On our blog we will try to write about some of the amazing articles and stories that are coming out all over the world on our community. Accomplishment, happiness and strength will be our general theme. We all know what a tremendous gift having a child on the spectrum is, deepening our love and connection to our children in ways we couldn’t have imagined. It may be exhausting at times, but it’s even all the more gratifying when the effort we put in and love we give from our hearts produces results.
Our first article Girls with autism need help honing social skills in realistic settings, https://spectrumnews.org/opinion/viewpoint/girls-autism-need-help-honing-social-skills-realistic-settings/
The article is about a network of young women around whom a young woman, 21 feels comfortable and confident. The network grew out of her participation in Girls Night Out, a social skills and self-care program at the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City designed specifically to help girls with autism. The program has been a gateway for Brettell, since the age of 14, to build her own friendships and practice social interactions through skills groups and informal gatherings.
Beyond friendships, navigating the workplace and other community roles requires increasingly sophisticated social competence, especially for girls and women, who are expected to be more socially agile than boys and men. Yet few programs are designed specifically to develop social skills in girls with autism because much of what we know about the condition is based on boys.
The author, Rene Jamison, from the marvelous site Spectrum goes on to say, “We need innovative approaches that promote social competence in girls on the spectrum and help them establish rewarding relationships.” The NYC Autism Group is especially interested in furthering dialogue and conversations on girls with autism. My 11 year old daughter Katarina will need some guidance on how to tap into her gifts as a young woman in a predominantly man’s world. We think Girls Night out is a landmark organization and we plan to introduce similar in NYC. Stay tuned!