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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International ABA Autism Training & Certification Launches Worldwide

Professionals that work in the field of autism can now receive internationally-recognized ABA training and certification through the International Board of Credentialing & Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES). ABA, or Applied Behavior Analysis, is proven to have to have the highest rate of success in treating Autism Spectrum Disorder.

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Meet New IBCCES Executive Director Dr. Melanie Bolt

Dr. Melanie Bolt

IBCCES is excited to introduce new Executive Director Dr. Melanie Bolt to the global community of autism specialists. As Executive Director of IBCCES, Dr. Bolt draws on her expertise in educational research and evaluation to unite people, processes, and productivity for the purpose of providing autism training and certification for professionals who work in the fields of healthcare and education. Her goal is to better-equip teachers, paraprofessionals, therapists and other healthcare professionals to successfully address the needs of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

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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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