By Award Winning Speaker Kerry Magro, who is on the autism spectrum
As a kid I never thought that one day I might be an educator. This was mainly due to limitations including being nonverbal till almost 3 and having challenges with communication for several years following that.
Long Term Goals Can Be Hard Throughout Therapy
It was often hard to focus on long-term goals for myself as physical, occupational, speech, music and theater therapy became part of my routine to reach
Autism friendly can just mean that an organization has made a donation to a local non-profit; a Certified Autism Center means that at least 80% of guest facing staff has received autism training as just one of the requirements.
In 2018, the CDC reported that 1 in every 59 children are diagnosed with autism. Despite this disability reaching far and wide, it’s extremely unique to each individual due to operating on a spectrum.
This can make traveling of any kind very difficult for families who have children with autism.
By: Dr. Ann Marie Leonard-Zabel, Full Professor of Psychology-Curry College, President of NEALAC Clinic
Student anxiety disorders are at an all-time high, making it increasingly important for teachers and other staff to know how to recognize and respond to students with anxiety.
Anxiety Statistics from the CDC
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 7.1% of children aged 3-17 years (approximately 4.4 million) have diagnosed anxiety.
The Fort Myers Miracle, the High-A Florida State League Affiliate of the Minnesota Twins, has completed the process to become a Certified Autism Center, a designation from the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES) that demonstrates the organization’s commitment to ensuring guests with autism and sensory sensitivities have the best possible experience. The organization completed awareness sensitivity training, as well as an onsite review by IBCCES to make additional recommendations on guest experience.
Parents with children on the autism spectrum often find choosing destinations and attractions a challenge due to sensory needs, dietary restrictions and safety concerns. In recent years, the popularity of “autism-friendly” options has grown; however, visitors often seek out organizations that have completed research-based training or certification to ensure their needs can be met.
Visit Mesa is the country’s first-ever destination marketing organization designated as a “Certified Autism Center” by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES). This new distinction is a result of the organization’s staff and governing board of directors completing more than 100 hours of specialized training to help families and individuals with special needs prepare for their perfect vacation and enjoy the varied travel offerings that can be had in the East Valley city.
“Visit Mesa is thrilled to be a national leader in the visitor industry and invest in training to better serve individuals with autism,” said Marc Garcia, president & CEO of Visit Mesa. “As a parent of a child who was diagnosed on the spectrum, not only is this the right thing to do, it’s an effort we are very proud to ignite here in Mesa. We are already seeing the movement spread within our community since embarking on this campaign only a few months ago.”
Kennywood is making a commitment to ensure all visitors, even those with sensory needs or on the autism spectrum, have an amazing experience. As part of this commitment, the amusement park recently earned the Certified Autism Center designation, which is awarded by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES) to organizations who have completed a training and review process with the goal to better serve individuals with autism and other sensory needs.
“When we looked at ways to improve guest service over the offseason, becoming a Certified Autism Center was at the top of our to-do list,” says park General Manager Jerome Gibas. “Our mission at Kennywood is to provide the finest in family fun and entertainment, and ensuring we’re on the front lines in understanding and serving our guests who are on the autism spectrum is critical to achieving that mission.”
America’s Favorite Past-Time
Autism and baseball are a good fit for a number of reasons, starting with the slower paced team atmosphere, the plethora of numbers and statistics, and the open air setting.
Baseball has been known as America’s favorite past-time for decades. As one of the most popular sports in the nation, there’s nothing quite like the experience of catching a game at your local stadium. The energy is infectious as the crowd roars, refreshments are passed down the aisle, and the next batter steps up to the plate.
The game of baseball appeals to a large population of Americans, including those who are on the autism spectrum. It is traditionally played outdoors in open stadiums and involves tracking stats of each player and team. This open environment and analysis of numbers is often what attracts people who have autism to the game.
By Dr. Kerry Magro, disability advocate, best-selling author and award-winning speaker
In 2007, the United Nations proclaimed April 2 as World Autism Awareness Day, a day every year people around the US and the world spread the word about autism whether through word of mouth or participating in events.
Sometimes people will even keep it up all April long, as for decades now April has been called different names such as National Autism Awareness Month, Autism Acceptance Month, and World Autism Month.
Once that day and month is over though there tends to be a drop off…
Water safety is extremely important for individuals on the autism spectrum to learn in their lives. They tend to have an affinity for water, which is part of the reason why drowning is one of the most common causes of death for people on the autism spectrum.
This is why it is so important to help people with autism learn the skills they need to be safer around the water and to seek out destinations or attractions with trained and certified staff.
Josh and Dave from the Sounds Like Autism podcast sit down with Myron Pincomb from IBCCES, the organization behind Certified Autism Centers like Sesame Place.
About the Sounds Like Autism Podcast
Josh Mirsky has a car, a job, a girlfriend, and now, a podcast. But none of it was easy – Josh also has Autism. Follow Josh and his friend and mentor Dave Thompson as they attempt to spread awareness, insight and positive energy, exploring a range of subjects from employment to relationships.
Check out the podcast for Apple: Unamused: Autism at Theme Parks – S1 E6
Android: Unamused: Autism at Theme Parks – S1 E6