About this NT

I am the autism spectrum specialist with Responsive Centers for Psychology and Learning, where I have practiced for four years.

I graduated from the University of Kansas with a Master’s Degree in the autism and Asperger Syndrome program in 2005. I have worked with children on the spectrum for ten years in a variety of settings and capacities, including as a paraeducator, home therapist, teacher, home provider, and community-based specialist.

I teach classes about the autism spectrum at Johnson County Community College and lead a monthly support group for parents with children with autism spectrum disorders. During the summer of 2010, I ran Camp Confidence, a summer camp experience designed to help middle school students with ASD learn strategies to appear and feel confident.

I believe that autism is a diagnosis systemically affecting both the diagnosed individual and the larger family structure. As such, I offer an array of services for children and adults with autism spectrum disorders. I attend and advocate for my clients in Individualized Education Plan meetings. I work closely with schools to develop intervention plans for my clients. Clinically, I help parents and children on the spectrum to address maladaptive behaviors, anxiety, and social skills. I run approximately 15 social skills groups weekly for individuals ranging in age from four to 25. With my adult clients, I help improve their quality of life in whatever way they desire. I also provide diagnostic services for suspected ASD.

I have written several articles about ASD. I co-authored Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Handbook for Parents and Professionals. I also write the “Ask an Expert” blog for


15 responses to “About this NT

  1. jholverstott

    October 21, 2010 at 1:50 AM

    Absolute typo! Thanks for pointing it out! Fixed.

  2. patientanonymous

    October 21, 2010 at 3:17 PM

    No problem. Thanks. I write/edit and my brain’s always been of the sort that spots errors in an instant. Funny, but not really. Other people’s do, as well. I’m not alone.
    Also, one of those Aspie kids who read extremely early, and way beyond typical levels (uni. textbooks around maybe age 10?)

    Also, I’ve just been having a quick poke around your blog. Looks good so I’ll definitely have to come back to injest some more.

    Oh, dear! Good thing I didn’t make a typo! I haven’t had enough time to determine whether it’s funny or not! Well, perhaps my comments are perceived so. If you haven’t determined, extreme love of wordplay!

    See you around (hopefully soon.)

  3. David Pringle

    December 13, 2010 at 9:45 AM

    I am curious where you practice….

    If it’s close enough to me, I’d love to bring my son to you. He was just recently diagnosed as PDD-NOS and I would love to get him more involved in his therapy than we are seeing now.

    Thank you.

    We are in Harrisburg, PA.

  4. Dave

    December 25, 2010 at 7:15 AM

    Do you get any cases where there is an undiagnosed adult?

  5. Diana Huetteman

    February 5, 2011 at 1:07 PM

    Would you be willing to post some comments regarding acceptable social pairing (how and why) for social group/ school social work settings? Last year my child was “sent” to a group of 5 CI impaired children + him. My child is not CI. He got nothing out of this group. This year – due to my “complaining” – the group he is “sent” to consists of 5 EI boy and him. Again, another year of wasted time on services that provide nothing as there is no “value” to my son with these pairing. Perhaps you can direct me to some resources on acceptable ASD social group/social work standards that are not from 1938 or 1944. The frig mom misogyny from this era doesn’t work. Thanks.

    • jholverstott

      February 5, 2011 at 8:45 PM

      I would be more than willing to do so. I will work on that for you and post soon.

  6. Keith

    February 6, 2011 at 12:36 AM

    Okay, I think I’ve read all your posts here.

    Damn. You really get “it”. Are you sure you’re NT?

    In fact, it’s my opinion you get it better than any other voice I’ve encountered in the media spectrum.

    This is for me (an adult Aspie) a very strange sensation. My head is swimming with ten thousand questions I’d like to ask you about why They (NTs) do what they do and say what they say. You seem more like an Aspie clairvoyant able to channel an NTs perspective. Cool.

    And yet, your bio page is titled “About this NT” and you being the expert I’ll take your word on that. Given that fact… I have yet another ten thousand or so things I am tempted to blurt out before I lose your attention.

    Things I’ve noticed about the world, observations I think the world might find useful, but have kept close to my chest because I haven’t encountered someone with the proper skill set to process the observations any further than taking them as a personal challenge or dismissing them as an eccentric’s load of hot air…

    Today being your lucky day, I’m going to curb my twenty thousand points of interest and simply subscribe to your future postings. There seems a good chance you’ll get to all twenty thousand points in time.

    Well, if you will allow me a single observation to do with kids in school? A parable of sorts.

    I regularly have the chance to speak with elementary school teachers, principals, PTOs, nurses and other school authorities… about issues other than this, mostly. But occasionally about the mysteries of AS students & why they behave as they do.

    A teacher’s question might go something like this… “I understand the student has some unique needs and deserves our best efforts to meet those needs. And I think we do a good job, for the most part. But we still have one issue we haven’t resolved. Recess. There’s no plan for recess.”

    They go on to explain how difficult it is for them (the teacher) when they have recess duty, to see this one kid, all alone, on the fringes of the playground, not even looking in to see what the other kids are doing.

    “So sad. So lonely.”

    The teacher winds up winging a solution. She musters her empathy skills(?) and springs into action and by doing so causes this poor kid more trouble than he’s got already…

    She corners him for a solemn heart to heart and lays out her feelings about how much it hurts her to see him so lonely and alone at recess. Wouldn’t he like to join the other kids? She could do this or that to make it happen. Wouldn’t that be nice?

    Then he wouldn’t need to be alone at recess (the rest of the sentence goes unsaid, “he wouldn’t need to be alone at recess, if he were with the other kids the teacher would no longer need to be sad or hurt or concerned. He wouldn’t, once again, be causing someone stress or be a burden.”

    He may have Aspergers but he knows the body language and tone of voice for “you are screwing up and causing trouble again, let’s try this course of action to make you stop. Now.” Unlike other body language, this is particularly consistent among people. Doe eyes or not.

    I often think that “helpful adults” might be hoisting their discomfortable feelings onto these kids for leverage. To make the kid believe if he isn’t willing to suck it up and join the crowd (one example) for their own benefit, they should at least do it for the adults who care about them.

    Hey, the kid does have a heart. He doesn’t want his favorite teacher to be distraught, sad & miserable at recess… so he wanders over to the group to join in the zany dodgeball game.

    Kids run and scream, he gets disoriented and then beaned in the head. The kids laugh. The teacher beams. The bell rings and the teacher sidles up to him on the way back into school.

    “Wasn’t that better than standing out there all by yourself? I’m proud of you” she says.

    To cement her new good feelings and make her even happier he replies, “Um. Yea, I guess it was.”

    She pats herself on the back and tells all the other faculty in the teacher’s lunch room about her victory.

    Result: That kid forever has lost recess as a time to chill out and regroup.

    My point is, I’m sure empathy is nice. Unless the target of your empathy doesn’t share your values.

    The teacher (or anyone else) would know this much if the student came from another ethnic/geographic culture. The teacher would respect the difference and be interested in learning more about that kid from Mozambique (example) & how he sees the world. Hell, she might even throw a Mozambique themed party for the class to welcome their new student who is (it’s plain to see) so different from “us”.

    Aspie kids are just as different, mysterious, interesting and deserving of understanding as the kid from Mozambique.

    Why doesn’t the Aspie kid get a party? You know?

    Ugh. I’m sorry to have gone on and on. I promise not to allow my enthusiasm for finding your blog get the better of me. Writing to you will not become my next obsession. Not even with all of those interesting leading questions you include at the end of your blog posts. Nope!

    I’m cool.

    Thanks for reading.


  7. Karla Fisher

    February 7, 2011 at 5:40 PM

    I have to agree that this NT gets it! Wow….. Best blog I have seen yet on how it really feels.

    • jholverstott

      February 8, 2011 at 1:08 AM

      Thank you for your kind words. I try, very hard! It starts with listening, I find.

  8. pookiepookison

    February 9, 2011 at 6:17 PM

    That JHolverstott sounds like a really cool person!

  9. Keith

    November 1, 2012 at 6:55 AM

    Hey JH,

    Hope you are well. I check in every once in a while to see if there are new posts.

    Until then, thanks for sharing your unique POV. Many of your posts were great conversation starters.


  10. karan Watson

    June 7, 2013 at 1:28 PM

    after a tearful day, fighting with the school to try and make them understand my son can’t put pen to paper you have given me the inspiration to keep fighting and for them to realise this is normal….. For a child with asd. I won’t let them write him off.. Thank you.


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