An Analysis of Potential Problems and Solutions in Weather Communication with Autistic Individuals
Matthew Bolton, Saint Leo University, Saint Leo, FL
William Blumberg, University of Oklahoma, Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorology Studies
Mike Mogil, How The Weatherworks
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Abstract
In this talk, we present arguments for the inclusion of individuals who have autism spectrum conditions (ASC) within the U.S. National Weather Service’s Weather-Ready Nation efforts. ASC impacts cognitive development and communication ability, and although prevalence has increased steadily in recent years, little attention has been paid to it by the weather community in discussions to improve overall weather communication. By reviewing multiple models of cognition that exist within ASC, we seek to identify and share with meteorologists and others in the weather enterprise potential scenarios wherein its characteristics may negatively impact current weather communication methods and the receipt of critical weather information by autistics. To counter these negative characteristics, recommendations and suggestions that meteorologists and others in the weather enterprise can use to better support autistics are presented. Overall, we seek to begin a dialogue with meteorologists about ASC and related topics, and identify areas where research at the intersection of meteorology and autism could be focused within the Weather-Ready Nation framework.