This section will adjust as trainings get started and families tell me what they want to see more of, but for now we are going to include news, resources, and little messages that are too short for a blog post.
A quick word on…eye contact
The autistic person isn’t ignoring you. They may very well be shy, but that’s not always the reason why they won’t look you in the eyes. This usually innate and natural skill is very hard for autistic individuals, because it can be overwhelming. You know how intense stares tend to make us uneasy? Well, imagine something like that, except it happens every time you meet eyes with someone. It would be uncomfortable, wouldn’t it? Remember this if your autistic child or close friend is not looking at you while you are talking, because it doesn’t mean that they are not listening. In fact, they are probably avoiding eye contact so that they can focus and listen to you!
Here is an excellent recap of autism research and advancements in 2020 provided by Spectrum News:
SPARC will be attending the 14th Annual Autism Update, presented by the Stanford Autism Center at Stanford University. The one day conference is scheduled for Saturday, March 20, 2021, from 8:45am-4:30pm PST (it starts at 11:45am for those of us on EST). Due to Covid-19, this conference will be via Zoom and is FREE to attend (you may donate up to $25 to cover registration and administrative fees if you wish). It’s open for parents and professionals alike, and I learned a lot in the two years that I attended in person. Here is the link for the conference: https://med.stanford.edu/autismcenter/14thAnnualAutismUpdate.html