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Posts Tagged ‘Community Connections’

Safety Planning

November 8, 2011 13 comments

I am a grandmother of a child with autism and I worry when my grandson comes to visit he will wander from my home; how can I make sure this doesn’t happen.”

This is a frequently asked question by family members of individuals with autism. It’s critical for families to put a safety plan in place and increase awareness of the safety risks for the individual with autism.

We would like to hear from you about what steps you took that worked to insure the safety of your family member with autism. Please share your experiences so that others may benefit. For more information visit: Autism Safety Project at: www.autismsafetyproject.org

Additional Safety and Autism resources in November’s Community Connections include; Safety and Autism, with updates to the Autism Safety Project and feature Safety in the Home Workbook and Video, a resource developed for families by Ohio State University faculty and funded by a Family Serves Community Grants.  Please join us for two Facebook Live Chats scheduled, on Nov 15th at 4-5 pm EST Dennis Debbaudt, www.autismriskmanagement.com will present “How to Prepare for an Autism Emergency,”  and on Nov 20th at 2 pm EST George Braddock, from Creative Housing Solutions, will present his work Housing designs.

Technology, Apps, and Autism

October 24, 2011 6 comments

Welcome to this installment of ‘Topic of the Week.’ These topics stem from submissions from our community. If there is anything in particular that you would like to see featured, please contact us!

Leslie Stahl reported how people with autism are speaking and making breakthroughs on this 60 Minutes feature, Apps for Autism.

Do you, or someone you know on the spectrum, used assistive technology to help communicate? Are there any applications you favor? What are some pros and cons of using assistive technology for those on the spectrum?

Can you recommend any apps or devices?


Authentic Inclusion: A Prize-Winner with Autism

July 22, 2011 9 comments

This is a blog post by autism expert Lisa Jo Rudy of autism.about.com. Lisa Jo Rudy is a professional writer, researcher and consultant, and the mother of a 14-year-old boy with an autism spectrum disorder. Lisa is the author of Get out, Explore, and Have Fun! How Families of Children with Autism or Asperger Syndrome Can Get the Most out of Community Activities, published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Every summer, there’s a terrific county fair in our town.  4-H members bring their sheep, chickens and pigs for judging…  moms present their jams and pickles…  and kids submit their drawings, paintings, photos, K’nex structures and lego buildings to see what kind of prize they can win.

Of course, 4-H gives every submission some kind of prize.  But this year was a bit special in our family.  Our daughter, Sara, won “Best of Show” at the pet competition, for her presentation of her friendly rat, Reepicheep.

And Tom, our son, also won a Best in Show prize.  Tom’s was for an elaborate lego structure he’d created entirely on his own, all by himself, in his bedroom.

4-H actually asks each family whether the child entering the competition has any special needs.  In the past, we’d said yes.  This year, though, we went with “no.”

Our son, Tom, is nearly fifteen.  Diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS) at age three, he is squarely on the autism spectrum.  While Tom is verbal and engaged with the world, he thinks, speaks and interacts differently from  his peers.  Typical classrooms are very difficult for him, as are friendships and casual chats.

But for Tom, creating unique structures with legos is a no-brainer.  He can build almost any lego structure he sees – and he seems to be able to figure out just how to create anything he can dream up.  The piece he submitted to the fair was very special: a café, complete with kitchen, tables, food, a stage, and a full-scale jazz band with piano and horns!

The truth is that Tom does have special needs under many circumstances.  But at the fair, his submission wasn’t just “good enough,” or  “adapted.”  It was, quite simply, the best in its class.

Where does your child shine?  What abilities does he have that make him not just “includable,” but outstanding?

Even if it’s just for a moment, in one setting, with one group of people – how does your child with autism earn real, authentic admiration and respect?

Check out the piano and horn players in the top center, the patrons at their tables, and the waiters moving through the restaurant.  Not shown are the real, working electric lights!

Tom’s café won first prize and Best in Show at the county fair.  Look closely, and you’ll notice that we’ve written “no” under “special needs.”

Read more from Lisa Jo Rudy at Autism at About.com  at  autism.about.com or The Authentic Inclusion Site. Check out our interview with Lisa Jo Rudy on this month’s Community Connections page – Stepping Up to Summertime Fun!

We’re Talking About Fathers

June 6, 2011 30 comments

Autism Speaks wants to honor the fathers of children with autism.  Please tell us how your life has been challenged and enriched by your child.  What have you learned that might help and inspire other dads?  What is your favorite memory with your child this year?

We will include your responses in this month’s Community Connections. Sign up here to receive the Family Services Community Connections eNewsletter!

You can show your Father some love by sending him a ‘Father’s Day eCard!’

Healthy Living

May 23, 2011 17 comments

Welcome to this installment of ‘Topic of the Week.’ These topics stem from submissions from our community. If there is anything in particular that you would like to see featured, please contact us!

Fitness, nutrition, and general health and hygiene are critical components of a full and happy life. Do you have a health and wellness plan? What types of fitness do you or or child engage in? How do you implement health and wellness in the day-to-day?

For more information on Healthy Living, please visit here.

Celebrating Moms!

April 25, 2011 61 comments

Welcome to this installment of ‘Topic of the Week.’ These topics stem from submissions from our community. If there is anything in particular that you would like to see featured, please contact us!

We would like to celebrate mothers this week!

What positive message do you want to send to other Moms who have a child with autism? If you could offer encouragement to other Moms what would you say? What new strength or wisdom did you gain from raising a child with autism?

Be sure to subscribe to the next Community Connections that will, “Celebrate Moms,” to be published on May 6.

Teaching Life Skills

April 18, 2011 43 comments

Welcome to this installment of ‘Topic of the Week.’ These topics stem from submissions from our community. If there is anything in particular that you would like to see featured, please contact us!

Life skills are important in the growth and development of a person on the autism spectrum. How do you teach your child independent life skills - home living, personal care, etc.? What are some difficulties you have faced? Have you used any strategies that worked particularly well?

To learn more about teaching life skills, visit this edition of Community Connections.

Social Skills and Autism

March 28, 2011 36 comments

Welcome to this installment of ‘Topic of the Week.’ These topics stem from submissions from our community. If there is anything in particular that you would like to see featured, please contact us!

People on the autism spectrum often have issues with social interactions. Often, a person on the spectrum has difficulty with basic social skills. How do you work on your social skills or the skills of your child? What tips do you have and what strategies do you use to improve this skill set?

For more information on social skills, including information from experts, teachers, and families, along with useful resources to help enhance your family member’s opportunities to be part of the community please visit this installment of Community Connections.

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