5 autism trends that I have noticed


1) The medical community is becoming a friendlier place for people with autism and other developmental disabilities. Some shining examples:

  • HealthMeet®: they aim to improve the health of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) through trainings for medical students and health professionals, community-based health assessments for individuals with I/DD, data collection and analysis including longitudinal health outcomes for people with I/DD, comprehensive information and referral, and a public awareness campaign. Read more about them HERE.
  • UCSF’s Developmental Disabilities Conference for Health Professionals 

This is an annual event, thanks to a grant from the Special Hope Foundation, where the medical community gathers to learn about healthcare for people with special needs.

2) Companies are beginning are beginning to understand that adults on the autism spectrum have strengths and abilities that make them valuable employees.The Autism Speaks Employment Tool Kit is here! Read about it HERE.

3) Autism Awareness (in my opinion) is morphing into autism acceptance. Read why I think so by reading the following stories:

4) It is not a perfect world. Many self-advocates feel misrepresented. Read Zoe Gross’s perspective HERE. This month The Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism is also deconstructing the meaning of autism acceptance and highlighting the voices of individuals on the autism spectrum. Read their April series HERE.

5) Parents are helping parents and siblings are also weighing in, more than ever. Read their stories of encouragement in the recently released Chicken Soup for the Soul: Raising Kids on the Spectrum: 101 Inspirational Stories for Parents of Children with Autism and Asperger’s. I was honored to be a part of this collection.

Take a look, also, at the blogs listed in the in the sidebar on the right—->

What trends have you noticed? Which would you like to see more of?


Three good books I like about autism. OK the first one I am partial to. More recommendations coming soon. Click images to order.
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About the author

Laura Shumaker is a nationally recognized writer, autism and disabilities advocate. Her essays have appeared in many places, including the New York Times, CNN, NPR, and in a popular autism and disabilities blog for The San Francisco Chronicle. She’s the mother of three terrific sons, and her oldest son, Matthew, is the subject of her book A Regular Guy: Growing Up with Autism.


  1. Mary McK says

    I’d like to see less of the brutal ABA Therapies and more of the DIR/Floortime and Son Rise Therapies that have positive reinforcement and not negative reinforcement. I get that some kids are so severe that there has to be external motivation from M&M and Skittles to get them communicating. But I do not believe ABA should be the Gold Standard for Autism Treatment.

  2. says

    I see Autism being portrayed in the media in the form of characters in TV shows. People everywhere are touched by neurodiversity. I don’t always love the way people with disabilities are portrayed in movies/TV shows, but I appreciate the attempts to portray the ubiquitousness of different learning styles. Great blog post!!

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