Thursday, August 1, 2019

Have you checked out our FREE resources and supports?

Who we are:

Amy Laurent, PhD, OTR/L specializes in the education of autistic children. Her work involves creating learning environments designed to facilitate children’s active engagement at home, in schools, and throughout their communities. She is a co-author of the SCERTS model and frequently lectures around the globe. She is passionate about neurodiversity and helping others to honor and understand the implications of "different ways of being" in relation to navigating the physical and social world.

JÂcqûelyn Fede, PhD is a super fun, artistic Autistic.  She is a developmental psychologist/program evaluator.  Her research interests include immigration policy,  autism, and translational research.  A full scholarship Division 1 athlete in college, Dr. Fede continues to meet her sensory needs by seeking extreme physical activity. 

We have joined forces to form Autism Level UP!  Our philosophy is that through education, accessible resources, practical strategies and a commitment to consistently incorporating the experiences and perspectives of autistic people, we can support the leveling up of society when it comes to autism and neurodiversity. Of course, our primary goal is to support autistic individuals, but the more we are able to spread real awareness and support others in moving from awareness to acceptance, acceptance to appreciation, appreciation to empowerment and from empowerment to activism, the more positive change we will see at those large institutional and societal levels that can greatly benefit the autistic community. So we do aim first and foremost to empower autistic individuals to navigate their world, but we also aim to make the world a more autism-friendly environment and the universe more accommodating to the neurodiverse - after all, it is a partnership and change should not rest solely on the shoulders of the autistic community. 
Our Story:
Autism Awareness? Autism Acceptance? Autism Appreciation? None of them work perfectly. It is true that Autism Appreciation and Acceptance seem far better than Autism Awareness, but it is also true that a large percentage of the population still lacks awareness of the realities of autism and neurodiversity. Certainly, without being aware of autism, autistics and what that all really means, someone cannot truly understand, accept, appreciate or be an ally to autistic people. Awareness - real awareness - is needed, and acceptance and appreciation are progress, but being accepting and having an appreciation are all rather low bars to set - particularly for autistic stakeholders, family members, researchers, funding organizations and policy makers. 
One April, we were discussing the problem of labeling April 2nd as Autism Awareness, Acceptance, or Appreciation Day. As we pondered the dilemma Dr. Amy Laurent agreed with Dr. Fede’s thinking outlined above. There had to be something better than appreciation…right? In the midst of that discussion, Dr. JÂcqûelyn Fede offered that if we were to have a day or week or month focused on autism, that it needed to be about leveling up. In other words, it needed to be about meeting people where they were and encouraging them to take the next step to support autistic people. We worked to create a graphic that could represent this idea and the name of our partnership was born… Autism Level UP!  
Many of the free resources and supports you will find on Autism Level UP! were developed by Amy as part of her private practice and educational consulting, as well as to be consistent with the SCERTS Model. However now, that we are committed to Leveling UP! All new supports will incorporate JÂcqûelyn’s perspective as an autistic. 
We believe this combination of shared knowledge and experience will allow us to not only create resources and supports which will be more effective, but also to formulate consultation models, research designs, and evaluation plans that are - more diverse, more efficient, more appropriate, and more helpful.
Check out some of our new, free resources here! These supports will be a part of a suite of tools to support the regulatory needs of autistic individuals. You can explore more by using the following links which will bring you to pages with free downloadable PDFs, full descriptions and video descriptions of each support. 

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