The Sky is the Limit: Autism Lights Up the World!
By Kerin Bellak Adams
Until approximately 2019, autism was viewed as an impediment to living a productive and fulfilling life. Todos that changed with an amazing film in 2021 produced by CBS and called “Recruiting the Talent on the Autism Spectrum.” From that segment, the author Kerin Bellak Adams, who writes both books and articles on this subject, was inspired to write this article.
Today the sky is the limit because although many nonverbal autistic people have difficulties communicating, they can often do amazing things that no one thought were possible, such as paint beautiful pictures and transfer books to different locations within a facility, to name just a few! Statistically, 1 in 30 people are diagnosed with autism.
That number used to be much lower. This is true of ADHD, where the number of people diagnosed has also increased. In various pharmaceutical companies, studies have found that inflammation may be the root of both issues.
Large corporations are constantly thinking of new ways to interview those on the Spectrum. Some include a method that entails placing cubes before an applicant and timing how long it takes to assemble them in a puzzle format. Any and all of the new forms of interviews are sensitive to those who cannot interact in the way we take for granted.
Some autistic people have acute imaginations, visual memories, and exceptional thought processes. Their brilliance enables them to find unique solutions to cybersecurity and data analysis. As a result, these individuals may command a six-figure salary. They can become independent and live on their own.
In the past several years, many large companies such as Microsoft, Ernst and Young, and SAP in the UK have become aware of the benefits of hiring autistic employees for their special abilities. One high functioning autistic individual created the Kepler Telescope. He built an interactive software program called Filtergraph, which was featured in a segment on CBS, “Recruiting the Talent on the Autism Spectrum.” That led to NASA signing a license agreement with the inventor.
For those living outside the United States, large companies are not bound by the same regulations as in the U.S. Therefore, HR departments can use the CAT (Children’s Apperception Test-Human Edition) to determine verbal abilities, sensitivities, for verbal Autism and Aspergers. Such tools can highlight various aspects of a personality needed for appropriate job placement. Does the employee work best individually in a quiet room or as part of a team in a shared space? CAT- H card # 2 may be interpreted as a “struggle” or competition between the humans. Card #8 might be interpreted as humans being “too close for comfort.”
In the United States, clinical psychologists and clinical neurologists have used the CAT-A (animals) for decades as well as other assessments, including ADOS, to diagnose autism. The CAT is used by clinical neurologists to assist in determining social dynamics and emotional regulation. These thematic assessments can help caregivers and families understand the family dynamics, eliminating family conflicts.
The BAT (Bellak Apperception Test) can help caregivers and families and can be used by psychologists, doctoral students, and mental health providers. The CAT-A ages 5-10 and BAT thematic assessments ignite the imagination, and the CAT and BAT use the same themes for ambiguity. Currently, Vetor has been studying the possibility of publishing the colored CAT-A and the BAT, following the norms and standards established by the Council.
The history of the CAT
This global assessment was originally created by Dr. Leopold Bellak in the early 1950’s. Not until 2014, however, did CPS due to a unique film called The Kangaroo Complex was released, realize that the CAT is used in autism.
The film shows the creator of the film (who is a mother of an autistic son) who was trained on the CAT, decides to gather 3 other single mothers who have Autistic teens, and presents the 10 CAT cards to them. This leads to a discussion of the mothers picking out whichever card they identify with the most and they all share on their individual struggles and or hopes for the future.
This dynamic film can be used as a metaphorical “can opener” in group and individual therapy, and in all mental health settings. For those wishing to view a 5-minute clip of the Kangaroo Complex1, it can be seen on YouTube.
The Sky is the Limit – Real Life stories
Not everyone’s son or daughter may end up as on the famous show America’s Got Talent, like the very famous Kobe Lee, a blind, autistic boy approximately a 22 year old, who won America’s Got Talent Golden Buzzer after performing on the piano with his amazing voice and later having his own show in Las Vegas.
Or on YouTube, another blind autistic young boy — who was adopted at birth because his mom was a drug addict. When he was introduced to the audience and his age was mentioned, he corrected his dad by saying he was 17, not 15, and the whole audience laughed out loud.
Those with autism might just be the ones who become scientists and predict climate change faster than others. While Elon Musk is known to be a genius, we contribute that to him being on the Spectrum. The great Albert Einstein was thought to have been slightly damaged. He had a stutter and could not process information well, many decades later defined as Central Auditory Processing Disorder which usually comes with ADHD.
Unfortunately, CAPD is not diagnosed in evaluations except with very specific audiologists. Einstein’s mother was his saving grace. To give Einstein something to enhance his life, she introduced him to classical music, which calmed him down throughout his life.
Whether it be Autism or ADHD, and even some levels of Schizophrenia, as in the film The Beautiful Mind, it’s about finding the key that will match the talents/minds to whatever will offer a focus and purpose in their lives, offering some independence and even perhaps a way to earn some income. Please visit Autism Around the Globe3 is a universal website describing all that is being done around the world in Autism.
About the Author
Kerin Bellak Adams, is the eldest daughter of the late Dr. Leopold Bellak. Dr. Bellak was a pioneer in ADHD, recognizing its genetic basis, Schizophrenia and opened up the very first walk-in clinic in Queens, New York. She wrote a book “Secrets and Psychoanalysis – The Life and Works of Dr. Leopold Bellak” which will be published in 2024, which includes much of his work, lifetime friends of the Freuds, and much more. Kerin received her degree in psychology at Hofstra University in Long Island, New York and is the internationally published author of her first book “ADHD Success! Solutions To Boosting Self Esteem: The Diary Method for Ages 7-17. Vetor and its distributors sell this book. It is practical and uses humorous images based on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy teaching the young reader to become sensitive to their emotions, and awareness of their environments, and through simple diary pages consisting of what they do right each day. This practical guide includes a simplest approach to scoring their growth in their self-esteem. www.reachbeyondADD.com for details. Kerin in addition to being the CEO of CPS, a publishing company, she is also a consultant to families coping with Autism and ADHD, determining CAPD and can work remotely.
She is the creator of the CAT-A in color (2012) and the CAT-H color (2017). In 2021 she co-developed with one of Dr Bellak’s colleagues, the two versions of BAT assessment that is multi-cultural. She has authored other books. These include a volume set called “Light at the End of the Tunnel” (three short stories on ADHD, Borderline Personality, and Depression), and Leo the Lion and The Kangaroos, (On Autism) and a poem called Hurt People Hurt People (on bullying and abuse). Leo the Lion will also be sold by itself and in addition as a combination set with the CAT, black and white and the CAT assessment in color. These will all be sold on various platforms to be announced upon publication. For updates on the books, research, case studies, and much more please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
1 – For those wishing to view a 5-minute clip of the Kangaroo Complex it can be seen on YouTube with English subtitles
2 – In Brazil, the use of CAT-A and CAT-H is an exclusive right of the psychologists. The BAT and CAT in their color version are not available yet for use in the country due to the validity and standardization studies required by the Federal Council of Psychology.
3 – Visit the website of Autism Around the Globe – https://www.autismaroundtheglobe.org/
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