Santa Barbara Zoo is the first zoo on the West Coast to become a Certified Autism Center (CAC), which is a designation that demonstrates the Zoo’s commitment to ensuring guests and families with children who have autism have the best possible experience. Parents with children on the autism spectrum often find vacationing and visiting new places to be a challenge due to sensory needs, dietary restrictions and safety concerns. With this certification, guests can rest assured staff and the grounds are prepared to welcome everyone, regardless of their needs.
The number of people diagnosed with autism and other cognitive disorders is increasing, and the world is becoming more aware of how we should accommodate individuals with special needs. The travel and hospitality industry must also demonstrate that destinations and staff are equipped to offer the best experience possible, whatever an individual’s hidden disability. If not, organizations risk losing those guests to a competitor.
By: Elayne Pearson, CAS, and proud parent of an autistic daughter
Most mothers confess their child’s Junior Prom is something she looks forward to with pride and joy. For me, dreaming about the magical night with a formal dinner and dance for Miss Heidi Ann brought fear and dread. Bless her heart, even though Heidi was in high school, she was in Special Education, and was well behind her peers in most basic levels. “Prom” would be very tricky.
Certification readied for April’s Autism Awareness month and start of new season
Sesame Place®, the nation’s only theme park based entirely on the award-winning show Sesame Street®, in conjunction with the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES), today announced the completion of a staff-wide autism sensitivity and awareness training at the theme park. The completion designates Sesame Place as a Certified Autism Center (CAC) as distinguished by IBCCES, — the first theme park in the world to receive such a distinction. The certification aligns with National Autism Awareness Month and comes as the park readies for its 38th season, opening on April 28, 2018.
By: Carol S. Weinman, Esq., CAS, International Speaker and Autism Legal Expert
“Wow….a non-litigious lawyer – now that’s refreshing!” Those were the words uttered from an attendee of the Special Education session I presented at the February International Symposium on Cognitive Research and Disorders in St. Augustine, Florida. The session was entitled “How Best to Avoid Special Education Litigation.” My foremost guidance, as simple as it may sound, is cooperation and collaboration.
IBCCES Board Member and international speaker Dr. Stephen Shore was recently interviewed by Lime Connect. Read on for an excerpt and a link to the full interview delving into Dr. Shore’s perspective as a professor and professional who happens to be on the autism spectrum:
Lime Connect: You’ve famously said, “If you’ve met one person with autism, you’ve met one person with autism.” Why is that an important point for people to understand about their interactions with individuals with autism, in particular?
When professionals who specialize in autism enter their careers, they pledge to do all they can to help those who face the challenge of this often mystifying condition. Some of them enter the world of Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) through BCBA certification to take advantage of the technique’s benefits to help persons with autism shape their behavior to function better in life. There is, however, now a new program that takes a broader approach to the field of autism beyond just behavior. This new program will give a significant career advantage to both those with no prior ABA training and those with ABA experience.
The need for education and professional credentials today is very different from what it was just fifty years ago, when what you needed to get a good job was a high school diploma. That diploma provided a meal ticket that enabled a worker to get a good job that supported a family, paid the mortgage, bought a car, and provided a two-week family vacation each year. At that time, only 5% of American adults earned a bachelor’s degree, while 52% held a high school diploma. Over the years, high paying jobs in manufacturing disappeared. To get the good jobs, you needed a bachelor’s. By 1990, nearly 10% of adult Americans had a bachelor’s, and the pay gap between what they earned and what high school grads earned grew dramatically. The college degree replaced the high school diploma as a basic meal ticket.
By: Carol S. Weinman, Esq., CAS, Autism Expert & International Speaker
When I initially chose to concentrate most of my law practice on cases involving those with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) who are arrested or have encounters with law enforcement, I often received the same inquiry. “You mean there are that many of those cases that you can focus your practice on that?” The resounding answer is, unfortunately, “yes.” And, the numbers keep on increasing, including those who are incarcerated.
By Elayne Pearson, C.A.S, Special Needs Preparedness Specialist
I love the classic Christmas song “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.” But let’s be honest, December can be a difficult month for most of us – with all the juggling, jingling, jangling, and jostling of added obligations and opportunities. For people affected by a challenging special need or disability, it can be extremely difficult. Between the extra-long list of “to-dos” for everyone, the sugary treats, decorating, shopping, junk food, programs, and family gatherings — the toll exacted from individuals with fragile systems can feel like pure drudgery instead of pure joy. School teachers often observe goal-digression in students instead of progress and harmony. So, if you’re a professional, feel free to pass this little piece on to similar parents of special needs loved ones.