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First Published Monday, 25 May 2009


Ask any autistic/AS teen what it’s like to be where they’re at right now, you’ll get a mixed response.  Let’s face it, aspies are unique individuals, no two are the same.  Some are having a much harder time than others navigating their way through on a daily basis.  Many are struggling with depression, anxiety and identity issues and simply trying to fit into a world that is confusing enough for any teen.  On the social front, finding acceptance among peers via shared interests and activities can make all the difference.


Autistic/AS teens are growing stronger in voice so far as advocating for themselves.  They’re speaking out on issues that affect them and their families.  Many wish for better acceptance, equal opportunities to utilise their skills in the workforce, greater understanding.  They’re sharing their talents, lending a voice through their art, their poetry, their literature, their music, their films, their sporting achievements, their blogs, now more than ever.  While friendships and relationships are not so easy to develop and maintain for the vast majority, autistic/AS teens are utilising the internet to their advantage and creating links with others via websites and meet-ups/support groups both online and off.


For those struggling right now, remind yourself that this is but one phase of your life.  This is not ‘forever’. There are a great many adults on the spectrum who have been where you are now, and you have the potential to make a difference, to live a good life, if you believe in yourself.   Things don’t always go to plan in life, but it’s about making the most of where you’re at.  Some have a tendency to just put their heads down and get on with it in life, regardless of the obstacles.  In many ways, that’s a good thing, but, for others, that can lead to misery, and in some cases, poor health.  Let your voice be heard if things are not as they should be.  Do not suffer in silence.


Be kind to yourself, develop your talents, even if it seems as though no-one else wants to know.  Mood swings and turbulence are a part of the teen years.  Exercise and good, healthy food can make a genuine difference to your state of mind and overall health.  Focus on your hopes and your dreams.  Never lose sight of them.  Know you are not alone in your darkest days.  For those who manage to make it through the teen years relatively unscathed and with positive connection to the past, wonderful!!  For many, as secondary school draws to a close, the realisation that this is it, can be something of a rude shock.  Transitions may be difficult, endings may seem abrupt for some.


The following articles and books provide some fine examples of what our autistic/AS teens are doing with their lives, employment-wise, advocacy-wise, creativity-wise etc.  If you’re a teen who wishes to share a book you’ve written, your artwork, or simply your words of wisdom for others, please feel free to share.



Articles


“Teen on the Spectrum: AS From An AS Perspective”
http://www.aspie-editorial.com/2011/01/10/teens-on-the-spectrum-as-from-an-as-perspective/


“Dean Beadle: AS From An AS Perspective”:
http://www.aspie-editorial.com/2011/01/19/dean-beadle-as-from-an-as-perspective/



“New Online ASD Teen Group”
http://www.aspie-editorial.com/2011/01/05/fwd-new-online-asd-teen-group-asan-teens/


Zac Smith (Australian-American English Junior & Columnist for the Oklahoma Daily)  “Autism Speaks Promotes Hysteria, Ignorance”
http://www.aspie-editorial.com/2011/01/20/fwd-oklahoma-daily-autism-speaks-promotes-hysteria-ignorance/



“Autistic Students Self Represent”
http://www.aspie-editorial.com/2011/01/20/fwd-autistic-students-self-represent/



“AS Teenager Sought for BBC Production”
http://www.aspie-editorial.com/2010/12/20/as-teenager-sought-for-bbc-production/


“Update on “Dustbin Baby” Role – Breakthrough for AS Actress”
http://www.aspie-editorial.com/2010/12/20/update-on-dustbin-baby-role-breakthrough-for-as-actress/


“UK Screening Date – Lizzy plays girl with Asperger syndrome in Dustbin Baby”
http://www.aspie-editorial.com/2011/01/09/uk-screening-date-lizzy-plays-girl-with-asperger-syndrome-in-dustbin-baby/


“ASAN in Social Work Today: Autism into Adulthood – Making the Transition”
http://www.aspie-editorial.com/2010/12/20/fwd-asan-in-social-work-today-autism-into-adulthood-making-the-transition/


“Northern Virginia Magazine – Am I On The Wrong Planet?”
http://www.aspie-editorial.com/2011/01/17/northern-virginia-magazine-am-i-on-the-wrong-planet/


Rex Lewis-Clack “Rex: A Musical Savant’s Remarkable Strides”
http://www.aspie-editorial.com/2011/01/12/rex-a-musical-savants-remarkable-strides/


“Artist Kim Miller: The Girl Who Spoke With Pictures”
http://www.aspie-editorial.com/2011/01/05/artist-kim-miller-the-girl-who-spoke-with-pictures/


“Katie Miller – Local Artist is Positively Influenced By Autism”
http://www.aspie-editorial.com/2011/01/12/katie-miller-local-artist-is-positively-influenced-by-autism/


“Building Brainpower: AS Teen Turns Computer Skills Into Business”
http://www.aspie-editorial.com/2011/01/09/building-brainpower-as-teen-turns-computer-skills-into-business/


“Employment: Autistic Menasha Student’s Skills Shine On The Job At Ferguson In Appleton”
http://www.aspie-editorial.com/2011/01/17/employment-autistic-menasha-students-skills-shine-on-the-job-at-ferguson-in-appleton/


“Autistic Pupil Who Was Expelled Becomes Malmesbury’s Young Citizen of the Year”
http://www.aspie-editorial.com/2011/01/20/autistic-pupil-who-was-expelled-becomes-malmesburys-young-citizen-of-the-year-2/


“Autism Asperger’s Digest: Animal Crossing Creating Connections via Video games”

Sandi Busch is a freelance writer and single mom who home-schools her son. Ben is a 15 year old who is learning to build on the strengths of Asperger’s Syndrome and who looks forward to a vocation saving animals.

http://www.aspie-editorial.com/2011/01/12/autism-aspergers-digest-animal-crossing-creating-connections-via-video-games/



“Teen Uses Experience To Become Autism Advocate”:

http://www.aspie-editorial.com/2011/01/22/teen-uses-experience-to-become-autism-advocate/

Health/Research


“Most Depressed Adolescents Go Untreated”

http://www.aspie-editorial.com/2011/01/20/most-depressed-adolescents-go-untreated/


“Summer Jobs May Help Prevent Suicidal Tendencies In At-Risk Teens”

http://www.aspie-editorial.com/2011/01/14/summer-jobs-may-help-prevent-suicidal-tendencies-in-at-risk-teens/


“School-Based CBT for Adolescent Depression(Abstract)”

http://www.aspie-editorial.com/2011/01/06/school-based-cbt-for-adolescent-depression-abstract/


“Study: Third of Teen Cannabis Users Self-Medicating Health Problems”

http://www.aspie-editorial.com/2011/01/18/study-third-of-teen-cannabis-users-self-medicating-health-problems/



“Anorexia Nervosa in Autistic Women/Disorders Are Common In Adults Who Have Had Anorexia/Milkshakes for Anorexia”

http://www.aspie-editorial.com/2011/01/14/anorexia-nervosa-in-autistic-womendisorders-are-common-in-adults-who-have-had-anorexiamilkshakes-for-anorexia/


“The Internet Helps Teenagers with Social Relationships”

http://www.aspie-editorial.com/2011/02/07/the-internet-helps-teenagers-with-social-relationships/


“Feel Upset?  Writing It Down Helps You To Calm Down, Scientists Say”

http://www.aspie-editorial.com/2011/01/12/feel-upset-writing-it-down-helps-you-to-calm-down-scientists-say/


“Pets Can Help College Students Cope With Stress & Loneliness”

http://www.aspie-editorial.com/2011/01/11/pets-can-help-college-students-cope-with-stress-loneliness/


“Feeling Stressed?  Call Pooch Over”

http://www.aspie-editorial.com/2011/01/18/feeling-stressed-call-pooch-over/


Fears & Phobias  “Study: Half Of Group Free Of Phobia After A Single Treatment/Biochemical Pathway For Blocking Worst Fears”

http://www.aspie-editorial.com/2011/01/14/study-half-of-group-free-of-phobia-after-a-single-treatmentbiochemical-pathway-for-blocking-your-worst-fears/



“Teens: Nocturnal Teens Need Sunlight, Teen Driving, Focus on Fun Gets Teens Active”:

http://www.aspie-editorial.com/2011/01/22/teens-nocturnal-teens-need-sunlight-teen-driving-focus-on-fun-gets-teens-active/


Books

Asperger Syndrome in Adolescence

Living with the Ups, the Downs and Things in Between

Edited by Liane Holliday Willey

Foreword by Luke Jackson

http://www.jkp.com/catalogue/book.php/isbn/1-84310-742-2


The Feeling’s Unmutual: Growing Up With Asperger Syndrome (Undiagnosed)

Will Hadcroft

http://www.jkp.com/catalogue/book.php/isbn/9781843102649


Freaks, Geeks and Asperger Syndrome: A User Guide to Adolescence

Luke Jackson

http://www.jkp.com/catalogue/book.php/isbn/9781843100980


Crystalline Lifetime: Fragments of Asperger Syndrome

Luke Jackson

http://www.jkp.com/catalogue/book.php/isbn/9781843104438


Asperger Meets Girl: Happy Endings for Asperger Boys

Jonathon Griffiths

http://www.jkp.com/catalogue/book.php/isbn/9781843106302


The Love-Shy Survival Guide

Talmer Shockley

http://www.jkp.com/catalogue/book.php/isbn/9781843108979


Autistics’ Guide to Dating: A Book by Autistics, for Autistics and Those Who Love Them

Emilia Murry Ramey and Jody John Ramey

http://www.jkp.com/catalogue/book.php/isbn/9781843108818


How To Be Yourself In a World That’s Different: An Asperger Study Guide for Adolescents

Yuko Yoshida M.D.

http://www.jkp.com/catalogue/book.php/isbn/9781843105046


Aquamarine Blue 5: Personal Stories of College Students with Autism

Dawn Prince Hughes

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/0804010544


Autistic Authors Booklist and Facts

http://archive.autistics.org/library/booklist.html