Sawgrass Marriott Earns Certified Autism Center Designation

First Resort in Florida to Earn the Designation

Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort & Spa is the latest destination to become a Certified Autism Center (CAC) to help ensure guests and families with children who have autism have the best possible experience.

The resort implemented a training and certification program provided by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES) to ensure staff are trained to work with individuals on the spectrum and to share the resort’s commitment to ensuring all guests are accommodated. For almost 20 years, IBCCES has been the industry leader in autism training for licensed healthcare professionals and educators around the globe. IBCCES created programs specifically for the hospitality and travel industry since parents with children on the autism spectrum often find vacationing to be a challenge due to sensory needs, dietary restrictions, and safety concerns.

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ADHD prevalence increasing around the globe

Over the last 20 years, the prevalence of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has increased significantly in the United States; from 6.1% to 10.2%. Countries around the globe are noticing a similar increase as well. According to Department of Health, about 6.4% of children and adolescents are affected by the disorder in Hong Kong, with over 10k new cases in 2017 alone. Dr Patrick Ip, clinical associate professor at HKU’s department of pediatrics and adolescent medicine, attributed the “phenomenon” to more accurate diagnosis and growing awareness about the importance of treatment.*

It’s incredibly important to ensure professionals working with individuals with ADHD and other cognitive disorders are provided opportunities to receive up-to-date focused training options. The Board Certified Cognitive Specialist program includes training on ADHD as well as autism, dyslexia and other related cognitive disorders. Equip yourself with a professional credential backed by relevant training to ensure you’re providing the best quality services for those living with cognitive disorders.

 

 

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VillaKey Designated A Certified Autism Center

VillaKey has completed the process of becoming a Certified Autism Center, which is a designation that demonstrates the organization’s commitment to ensuring their clients who have autism or sensory sensitivities will have the best possible experience. This is the first vacation rental company globally to earn the CAC designation.

VillaKey has helped families, many with children on the autism spectrum, book vacation home rentals for years, but they furthered their commitment to serving those clients by completing the CAC program, which includes evidence-based staff training, through the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES). As a Certified Autism Center, parents can rest assured when booking through VillaKey that their needs will be understood and VillaKey’s experts will guide them to the best option for their family.

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Interview with Dr. Stephen Shore

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?

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Helpful Holiday Hints

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.

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Leveraging Visual Support for Neuro-divergent Children

Creative Ideas To Offer Better Visual Support For Neuro-Diverse Children

By Guest Contributor Evan Brown

Leveraging visual support for neuro-divergent children entail using a visual item, such as a picture card or mood boards, to communicate with a child who exhibits a shortcoming in using or has difficulty understanding language. Visual supports can be in the form of lists, written words, objects, drawings and photographs. Ample research stands as evidence that visual supports provide one of the best communication mediums for children with developmental disorders. When employed for children on the autism spectrum, a visual support serves two main purposes: helping the child communicate with those around them, and aiding parents in communicating better with their child.

temple grandin

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Listen-Up: May is Better Hearing and Speech Month

What? Can you repeat that, please? Yes, May is Better Hearing and Speech month. Let’s participate by celebrating the two projections on the side of our head that do so much despite being so little. The importance our ears play in activities of daily living is often overlooked or taken for granted. From infancy, we utilize sounds to get our needs met and learn about the world around us. Hearing loss can have detrimental impacts on a child’s ability to learn and develop speech and language, as well as safety concerns.

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Let’s Talk About Depression

By Guest Contributor Claudia Cortez

World Health Day is April 7 and this year the World Health Organization (WHO) is tackling depression. Per statistics from the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, 40 million adults suffer from depression in the United States alone. Globally, that number escalates to an astounding 350 million people. The prevalence among children and adolescents is much higher: 1 in every 4 teens will have a major depressive episode in high school. Depression also accounts for the second leading cause of death among 15 to 29 year olds–suicide. In an ongoing effort to raise awareness, reduce stigma, and mobilize the community to learn, recognize, and treat depression, WHO has implemented a year-long campaign with the slogan, “Depression: Let’s Talk.” The campaign began October 2016, but it’s not too late to take part in the conversation. 

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Spreading Acceptance: How to Create & Share Your Own Story

donnaBy Donna Sigurðardóttir, founder of I am UNIK

My daughter’s future is bright.  She is thriving at school because they are meeting her every need with an admirable flexibility, thoughtfulness and respect.  All of which has been achieved with close cooperation between home and school, something that I believe are key factors in improving a child’s quality of life.  Why? Because, on one hand we have the child’s parents, who are experts in the child and on the other hand we have the teacher, which is an expert in teaching methods and goal setting. When these two respect each others roles and take the time to listen and work together, magic happens!

Our teacher’s mentality is priceless.  They have so much respect for my daughter and they put every effort in customizing her curriculum and learning environment to her needs. As an example I could mention that she always arrives late for school. Is that okay? Imagine this; she arrives into an empty school building and is exposed to minimum sensory input, which means that her stress levels are low and she gets a good start of the day. Otherwise it would take her teachers about an hour to unwind her after a chaotic school start and a maximum sensory input. That kind of a solution requires flexible thinking and caring.

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Why Dr. Stephen Shore is One of My Favorite Autism Advocates

kerryBy Kerry Magro, Self-Advocate, National Speaker, and Author

I’ve written many articles about how the lack of having a peer role model growing up on the spectrum affected me. I didn’t know about Dr. Temple Grandin and others who had autism that I could look upon to show me how far I could go. As I reached adulthood though I learned about advocates such as Dr. Grandin, Carly Fleischmann, Alexis Wineman, John Elder Robison, Amy Gravino, Jesse Saperstein, the list goes on and on.

One person though who I particularly look up to is none other than international speaker Dr. Stephen Shore. Stephen Shore is not only a dear friend but also one of the biggest role models I currently have in my life.

Stephen Shore Kerry Magro PhotoWhen I first met Stephen it was at an Autism Society of America conference. He immediately befriended me and wanted to get to know me better. After our first meeting I’d go on to read several of his books and later would be able to contribute a chapter to a book he co-authored called College for Students with Disabilities: We Do Belong. I to this day use his quote “if you’ve met one individual with autism, you’ve met one individual with autism” in a majority of my presentations. It shows how wide and unique our spectrum truly is.

Another quote which I enjoy from Stephen is on his website where he mentions the “unlimited potential for people on the autism spectrum.” What a wonderful message. I think that’s something our entire community wants to see for our loved ones.

Now even years later it’s been astonishing to see how many times our paths have crossed. Although we are only a trade ride away from each other, me being from New Jersey and Stephen teaching in New York at Adelphi University, we still end up running into each other around the world speaking at different events. Most recently, our paths even crossed at ISCRD 2017 hosted by IBCCES in St. Augustine, Florida.

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