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ARI Adults with ASD eBulletin


August 23, 2011 





From the Editor:

Greetings, and welcome to the August 2011 issue of the ARI Adults with ASD eBulletin. My name is Andrew Nelson, and I am proud to be serving as Associate Editor. I am a Positive Behavior Support Trainer with the West Virginia Autism Training Center at Marshall University and have the pleasure and honor of working with individuals with autism across the lifespan. Through this work I am often able to walk side-by-side with adults with ASD as they navigate the challenging world of adult services.


The need for innovative adult supports and initiatives is evident. In this issue of the eBulletin we wanted to feature programs and people who are breaking new ground, in an attempt to raise the scope and quality of services for adults with ASD. Valerie Paradiz provides an inspiring profile of Linda Walder Fiddle and the Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation's Signature Programs for adults with autism spectrum conditions. Ellen Rosenthal and Rebecca Hansen share their story about one university's effort to help students with Asperger syndrome transition from high school to college. Finally, in our third feature article, Susan Lesco offers a report on employment concerns and newly emerging programs for adults with Asperger syndrome in a New York City based organization.


We hope the following articles featuring unique directions and progressive thinking in adult services will inspire you to seek and create new opportunities for adults with ASD in your communities.


Best Wishes,




 Grassroots Capacity-Building in Adult Services:

Linda Walder Fiddle and The Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation Signature Programs


Valerie Paradiz, PhD


 Linda Fiddle #1  

Pam Ball, Director of Community Affairs, Linda Walder Fiddle and

Vicki Ofmani, member  



Linda Walder Fiddle, founder of The Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation, possesses singular optimism and vision when it comes to advancing the quality of life and citizenship for adults with autism spectrum disorders. It all started in the year 2000, when her son, Danny, was only nine years old. A forward-thinking mother of a child on the spectrum, Linda found herself doing research to locate a program where Danny would one day find the right kind of support as an adult. Although he was attending excellent school programs that supported his specific needs, her look into the adult services sector revealed a paucity of options. "I was really alarmed, quite frankly," says Linda, and what did exist for adults was "too few and far between." A social entrepreneur at heart, this was her cue to initiate a foundation with a specific mission: to support adults with autism in all aspects of life, to expand their access to choices, and to do so in the communities where they live.

 Linds Fiddle #2

To read the full article click here


Bridging the Gap: Easing the Transition from High School to College


Ellen Rosenthal and Rebecca Hansen, M.A.



The ability to be more confident and prepared for life in a college setting is an invaluable part of transitioning into higher education. This transition can make or break how students feel about life after college and set the stage for their academic future. While many high school juniors are simply visiting colleges throughout the summertime, others decide to experience college firsthand by living on campus and enrolling in a course. The flexibility that summer session offers on campuses can provide more opportunities for social development as well as individualized attention from faculty and staff. Such a setting is optimal for students on the autism spectrum to explore and learn how to manage their newfound freedom and to find comfort in developing a routine that best fits individualized needs.


To read the full article click here.  



Seeking Ways to Fill the Cracks:

Employment and Adults

with Asperger Syndrome


Susan Lesco, MS



The Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network (ADDM) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that in 2002 approximately 10% of all 8-year-olds in the United States had an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).  If these findings are correct, by next year 10% of all 18-year-olds in the United States will have an Autism Spectrum Disorder. The report does not account for the thousands of other people with ASD, in different age groups, who were not included in the study. Nor does it indicate where the study participants fall within the spectrum. However, it does verify that an astounding number of adults with ASD are about to enter the workforce, enroll in college, look for adult services or risk falling through the cracks of a limited service delivery system. We must prevent the latter.


To read the full article click here


  * * * *    NEWS NOTES    * * * * 
The National Service Inclusion Project (NSIP) Launches New Website


The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) has launched a new website for the National Service Inclusion Project (NSIP). NSIP is a training and technical assistance provider that serves to expand the availability of service-learning opportunities for youth with disabilities. Service-learning consists of hands-on, community-based projects meant to bridge classroom learning with real world experience. The site provides access to relevant materials, links to related resources and information about requesting training. Training and technical assistance topics include: values that guide inclusion; best practices for inclusion; disclosure; outreach, recruitment and retention; legal responsibilities; reasonable accommodations; accessibility and design. NSIP also offers mini-grants to state University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDDs) for implementation of initiatives that support expanded service-learning options for students with disabilities. To learn more about NSIP or to locate a UCEDD in your state, go to:

Forward Motion Coaching Launches New Program


Barbara Bissonnette of Forward Motion Coaching in Massachusetts has designed a 10-week program to support those transitioning from post-secondary education to competitive employment. College to Career: Asperger's Syndrome & NLD Employment Intensive combines weekly group meetings with weekly assignments and one-to-one check-ins that support skill development in researching careers, writing resumes, networking and interviewing. Specific topics include decoding the language of job postings, overcoming telephone phobia, marketing yourself and thinking like an employer. The first session begins September 16, 2011 at Keene State College in Keene, NH, and a second session is being planned for the Boston, MA area. For more information about the course including fees and registration or to learn more about Forward Motion Coaching go to:

School Days to Pay Days: An Employment Planning Guide for Families of Young Adults with Intellectual Disabilities


The Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services has released a manual for employment planning for young adults with intellectual disabilities. The manual provides comprehensive and sequential steps individuals and their support networks can take to prepare for employment after high school. The manual provides ideas for IEP and transition meetings, career preparation, college preparation, accessing employment service providers, transportation ideas, equality in the workplace and many other critical components of successful employment. Though the manual references Massachusetts-specific regulations, the ideas and strategies presented are universal. Access the following link to learn more:

Making Choices: Exploring Campus Recreational and Social Opportunities

Under the auspices of the Indiana Resource Center for Autism and the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community (Indiana University), co-authors Cathy Pratt, PhD, BCBA, Kim Davis, MS, Valerie Paradiz, PhD, and Brigid Rankowski, BS have published a downloadable article, replete with resources, for community use.


Article abstract:  A greater number of students on the autism spectrum are pursuing postsecondary options, including attending colleges, community colleges, and universities.  While participation in academics is critical, an equally important area relates to social and recreational opportunities. For most of us, some of our best memories are of the friends we made, the experiences we had, and the events we participated in. This article was written to problem-solve ideas for and facilitate participation in campus recreational and social opportunities. This article can help guide individuals through various steps to finding new activities. These steps start with understanding a person's current recreation profile, then looking at options and identifying individual interests, and finally, assessing and ultimately taking part in new opportunities. Our hope is that this can serve as a practical tool with the ultimate goal of enhancing the college/university experience. To see the full article or download it, go to:

Space Race: A New Tool for Developing Self-Determination


Space Race is a game-based process developed by The Riot at the Human Services Research Institute and is designed to teach self-determination skills to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The game involves dice rolling to simulate space travel as players discuss self-advocacy, career interests, housing options, health and more to move through space and return to earth. Each player records his or her self-determination information in a "Space Log" which can be used in future planning sessions. To learn more about Space Race please go to the following link:

Penn State Interviews Leading Self-Advocates with ASD


Penn State Public Broadcasting has produced interviews with self-advocates Scott Michael Robertson and Temple Grandin. In the interviews each discusses growing up, accessing education and navigating work settings. In particular, Grandin offers insights for parents and employers of people with ASD. Robertson comments on the growing acceptance of neurodiversity as well as the expanding use of the Internet as a communication tool for those on the spectrum. To view the archived 30-minute interviews go to:  

New Olmstead Website from Department of Justice Available


The Justice Department's Civil Rights Division recently produced a new Olmstead web site, which includes a map to help advocates and others learn about Department of Justice activities in their states. The following is a press release about the site and the new technical assistance guide:   

Office on Disability Announces Available Archives  
At the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) event celebrating the 21st anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, delivered the keynote address. On the same day, she issued a public statement honoring the ADA Anniversary. Each highlighted key developments such as new funding from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to promote innovative housing strategies for community living, proposed regulations promoting accessibility of the health insurance exchanges and release of a report on disparities encountered by minorities with disabilities. To read the keynote or press release for more information, use the links below.
Americans with Disabilities Act 21st Anniversary Keynote:

Press release:
AGI Conference Track: Adults and ASD

Join Us at the ARI Conference

Las Vegas Hilton, Oct. 13-16


ARI has convened meetings since 1995, for physicians, researchers and parents committed to finding effective interventions related to autism.


The Autistic Global Initiative (AGI), a program sponsored by ARI, announces its one-day fall conference track devoted to issues and concerns related to adults on the spectrum and those who support them. AGI is a collaborative of individuals with autism who provide in-house advisory and consulting services to ARI, as well as to other organizations in the disability community. For information about AGI's workshops, use the conference schedule link below.


Speakers include: Ruth Elaine Hane; Janine M. Collins, MTS, MSW; Erika Laurion, MS, CNS; Judy Endow, MSW; Elizabeth Mumper, MD; Brenda Smith Myles, PhD; Jon Peterson, Former State Representative of Ohio; Sue and Rita Rubin; Sondra Williams; Zosia Zaks, M.Ed., CRC


Make sure to stop by the AGI's booth in the exhibitors' hall, where you can meet and greet members of the collaborative and ask questions about adult services and concerns.


Join us:

Complete Conference Schedule & Speakers 

Hotel Accommodations 


Volume 4  

AGI small transparent logo


"Reaching out, 

teaching from life experience." 
In This Issue
Fiddle Foundation Signature Programs
Bridging the Gap from High School to College
Employment and Adults with Asperger Syndrome
National Service Inclusion Project Website
Forward Motion Coaching
School Days to Pay Days
Making Choices - Exploring Campus Opportunities
Space Race for Self-Determination
Penn State Interviews with Robertson and Grandin
New Olmstead Website
Office on Disability Archives
AGI Conference Track: Adults and ASD


The ARI Adults with ASD eBulletin

Editorial Staff



Val profile


Valerie Paradiz, PhD


ARI Director of Special Projects  

Director of the Autistic Global Initiative




eBulletin_Janine w/Jake_cropped  


 Janine M. Collins, MTS, MSW

Managing Editor

Participant in the Autistic Global Initiative 




andrew headshot republican


Andrew Nelson, MEd

Associate Editor





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 with autism spectrum condition sand those who

support them.



 Autistic Global Initiative



To be an agent for assumption-free inclusion of people with autism, providing advisory and consulting services to the Autism Research Institute and other organizations both nationally and globally.



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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