Home > Family Services > Family Services Office Hours – 8/24/11

Family Services Office Hours – 8/24/11

The Family Services Department at Autism Speaks will now offer online Office Hours each Wednesday, starting August 3, 2011, from 1:00-2:00 p.m. EDT

Office Hours, a new resource available on the web at www.autismspeaks.org will easily connect families to a wide variety of autism-related resources, including Family Services’ Toolkits, and the Autism Speaks Resource Guide, an online national database of autism providers and resources searchable by state and zip code. Family Services’ Office Hours is designed to quickly provide access to resources that are available and free to the entire autism community.

“Having a family member with autism can easily lead to feeling isolated without knowing where to turn. In addition, most families have little free time to search for reliable information about autism, yet they may be in need of timely information. Office Hours offers a quick connection to the Autism Response Team(ART) who can assist you in getting the information you need as quickly as possible,” states Marianne Sullivan, Assistant Director of National Outreach and Resources.

The Office Hours resource is staffed by ART coordinators who are specially trained to connect families affected by autism to resources.

In addition to Office Hours, ART is available by telephone during usual business hours at 888-AUTISM 2 (888-288-4762). You can also reach ART by email at familyservices@autismspeaks.org.

Here is the transcript:

12:58
Hello Everyone!
12:58
Comment From Melissa 

Excited for our chat today! Thank you~

12:58
We are so excited to be on this chat today. As we wrap up summer we can look back over the month of August as we discussed back to school!
1:00
Today we are going to go over some last minute strategies to transition to the new school year. We would like to introduce to you our new ‘Individualized Education Program (IEP): Summary, Process and Practical Tips’
1:00
It is a free, new online guide that provides parents with important and reliable information and advice about navigating the IEP process, created by a team of pro bono lawyers at Goodwin Procter.
1:01
You can download it for FREE here!http://www.autismspeaks.org/sites/default/files/iep_guide.pdf
1:01
Another very variable resource we have comes from a LIVE Chat Gary Mayerson hosted, ‘How To Compromise With Your School District Without Compromising Your Child’
1:02
You can read the full transcript here!http://blog.autismspeaks.org/2011/08/18/transcript-gary-mayerson/
1:02
Comment From Deb 

Did anyone else send their child to school for the first time this year?

1:02
Hi Deb! Can you tell us a little bit about your child’s transition?
1:03
Comment From Deb 

He’s 4, and started pre-k this week.

1:03
How did things go?
1:03
Comment From Deb 

He’s doing well, but his anxiety is through the roof. Overall I’m pleased with his reaction

1:04
This is where transition planning comes in. It is great to prepare him by having routines or going over his day before he goes to school to alleviate some of his anxiety
1:06
Comment From Deb 

We did that, we’ve been getting ready for a couple of months. I just can’t seem to quite reach him to … smooth his feathers.

1:07
Keep trying and don’t give up! Communicate with his teacher- they may have some great ideas and teamwork is key!
1:07
Comment From Jenny 

Any good ways to handel anxiey over homework assignments? My son is in 8th grade and homework is so stressful to him.

1:07
Hi Jenny that is a very common concern.
1:09
Start with communicating with your son’s teacher about what the homework expectation is. I suggest you setup a special time each day to complete his assignments and work with the teacher to create a rewards system that will help him work through and complete his assignments. Remember, just like all other kids, your child is not any different… LOTS of children have trouble completing homework assignments. Ask family members and his teachers for some ideas how to best work through this issue
1:10
Paula Kluth has some wonderful resources that may help as well! Here is her page of ‘Readings’http://www.paulakluth.com/readings/
1:10
Comment From Arden 

We made my grandson, age 4, a book with pictures of his teachers and a story about the schedule of the day. He is in his 2nd year of pre-school throught the Special School District, and he likes going to school.

1:10
Arden that is wonderful! Great planning!
1:11
Kids with autism respond so well to predictability. We are always so glad to see a grandparent involved- keep up the good work!
1:12

The School Community Tool Kit provides information and resources for general education and administrative school staff to support a positive school experience for children with autism.
1:12
The School Community Tool Kit has some great tips and suggestions on classroom management for kids with ASD. Check out the ‘Appendix’ section!http://www.autismspeaks.org/family-services/tool-kits/school-community-tool-kit
1:13
Each section is broken up and you can download each section independently – for FREE!
1:14
Comment From Jenny 

does this explain the special education rights of the parents as well as those of the child?

1:15
Hi Jenny – the IEP Guide explains this, which can be downloaded here http://www.autismspeaks.org/sites/default/files/iep_guide.pdf
1:15
You can also learn more about your child’s rights here!http://www.autismspeaks.org/what-autism/your-childs-rights
1:16
Comment From Jenny 

ok great because I always feel like the schools are not telling everything

1:16
One of the most important things as your role as a parent is to be an advocate. We have provided these resources so you can do your best in parent advocacy
1:17
Comment From Brenda 

My 7 year old son has Asperger’s. He’s entering 2nd grade. Although making progress in leaps and bounds with a great IEP and teachers and professionals, he is still very immature emotionally and tantrums in front of his friends. How can we help education not only his teachers, but his classmates on his condition. He still doesn’t understand himself.

1:18
Hi Brenda- It would be really helpful to look at the School Community Tool Kit in the Appendix section. There are a lot of great resources on how to talk to peers as well as teachers about ASD
1:19
You may also want to look at the Asperger Syndrome and High Functioning Autism Tool Kit. It goes more into the details of the diagnosis!
1:20
Comment From Jenny 

My son had a teacher that played a video about Autism designed for children for her class. it really helped the other kids with how they treat him in a positive way.

1:20
Nice going Jenny and kudos to the teacher who is thinking about the needs of ALL of her students!
1:21
Comment From Jenny 

it was her idea, she was a great teacher

1:23
We have heard some great feedback on the book – ‘Wrightslaw: All About IEPS’
1:23
You can also visit the website which is a wonderful resource for ALL parent advocates
1:24
Comment From Alexis 

My son is going to school for the first time and I’m worried because he doesnt speak yet

1:24
Hi Alexis – thanks so much for this question. How does your son communicate?
1:25
I am assuming that your child’s IEP has communication goals and objectives in it that outline the way in which your child communicates to teachers and peers. It is very important that it is well defined across all of his environments
1:25
In this case it would be important to have a speech therapist involved in your child’s IEP planning
1:26
Many parents have reported great success in using iPad technology as a way of communicating
1:27
The ‘Technology and Autism’ Community Connections is also a great resource http://www.autismspeaks.org/family-services/community-connections/technology-and-autism
1:28
*Many parents have reported great success in using iPad technology as a way of having their child communicate* To be more clear!
1:28
Comment From April Shumard 

Hello! My name is April. I just wanted to ask right quick, I know the IEP is done yearly, but is is done on the yearly annaversary of the last one or is there a specific month. I am forgetful!

1:29
Hi April! I know it can be hard to balance everything! So the IEP is done annually in the same month
1:29
Comment From Sandy 

My son is 9 & going into 4th grade. I’m concerned about his ability to focus on non-preferred tasks in class (i.e. math). We worked on his summer workbook yesterday & it took him at least 45 minutes to complete 10 problems . . . and that is with me right there with him to keep him on task. He can do the work, but is so distracted it takes forever.

1:30
Hi Sandy – I think it would be great to get some support from a behavior analyst who can work to create a behavior plan that will help your son complete his task in a timely manner.
1:31
I would recommend asking your son’s teaching to ask for a functional behavior assessment
1:31
During last week’s chat with Gary MAyerson, he defined what a Functional Behavior Assessment is.
An FBA identifies the target behaviors, tracks and measures the frequency, duration and antecedents of those behaviors, and then, finally, hypothesizes as to the likely function of the target behaviors…and you need to know what the function is before you can develop and design a proper behavior intervention plan
1:33
Comment From Sandy 

Thank you – I will pull up last week’s chat and check in with the people in charge of the IEP.

1:34
Your welcome! We have dedicated the month of August to back to school and we have lots of resources in our Family Services Section so PLEASE be sure to visit!
1:35
Comment From doreen 

my son got dxsd autism and autustic spectrum disorder does he qualify for social security benefits ??

1:35
Hi Doreen – It all depends on your state, but check with your State Developmental Disability Office. Social Security is a little tricky in that it depends on a family’s income, but your son may be entitled based on his disability
1:37
Comment From Arden 

I will be attending the IEP meeting next week. Any streategies that will help me get through the process?

1:37
First of all Arden, good luck!
1:37
It is great that you are thinking about what you can do to make the process more smoothly
1:37
If you look back at earlier posts in this Q & A there are great resources that you can review
1:38
We have a new Individualized Education Program (IEP): Summary, Process and Practical Tips, a free, new online guide that provides parents with important and reliable information and advice about navigating the IEP process, created by a team of pro bono lawyers at Goodwin Procter.
1:38
One thing to remember is to be positive and promote collaboration with your IEP team!
1:39
A positive attitude will go a long way in helping to get services for your child
1:40
Comment From Alexis 

Quick Question Is a child with a developmental disability such as autism entitled to a blue handicapped placard from the DMV

1:42
That is a good question Alexis! I think that depends on that state you are in and the eligibility requirements are listed on your state DMV page
1:42
Comment From Guest 

How do you get the school to participate in the use of the school tool kit?

1:44
Great question! We have had many parents who send the PDF to the Resource Specialist at their child’s school. BEWARE it is 250 pages and it can be expensive to print. Many schools may want to print one copy to keep in a binder to have to use for all of their students with autism
1:45
There is a section for staff training included in the kit
1:45
Great work promoting the Kit to your school! Great advocacy!
1:45
Comment From April Shumard 

Do I have to wait for the yearly IEP? Can I request sooner??

1:45
Absolutely!
1:46
Under IDEA anyone on the IEP can request an IEP
1:46
It is important to put that request in writing to make sure it is well documented and that the person who is responsible receives the document
1:47
If your school is not in compliance with your current IEP it is important that you go ahead and make a request for an IEP meeting
1:48
Comment From Bonnie 

My son was taken out of a regular school in grade 2 he should now be grade 5 level. They have had him in an environment where he is with children who have been banned from all schools here. He has been out of school now for near 2 months with me fighting tooth and nail to try to get him integrated into a regular school with no relief. I have tried through politicians, the autism network in my state education department complaints etc. Any suggestions ?

1:49
Hi Bonnie – you have obviously tried through many different avenues to advocate for your child. You may want to seek an attorney. If you visit the Resource Guide under your state, you can find a list of attorneys in your state.
1:50
It sounds like you have been through a lot and I wish you and your son the best
1:50
Some parents have to move mountains to get the right fit for your child.
1:51
You are doing a wonderful job of being a parent advocate
1:51
Comment From Teresa 

My grandson’s school told my daughter that even though she had an IEP from the end of this past school year that they would still have to evaluate him for 90 days to decide if they are going to impliment the recommendations from his last IEP. Why is it they just don’t go ahead and impliment that IEP while he is being evaluated?

1:52
Hi Teresa – you are absolutely right to question this!
1:52
Assessments should have been completed in the last IEP. I would recommend a new IEP meeting to discuss this issue
1:52
If something has changed or the school is questioning that needs to be discussed in an IEP meeting
1:53
Comment From Teresa 

how do we go about getting them to do this?

1:53
Requesting the IEP meeting through the Resource Specialist at your grandchild’s school is the way to go. Everyone team member has the right to do that
1:54
Comment From Teresa 

Am I able to attend this IEP meeting. My daughter knows nothing about autism.

1:54
ABSOLUTELY!
1:55
Parents have a right to bring support or another family member to an IEP meeting
1:56
Comment From Teresa 

we have been told by the school that I am not able to attend. I actually have three grandsons with autism two that are in school. THANK YOU SO MUCH. Won’t be shut out again. this is sure nice to know.

1:56
We would like to thank you all for visiting Office Hours this week. It is so great to see the autism community so involved and advocating for our kids with autism.
1:57
Please be sure to check out our new Individualized Education Program (IEP)http://www.autismspeaks.org/sites/default/files/iep_guide.pdf
1:57
We are going to be skipping next week, but will be back on September 7 from 3-4pm EDT
1:58
We will be shifting our discussion to celebrate grandparents and their connection to their grandchildren with autism.
1:58
Please know that you can always contact the Autism Response Team (ART) members are specially trained to connect families with information, resources and opportunities.Call us at 888-AUTISM 2 (288-4762) or email us atfamilyservices@autismspeaks.org.
1:59
Comment From Arden 

Thanks for all the info and links

1:59
Comment From Guest 

Thanks to you we have a better acknowledge about Autism !!

1:59
Comment From Jim 

thank-you for having this forum available to us

1:59
WE WISH YOU THE BEST OF LUCK! See you after Labor Day!
  1. Alberta
    August 25, 2011 at 10:27 am

    my grandson is going to turn 4 in a couple of days…..he was diagnosed last year as bein mildy autistic, my question is how do we handle his temper tantrums..if he does somethin wrong and you tell him to stop, he screams, or grunts real loud, and recently hes started to punch you …..

  2. Lori Hyde
    August 25, 2011 at 2:23 pm

    My son is 11 and starting the 6th grade. He has bipolar/ ADHD and has recently been diagnosed with PDD. He is still in the mainstream class. His anxiety is extremely high and has several rages the last few days. Do you have any ideas to help keep the anxiety at a minimum?

  3. Tye
    August 25, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    My son Chase is 6yrs old and was diagnosed with autism 2yrs ago. I must say that with IEP and my son’s school he is adjusting and learning very well

  4. Carla
    August 26, 2011 at 7:13 am

    for the parent about the eight grader I have one and yes i have to give my son a incentive to work for every week it so helps! i also put him in after school for homework there are teachers on hand for a hr helps so much! now it is the 3rd week and his anxioty is really soaring he don’t feel like he has anyone to go to his sped teacher VERY strict . and they are not following iep now i have written a letter to her asking to get on track not to be sending my child to the recovery room when he get’s upset this is for troubled kids and when he is told to go there kids are making fun of him we talked about this last year every year i have to go over this and everything! does anyone know the best school in kansas for kids on the spectrum/ He looks so normal that is the problem so they think he should just walk the line I am praying ! any suggestions? Carla

  5. August 31, 2011 at 4:07 pm

    my sis is 43 and since her mensrutal cycle her seizures come before, during ,and end of cycle.if cycle irregular has more seizures acccordingly.took part on neuropace program..but still seizures seem poorly controlled overall….any one relate to this connection? would hyserectomy stop them??????

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