TEA/SBEC – EC-12 SpEd; EC-12 ESL; EC-4 Generalist, CAS;
Accessibility & Inclusion Specialist
Marshall Scuba Swim and Safety has become the first dive shop in Asia to earn the designation of Certified Autism Center™ (CAC). The CAC designation, granted by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES), means that visitors and families with children who are on the autism spectrum can enjoy the best possible experience that caters to their needs when they’re learning to dive.
Marshall Scuba Swim and Safety is in Malaysia, only ten minutes from the border with Singapore. Achieving this designation complements the long-standing efforts of Marshall’s owner and main instructor, Kenneth Tuttle. Kenneth has taught swimming for over three decades. Marshall Scuba and Swim Safety offers all levels of scuba instruction, along with instructor training to work with students on the autism spectrum as well as those with other cognitive and physical disabilities.
Queen Creek Parks and Recreation, in an effort to be more accommodating to visitors and residents with autism, has completed a training and certification program through the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES). Earning the designation of Certified Autism Center (CAC) ensures that the staff of Queen Creek are better equipped to help create an inclusive environment in community spaces. As part of the certification process, IBCCES also reviewed key parks and community resources and will be providing additional information and guides for visitors and residents to the area.
“Queen Creek strives to be an inclusive community for people of all abilities,” shared Queen Creek Mayor Gail Barney. “This certification is an important milestone towards that goal. It better prepares our staff to interact with individuals with autism, enhancing their experience at our parks and in our programs. We are committed to providing quality programs and services for the entire community and are excited to achieve this designation to better serve Queen Creek.”
Parents with children on the autism spectrum often find choosing travel and vacation options a challenge due to sensory needs, dietary restrictions and safety concerns. To address this need, Courtyard Phoenix Mesa has earned the designation of Certified Autism Center (CAC), awarded by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES). The certification means that the hotel is committed to serving guests with autism and sensory needs and have completed training to ensure guests can enjoy the best possible experience.
The Courtyard Phoenix Mesa also joins a growing number of organizations that are becoming certified in Arizona, a movement inspired by the work of the Visit Mesa organization and that community’s goal to become the most autism inclusive in the world.
House of Refuge is joining the Mesa Autism Initiative, connecting to an expanding network of organizations that have earned the Certified Autism Center (CAC) designation from the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES). A faith-based, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, House of Refuge has been helping families experiencing homelessness in the East Valley for over 20 years by providing transitional housing and wrap-around support services. These services, coupled with the stability provided by housing, provide families with the foundation and resources needed to achieve self-sufficiency and obtain permanent housing.
I am a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist for the past 27 years. I’ve been working full time ever since graduating from Columbia University in 1988 with my Master’s in Nurse Anesthesia. I specialize in anesthesia for neurosurgery, organ transplants, and orthopedic joint replacements.
Oh, yes, there’s something else I’d like you to know!
By Carol S. Weinman, Esq., C.A.S., International Speaker and Author
“My son really is a good boy. And, now, he thinks he’s bad.” These were the words of a mom who recently witnessed her adult son – with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) – in handcuffs. It got me thinking even more about the unspoken fallout of an ASD individual’s encounter with police. Boys with ASD experience “hits” to their self esteem at a very early age. They feel different, sometimes odd, and often ostracized and misunderstood. Highly vulnerable from a young age, they are more susceptible to the after effects of being arrested, handcuffed or fingerprinted. They transition to adulthood with a compromised sense of self-esteem and self-concept. The impact of being arrested and handcuffed cannot be minimized. It is traumatic for anyone at any age, but for an individual with ASD, it can be even more devastating.
By Anita Lesko, BSN, RN, MS, CRNA
I have the good fortune to be a friend of Dr. Temple Grandin. We have a lot in common. We are both autistic, and we share a very similar youth that played a big factor in our adult life. We both started having jobs at a very early age. Temple often talks about her early days, when her job was to greet guests at the door for her mom’s dinner party, and take their coats to hang up. Yes, it was a job. She was given a responsibility to carry out.
Among her numerous other childhood jobs was the one I, too, did for many years — mucking out horse stalls. In conversations with Temple on the phone, we’ve talked about those days of our teenage years spent shoveling out one stall after another. We both love horses and being around them. It was peaceful and it was also a form of therapy. In essence, it was our occupational therapy.
By Elayne Pearson, C.A.S., Special-needs Preparedness Specialist, is an award-winning writer, poet, presenter, advocate, author, and actress.
In the late 1980s, individuals with disabilities were coming into the bright spotlight of media and society, and my husband, Rod, and I vowed we would never keep Heidi (our sweet little daughter with Down syndrome) “shielded” at home like families frequently did in the past. Her sisters were proud of her, too, despite frequent rude stares from others. One thing I always did to bolster our confidence before going out with my little chickadees was make sure their faces were clean and hair was brushed, with a bow, barrette, or headband added — including little Heidi. Her munchkin-angel face looked even cuter with curls, ribbons, and bows.
Fast forward a few years. Heidi’s late-onset autism (unbeknownst to us) created an extreme sensitivity with anything around her face, such as lip balm, sunscreen, eyeglasses, and all hair accessories. First, her annoyance was baffling, then frustrating, then down-right aggravating. Heidi detested anything in her hair, and seemed oblivious to pain when she pulled out a barrette, curler, flower, elastic, or ribbon. It drove me crazy.
By Carol S. Weinman, Esq., C.A.S., National Speaker and Author
The willing desire to work together in unraveling the puzzle of autism is growing among law enforcement. The number of calls I receive to present on the topic of autism and police training increases every day. The reason: law enforcement officers want to better understand the complex mindset of those with autism spectrum disorder and more importantly, learn how to interact with them.
Hardly a month goes by anymore when the media isn’t reporting about someone with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) who is arrested or has an unfortunate police encounter. That’s because what appears to be suspicious or criminal activity is behavior characteristic of an individual with ASD. So, how can a police officer know the difference? Well, the first step in prevention of these traumatic incidents among police officers and the ASD community is education.