Sunday, November 30, 2014

Top 10 Israeli advances in autism | ISRAEL21c

Top 10 Israeli advances in autism | ISRAEL21c

In recent years Israel has become a major hub for studies on autism, a neurodevelopmental disorder that is today the second most prevalent among children.
People with autism, which is included in a group of developmental disorders known as the autism spectrum disorders (ASD), have social and communication difficulties that often make it hard for sufferers to leave home and live independently. They often engage in repetitive behavior, and can have intellectual disabilities.
In the US alone, the estimated prevalence of ASD is one per 88 children and steadily increasing. Among Israelis, autism diagnoses have increased as well, from 1,507 in 2004 to 7,344 in 2011 – or 48 out of every 10,000 children.
Israel offers a range of diagnostic, supportive and educational services for families of autistic children, such as the Mifne Intervention Program in Rosh Pina, which treats Israeli and foreign children from infancy to age two; and ALUT: The Israeli Society for Autistic Children, providing services and programs from the time of diagnosis through adulthood.
During April, World Autism Awareness Month, ISRAEL21c looks at 10 ways Israel excels in autism research, as well as innovating products and services for families of children with autism.
1. The BioHug Vest by Haifa-based BioHug Technologies provides hug-like pressure to soothe people with autism. The portable, non-restraining vest works on the proven principle that pressure on certain parts of the body has a measurable calming effect. The vest’s air bubbles can be pumped up automatically according to a pre-defined script, or manually via remote control, while the location and duration of the “hug” can be varied. It’s used primarily in school and therapeutic settings.
A child doing homework while wearing the BioHug.
A child doing homework while wearing the BioHug.
2. Neurobiologists at the Weizmann Institute of Science, along with colleagues in the United States, identified a method of accurately identifying a biological sign of autism in very young toddlers by scanning their brain activity during sleep. Children with autism exhibited significantly weaker synchronization between brain areas responsible for language and communication. Using the scans, the scientists were able to identify 70% of the autistic children between the ages of one and three, a target age for early intervention.
3. Production of the hormone oxytocin (the “love hormone”) is stimulated by reproductive activities such as sex, childbirth and breastfeeding. Researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem showed in 2011 that people with autism have half the normal amount of oxytocin in their blood. A 2013 study, at Jerusalem at Hadassah University Medical Center’s obstetrics and gynecology department, found that disruptions in prenatal exposure to oxytocin may be associated with autism. It’s another piece in the puzzle of how oxytocin affects child development.
4. Dogs for People, founded in 2006 by trainer Paul Elmakes, uses dog-handling courses to build human participants’ self-esteem and communication skills. Partner Asia Pavis told ISRAEL21c, “Autistic children respond well to the highly communicative canines. This is good for kids who have trouble expressing themselves to the outer world. The dog gives them a reward and motivation to keep trying to reach out and connect and not stay in their bubble. We see that children who didn’t speak a word are starting to speak to the dogs.”
Dogs for People therapy session.
Dogs for People therapy session.
5. Children conceived through in-vitro fertilization (IVF) are three times more likely to have mild to moderate autism, according to a 2010 study done at Assaf Harofeh Medical Center near Tel Aviv, one of the country’s leading academic hospitals. The study revealed that 10.5 percent of surveyed children diagnosed with ASD were conceived using IVF – a significantly higher number than the 3.5% rate of autism in the general Israeli population.
6. Yad Hamoreh (“Teacher’s Hand”) is a one-of-a-kind Jerusalem public elementary schoolthat integrates about 50 severely to moderately autistic children with 187 first- through sixth-graders without autism. The pupils have separate classes within the building but join for all other activities, from eating to swimming and even music, horticulture and animal therapy sessions. Educators from other countries often visit to learn how they might replicate the program at home.
Children with and without autism sing in the Yad Hamoreh choir.
Children with and without autism sing in the Yad Hamoreh choir.
7. A 2012 Sheba Medical Center/Tel Aviv University study showed a possible genetic connection between autism and schizophrenia, based on data from Israel and Sweden. Both disorders are characterized by social and cognitive dysfunction. People with a schizophrenic sibling are 12 times more likely to have autism than those with no schizophrenia in the family.
8. Hebrew University geneticists provided a better understanding of the genetic pathways involved in autism by scrutinizing genetic data from thousands of families with autistic children. Mutations and common gene variants found in autistic individuals were found to be located in specific functional groups.
9. During the first week of March 2014, leading Israeli and Canadian autism researchers convened for the First Canada-Israel ASD Symposium at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Conference participants shared the latest research and lay the groundwork for binational collaborations.
10. Researchers at the Hebrew University, together with scientists at New York University and Princeton University, discovered that body language conveys a much clearer message than do facial expressions when trying to decipher someone’s mood. Dr. Hillel Aviezer told ISRAEL21c: “From a practical-clinical perspective, the results may help researchers understand how body/face expressions interact during emotional situations. For example, individuals with autism may fail to recognize facial expressions, but perhaps if trained to process important body cues, their performance may significantly improve.”

VoiceITT wins audience favorite honor at WSJ.D startup showcase | ISRAEL21c

VoiceITT wins audience favorite honor at WSJ.D startup showcase | ISRAEL21c

The Israeli startup VoiceITT, which is developing voice-translation technology for the disabled, recently won the audience favorite award at a startup showcase at the WSJ.D Live global technology conference.
VoiceITT’s translation app, Talkitt, is translates unintelligible pronunciation from any language into understandable speech.
The company says people with ALS, autism, Parkinson’s disease and other disabilities will be able to use the technology.
The company raised $25,000 on the crowdfunding site Indiegogo and has additional funding from the Israeli government.
Rabea Ziuod, Voiceitt’s vice president for business development in the Middle East and North Africa (who also has two siblings suffering from cerebral palsy and the inability to speak properly), presented the technology to the conference.
VoiceITT was chosen by Wall Street Journal editors as one of five finalists from more than 200 applications. The audience at the conference then voted on their favorite – giving VoiceITT 55% of the vote.

A tale of two people with asperger

Like I mentioned in previous posts I was not as skilled at social skills when I was younger.  I worked on my self, and the results were very much seen on Friday night.

I made plans to go to a family I didn't know for a Friday night meal.  This family had many other guest there.  Very ironicly there was a guy I KNOW has aspergers.  I know because of the way he was conducting himself.  He was not able to read a lot of the social cues, he was doing things that made other people look at him, hijacking the conversation to what he wanted to talk about, and he was not aware that you have to have in mind where some of the other people were on understanding what he was saying (like it was obvious that we knew what he was talking about).  This guy is undiagnosed, but has a proffesion, and even mentioned he made 2 movies (sound like home movies).  I have had experience with people with aspergers and telling people about how to get better social doesn't always go so well (I usually just hint, or immerse them in a social situation).

On the other hand myself I initiated conversation with other people, asked them about themselves, looked to read the social cues.  I have worked on myself, and it has shown that someone there complimented me on my social skills (unaware as usual that I have aspergers.

There are two things we can all take from this.  1.There is no one way that aspergers always looks like 2.People with aspergers can get better, they have to want it.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Look carefully at different thearpies

There are a lot  of different therapies out there to help people on the spectrum.  I remember finding out that a place near where one of the people I worked with had "theraputic horseback riding".  I knew that this guy obsessed about animals and thought it would be a good idea.  To a degree thankfully it was full.  I say this because I realize like many on the spectrum this boy was unique,  He obsessed about animals, BUT I started to notice he would do not nice things to those animals, so a lot of things I thought of for him to do with animals were things I realized needed to be avoided (although going to zoos and muesames would be alright).

With perspective I also see that you need to know what and where the benifits come from.  I have a cousin who is fully autistic (non verbal).  I was talking with his father, and he said they tried "theraputic horseback riding" but it didn't help their child much.

One of my roommates also mentioned a family that purchased a dog trained to help their child who had autism.  Unfortunately the dog died.

The morale of the story.  Before you try a type of therapy look at what it does, and in what ways it helps people to see if it is right for your child (instead of blindly trusting that it will work (because each autistic kid is different (and there are still many people whose kids did it an are still on the spectrum).

Talk with people who have done it and make an informed decision.

Utalizing video games to increase socialization

 Before I discuss this trick let me say that I endorse parents to set limits for their kids on video games, so they can do other things.

Having been a big video gamer in the past I know how much a kid can love video games.  I can imagine for many kids it's one of the few things that it is easy to get a kid to do. THAT IS WHY I SUGGEST UTALIZING VIDEO GAMES TO HELP A KID MAKE CONNECTIONS WITH OTHERS.  What do I mean by this you may ask?  There is a type of game where you can play against other people (multiplayer).  They should not just be playing

If you set a limit for your kid in playing video games, give them a little more time if they are playing with someone else.  Usually you will have to communicate with someone when you play with them (and at least they will need to maintain a relationship with someone that they will be willing to play with them).

With video games you always need to know the ESRB ratings (which tell what is in a video game).

Two sets of games that just came out that I know are popular and are multiplayer are Super Smash Bros (E10 (everyone above 10) and Pokemon Omega Ruby, and Omega Saphire (rated E).

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Bringing it to them: Board games a great way to build socialization

Quite a few of the people I worked with (and too a degree myself (as a child) although I was doing something (watching A LOT OF TELIVISION)) will not easily find something to do.  In my last post I suggested trying to involve someone in a game (that is approriate for the level they are at).

One thing that really can help someone on the spectrum (mainly aspergers) actually do something and hold the potential for them to learn social skills is with board games.  Board games often require human communication.  When you practice communicating you become better at it.  The best is if the child gets into it then you can really get some good growth out of them.

Some favorite games of mine are:
Apples to Apples
Settlers of Catan (hint if a child likes it and other kids around like it you can get the 5-6 player expansion pack)
5 second rule

There are many more out there, and as always with Bringing it to them know what game may 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Bringing it to them: an effective way to expand a child's horizon

When I was young I remember being a part of a soccer (futball) team and in cub scouts.  I'm pretty sure that I got in there because my parents got me in there (how many 5 year olds say I want to join this club or group).  They were great oppurtunities for me to learn social skills (immersion).

With almost all of the people I worked with they could easily do almost nothing (and I am not talking about just spending so many hours on facebook (I litteraly mean doing nothing)).

THE MORAL OF THE STORY: BE PROACTIVE WITH YOUR ASPERGERS KID.  Sometimes if you bring an experience or something to them then they will like it.  They may not, but you will more likely get your child doing something.  ALWAYS CONSIDER THEIR INTREST WHEN DOING THIS, AND DON'T FORCE!

What does this include?
religous institution (a great place to at least help your child create a network)
board games (more on that soon)
Taking the initive to go somewhere the child would like

Monday, November 24, 2014

Autistic boy discovers gift after running away from state run therapy

Contributing Writer for Wake Up World
In yet another example of how an out-of-control Goliath state system can cause more harm than good, a teenage boy who was diagnosed with autism at a young age has risen to stellar heights after quitting the special ed system with the help of his concerned mother.
State therapy specialists claimed Jacob Barnett would never tie his shoes, read or function normally in society. But the boy’s mother realized when Jacob was not in therapy, he was doing “spectacular things” completely on his own.
She decided to trust her instinct and disregard the advice of the professionals. Instead of following a standardized special needs educational protocol, she surrounded Jacob with all the things that inspired passion for him – and was astonished at the transformation that took place.

Don’t fix what’s not broken

Following a diagnosis of autism at age two, Jacob was subjected to a cookie cutter special education system that focused on correcting what he couldn’t do compared to normal children. For years, teachers attempted to convince Kristine Barnett that her son would only be able to learn the most basic of life skills.
When exposed to the state system of educational therapy, Kristine noticed Jacob would withdraw deeply and refuse to speak with anyone. Even though she found it “terrifying to fly against the advice of the professionals,” she knew in her heart “that if Jake stayed in special ed, he would slip away,” Kristine relates in her memoir, The Spark: A Mother’s Story of Nurturing Genius.
So began a journey for Jacob that would lead to such unexpected achievement that the whole premise of standardized therapy for this ‘special needs’ child would be blown to bits.

A path of passion and discovery

After years of frustration and little progress, Kristine made a radical decision in the eyes of the special ed system — she took Jacob out of school and prepared him for kindergarten herself. As described in the New York Daily Times:
She let him explore the things he wanted to explore. He studied patterns and shadows and stars. At the same time, she made sure that he enjoyed “normal” childhood pleasures – softball, picnics – along with other kids his age.
“I operate under a concept called ‘muchness’,” Kristine said “which is surrounding children with the things they love – be it music, or art, whatever they’re drawn to and love.”
By the time Jacob reached the age of 11, he entered college and is currently studying condensed matter physics at Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis. According to an email Professor Scott Tremaine wrote to Jacob’s family:
“The theory that he’s working on involves several of the toughest problems in astrophysics and theoretical physics … Anyone who solves these will be in line for a Nobel Prize.”
Jacob also has an IQ of 170 — higher than that of Einstein. He is history’s youngest astrophysics researcher, has spoken at a New York TED (Technology, Entertainment & Design) conference, and appeared on a variety of news interviews, including 60 Minutes and the Time magazine website.
Not bad for someone who was classified by state experts as so severely disabled that he would never tie his own shoes or learn to read. If Jacob had stayed within the system, the prediction may very well have come true.

Do we make aspergers a bigger thing for many people than it is

Because my roommate was using my computer last night he found my article (hadn't told him).  He was surprised (like many).  He commented to me that he doesn't feel that I am that awkward (which usually I'm am good but every now and then I do still make mistakes).  I realized that I wasn't giving my social skills the credit they deserve.

This reminded me of a friend of mine from Yeshiva University.  I was talking to him about him dating.  He felt that he was still a little awkward.  I told him that wasn't the biggest thing that would hurt a relationship for him (because he is able to interact with others).

My question to everyone here is what is it that is affecting me and my friend that we don't realize where we are socialy?

My theory is that some of us even though we have the skills still feel a little awkward in those situations, or are at least more aware of our faults than others.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Better to be Kind

Better to be Kind

Better to be kind.
Kindness is a trait that many "go-getters" of modern society need to learn. So what if the Downs people and the autistics are different? You're right; but, it's better to be kind than right.
- See more at:

Immersion the best way to help someone with aspergers social skills

A while ago I wrote that for someone with aspergers learning social skills is like learning a forigen language.

Being someone who can have a conversation (at least a basic conversation) in several language I know a little about learning a forigen language.

Like learning a forigen language there are several ways to go about it:

1.You can go to someone who teaches bit by bit how to master the forigen language

2.You can help the person be in an enviorment that they can be constantly exposed to the forigen language.

The way you immerse someone with aspergers is you find something they really like, and find a way to get them involved with other people around that.

Example a kid who loves video games you make a rule that he can get multi player games, and he gets to play more video games if there are other people he is playing with (assuming you restrict video game time (which can be a healthy option).  What kid would just sit around letting others beat him at his favorite video game (he'll try to look at what other kids are doing, and at least you are getting him to look at interacting with other kids.)

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Advantages of Customized employment

Having looked at going the mainstream way of getting a job, I can understand how for peolpe with aspergers or other disabilities stand very little chance of a job when they look for a job that way (because they are going against everyone else and seem to have less to offer).

Supportive employment does a little bit better by making it so that there doesn't need to be competition from everyone else for the disabled indiviual.  The indiviual and family may need to rely on people who are very nice or an organization.  Unfortunately not everyone has all those things going for them.  One other disadvantage is that you have only a limited amount of oppurtunities to do (a lot of jobs are not for everyone, and if you hate your job it's not a fun thing).

Then there is what I teach people.  Customized employment.  I help people find out their intrests, teach them how to go about finding a job you will like, a job that the indiviual does not have to compete against neurotypicals (or "normal" people), and them be able to do this again in the future if they need to.

You decide which one is the best

This method does involve work on your part (as I likely do not live where you do), but from this work you will be able to find yourself a job you can do (and in the future as well).  This is why I say I can work with anyone in the world (who speaks a language I understand).

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Check me out on Facebook

A thought on why a lot of jobs that are good for people with aspergers are not so well known

I have a few ideas why people may not think about so many of the careers I am putting on my blog.

1.PEOPLE UNDERESTIMATE US: Just because we don't have the greatest social skills doesn't mean that there are only a few jobs that we can do.

2.PEOPLE DON'T INTERACT MUCH WITH THESE JOBS: Part of why people don't think of these jobs is because they don't interact with these jobs much (if you don't talk to those people, and social skills is the big weakness of someone with aspergers couldn't that be the answer?)

3.PEOPLE WITH ASPERGERS FEEL COMFORTABLE WITH THE JOBS WE GIVE THEM: I very much admit this with myself and have seen it in many people with Aspergers that we can be very easily be conteted.  My current roommate marvels how very simple food keeps me very satisfied, and one of the people I am working with is doing a very simple job right now (which doesn't bother him (although I am happy to say he has hopes that he will get more complicated work)).

On bullying

Unfortunately too many people know of the pain of being bullied.  One person I worked with really bring it home to me how much bullying can ruin a person's life.

This person was a teenager when I met him.  It stood out to me that he was a kid who had a really good heart.  From the what he talked about I could tell he wanted to do things that would make other peoples lives better, and he also very often looked to do the right thing.  One thing that really hurt this guy was that he had so many bad experiences with bullies.  He told me that he had friend who betrayed him, and started to bully him, and he even teachers who bullied him because of his disability (which he couldn't help).  I remember him telling me about a teacher who was tallking about picking on him (where that is the oposite of what a teacher is supposed to do (to build up a student).

I once spent a holiday staying at a well known rabbi's house.  One of the nights the rabbi talked to us about the bullying he went through when he was young.  How one kid always worked hard to turn the other kids against him.  When he was a teenager he looked forward to getting the guy who was coming to his school from abroad as a roommate, because all of the other kids had turned against him (because of the bully).  When he saw the new kid also turned against him, he begged his parents to send him to a different school.

That's a horrible story, but there are still other details that need to be shared.  The rabbi continued, and told us how because he  left that school, the next school he went to he made a friend.  This friend helped this rabbi meet his wife (the friend's sister).  He told that because he was bullied he also became a kinder person.

Part of the message here is that there are times like when you are bullied that are hard.  But the fact is that where are a lot of valuable stones found?  In the dirt or the times in our lives that are not so great.  Sometimes you have to go through a long process before you can find those blessing in your life.

For those who are dealing with bullies here are some steps that can help you


2.Follow some of the advice on this wiki how (I like this one because it recognizes that there are different circumstances with bullies)

My Story on Friendship (PART 1)

Friendship is one of the biggest areas I have seen improvement in my life.

I remember when I was in elementry school, I was liked by the other kids because I have always been a kind guy.  The thing was I didn't totatly automaticly understand all those details everyone else gets.  At school I would always be able to interact, and do things with others.  I was also involved in a soccor (Futball) team, and was in scouts.  A great proof of that was that in elementry school I remember at least once that I was elected to be the student council repersenitive of my class.  When I was able to be in the same place with others I could interact, but going beyond that was a level I was not on.  Figuring out all the other things about friendship that didn't come easily to me.  I remember my parents trying to help me understand how to develop real friendships, but I didn't understand everything they tried teaching me on making friends.

I was still enjoying life, and knew how to treat other people.

I am thankful that the schools I went to I was able to find people who were nice to me.  I heard from at least one person I worked with of the horrors of bullying he had to endure.

Sunday, November 16, 2014


This is another job where your abilitiy is more important than a disability.


How I help people find jobs or a career they like

Jobs for people with Aspergers is a big thing.  About 80% of people with Aspergers are unemployed.  Thank G-d while I was working for HASC in NY my supervisor told me that I could do the mandatory training through online courses.  Once I completed them, I took a better look at the courses offered, and one of the ones I took taught me great ways of how to help people with disabilities get an advantage in getting a job.

The method I use is called Customized Employment

If you are curious about what the proccess I ue is like here is a little of what I do.




I do this one hour sessions to help coach people on how to go about this process charging $30 an hour.

The First Meeting is a trial (no requirement to pay) for you to see if you like it!

What you will get from the first meeting is that we will meet. and I will get to know the indiviual.  We (you and me) work as a team to figure out what types of areas the person would like, or do well in).

If you like what we come up with, and want to continue using me then I will e-mail you some home work (because you are capable of doing a lot of things without me).  And after a few days I'll meet with you again to go over how to actually go about winning the job.


Carpentry a field with 24% projected growth

Advantages that come from Aspergers

Aspergers is different from a lot of other disabilities in that the people who are affected can actually get advantages from it.  Everyone has some different things that Aspergers has affected them in different ways.

Share some advantages that Aspergers has given you.

For me I am a fun guy (because of the eccentriciness), I can be detail oriented, I can REALLY DEDICATE myself to a task if I really believe in it, I'm able to help fellow aspies, and I don't go with herd mentality, very honest (probably are more).

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Learn how to do most computer jobs quicker and for less

One of the things I help people do is learn how to get in to computers.  With the cost and length of college being so much wouldn't it be nice to be able to have someone you know get the knowledge they need so much quicker and cheaper.  It is possible. The rate of unemployed people who have Aspergers is extremely high.  The demand for computer people is huge, and it is a career where you don't need to have the greatest social skills.

If you want an affordable option to help someone you know who computers contact me and I can show you how you can do it!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Some of people's reactions to me coming out

I knew that when I had my article come out that it would have effects on my life.  I've had a few friends, and people who know me who saw my article.  Everyone who I saw commented to me about my article seems to be responding how I see they should.  They understand that I am the same person.  They understand that the person they have interacted with is who the real Craig Kohn is, and that in pretty much every case of Aspergrs is the best way to know someone (not by the diagnosis).

I have also seen some people who have jumped to conclusions who commented on my article.  I responded to those comments.  I realize one of the big things some people posted was that they assumed I am at a certain level of functionality.  I realize that a lot of people who know things about Aspergers/Autism don't realize how big a difference there is between people with aspergers.  Just like two snowflakes are not alike so to no to Aspies are exactly the same in the aspergers (or at least not that common).  I remember taking a cousin of mine who is Autistic and non verbal.  He didn't understand so much of social norms, and was non-verbal.  That is a big differnce from me.

One other group is the people I am now interacting with on a daily basis.  As I put in the begining of my blog I just moved to Israel.  This has been a dream of mine for a number of years.  It is common today among many Otrhdox Jews (especialy young ones) to feel a deep connection, and a desire to live in Israel.  I do realize I go about it in a little Aspergers kind of way (can be a little obsesive about it), but definitly try to keep my self balanced, and interact properly with people.

The place I am living is an apartment that I found on the internet. I know that one of my roommates has noticed a few things that I've been doing that go against the norm (I'm working on those things as I always strive to improve myself).  I have 3 roommates, two who are originaly from Europe, the other from Canada.  I went with one of my roommates for a meal, and then we went to a sale near where we live where met another roommate.  I've also have been connecting myself to the yeshiva (or Jewish institution dedicated to the study of Jewish texts).  I have met pretty much all of the rabbis, and a lot of the guys.  I've also got in touch with a lot of friends who are here in Israel, and am looking forward to seeing some of these people I haven't seen for years.  My roommates, and those people that I have just met don't suspect I have aspergers because I am very close to the normal now.

Feedback desired

Are there some issues with Aspergers people that you want me to address.  I'm focusing a lot on showing people a lot of jobs that Asperger people can do well.  Starting in 2015 I will be putting focus on other areas more.  Please tell me any asperger topics that you would like me to blog about.

An advantage Aspergers people sometimes have in the workplace

I was working with someone yesterday, and they reminded me of an Asperger trait that is an advantage.  That is that Aspergers people can deal a lot better with repetitive jobs.

I myself had a job (which I am grateful that I was given this opportunity) where I worked in a warehouse, and was putting price tags on Jewelry.  Some of the time I had other people helping me, and I know one woman who helped for a while (was getting really sick of it).  I was able to handle the repetitiveness very well, and even took advantage of it to listen on my MP3 lectures while I worked.  For me this wasn't where I knew I would be staying forever (because I knew I had more potential, but just needed to find a career path that I could feel comfortable with, and to earn some money to help me achieve those career goals).

For some people that could be a great option for them, but if they have more potential help them find something that allows their skills and abilities to be used!

Chef (can even be a private chef)

I know some people know about people becoming cooks, and working at fast food restaurants, but I see in a lot of people with Aspergers they have a lot more potential than people see in them.
If you see someone who has a love of cooking, help encourage them to become a skilled chef

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Actuary (a math intensive job)

I was talking with some friends of mine a few weeks ago.  We stated talking about a certain guy who had aspergers.  One guy asked "Don't people with aspergers have trouble getting a job".  I responded this guy is not going to have trouble because he is becoming an actuary and his skills in math, not his social skills will be more of what is looked at when he is applying for a job.

A little note even though the Occupational handbook says that there is communication and interpersonal relation skills needed for the job not every work place is the same, and it is possible to get some place that requires less of the things that make less developed social skills a problem.

The way aspergers people should not be treated

A year ago I was trying to go on a program to Israel which was not a learning program (a program I felt would give me the skills to better live in Israel (which has been one of my dreams for a long time).  I filled out the application, and also sent in the money.  I had asked them if it would be alright if I could go to Uman, Ukraine for Rosh Hashana (the Jewish new year) which would be going on while the program was going on.  This is because I connect to Rabbi Nachman of Breslov who told his followers that they should come to him (even after his death) so he could work to positivly affect the whole year for them.  They told me that they would not be responsible for me while I was out of Israel, but I could still go during the program.

One of the questions they asked was do you have a disability.  Because I felt it was the right thing to do to be honest I put I have aspergers on the form.  They asked if my doctor (someone who deals with physical conditions) could write a note saying that I am able to participate.  I explained that it is not a physical condition.  The next e-mail I got from them said: "We are sorry to tell you that we feel you are TOO SPIRITUAL for us.

I had dealings with the people who supervise the organization of that program (as they run quite a few programs), and they even heard that I work with people who have disabilities, but they assumed that I would be different from everyone else on the program (which if I didn't tell them they probably would never know (that is how it is with most people).

If you know you are going to be doing something with someone with aspergers know that they will not be the same as everyone else you may have seen with Aspergers.  Don't assume things where they are.  Assess what you see in them knowing the traits that someone with aspergers has then work with them on their level (if they are lower function respectfully help them if they need it).

Monday, November 10, 2014

The right way for an asperger person to see themselves

I can easily understand that many people with aspergers have a low self esteem.  They see the challenges they have, and how much easier a life people without aspergers may have because social skills come much easier to them (everyone in the world has troubles).  They are looking at things the wrong way.

A great rabbi who passed away half a decade ago R Eliyahu Dessler gives a better point of view for a person who has aspergers and doesn't feel good about themselves.  He talks about where everyone finds themselves in this world.  There are some people who are born at the top of the mountain (so much comes easily to them), and then there are people like those with aspergers who didn't have everything come easily for them (in this case social skills) who have to work their way up to the top of the mountain, but as I have seen from many people with aspergers they often improve.  Who is more praiseworthy the person who was born at the top of the mountain and didn't go any higher, or the mountain climber who worked hard to get to the top?

Experience what makes you more marketable for a job

Their is a big challenge that all people who are working at getting their first job have.  That is having something that can prove your worth.  What does that the best in many jobs is previous experience.  You may be asking, but how can I get experience if they won't hire me?  Well this advice comes most in handy in someone's teenage years as they don't have to have a job all the time.  The solution is volunteering.  By doing many of the tasks that you would do in a real paying job than you can get a job.

I do remember when I was in high school my mom got me in a vocational program, and they were trying to help me get skills.  Looking back I can be amazed at how poorly they looked at me, and just automatically assumed they understood what was best.  I remember those volunteer positions they set me up with which were not really suited for me ex stocker, and placing book in the correct place on the library shelf  (proof is I did get a job through a friend of mine a year or two later).  What I really needed help with which I've seen quite a few people who don't know how to help a person (especially with aspergers) get a job.  Look in my archives as I will be putting some of those tips up for people.

Goals an important part of life!

Everyday I have certain activities I want to complete.  Quite a few of these things are breaking up something much larger into smaller parts.

The thing about life is that if you just look at being a fan in life you won't achieve much.  You need to have goals, things you want to accomplish.  When you see that you reached that accomplishment you feel so much better about yourself.

So take some time out of you day (especially from facebook) and achieve something!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Laundry worker (if you can work in the back)

As long as you can be put in the back full time then this could be a great job for an Aspie.

Warehouse worker

Working in a warehouse is a job that does not need much experience, or social skills.  For many Neurotypical people it may not be great for them as it can be repetitive.

Brick, Block, and Stone Masons a great field

Another field that has potential for a person with Aspergers is becoming a Brick, Block, or Stone mason.  This is a field with a lot of projected growth (34% according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics)

From their site

Brickmasons, blockmasons, and stonemasons (or, simply, masons) use bricks, concrete blocks, and natural and man-made stones to build fences, walkways, walls, and other structures.

More info at

You can get employers to create jobs for you

This sounds a little crazy, why would someone you don't know well create a job for you just like that?  But it is true.  Using special strategies that I will teach you, you can get a job for someone with aspergers (and other disabilities).

How do you do this you show the person in charge that you can contribute something to the company.  Some examples are helping doing small jobs there which can lead to more work with them.

Using your aspergers person's interests can also help.

This process also makes it so that an asperger person doesn't have to compete with other people for jobs (unfortunately the asperger person will likely not be chosen when competing against everyone else).

Today a lot of jobs are being created by people themselves.  You too can help someone you love get work they can be proud of.

Bookkeeper or accounting clerk

Bookkeeping is a little different than accounting.  In bookkeeping there is a lot less communication skills that are needed than accounting.  Bookkeeping is also a lot more data entry after you know how to put all the information in.  Also unlike accounting you don't need to know math statistics (sometimes can be trained by a company or can train yourself).

Around tax season the big companies often hire a lot of people to help with getting some of the tax info ready.  That is a great time to try this field out.


Accounting is a great job for people who have Aspergers.  It doesn't involve as much communication as other industries, and you get a job more by showing that you can do the academics rather than by interviewing.  Be warned that organization, analytical, and math skills (I was looking at my school and a few others, and they all required higher math skills than statistics to become an accountant).   You do need a CPA or to be working on getting a CPA to get a job as an accountant, and now to really become an accountant you need 150 college credits (which usually means 1 more year of college (can even be other credits (had a friend who got a minor in Psych)).  They can get the credits in undergraduate, or get a masters degree (which could allow them to do more advanced accounting jobs).

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

8 successful people with Aspergers from

Individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) each have different abilities and levels of functioning. What the future holds for each child with ASD is as unique as their individual personalities. As we learn more about autism and other disorders on the spectrum, we can better understand individuals living with ASD. Below are eight successful and widely-known people with ASD who can be positive role models for children growing up on the spectrum.

1. Temple Grandin

Temple Grandin was diagnosed with autism in 1949, at 2 years old. With the help of great teachers and family members, Grandin graduated from a school for gifted children and went on to receive a bachelor's degree in psychology and a doctorate degree in animal science. She's spent her life working to both improve the treatment of animals and to bring awareness to autism.

2. James Durbin

As a contestant on season 10 of "American Idol," James Durbin was open about having Tourette syndrome and Asperger syndrome. Durbin feels that his Asperger syndrome has helped him focus on his vocal talents. Since "American Idol," he has continued working on his music. He released his first album in 2011 and is releasing his second in 2014.

3. John Elder Robison

John Elder Robison wrote the New York Times bestseller, "Look Me in the Eye," published in 2007. In the book, he writes about it was like growing up with Asperger syndrome but not being diagnosed until he was 40 years old. Robison has helped with autism research and has published two more books, "Be Different" and "Raising Cubby."

4. Daryl Hannah

Daryl Hannah was diagnosed with autism as a child and felt isolated from others her age. Her experiences of isolation helped driver her love of old movies and interest in acting. Hannah's acting career has spanned more than three decades. She has starred in dozens of films, including "Wall Street," "Grumpy Old Men," and the "Kill Bill" movies. Hannah is also an environmental activist. In an interview with People magazine, a friend remarked that when she "feels passionate about something, she loses all her fears."

5. Satoshi Tajiri

Some children with ASD may be excited to learn that the creator of Pokemon was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome. Satoshi Tajiri turned his childhood fascination with bugs into the worldwide phenomenon of Pokemon. Representatives of Nintendo have remarked on Tajiri's creativity but have also called him reclusive and eccentric.

6. Sarah Lonsert

Sarah Lonsert, who was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome in third grade, became the youngest songwriter to win the USA Songwriting Competition in 2009 when she was 17 years old. Since then, she has won several other songwriting competitions, released her own album, and acted on stage and in films.

7. Susan Boyle

Known for surprising the judges and viewers with her incredible vocal skills on "Britain's Got Talent" in 2009, Susan Boyle has released five albums, been nominated for two Grammy Awards, and won the Radio Forth Award in 2013. As a child, Boyle was diagnosed with brain damage, but she sought a better diagnosis as an adult. In 2012, she was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome. Boyle has said the diagnosis was a relief because she has a "clearer understanding of what's wrong."

8. Dan Aykroyd

"Blues Brothers" and "Ghost Busters" star Dan Akyroyd was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome in the early 1980s after his wife convinced him to see a doctor. He's said that he has an obsession with ghosts and law enforcement, which led to the creation of "Ghost Busters." Aykroyd's career as an actor, writer, and producer has spanned 40 years.
Kids often love to see people "just like" them. While the path of every child with ASD will be different, seeing well-known successful people with ASD can help inspire children as well as give them someone to look up to.

Do you know someone with aspergers who is thriving and able to live "normaly"

One thing I have seen from a lot of the comments on my article is that Aspergers includes a wide range of people.  People usually only think of those who can't function normally.  This is a part of the aspergers population, but it is not everyone.

If you are or know someone with aspergers who is succeeding and is in a position where they can tell publicly that they have aspergers (with no harm to any aspect of their life).

For some with Aspergers learning social skills is like learning another language

Being in a different country where they speak a different language I can see a lot of similarities to myself picking up and learning social skills.

Some of those similarities include:
That if you look at what you are still lacking in it can seem like a mountain (even after you improve)
That the more you practice the better you can become
The more you are surrounded by it the more likely you are to learn it.
A lot of the time besides simple immersion you need focused learning to really learn the new language/skills  

Monday, November 3, 2014

E-Bay (not just selling your stuff) a potentially good job for Asbergers

I was talking with someone who was wanting to find a job that was right for him.  He told me he wanted to do something data entry (as he was good at remembering things), and he also didn't want to go to a college program (not right for everyone, and can be expensive).  I knew that there were not many plain data entry jobs out there.

I was thinking about it, and I told him that he could probably sell things on Ebay.  I told him that it's not just selling your things, that there are actually jobs out there where people need people to list things on ebay.  Actually having had experience selling things in the past on ebay, and also being able to make a resume that got me 2 job offers (which I didn't take at the time as they were in New York, and knew pretty much all of my salary was going to be eaten up).  If you want me to help coach someone on how they can land a job selling for someone on ebay contact me.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Personal Example (it still works with aspergers)

One of the people who I look to for guidance is Rabbi Shalom Arush.  He has written quite a number of books that deal with a lot of issues everyone deals with like challenging times, how to make a marriage work, and many other topics.

In his book the Garden of education
the biggest piece of advice he stresses on raising children is that the parents set an example.  Obviously this doesn't mean that if your child has a disability like autism that it is the parents fault, but what it does mean for someone with an autistic child is that you can still to whatever degree they are able to take in what they see from you put that trait in them.

An example is with my parents they are people who others know them to be kind people, and similarly I have also developed that kind of reputation. 

So basically be a good example for however much they will be able to take in (the younger they are as you develop better good habits the more they can be influenced by them!

I work with everyone (not only Jews)

I just want to state because there are people out there who may see that I am an Orthodox Jew, and become afraid that I will impose my religion on them.  Yes a lot of things that influence me are from my religion, but I do not look to impose on others.

One of the families that I worked with in New York was from a religious family.  I was working on helping get things that could help their son do something instead of just sitting around.  I suggested a series I though he would like (Redwall) but the family didn't feel comfortable with it so I left it at that.

One other thing I do is encourage people to connect to a religious community they are comfortable with.  Whatever religion they are it is a good idea.  This gives a person opportunities for social interaction, networking (which could lead to a job or meeting a potential spouse), and helps them build a community that can help with different issues that any person may have to deal with.

A link to my old blog that has a lot of marriage wisdom on it

Has a lot of information that can help anyone (even aspergers people) have a successful marriage (don't have to be Jewish to gain from these time tested methods).

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Change of location for me

I just moved from New York to Jerusalem.  I'm still going to be available to anyone in the world who needs my help.  Just contact me through my blog.

Here is a video by my friends the maccabeats about going back to israel!