April is Autism Awareness Month!

There are many exciting new discoveries to report in autism research and resources.

Recent research suggests that parent concerns about their children’s symptoms at 6-12 months of age often predicts an autism diagnosis by age 3.  Given the importance of early intervention, such findings emphasize the need for doctors to listen to the insight of parents.  At the Portsmouth Neuropsychology Center, we provide evaluations for children as young as 18 months to diagnose whether an Autism Spectrum Disorder is present.

Doctors Listen Up! Parents Can Spot Autism Long Before Diagnosis

Standard intelligence tests may underestimate the abilities of some children with autism.  Alternative tests may reveal various strengths, including pattern recognition and visual acuity.  At the Portsmouth Neuropsychology Center, we test nonverbal children routinely and can help provide clarification about their cognitive skills, learning, language, adaptive behaviors, social skills, and mood/behavior.

Standard Test Underestimate Nonverbal Children with Autism.

While research often focuses on the challenges of individuals with autism, there are recent findings that document the pivotal role of declarative memory in such individuals.  Specifically, declarative memory, which refers broadly to the brain’s learning and memory system, is key for learning language, concepts, and images.  Importantly, it may assist individuals with autism compensate for social weaknesses by memorizing scripts for navigating social situations.

Powerful Memory Systems May Compensate for Autism Deficits.

Microsoft has developed a new pilot program to hire individuals who have an Autism Spectrum Disorder.  Such adults may have a variety of strengths and talents that make them strong candidates for employment.  At the Portsmouth Neuropsychology Center we work with adolescents and their families in transition planning as they prepare for life after high school as well as with adults to provide support and coaching as they navigate employment.

Microsoft Launches Pilot Program to Hire Adults with Autism

Autism Speaks has provided tools for adults who have an Autism Spectrum Disorder as they search for employment.  The tools include the following helpful resources:  An Employer’s Guide to Hiring and Retaining Employees with Autism Spectrum Disorders, A Parent’s Guide to Employment for Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders, and Autism in Big Business Report.

Three New Employment Tools for the Autism Community