CDIJA Becomes the First Certified Autism Center™ in Portugal

Centro de Desenvolvimento InfantoJuvenil dos Açores (CDIJA ) is the first of its kind to become a Certified Autism Center™ (CAC) in Portugal. This designation is granted by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES) to organizations that complete training and certification through IBCCES to help staff communicate with and provide assistance to autistic individuals and those with sensory sensitivities.

Therapists Assisting a Child“CDIJA has been dedicated to serving and helping those with autism and sensory sensitivities since 2017. The comprehensive service specializes in areas of research, diagnostic evaluation, and intervention. We have a project called ‘Azores all in blue’, which was created with the advocacy of providing inclusivity and accessibility to families with autistic or with sensory-sensitive members to have quality and leisure time,” says Pilar Mota, Managing Director of CDIJA. “With the Certified Autism Center™certification coming from IBCCES”, we will be more recognized as an organization that focuses on serving and helping autistic individuals and other sensory differences. We are so delighted CDIJA  has successfully completed extensive training from leading autism experts, therefore, giving confidence to families who come to us.”

CDIJA offers multidisciplinary and comprehensive supports for special needs children, including diagnosis, therapeutic intervention, research, and training of professionals in their field of expertise to further enhance their offered services and help better serve the autism community and other neurodevelopmental differences.

“We’re proud to work with the CDIJA team to provide more knowledge and support in these areas so they can continue their mission and better serve their clients,” said Myron Pincomb, IBCCES Board Chairman. 

For more than 20 years, IBCCES has been the industry leader in cognitive disorder training and certification for education, healthcare, and corporate professionals around the globe. IBCCES provides evidence-based training and certification programs created in conjunction with clinical experts and autistic self-advocates in order to provide professionals serving individuals with cognitive disorders a better understanding.

IBCCES also created, as a free online resource for parents that lists certified locations and professionals. Each organization listed on the site has met Certified Autism Center™ (CAC) requirements.

Interested In Learning How To Become A Certified Autism Center?

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How to Help Your Child with Autism Transition to Adulthood?

By Lisa Lane and Susan Sachs (article republished with permission)

“What do you want to be when you grow up?” This question is first posed to youngsters before they even reach first grade and continues in some form for years to come. Those words can make parents of children with autism cringe. We are not sure what lies ahead for our children in the years to come. In fact, we are often unsure of the status of next week. Our focus is simply to get through the day. But, too often, thoughts of the future wake us up in the middle of the night. What is stimming?

Action can be an antidote to worry. As the moms of two adults with autism, we suggest two avenues of action to help alleviate concerns: focusing on transition-readiness skills now, regardless of the age of your child, and advocating for systems that better meet the needs of individuals on the spectrum.

Start now

Although school systems typically focus on the transition to adulthood when students turn 16, parents can start building towards transition at an early age. Starting now, we need to build key skills that will help our children have as much autonomy as possible.

●  Exercise choice-making

The ability to make a choice is crucial to self-determination for people with autism. This skill should be part of any intervention plan and practiced frequently in the home. Consider choice-making to be a muscle that requires consistent exercise to become strong. Integrate small choices into every activity: Do you want to put the cap back on the toothpaste before or after you brush your teeth? Do you want to button your jacket from the top or the bottom? Do you want to use your right hand or left hand to turn on that light? Our goal is to help our children move beyond a simple choice between two offered options to an expression of their own preferences throughout their daily lives.

●  Increase independence

For many parents of children with limited language, increasing a child’s independence has the downside of potentially decreasing the motivation to communicate. We fear that if the child can get the juice himself, we will miss out on those precious words: “I need juice.” We need to set aside those fears, however, because fostering the spirit of independence is critical to preparing for adulthood. At every opportunity, we need to build our child’s habits of self-care.  We can do so without losing communication skills if we, along with our intervention team, focus on continually adding new words to the repertoire.

●  Prioritize life skills

As parents, we often want to focus our energy and interventions on academics to the exclusion of life skills, because we feel our window of time is limited. Many suggest teaching life skills at a later date, so their children can keep up with peers in the classroom. That tendency is not surprising, since our culture tends to value academic skills over self-help skills, even in our small children. We cheer if a child can count to ten in a foreign language, but we are less impressed if she knows how to blow her own nose. Parents sometimes view building “functional skills” as giving up on academic skills, but those functional skills should be emphasized at every step of the way. Those are the skills that often determine the long-term quality of life.

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Autism Stimming and Hand Flapping: What are the Key Causes and Behaviors?

By Kim Barloso, AB (article republished with permission)

If you’re an autism parent, it is likely you’ve seen your child present repetitive stimming (self-stimulatory) behaviors such as hand flapping, spinning, and shaking. These behaviors can be worrying if they’re not fully understood.

In this guide, we will discuss everything you need to know about stimming in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and how to manage stimming behaviors.

What is stimming?

Stimming is a shortened way of describing “self-stimulation”. In a nutshell, stimming refers to self-stimulating behaviors, usually involving repetitive movements or sounds.

Although stimming is one of many possible indicators a child might be on the autism spectrum or have ADHD, stimming behavior does not necessarily mean a person is neurodivergent.

A person who stims tends to show repetitive body movements (such as rocking) that can involve all five senses, or they might move objects in a repetitive motion. You might also hear stimming referred to as “stereotypy.”

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