Archive for the ‘Topic of the Week’ Category

Back to School – The Conversation Continues!

August 8, 2011 4 comments

This questions comes from Getting Ready for School: Interview with Paula Kluth, Ph.D.

What can parents do to educate “other students” about autism (How to Be a Friend) to help with their child’s transition back to school?

“One of the best ways to educate other learners about peers with unique learning profiles is to build classroom community and teach about differences throughout the year. In the beginning of the year, students might all create “about me” posters, presentations, or books and share them to each other. A student’s autism can be explained as part of these introductions. In talking about a disability in the context of all individual differences, students will see that EVERY learner is unique, not just some! if a student on the spectrum wants to elaborate on his or her specific needs, that learner may be invited to field questions from classmates or to teach a mini-lesson on his or her label, strength, or challenges.

There are also some great pieces of literature that might be appropriate to use in classrooms. For older students, autobiographies of those with autism can serve as tools to discuss the needs of some individuals on the spectrum. For younger learners, books such Ian’s Walk or It’s OK to Be Different (Todd Parr) are nice introductions to the topic. I have just published a new book (with my colleague, Patrick Schwarz) about honoring a student’s fascinations called Predro’s Whale so I have started using that in classrooms as well.”

How have you educated “other students” about autism? What advice would you give other parents on how to accomplish this?

This month’s Community ConnectionsBack to School is aimed at helping families who have a child with autism make a smooth transition back to school. We produce an eNewsletter, a blogs, and a Facebook “Q and A session,” bringing together expert interviews, family experiences and a variety of resources on the topic. Sign up here to receive Community Connections.

Back To School Is Around the Corner

August 1, 2011 30 comments

Back to school time is always an  exciting time of year! The new school year lies ahead, full of promise and possibility.   Many families start early to prepare their family member with autism for the new school year. Meeting a new teacher before the first day of school, going on the bus route in advance are practical steps that can make all the difference when it comes to easing the transition back to school.  We want to hear from families including students, teachers, siblings, about what you did to make the transition go as smooth as possible.

This month’s Community Connections: Back to School is aimed at helping families who have a child with autism make a smooth transition back to school. We produce an eNewsletter, a blogs, and a Facebook “Q and A session,” bringing together expert interviews, family experiences and a variety of resources on the topic. Sign up here to receive Community Connections.

How to Integrate Your Child in the Community

July 25, 2011 23 comments

Every family has concerns and questions about how to successfully include a family member with autism in their community. Martin, a parent of a child with autism, and an attorney will join us on July 26, 2011 Facebook Q and A to share her own experiences and answer questions about how to step up to community inclusion!

We want to take some of your preliminary questions now! Ask away!

Training Staff in Community Programs

July 18, 2011 3 comments

As a result of increased awareness about autism and strong family advocacy many more people with autism are attending community-based summer programs.  An important ingredient to a successful experience is the staff at the community program, their understanding of autism spectrum disorders, and the unique strengths and challenges of your family member with autism.  How have you shared this information with agencies  or  community program staff?  Do you use a formal training program?  A written document?  One-on-one time with the staff?  Share your experience and make it easier for others going into new community settings this summer.

Traveling With Autism

July 11, 2011 32 comments

It is the time of year when we all begin to think about planning some down time – maybe even a vacation! Most families report that PREPARATION is key to a smooth successful vacation. Do you have a “success tip” to share with other families as they prepare to enjoy some summer fun?

Curious to know more about Travel Tips? Check out this Community Connections!

Everyone Deserves Summertime Fun!

June 27, 2011 22 comments

They say, when the sun’s out, the fun is out! But for those living with autism summer can be a challenging time. It often means breaking from routine – no school, new programs, vacations, camp, etc.

Tell us about your child’s successes in a summer community activity, such as summer camp? How did you learn about the activity? How did you plan for success? Suggestions for other parents?

Your responses will be included in July’s Community Connection’s Topic: Community Inclusion Sign up for Community Connections today

Relevant Community Connections

Traveling Tips for Individuals with Autism and Their Families

How to Choose A Summer Camp

Have Some Fun at Summer Camp

Diagnosing Autism Spectrum Disorder

June 20, 2011 48 comments

Parents are usually the first to notice the early signs or “red flags” of autism spectrum disorder.  Maybe it was something different they noticed about their child at birthday party, or the child not developing like a sibling. What was the experience that led you to seek professional advice for your child?

How did you feel when you or your child received an autism diagnosis? What were your initial steps? What advice would you share with someone who has been recently diagnosed? 

The Autism Speaks 100 Day Kit and the Asperger Syndrome and High Functioning Autism Tool Kit were created specifically for newly diagnosed families to make the best possible use of the 100 days following their child’s diagnosis of autism or AS/HFA.

Please join us Wednesday, June 22nd at 5 pm EST for ‘100 Day Toolkit’ LIVE Facebook chat with the Family Services Staff. 


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