awesomeonthespectrum.org

"Promoting independence for individuals with autism."



Welcome to the Awesome on the Spectrum website!


AotS is an organization that strives to encourage acceptance for people and families with Autism Spectrum Disorder. We truly believe that EVERY person on the spectrum is AWESOME in their own special way.

Our group focuses on helping people with ASD reach their full potential and have the best possible outcome in life. We offer resources and support to families and local agencies. AotS provides social skills and life skills courses facilitated by professionals that allow people on the spectrum to learn in a non clinical setting through fun activities and real life, real time scenarios.

There are opportunities to meet new people and make new friends in a setting that allows differently abled individuals to be who they are!

We would like to take this time to thank you for your interest in our organization and invite you to join us by becoming a part of the AotS gladiators! You can also show your support through social media or by a generous donation to help us fund our courses and annual events!

Thanks for stopping by!

Blessings to you and yours.


Autism Acceptance Month Night Out with the Texas Revolution

Awesome on the Spectrum will be spending a night of football fun with the Texas Revolution for Autism Acceptance Month! Join us for loge seating and family fun while helping to raise money for Awesome on the Spectrum Inc. Located at the Allen Event Center, the Texas Revolution will take on the Duke City Gladiators. The children will have the opportunity to welcome players onto the field with high fives as they run through the tunnel and stay for the fun filled half time show and a chance to take pictures after the game. Tickets are typically priced at $50.00 but are available for purchase from AotS at just half price, that's right $25.00! Tickets are available now through April 24th by calling 682-227-6039 or emailing admin@awesomeonthespectrum.org with the number of tickets you would like to purchase. It will be an awesome night of arena football fun you will never forget! See you at the game! more


CDC Survey Finds Autism On The Rise by Michelle Diament

Autism may affect as many as 1 in 45 American children, according to a new government survey. In a report released Friday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics said that as of 2014, some 2.24 percent of American kids had received a diagnosis on the spectrum. The figures come from the National Health Interview Survey, which last year asked 11,000 parents of kids ages 3 to 17 across the country if they were ever told by a doctor or health professional that their child had autism, intellectual disability or other developmental disabilities. By comparison, similar data from 2011 to 2013 found an autism prevalence rate of 1.25 percent, the report indicated. Despite a large uptick in reported autism prevalence, however, researchers with the National Center for Health Statistics said the variation is likely due in part to changes in the way the survey asked about autism. “In previous years, it is likely that some parents of children diagnosed with ASD reported this developmental disability as other DD instead of, or in addition to, ASD,” they wrote. The survey is also just one of a handful of methods the government uses to measu more


Autism Insurance Reform Passes Oklahoma Senate

The Oklahoma State Senate passed HB 2962, autism insurance reform legislation, to prevent state regulated health insurers from continuing to exclude basic, evidence-based care for children diagnosed with autism. The bill passed by a vote of 36-5. Last month, the measure passed the Oklahoma House with a vote of 76-20. Before being sent to the governor’s desk, HB2962 must pass one more House floor vote. Without the reforms in the legislation, many Oklahomans will continue to face moving to other states to gain access to basic, evidence-based care for their family members with autism. If passed, Oklahoma would join 43 other states, including all states bordering Oklahoma, to pass legislation requiring coverage for individuals with autism. The efforts have attracted significant local attention from local media, including a powerful Op-Ed in the Journal Record advocating for autism insurance reform and a special report by Tulsa's News on 6 which followed a family meeting with lawmakers and making their voices heard on HB 2962. more

Can Essential Oils Help Children With Autism? New Sleep Study by Ohio State University

For children with autism, getting to sleep can be a challenge. In fact, it's estimated that as many as 3 out of 4 children with autism experience trouble sleeping – and there are currently no FDA-approved medications for pediatric sleep problems. But what if essential oils could help? That's the question researchers at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center are asking. In particular, they're looking at the growing trend of using essential oils to calm children with autism and help them sleep. “All over the country, parents claim they’ve seen improvements in the quality of life and in the behavior of their children by using essential oils, but all those claims are anecdotal,” said Jill Hollway, PhD, who is leading the study at OSU Wexner Medical Center’s Nisonger Center. “We want to see if there is any science behind it." Review the eligibility criteria and contact information for this study. If you would like your child to be considered for the study, call 614-685-3219. In particular, essential oils like lavender, sandalwood and frankincense have been said to help children with autism better handle transitional periods, like going to school or to bed. So Holloway a more


Employee With ASD Goes Unpaid For A Year by Michell Diament

After working at Applebee’s for a year, a man with autism will finally get his first paycheck. Beginning in August 2014, Caleb Dyl, 21, worked as a prep-cook at an Applebee’s location in Middletown, R.I. three days each week, a job placement arranged by the social service agency Resources for Human Development. Though he was supposed to be paid minimum wage, Dyl was never compensated, his parents told WPRI. After the story went public, Applebee’s said they would pay Dyl for the 166 hours that Resources for Human Development logged him working. But Dyl’s parents claim their son actually worked about 480 hours and a company official now tells WPRI that Dyl will be paid for that number of hours. Dyl’s parents said they repeatedly raised the issue with Resources for Human Development, but Applebee’s officials indicated they were unaware that Dyl had gone unpaid until they were contacted by the media. The Rhode Island Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals is reportedly investigating the matter. more


The Pain Of Puberty For Autistic Teens by Heidi DeMarco

Alexander Brown swings back and forth on a makeshift hammock bolted to a wooden beam in his living room. The swaying seems to soothe the otherwise uneasy 14-year-old. His mother gazes at him from the couch and their eyes briefly connect. "I would love to be in Alexander's head just for a few hours," said Diane Brown, her head slumped against her hand. "He's having a hard time going through puberty right now." Alexander is confused, moody and frustrated -- all very typical for a teen during adolescence. But Alexander's transition is especially difficult for the Browns, a family of six in Sherrill, New York, because he is severely autistic. Puberty is causing chaos in Alexander's once-predictable world. He can't talk and struggles to express himself. "He's angry and he's sad . . . and he doesn't understand why," Brown said. "I truly feel for him." Alexander, the third of four children, rarely sleeps through the night. He gets up at all hours to wander the kitchen, take a shower or throw a tantrum. He's begun lashing out physically. Brown, 45, is exhausted. She averages four hours of sleep a night and powers through most days with the help of Red Bull. The Browns all hav more

Autism Wandering Bill Gains Momentum In Congress by Michelle Diament

Federal legislation addressing the needs of kids with autism and other developmental disabilities who wander is one step closer to becoming law. In a 15 to 5 vote this week, the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary cleared the bill known as Kevin and Avonte’s Law. It will now go before the full Senate for consideration. The legislation would expand an existing federal program that provides resources for people with Alzheimer’s disease who are at risk of wandering, making offerings available to those with autism and other developmental disabilities who have a tendency to elope. Under the bill, the U.S. Department of Justice would be able to provide grants to state and local law enforcement agencies to pay for free electronic tracking devices for those with developmental disabilities and individuals with Alzheimer’s who are prone to bolting. Research suggests that about half of kids with autism have wandered away from a safe place. The proposal calls for $2 million to be allocated annually for the program over five years. In addition to tracking devices, funding would also be available for training and other efforts to address the issue. U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., first more


New Recommendations Guide Treatment For Those On The Spectrum

For the first time in 15 years, a major psychiatric organization is updating its practice guidelines for treating kids and adolescents with autism. A series of seven recommendations from the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry outline the responsibilities clinicians have in diagnosing and treating those on the spectrum. The guidance published this month in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry is an update to recommendations first presented by the group in 1999. It offers clinicians a roadmap for the best assessment and treatment practices for autism, though doctors must also take into account each patient’s unique circumstances in developing a plan, the organization said. Under the recommendations, clinicians are being urged to take a multidisciplinary approach, coordinating a full physical exam and genetic workup on those diagnosed with autism. Physicians should help families obtain appropriate educational, behavioral, communication and medical treatments for their child, the guidance indicates. What’s more, they should take an active role in long-term planning and provide support to parents and siblings more


Obama Signs Autism Act Renewal by Michelle Diament

With little fanfare, President Barack Obama signed a reauthorization of the nation’s primary autism legislation that includes more than a billion dollars in federal funding for the developmental disorder. Signed on Friday, the law calls for $260 million annually through 2019 for autism research, prevalence tracking, screening, professional training and other initiatives. The measure known as the Autism Collaboration, Accountability, Research, Education and Support Act, or Autism CARES, serves as a renewal of what’s previously been called the Combating Autism Act. That law, which was first enacted in 2006, was set to expire September 30. In addition to ensuring continued funding for existing federal initiatives, the new legislation requires that a point person be designated within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to oversee autism research, services and support activities. The measure also includes changes to the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee and mandates that a new report be conducted focusing on the needs of young adults and youth during transition. more