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.
Posted with permission from Joanna Hinrichs, All About You Tour & Travel
I have always wanted to be a travel agent since I was 18 and graduated from high school. My first trip was to Mexico with my cousins, and I was hooked. I went to travel school in the late 80s and had the privilege of working for AAA Nebraska for 5 years. I decided to open my own home-based travel agency about 12 years ago in a little town in Nebraska with a population of 450 people. I also have a teaching degree and substitute teach in our local K-12 grade schools. I have a lot of experience working with kiddos on the Autism spectrum, ranging from low to high-functioning.
The International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES) will be conducting autism training for deputy sheriffs and first responders for the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office in St. Augustine, FL beginning January 2018. Over 400 St. Johns County law enforcement officers will take part in the training, which will address what Autism Spectrum Disorder is, how to recognize and communicate with an individual who may have ASD and how to reduce risk.
By Taveesha Guyton
When a child is diagnosed with Traumatic Brain Injury, otherwise known as TBI, this diagnosis is devastating to the family, as well as the community in which the child lives. Traumatic Brain Injury leads to death and long-term disability and expands across all social and economic levels. “Traumatic brain injury in childhood is the most prevalent cause of death and long-term disability in children and affects all socioeconomic levels” ( Bond Chapman, 2006). The cost of TBI is expensive to the child, the family as well as to the supports which serve the children.
By: Carol S. Weinman, Esq., C.A.S., Autism Expert and International Speaker
The question on the minds of so many people I encounter is: “So, how did this happen?”
When the facts of a given case are exposed, it is often difficult to imagine how an individual with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) could have landed in this predicament. What occurred that resulted in their being arrested, handcuffed and charged with child pornography, sexual assault or terroristic threats? For those of us who understand ASD, we may be bewildered by the thought of what could have taken place that led to an arrest and possibly imprisonment. After all, we know that generally speaking, individuals with ASD are not violent nor of a criminal nature. Rarely do they intend to harm another person or intentionally pursue others with the purpose to harass or terrorize them.
By: Kerry Magro – Self-Advocate, National Speaker, and Author
Growing up on the spectrum, one of the struggles I had to deal with the most revolved around communication. However, one area that I sometimes don’t bring up is some of my challenging behaviors. I was recently reading a tool kit from Autism Speaks called the Challenging Behavior Tool Kit that truly resonated with me. Often when I go out to speak at events, one of the main questions that comes up is, “How can I get my child to speak?” Challenging behavior questions often fall through the cracks.
By: Carol S. Weinman, Esq., C.A.S., Autism Legal Expert and International Speaker
For parents or guardians of a child with special needs, the thought of how their child is faring at school is never far from their mind. This time of year is always of concern and often very anxiety producing. Tweaking the IEP is often the focus of those concerns. What needs adding? What needs changing? What needs improving? What isn’t working? And, how do I go about getting the IEP revised? Most parents or guardians feel scattered and scramble for time to be sure it is all in place from day one of the new school term.
By: Kerry Magro – Self-Advocate, National Speaker, and Author
“When should I tell my child my child about having an autism diagnosis?”
Oh, if I only had a nickel for every single time I’ve heard that question.
My conversation about my autism diagnosis came about when I was 11 and a half years old when I was playing celebrity disability bingo in one of my social skills classes. During the game, I learned about celebrities such as Michael Jordan had Attention Deficit Disorder and Magic Johnson had Attention Deficit Hyperactivity. After the game was over, our teacher said that each one of these individuals was “special” just like us. After the class period, I asked my teacher, “Why am I special?”
The International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES), the world’s leading training and certification provider for autism and cognitive disorders, announced today the appointment of award-winning disability advocate Kerry Magro to their executive panel of board members.
“IBCCES does incredible work around the world,” said Magro. “It’s wonderful now to be part of this team as a board member.”
New Website Offers Autism Resources and Vacation Options for Individuals with Special Needs
Families with special needs now have customized vacation and travel options at their fingertips through AutismTravel.com. Created through the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES), AutismTravel.com is the first comprehensive online resource to help parents understand their options for travel with special needs in mind.
“Our goal with AutismTravel.com is to help the leading travel destinations in the world create safe, sensory-friendly certified travel options for parents and individuals on the spectrum,” said Myron Pincomb, IBCCES Board Chairman. “Autism Travel will also provide parents with a community to share ideas, plan trips with other families and explore travel options at some of the most beautiful places in the world.”