moss


Hi! My name is Haley Moss and I am a 19-year-old college student with high functioning autism from Boca Raton, Florida. I currently am in my second year at the University of Florida (go Gators!), and I am studying both Psychology and Criminology. I hope to go to law school to help legally advocate for those who have autism and other special needs related challenges. Outside of being an overworked college student who wants more sleep on a regular basis, I am an author, autism advocate, and an artist. I have written two books, Middle School: The Stuff Nobody Tells You About and A Freshman Survival Guide For Students With Autism Spectrum Disorders: The Stuff Nobody Tells You About! The survival guide will be released in June 2014, so keep your eyes peeled for it! I hope you enjoy it nearly as much as I enjoyed living the college experience and writing about it. I enjoy public speaking in order to give autism a voice and to advocate on behalf of others and myself.

I am also an artist, and that is something I will be talking about today. I draw and paint for everyone: for charity, to make other people smile, and for myself.

A Family's Journey

To read more about Haley's artwork, click here.

To view more of her paintings, you can visit her website.
Tropical Nights

Friendships and Friendwrecks

Brigid Rankowski


Some days there is a longing for the simpler days of my childhood. In the Chicago suburbs of my youth, friendships could be easily formed based on geographical convenience. All the kids on the block knew each other and we'd play outside until the streetlights came on to signal us for dinner. My mother likes to talk about one summer when the sleepovers were so continuous, my best friend and I would bring all our bedding in the morning from one house to the other house two doors down. It sounds almost like a fairy tale from a lost age, but it was a good time when kids went outside instead of staring at screens.


As an adult, I now face the difficulty of meeting new people with similar interests who also want to be friends. There also is a whole complicated issue with dating and the miscommunication when all you want to do is watch a movie, but they think it means something else. Friendships are complicated and as someone on the autism spectrum, I've spent the majority of this year getting a crash course in what complex relationships and friendships look like. The biggest issue I had this year was not being a bad friend to others, but not recognizing when other people were not being good friends to me.

To read the rest of Brigid's article, click here.

You also can read her blog, A Road To Me

Seeping Mixed Emotions

Melissa Williams


Missy at Kingwood Center in Mansfield, Ohio 

Love me for me. I am strong, emotional, and determined. I am able to get back up when I am down, I am able to control myself when I am scared, I develop tears when everything is destroyed. In my world I build up walls, within my walls are small cracks, within those cracks are my thoughts, emotions and guilt. When it rains my cracks fill up and leak out. I am able to expose myself much more than I would when my cracks are dried.

To read the rest of Missy's poem, click here
**** INTERVIEW **** 

Interview with Animator,

Dani Bowman

Chloe Rothschild, Editor in Training

Dani takes a break at OU Cares after teaching animation camp.

I would like you all to meet my friend, and fellow Young Leader of the Autistic Global Initiative (AGI), Dani Bowman. Dani is a talented young woman with autism who founded her own animation studio in Los Angeles. Thank you, Dani, for allowing me to interview you for this issue of the eBulletin. And now, here's Dani!


Q: Where are you going to school?

A: I'm right now at Glendale Community College on a transfer program to Woodbury University.


Q: What are you studying in school?

A: I'm going for two majors, one in animation and one in business, because I need to learn the business side of running my animation company.


Q: What is your favorite character?

A: Captain Yuron. He is to me like Mickey Mouse was to Walt Disney.


Dani's Captain Yuron


To read the rest of Chloe's interview and learn more about Dani (who you may remember from our arts issue), click here.


You also can learn more about Dani and her animation camp by viewing her YouTube video

**** NEWS NOTES ****

Follow Chloe's Blog


You can read blog posts by our own Editor in Training, Chloe Rothschild by following her on SquagTM.


From the SquagTM homepage: The SquagTM blog is a place to come and read about new ideas in ASD that relate to health + home life, school + sports, love + friendship, and the opportunity to be creatively fulfilled. Our experts are parents, professionals, and kids that speak their mind and always - always challenge us to think twice before defining the word autism.

Carly's Café


"Autism has locked me inside a body I can not control."


Carly Fleischmann is a young woman with autism who was not able to communicate for years. Now, she communicates via typing.

Carly's Cafe
is a video blog that gives people a look inside the world of someone who has trouble communicating and has sensory differences. It is based on an excerpt from Carly's book, Carly's Voice.


To view Carly's video, click here.


Carly and her father
(as posted on Carly's website) 
You also can learn more about Carly and her writing or follow her blog by visiting her website.
Training the Talent of Artists with Autism - April 14, Pace University, Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts
Pace University's Ongoing Academic and Social Instructional Support (OASIS) Program and Strokes of Genius will present an art show and lectures on how to train the talent in artistic individuals with autism. Guest lecturer Temple Grandin, PhD will deliver the keynote address. Rosa C. Martinez, PhD, BCBA-D, president and founder of Strokes of Genius, also will discuss how to help autistic artists realize their talents.

Register here or go to Strokes of Genius for more information about its projects.

The art show will be on display for public viewing, April 13 - 20. 

Autistic Winter Wilderness Adventurer Seeks Others for Future Expeditions


Dear autistic adults and friends,


My name is Paul Nussbaum. I am an adult on the autism spectrum living in the San Francisco Bay Area. I have a strong interest and experience in winter wilderness camping with cross-country skiing. I am writing to ask your help finding other autistic adults who share this interest.


I also have a passion to help autistic adults, generally. I try to use my winter survival skills to raise public awareness that autism is much more than a disability - autistic people have many useful abilities and skills to offer.


An example of the sort of thing that I have done is a weeklong trans-Sierra ski expedition that I organized and led in order to highlight autistic abilities. That Conquering Heights expedition was a big success. I'd love to do a trek under Arctic or similar conditions!


I would really like to meet any adults on the autism spectrum with similar interests -anywhere in the world! I hope you may have some leads as to where to find them... America, Europe, Russia, Scandinavia, anywhere on the planet is fine! Basically, I am trying to find any people with a background and interests similar to mine so that we can share notes and perhaps plan activities.


I greatly appreciate your help in this matter. If you can think of any organizations - autism and/or winter-mountaineering related - that might aid in this quest, please do forward this letter to them.


I can be reached at or (925) 586-7654. Thank you.







Note: Do not miss producer William Davenport's video about Paul's Conquering Heights expedition.

New Session of the Online Course for Direct Support Providers - Begins February 16 


"I wish to commend Valerie Paradiz, Steve Edelson and everybody else who worked on the huge project of developing this curriculum. The curriculum will be useful for parents, professionals and individuals on the spectrum, and will be a great resource."

-Temple Grandin


With a Targeted Family Services Grant provided by Autism Speaks, ARI's Autistic Global Initiative and the Houlton Institute will launch a new session of its online course emphasizing foundational knowledge and competencies needed to support adults with autism in daily living settings. The program includes lectures, videos, moderated discussions, activities, chat rooms, reading activities and more - all at your own pace, with 24/7 technical support. 


The up-coming 12-week session starts Sunday, February 16. For more information about cost, CEUs and specific topics, visit the registration page.


There are a limited number of scholarships available. Request scholarship information.


Questions can be directed to or

(855) 468-5866.

Volume 13      


"Reaching out, 

teaching from life experience."
In This Issue
Fish Out of Water
Find Your Passion
Friendships and Friendwrecks
Seeping Mixed Emotions
Interview with Animator, Dani Bowman
Follow Chloe's Blog
Carly's Cafe
Training the Talent of Artists with Autism
Autistic Winter Wilderness Adventurer Seeks Others for Future Expeditions
New Session of the Online Course for Direct Support Professionals


The ARI Adults with ASD eBulletin

Editorial Staff



Valerie Paradiz, PhD


ARI Director of Special Projects

Director of the Autistic Global Initiative




 Janine M. Collins, MTS, MSW

Managing Editor

Participant in the

Autistic Global Initiative 





Chloe Rothschild  

Editor in Training  



We Want to Hear From You!  


If you would like to submit an article or a letter to the editor to be considered for publication in the ARI Adults with ASD eBulletin, please email us for submission guidelines at 


Your feedback and ideas mean a lot to us, as we endeavor to provide you with a balanced resource on the latest events, news and research that concerns adults on the autism spectrum and those who support them.



 Autistic Global Initiative



To foster the development of adults on the autism spectrum and those who work with and for them.




We balance the work of reaching out for our own needs with the work of educating others, thereby expanding awareness about adult concerns. This work builds bridges among service providers, families and individuals within the autism community. We embrace the diverse perspectives of one another, while incorporating participation across varied modes of expression. In this way, the Autistic Global Initiative serves as a model of the inclusion for which we advocate. 



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This eBulletin at times will contain commentary from contributor(s) on a topic related to the featured subject of a given issue. ARI, nor AGI as one of its programs, necessarily agrees with or endorses the specific opinion(s) expressed. Commentary is included with the intent of supporting informed choice and decision-making. 

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