Job Accommodations

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By Andrea Martinez Cabrera

If you have a job or are looking for a job, you often wonder if your employer would be able to meet your accommodations. You might even have a question on what types of accommodations you could ask at your workplace. The following is a link for ideas for job accommodations for individuals with a learning disability.

https://ldaamerica.org/job-accommodation-ideas-for-people-with-learning-disabilities/

 

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Autism Prevalence increases 15% Nationwide.

CDC just released their biennial update for autism prevalence on children. The results showed an increase of 15% from the past two years. At the same time, CDC also released key findings in their report such as “The gender gap in autism has decreased. While boys were 4 times more likely to be diagnosed than girls (1 in 37 versus 1 in 151) in 2014, the difference was narrower than in 2012, when boys were 4.5 times more frequently diagnosed than girls. This appears to reflect the improved identification of autism in girls – many of whom do not fit the stereotypical picture of autism seen in boys.”

Attached below is the link to the article.

https://www.autismspeaks.org/science/science-news/cdc-increases-estimate-autism’s-prevalence-15-percent-1-59-children

Advocacy Day Is Just The Tip Of The Iceberg

One of our students is studying Social Work at Northeastern Illinois Univerity (NEIU).  He is working very hard, and becoming incredibly active in the community as he dives into the policies and current issues that impact all people and their well-being.  He wrote a blog post about his experience at Advocacy Day in Springfield, IL.  We are very proud of his dedication, motivation, engagement, and determination!  

 

By Nathan Apelian

Advocacy Day was a very unique experience. The bus left NEIU at 5am, made it to Springfield at 9am, left Springfield at 3pm, and made it back to NEIU at 7pm. During this time I met two politicians and both from my district: State Rep Laura Fine (H17, NEIU Alumni) and Senator Daniel Biss (S09). Both of them are committed to helping people and very nice. Laura Fine’s Glenview office is down the street from where I live and I met her there also. Both I plan to meet again as I want to know their thoughts on bills and what they are doing in the community. I would like to meet Robyn Gabel, Kelly Cassidy, John D’Amico, and Heather Steans in the future as they represent nearby communities.

 

Advocacy Day is just the tip of the iceberg. I wanted to be involved in the social work field because I feel that there needs to be more advocates. Some people just protest, but I feel people need to do more. I am talking about getting to know the community, be involved with agencies, get familiar with the law, get familiar with bills, and to get to know state representatives and or senators regardless of their beliefs. I also wanted to get involved in social work as anxiety is one aspect that I wanted to look into as this affects young people, college students, elderly individuals, veterans, and people that work too much to name a few. In the next couple of years, I look forward to expanding my social work experience at the micro, mezzo and macro levels.

 

For further information on current and upcoming legislation, representatives and senators in Illinois, please visit: http://www.ilga.gov/

 

 

Awareness in our Community

Mounting research suggests that African-American and Latino children with autism are diagnosed late because of bias on the part of health care providers or a lack of information among patient families.

By Andrea Martinez Cabrera.

April is National Autism Awareness Month in which we bring awareness to not only ourselves but to our communities about Autism. For each of us, awareness is different. For parents, awareness means for individuals to love, accept and have compassion towards their children. For institutions and organizations, it means research, assistance, and funding towards those who need it. For me personally, awareness this month is not only understanding but opening my eyes, mind, and heart in my Latino/a community about autism. Autism is taken lightly in my community and often overlooked and seen as a bad behavior or something else. As someone who is pursuing a career in mental health with the goal of helping my community understand mental health, I found this article on NPR helpful in bringing to light the issue that minorities often deal with when it comes to autism and how children are often diagnosed later in life and thus often do not receive the adequate treatment.

Please feel free to post your comments below.

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2018/03/19/587249339/black-and-latino-children-are-often-overlooked-when-it-comes-to-autism?utm_source=twitter.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=npr&utm_term=nprnews&utm_content=20180319

Are we aware yet?

By David Rooney, MNM

Monday, April 2nd, expect to see the Chicago cityscape awash in blue lights for World Autism Awareness Day.  This cool effect promotes a message for acceptance and acts like a beacon for events throughout April.  Families who live day-to-day with ASD often wonder why we need a day, week or month to raise awareness.  Certainly people get plenty of reminders?

Like most anything that consumes us, our lives don’t necessarily translate well to others, especially when regarding social interactions.  And frankly, we need as much compassion and understanding as possible to progress into the coming decades, as we work together to promote independence for our family members.  I’m not addressing the professionals, schools and therapists here exactly but more the neighbors, employers and landlords.  We need them to understand and accept those living with ASD too.

This awareness includes you and me.  It doesn’t take much for us to drift from our mission. Communication works best if we listen as much as we spread the word.  For instance, in our support communities how often do we welcome the outsider?  Of course we remain vigilant to keep our family safe, but do we consider assistance from somebody who genuinely wants to help, or can help but they do not bring direct experience, working with ASD.  We ask, how can they really understand?  When we welcome somebody new into our support community, we raise awareness and can even change minds and lives.

This week is my first-year anniversary working with Options for College Success.  I come from such an outsider’s background.  A Masters with a nonprofit focus helps, but prior to that, my professional experiences draw from careers in the private sector, specifically in home financing and media.  For starters, I know I can help find long term, supportive housing solutions for people living with ASD.  The team here recognize those and other qualities and welcome me.  And it starts with awareness.  We need to spread the word and welcome people from all walks.

On a personal note, my Sister-in-law, Joni’s birthday falls on April 2nd.  She passed away in 2015.  My brother, Larry and his family support my niece, Megan who keeps us aware about ASD.  At Joni’s Celebration of Life, I remember my nephew, Dann reading her posts about coping with her illness and the support, purpose and love Megan provides her entire family each day.  She and her two Cousins, (my nephews) also inspire me to keep up the good work.  Details like these require a discussion, far beyond what first impressions might give and result from an open awareness.

Reminders help too.

Options for College Success Presents…

By Samantha Kolkey, LCSW

 

Happy Friday y’all!

Options for College Success is proud to inform everyone that we are hosting a free event on planning for now and the future!

We are bringing together Andre Sam from The Special Needs Education and Advocacy Project and Kathryn Jackson from Autism Spectrum Therapies for an evening workshop discussing the logistical and emotional support needs in life transitions for individuals with disabilities. In addition, there will be a special segment presented by staff from Northwestern University’s Neurodevelopmental Disabilities Lab regarding their current research studies on autism and Fragile X.

This event is on Wednesday, February 28th 2018 from 6:00pm-8:00pm at the Segal Visitor’s Center at Northwestern University.

We will have refreshments!

Please let me know if you plan to attend.  Email: skolkey@optionsforcollegesuccess.org.

I hope to see you there!

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