I Can’t Read Without My Glasses (an analogy)

By Lois Jean Brady, Author of Apps for Autism – www.itherapyllc.com

 

If you take my glasses away – I can’t read

If you encourage me – I still can’t read

If you give me a verbal model, I know what to say – but I still can’t read

If you give me cues or prompts, I have an idea of what to say – but I still can’t read

If you offer chips and skittles (reinforcers), I still won’t be able to read

If you test me, I will fail and be labeled illiterate or, worse, cognitively delayed

I may referred to resource or special education

If you give me my glasses

I can read!

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Tips for Attending a Successful & Affordable Autism Conference

By: Taveesha Guyton, Social Worker, Future CAS

In July, I was an attendee of the Autism Society National Conference held in the beautiful city of New Orleans, Louisiana. I am a social worker who specializes in working with the intellectually disabled and autism community. When the opportunity arose for me to not only go to New Orleans, a city I have admired for many years, but also attend a conference I professionally attached too, I became Super Man, “Faster than a speeding bullet! More powerful than a locomotive! Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound”!

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15 Behavior Strategies for Autistic Children

autism-high-five 15 behavior strategies for better autism behaviorWritten by Rachel Wise (article republished with permission)

In this article you will find 15 supportive behavior strategies for children on the autism spectrum (some strategies can be used with adults as well). Many of the strategies can also be used to help children without autism who have challenging behaviors.When caring for or working with a child with autism, a parent, teacher, or other adult may become frustrated with the child’s behavior. Behaviors can come on suddenly, last for hours, be hard to control, or make the adult scared or embarrassed.

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Using Summer to Advance your Skills

brigid  By Brigid Rankowski, Autism Advocate & National Speaker

For many professionals in the educational fields, the countdown to summertime has been going on for months. As the students yearn to be outside the classrooms, so do the educators long for a respite. However, when the classrooms are all packed up sometimes that’s the best opportunity to get some more work done. During the school year, it is difficult if not impossible to keep up to date on the newest books or educational tools while still maintaining the day to day operations. The free time allowed during the summer months can offer valuable time to reflect on the past year, prepare for the upcoming school year, and work on improving their skills working with disability community.

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Problems with Parades and your Special Needs Child? Keep it “UP”!

By Elayne Pearson, Special Needs Preparedness Specialist, Author, and National Speaker

July is great for recalling our amazing heritage in this choice land. I adore the patriotic music, programs, and parades. However, there were many years when even attending a local July 4th parade with Miss Heidi, our cute daughter with Down syndrome and autism, was very stressful. Personally, I loved the spirit of patriotism, the scalloped star-spangled bunting, and creating parade floats. Our four daughters in their crisp red, white, and blue outfits (and matching hair bows) undoubtedly felt the excitement in the air too, but our youngest, Heidi (who craved peace, quiet, and predictability) probably felt like she was entering a war zone, with random firecrackers, flashing police lights directing the excited mobs, smoke and BBQ odors from vendors, and bands playing with true vigor.  More than once, Heidi darted off in a “parade panic” and our family (also in a panic) thankfully always found her.

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3 Things I’ve Learned from Developing Autism Technology

Contributed by Awake Labs

At Awake Labs we are developing a tool to empower autistic individuals and their caregivers to better understand anxiety with the goal of preventing behaviour meltdowns. This tool is called Reveal. It’s a wearable device (it looks a bit like a fitbit) and app that measures and tracks anxiety in real time. I’m new to the team and the first couple of months have been eye opening. So far, these have been my main takeaways.

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Summer is Here! Build (or replenish) Your Own Natural First Aid Kit

By Elayne Pearson, Disability Advocate, Motivational Speaker & Consultant

Hope everyone is having a great summer. I bet your thoughts have turned more than once to the students affected with autism in your sphere of influence. As a mom of Heidi, a young lady on the spectrum, I can tell you, summer is a difficult season with lots of open doors and windows, time on our hands and restless kids. UGH!

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Does Asperger’s Syndrome Still Exist?

By Rachel Wise, CAS

As a school psychologist, I often hear parents asking what happened to the Asperger’s diagnosis? Asperger’s still exists, it just falls under a different name.

In the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-4), there were four separate diagnoses all related to autism, which fell under a broader category called Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD). These four separate diagnoses included autistic disorder, Asperger’s disorder (also referred to as Asperger’s Syndrome), childhood disintegrative disorder, and pervasive developmental disorder, not otherwise specified (PDD, NOS).

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Using Positive Supports to Manage Behavior in the Classroom

By Kelly Noda, MA, CAS   [email protected]

A few years ago, I encountered a set of notorious twins who challenged my classroom and behavior management skills honed carefully by years of teaching middle school students and parenting a “strong-willed” child. I had no formal ABA training; in fact, I was brand new to the school. I didn’t recall doing anything to merit these 15-year-old sophomores’ placement together in my class, especially in a period that ended up as the last class on Fridays. I’d been warned of their tendencies, their “attention-seeking” antics by my colleagues. Head-shaking, commiserating ninth-grade teachers wished me the perfunctory “good luck” after a disbelieving exclamation of “You have them BOTH in the same class!?”  I can still see the piteous looks on their faces.

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Building Bridges, Linking Lives, and Healing Hearts

By: Elayne Pearson, Special Needs Preparedness Specialist, Author/Life Coach/Motivational Speaker

February brings to my mind cold and prickly weather, but also warm and fuzzy thoughts of Valentine’s Day. It’s a favorite holiday of mine because I think we all need to express our love and appreciation more. Okay, at home, more love and at work, more appreciation.

“Ah love, it’s a grand thing,” Lady Cluck wistfully observes, while gazing at the dreamy Maid Marion in Disney’s Robin Hood, and I truly agree with her.

For years, our home rang with the delightful music and scenes from that show and many Disney classics, because Heidi, our beloved little girl with Down syndrome, adored all things Disney. A few years later her sweet personality shifted into anxious and baffling behaviors (before most had even heard the word autism) and our videos went from being a simple joy — to a deep need of Heidi’s to collect and constantly carry with her.

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