I am very excited about the U.S. Patent which was issued for the Perfect Perch device. It is U.S. Patent Patent No. 9,775,734 B1, named “A Hand Support Method And Device For Somatosensory Input To The Palm”.
Have you had the experience of being inspired by a student?
We are looking for teachers to participate in an online study. Teachers may be certified or employed in an educational setting. This study compares teacher experiences with planning accommodations for potential students. The educator will first watch a video of a student. Next, the teacher will type an accommodation plan for the upcoming school year. The study takes around 10 to 15 minutes to complete. You will not be paid for participating.
The stereotypes of autistic people perpetuate a myth that they are socially inept. Yet non-autistics, also known as neurotypicals, portray ineptitudes on the basis of their susceptibility to body language, communication, and perceptual manipulations. How we learn these signals opens the debate for nature versus nurture, and the acquisition of social skill aptitude. Who is more socially equipped? The one who is capable of surrounding himself with pretentious body language, or the one who is mindful of her full spectrum of awareness? A neurotypical who communicates with learned body gestures is currently considered evolved, while the acquisition of those skills are a direct result of the inability to survive otherwise. The autistic who remains authentic in order to adapt to the current environment is potentially most equipped to function in society.
The cycle of life requires attracting a mate, reproduction, and adaptations for exploitation to those who threaten survival. In a typical preparation for a possible sexual encounter, high muscle tone became evident, the stomach is automatically pulled in, the chest protrudes, the body assumes an erect posture, bagging around the face and eyes decreases, and the person appears to become more youthful overall (Scheflen, 1972). While some courtship signals are studied and deliberate, others are emitted entirely unconsciously. An atypical sexual encounter will lack all of these elements, but might still yield a reproduction component.
The social behaviors of the neurotypical population do not distract the laser focus of the autistic person’s communication. On a primal level, an autistic person’s empathy is unfiltered and unmarred by the layers of social manipulation to attract a mate with nonverbal gestures. Autistic people tend to be practical fixers and not huggers. In a crisis, the autistic person will approach with a novel corrective system for creating balance in the environment, while the neurotypical will approach with tears, and offer warm hugs. Neurotypicals who nurture their social skills ultimately attract a mate, and their survival is guaranteed by laws of evolution. In contrast, autistic individuals are born with high social aptitude, but are otherwise perceived as disabled and socially inept. Evolutionary adaptation is contingent on multiple realms of survival, and the ability to attract a mate in a conventional manner is not the only way to advance a species.
Some might argue that mindful social behavior may decrease reproduction of the autistic subgroup. Without any social reciprocity that is congruent with their communication style, there are few social distractions. As a result, innumerable hours are available to devote to inanimate subjects which do not demand communicative reciprocity. The expert-level skillsets achieved meet the 10,000-hour mark with each area of interest explored in isolation. Autistics who spend less time pursuing a mate have more time to devote to their special interests and nurture their innovative streak. Thus the autistic subgroup may be recognized as the evolved species adapted for a post hunter-gatherer society and more technology-oriented world where novel skillsets are highly desired for survival. In essence, we see autism on the rise not by way of autistics reproducing. Rather, the procreation of mates with high-empath and high-analytic traits result in more autistic offspring. Inevitably, autistics are in every community and in every family we know. Since autism is a conglomerate of high-empath/high-analytic traits, the attraction of like-minded mates for ad hoc reproduction circumvent any social requisites.
An encounter between unlike partners such as a neurotypical and an autistic person may turn into a highly volatile situation when communication differences abound. The neurotypical will approach with a handshake, firm eye contact, and rudimentary chit chat. Those are learned social skills to gauge the frequencies emitted by the other person, otherwise known as reading the person on the other side of the encounter. The autistic person will avoid the handshake, make no eye contact, and will read the frequencies directly from the sound spectrums. Without applying any superficial filters to measure the situation, the autistic person will already be aware of the other person’s intention to evaluate them, which will both annoy and frustrate them because of the delay in the heart of the conversation. The autistic person will try to correct the situation with a novel approach, and offer a direct observation, such as, “You seem to be in a hurry today because you put your hair in a ponytail. Am I bothering you?” A classic reaction from a neurotypical is to respond with, “Do you realize that you are being very rude? Look at me when you’re talking. You didn’t even shake my hand. Wow—what is wrong with you?!” The neurotypical, aghast at being found out, will project their humiliation onto the autistic person, and blame them for lacking social skills. These predatory practices persist when autistics are forced into social skills trainings and therapies designed to teach them how to conform into social norms which are based purely on nurtured fallacies.
Animal adaptations for exploitation “go back deep in evolutionary time. Capuchin meat thieves do not choose their victims randomly. Capuchin monkeys selectively target muggable victims—those whom they can menace, by virtue of their higher rank” (Buss et al., 2008). The higher order of predatory practices is dependent on who sees themselves as more higher ranking. Neurotypicals who are susceptible to perceptual and gestural manipulations consider themselves as the higher ranking order of the species, and target the ones who are immune to these manipulations.
The autistic person who sees right through these layers of perception is potentially existing on the planes of actuality. Autistic people are not susceptible to optical illusions (Chouinard et al., 2016) and are less likely to catch a contagious yawn from a peer (Senju et al., 2007). Both of these may be understood as markers of a specific disorder, or analyzed as higher order traits. Optical illusions tap into the manipulability of the typically-wired brain of the individual who is accustomed to nurturing their behavior and perceptions around an imagined norm. Catching a yawn from a friend is an imitation of a social gesture when you take a clue that fatigue is a behavior that should be practiced at the given moment. Psychologists pathologize this behavior as a disability, while autistics recognize their altered state as a strong ability to coexist in both friendly and hostile environments. In the worst case, an autistic person who expresses their ability to “see the energies” or “hear the frequencies” of others, may find themselves institutionalized or drugged into submission. Neurotypicals remain equipped to survive only when they nurture their social behaviors, while autistics can survive in both worlds using multiple skillsets.
A preference for gestures as a sign of higher ranking in social aptitude prevails. Early Cartesian influences are seen in emerging psychological perspectives which disregard the role of human gestures in physical, social and evolutionary mechanisms of human behavior (Hevern, 2008, p. 217). Body language is generally observed in the meeting of a potential mate, and is evidenced in specific gestures accompanying “I,” “me,” “we” and “us” pronouns matched by small movements of the head, eyes, hands, fingers or even the shoulders (Davis May, 1970). An excited mate would gather her hands inward to demonstrate “we” and display her wrists as a sign of submissiveness for the word “us.” Neurotypicals have relied on these gestures for so long, that the lines between what they have nurtured for reproduction and what they have been equipped with by nature has blurred. The nurtured skillsets may rob them of the ability to see more clearly what is available to them in the unmanipulated planes.
Autistics who alter their habitual performance find that their ability to read people with their innate tools are dulled. Without these skillsets, they are vulnerable and blind in a world that is full of manically gesturing people who seem to know what they are doing. The chaos is unbearable and the amount of time spent recovering from faking for a single encounter makes the attempt not worth the effort. Therefore autistics are not vulnerable to nurturing their social skills to manipulative levels. Neurotypicals are entrained from infancy to return their mother’s loving gaze, to coo in delight from their mother’s nonsensical babble, and to clap their hands to imitate adults. Autistic infants have been found to fixate on geometric shapes instead of facial features (Pierce et al., 2011), look away from extended parental gaze, have hyperlexia and communicate in full sentences without the expected babbling (Rapin et al., 1983). These early signs of inability to groom for social ineptness makes the autistic person prepared for a high-tech/low-manipulation world that seeks out their novel abilities.
The lack of acknowledgement that autistics are performing at a higher level stems from an initial dichotomy in perception of the other. The social condition is such that the majority creates the norm, and the hierarchy of control begins with those who put themselves there first. To elevate oneself onto the pedestal of that social order requires a significant amount of manipulation of others, a skill which autistics neither have the interest nor the desire to get involved with. Autistics will achieve civil rights when they go against the expectations of gathering in large numbers to advocate for their cause. By staying true to their neurology, the advancement of their acceptance will be promulgated by the cave-dwelling, keyboard-pecking, and truth-telling traits of this meta-species.
Buss, D. M., & Duntley, J. D. (2008). Adaptations for exploitation. Group dynamics: Theory, research, and practice, 12(1), 53.
Chouinard, P. A., Unwin, K. L., Landry, O., & Sperandio, I. (2016). Susceptibility to optical illusions varies as a function of the autism-spectrum quotient but not in ways predicted by local–global biases. Journal of autism and developmental disorders, 46(6), 2224-2239.
Davis May, F. (1970) The Way We Speak ‘Body Language’ New York Times. May 31, 1970
Hevern, V. W. (2008). Why narrative psychology can’t afford to ignore the body. Journal of Social, Evolutionary, and Cultural Psychology, 2(4), 217.
Pierce, K., Conant, D., Hazin, R., Stoner, R., & Desmond, J. (2011). Preference for geometric patterns early in life as a risk factor for autism. Archives of general psychiatry, 68(1), 101-109.
Rapin, I., Allen, D., & Kirk, U. (1983). Developmental language disorders: Nosologic considerations. Neuropsychology of language, reading, and spelling, 155-184.
Senju, A., Maeda, M., Kikuchi, Y., Hasegawa, T., Tojo, Y., & Osanai, H. (2007). Absence of contagious yawning in children with autism spectrum disorder. Biology letters, 3(6), 706-708.
The 2017 first annual Northern California Autism Symposium was hosted by the California State University, Chico. The keynote address was delivered by John Elder Robison who spoke about his childhood and adult journey. Robison described how he dropped out of school at 15, joined a rock-n-roll band, and suddenly found himself a member of a tribe of weirdos where nobody questioned his differences. That desire to connect both empowered him and debilitated him, as he rose to fame with electrical engineering abilities. The idea that he was a dropout, loser, and a fraud and would soon be found out just gnawed at him and pushed him to walk away from one promising career after another.
It wasn’t until after he was diagnosed as autistic when he was 40 and later learned that he was admired as the one of the best engineers Milton-Bradley Games ever had on their team, years after he quit that position. The lesson he learned was that skill alone will never compensate for the social inability to recognize that one is a valuable resource to a team. In parenting his son, John spoke about the encouragement he offered to pursue his special interests, even if it meant dropping out of school to chase his dream. While this approach may be unconventional, the current narrowing of the school system also starves unconventional learners of their ability to nurture their hungry and creative brains. If autistic people insist on becoming experts on their areas of passion, their special interest is misunderstood as a manifestation of a disability. We need to collaborate with autistic adults to help change how we see these strengths and how we nurture them in a closed system, or the brightest will drop out to find the scenic routes to success.
Kaegan (21) is able to demonstrate perfect pitch during his 3rd piano lesson, thanks to the piano matching test. Did you know that 97% of autistic people have perfect pitch? (Kupferstein & Walsh, 2015). One obvious clue that it was time to test him came when Kaegan was singing the notes just from reading it, even before he heard it played from the piano. Please read about the nonverbal paradigm research study and the Rancer Method book for teaching music to gifted students, titled Perfect Pitch in the Key of Autism.
Kupferstein, H., & Walsh, B. J. (2015). Non-Verbal Paradigm for Assessing Individuals for Absolute Pitch. World Futures, 72(7-8), 390-405.
Per the original proposal, only a specialized practitioner who has a Masters level training in social pragmatic language disorders is eligible to apply to deliver the Communication Support service for Acces-VR consumers.
The pay rate is competitive at $80 per unit.
Request for Proposal (RFPs) are due October 18, 2017.
Decisions will be made by January 2018.
****The good folks at NYSRA are happy to help with your RFP, so please do contact Pat Dowse (firstname.lastname@example.org, 518-928-2360) directly. Please contact me if you would like to participate in a free support webinar for completing your RFP, scheduled for Tuesday October 3rd and Saturday October 7th.****
Applying to Deliver Communication Support for Acces-VR
Please read the entire document carefully if you are interested in applying to be a provider or ACCES-VR Core Rehabilitation Services. There are several new services including the Pre-Employment Transition Services for Students. In addition, we have made adjustments to the definitions of certain services to better meet the needs of our consumers.
It is required that all non-profits must be pre-qualified by the application deadline in order to receive an award. In addition, all vendors must meet the vendor responsibility requirements necessary for all NYS contracts. http://www.acces.nysed.gov/procurement
All vendors first need to be a part of the NY Grant Gateway before applying. Visit https://grantsreform.ny.gov/Grantees (“Getting Started”) for how-to videos and online registration. Proposals received from applicants that have not Registered and are not Prequalified in the Grants Gateway on the proposal due date cannot be evaluated. Such proposals will be disqualified from further consideration. Pre Qualification questions should be addressed to email@example.com
Purpose of Funding
Provision of specific rehabilitation services from community rehabilitation programs and other service providers. These services include assessment, employment preparation, job placement, supported employment, assistive technology, pre-employment transition services, driver rehabilitation services and related adjunct services.
Eligible applicants are not-for-profit organizations, community rehabilitation programs and independent living centers, Boards of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES), and for-profit organizations who have experience providing vocational services, job placement, supported employment and/or other support services to individuals with disabilities, including youth with disabilities, to enable participants to achieve competitive integrated employment. Please review the Description of Services section of this RFP for organization capacity requirements prior to applying. Organizations which are current ACCES-VR CRS providers and who wish to continue to provide services, must apply to this RFP.
A Bidders’ Video/Audio Conference will be held on September 13th, 2017 to provide potential applicants with the details of the application process and allow an opportunity for questions and clarification on the RFP process.
Questions & Answers
All questions must be sent by E-Mail to CRS2@nysed.gov no later than September 15th, 2017. A complete list of all Questions and Answers will be posted to ACCES procurement page no later than September 27th, 2017.
Non-Mandatory Notice of Intent
The Notice of Intent (NOI) is not a requirement for submitting a complete application by the application date; however, NYSED strongly encourages all prospective applicants to submit an NOI to ensure a timely and thorough review and rating process. A non-profit applicant’s NOI will also help to facilitate timely review of their prequalification materials. The notice of intent is a simple email notice stating your organization’s (use the legal name) intent to submit an application for this grant. Please also include your organization’s NYS Vendor ID. The due date is September 29, 2017. Please send the NOI to CRS2@nysed.gov.
New Prequalification Requirement
The State of New York has implemented a statewide prequalification process (described on the Grants Reform website) designed to facilitate prompt contracting for not-for-profit vendors. All not-for-profit vendors are required to pre-qualify by the grant application deadline. This includes all currently funded not-for-profit institutions that have already received an award and are in the middle of the program cycle. The prequalification must be completed by all not-for-profit institutions by the application deadline in order to receive an award under this RFP. Please review the additional information regarding this requirement in the Prequalification for Individual Applications section below.
Submit an electronic copy (Word or pdf) of the application by email to CRS2@nysed.gov (link sends e-mail) by the October 18, 2017 deadline. The subject line of the email should read as follows: RFP #GC18-004 and the legal name of provider organization or individual.
NYSED will deem the vendor to be “non-responsive” if required forms are not submitted. Only vendors that submit the Basic Information Form (Attachment 1) will be eligible for an award. Only vendors that submit the appropriate CRS Service Forms (Attachments 1-A through 1-H) and Capacity Summary (Attachment 2) will be eligible for an award for the service(s) applied for. These Attachments are posted with the RFP in separate files. Please thoroughly review submission instructions in Section 2. Vendor submissions of any of the above forms will not be accepted after the due date of October 18, 2017.