Autism ConnectionsConnecting Kids, Connecting Teens and Connecting Parents — grew out of the shared desire of many Kansas City and northeast Kansas area families and professionals for educational videos based on KU’s groundbreaking research on social skills, behavior and learning for kids, teens and parents. What’s more, they wanted the “lessons” for kids and teens to be fun, entertaining and aimed at the friends and potential friends of those with Autism Spectrum Disorders. We think that these three videos succeed beyond all expectations.

We’d like to thank the families who graciously permitted their children to participate in this production so that other families may find comfort in their struggle with autism, professionals might learn effective strategies for working with these children and peers may see how they can include individuals with autism into their activities and work to become friends.

This project was made possible by generous funding from the Kansas City Young Matrons and produced by the Kansas Center for Autism Research and Training and Juniper Gardens Children’s Project, both centers of the University of Kansas Life Span Institute, with Wide Awake Films.

Debra Kamps, Matt Reese, Sean Swindler and Linda Heitzman-Powell, the Kansas Center for Autism Research and Training, April 2014

Special thanks to:

Integrated Behavior Technologies

Johnson County Community College

University of Kansas Edwards Camps

University of Kansas Medical Center

Olathe Northwest High School

Robin Murphy

Jude Parnes

Chris Evans

Kenny Flanagan

Chris Mills

Zachary Sechrist

Waseem Alsalah

Connecting Kids Cast:

Drake Stephens as Ethan

Brandon Furman as Matt

Nathan Jurries as Jake

Tyler Black as Andrew

Connecting Teens Cast:

Brandon Parnes as Jason

Ian Anderson as Jeremy

Ty Carter as Chris

Perla Armendariz as Kristina

Austin Woods as Will

Jonds Lee-Brockhoff as Paul


Haley Thompson

Nickels Nickelsen

Nikki Odegbaro

Alec Riggs


University of Kansas Life Span Institute, Communications

© The University of Kansas 2014