By Elayne Pearson, Special Needs Preparedness Specialist – Author/Life Coach/Motivational Speaker
It’s dawn. The sun sprinkles glorious golden bronze glitter on the navy blue ocean out beyond our little time-share balcony, or lanai, as they call it here in Hawaii. My husband, Rod, and I love the Islands, because they transport and replenish us. We love the cultures, foods, and people here.
I’m supposed to relax, but it’s kind of hard, because for over 25 years on any vacation with Heidi, our beautiful daughter with Down syndrome and late-onset autism, it honestly was not relaxing for our family. We had to watch her constantly. Thank goodness (out of real desperation) I searched and gradually found drug-free solutions to calm her accelerated central nervous system and level out her baffling emotions.
The other day a neighbor offered me some fresh garden produce and I happily accepted. My husband and I haven’t taken the effort to build up our rather alkali soil to produce a decent garden, so I truly appreciated the gift.
Later, after I saw the box of zucchini squash and some odd looking green bell pepper-looking things, I realized I would need to actually create meals with them. (Silly me, I had imagined my delivery box would contain picture perfect long carrots with the frilly green stems on top like Bugs Bunny eats, and shiny red tomatoes that make any salad or sandwich even better — both requiring little preparation.) Heck, I wasn’t even sure if some were cucumbers or zucchini and if those odd looking green items were mild green bell peppers or hot and spicy peppers. Yet, I felt compelled to use them. You see, I was raised with the old pioneer adage: “Eat it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.”
September 25, 2015, SAN DIEGO – International “Autism Expert” and IBCCES (International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards) board member Dr. Stephen Shore will be officiating an “all autism” wedding this Saturday in San Diego. The couple being married, Anita Lesko and Abraham Nieslon, are both on the autism spectrum, and will be joined by a wedding party (ring bearer, harpist, wedding cake baker, groomsman, usher, etc.) who also have ASD.
The two met in the spring of 2013 at an Asperger’s support group. The ceremony is scheduled to take place at San Diego’s Love & Autism: A Conference with a Heart, a conference organized by Dr. Jenny Palmiotto to bring awareness to the fact that every individual – including those on the spectrum – wants to be loved.
“Through the power of love, this conference demonstrates that individuals with autism can have fulfilling and meaningful relationships such as marriage – just like everyone else,” Shore said.
“For two individuals who have gone through their lives feeling alone, it is beautiful that they have finally found companionship and understanding,” Plank, told PEOPLE Magazine in an interview. “It gives hope to those of us on the spectrum who wonder if we will ever find our other half.”
Lesko, 54, was diagnosed with autism at the age of 50, which shed some light for her on why she may have been perceived as somewhat different throughout her life.
“We’re trying to show that autistic children can grow up and have a happy, fulfilled life, just like everybody else,” Lesko told PEOPLE. “It’s not uncommon for people on the spectrum get too comfortable – get in their comfort zone, and it becomes scary for them to step out of their shells. Abraham and I have stepped far beyond our comfort zones to get where we’re at – and in the process, we learned how to be spontaneous.”
Contributed by IBCCES Board Member Lois Jean Brady, SLP, AT, CAS, Author, Developer, & Producer of Autism Today TV & Newspaper
One of the greatest things about today’s technology is that it has given educators and parents opportunities to connect with individuals on the spectrum in a way that books, flashcards and other traditional techniques never could. Since its release in April 2010, the iPad has quickly become one of the most effective, motivating, indispensable learning tools ever for those on the autism spectrum – and just about everyone else! In the past few years, we have seen an explosion in what mobile technology has to offer for the special needs population. Apple has incorporated terrific new accessibility features, developers have created fantastic apps, and companies are producing accessories to meet the needs of every user. But, the most impressive of all, is the way this technology is opening new possibilities for the special needs population: many users are showing capabilities that defy our expectations.
September 18, 2015, JACKSONVILLE – Jacksonville NPR affiliate WJCT announced the designation of the Jacksonville Speech and Hearing Center as the first IBCCES Certified Autism Center yesterday on their morning show, First Coast Connect. Executive Director of the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES) Michelle Killian and President of Jacksonville Speech and Hearing Center Mike Howland appeared on the program to make the announcement. This designation means that at least 80% of the JSHC staff has undergone a rigorous training process that will assist in providing speech pathology and audiology services for those who have autism.The nonprofit is the first healthcare provider in North Florida to undergo this training for its staff.
Jacksonville, FL (Sept. 16, 2015) – The Jacksonville Speech and Hearing Center(JSHC) has earned its certification of autism care from the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES). This designation means that at least 80% of the JSHC staff has undergone a rigorous training process that will assist in providing speech pathology and audiology services for those who have autism. It is believed that the nonprofit is the first healthcare provider in North Florida to undergo this training for its staff.
An eye-opening report recently commissioned by IBCCES highlights the drastic need for autism related training and certification in health care and community services. The report notes that over $262 billion is spent on Autism related services in the US each year and over 77 percent of primary care physicians, nurses and licensed health care professionals rate their ability to care for someone with Autism as poor or fail. Continue Reading →