The symptoms of Asperger syndrome look slightly different in girls than in boys, according to a study published earlier this month in Research in Developmental Disabilities1. This study and a spate of other recent ones suggest that with available diagnostic tests, higher-functioning girls with autism are being diagnosed either later than boys, or are altogether missed.
In the new study, Swedish researchers showed that 18 new questions on a revised Autism Spectrum Screening Questionnaire lead to very different response profiles for school-age boys versus girls who have Asperger syndrome.
Action Research in Partnership with the Autistic Community
Interview with Dora Raymaker
Written by Elesia Ashkenazy
The Academic Autistic Spectrum Partnership In Research and Education (AASPIRE) brings together the academic community and the Autistic community to develop and perform research projects relevant to the needs of adults on the autistic spectrum. AASPIRE's partnership adheres to the principles of Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR or PAR), whereby researchers and community members serve as equal partners throughout the research process. The special skills, expertise, and perspective that each community offers to the project as a whole is the strength of Community Based Participatory Research.
Elesia: Academic Autistic Spectrum Partnership in Research and Education (AASPIRE). Whew, what a mouthful! How was AASPIRE created and how did you decide upon a name for your organization?
Dora: In 2006, my friend Christina Nicolaidis and I, plus some other local parents and self-advocates, formed a "journal club" that met in my living room. Our plan was to review autism research and geek out like the science nerds we are.
But we found ourselves instead talking about larger issues with the research. A lot of it wasn't relevant to what the Autistic community cared about, nor was it likely to ultimately improve our lives. Some of it used degrading, dehumanizing, and offensive language. Some of it had questionable validity because the methods didn't take autistic thinking into account. Some of it reinforced false sterotypes.
I would love to connect with parents of children with ASD who have or are interested in learning Reiki for use with their children. I have developed a Reiki Parents TM class in which I teach parents and professionals how to use Reiki with children. I have found Reiki to be very useful with children with ASD. My classes have thus far been in the Central New York area but I consult with people by phone as well. I am in the process of writing a book about Reiki and Autism and would love to connect with parents who have children that have benefitted from Reiki therapy (for inclusion in my book). If you have a story to share, please contact me.