Tag Archive: autism

From the Asperger’s Association of New England website…

One of the most challenging times to deal with the deficits associated with AS is during an emergency, or when you feel threatened or unsafe.  It’s not always easy or even possible to disclose that you have AS when interacting with first responders or law enforcement officers.   Fill in and carry this wallet card with you at all times to use in difficult situations.  Be sure to fill in the names of two people who know you and who explicitly agree to serve as emergency contacts for you.





Here’s a new list of summer resources for those with autism/Asperger’s in the U.S.A., more current for this year.  Feel free to comment if you know of additional camps to add.

Inclusion of programs on this website should in no way be considered an endorsement, as I have no personal experience with any of these organizations.  Please do your due diligence before selecting the appropriate program for your Aspergian or special needs child. 




























PEPSA – Partnership for Effective Programs for Students with Autism – will present its 10th annual Autism Summer Institute at Wharton High School in Tampa, Florida July 26-27, 2011.

The Autism Summer Institute is an annual workshop aimed at providing high quality professional development to a wide spectrum of professionals and parents who impact the lives of students with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) – including Asperger’s Syndrome.

The event features Dr. Scott Bellini, Director of Research and Clinical Services at the Indiana Resource Center for Autism, whose presentation will explain the relationships between social skills deficits and social anxiety, assess problems related to social functioning, and identify and describe social skills strategies. Day two of the program will provide an opportunity for participants to attend multiple sessions and hear outstanding speakers discuss topics relating to instructional strategies, addressing literacy outcomes, working with challenging behaviors, using sensory strategies, technology in the classroom, and strategic use of visuals to promote social and emotional skills, and reciprocal communication skills.

For more information, visit PEPSA’s event page.

Eden Autism Services is offering a Family Fun Day and Resource Fair from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 16, 2011 at the Eimerman Education Center, 2801 County Barn Road in Naples, Florida.  Trained Eden staffers and volunteers will be on hand to supervise and promote play and social skills in children with autism or Asperger’s, while parents and grandparents learn more about the conditions.  Registration is requested by April 12.  To register, call (239) 992-4680, ext. 205 or visit www.edenflorida.org.

The son of music legends James Taylor and Carly Simon, Benjamin Taylor, is returning to Naples to headline this spring’s Alive in the World Concert benefiting Eden Autism Services Florida.

The concert and auction event is presented by the Trust for the Advancement of Responsible Artists (TARA) at 6 p.m. on May 6th at the Philharmonic Center for the Arts Daniels Pavilion in Naples, Florida.

Tickets are limited and cost $150. For more information or to purchase tickets, call (239) 919-0408 or visit www.gigforgood.org.

Eden’s philosophy of lifespan services is based upon the premise that the majority of individuals with autism require services throughout their lifetime. While the extent to which these services are needed will differ from person to person, their specialized nature will not.

Lifespan services are at the core of Eden’s service continuum that ranges from early intervention programming to services for older adults with autism. Lifespan services are the vehicle by which individuals who have autism continue to learn and to grow – and to become active, contributing members of their communities.

Award-winning production company, Pie Town Productions, is currently developing a series that would follow one family through the everyday challenges of raising multiple children on the autism spectrum and/or with Asperger’s.  We think this could be an amazing opportunity to shed light on the misconceptions surrounding an individual’s ability to live a fulfilling life with this disorder(s).  To see additional info about Pie Town, please visit www.pietown.tv  Interested in participating on the show or finding out more?  Please email: ally_weinberg@pietown.tv

Over 30 experts, including four word-renowned autism experts will speak at the US Autism & Asperger Association (USAAA) 5th Annual World Conference and Expo to be held October 1-3, 2010 at the Hilton St. Louis Airport Hotel in St. Louis, Missouri.

This year’s conference boasts a new format including nine panel workshops in non-concurrent sessions in addition to the keynote addresses by Dr. Temple Grandin, Dr. Martha Herbert, Dr. Stephen Shore, and Areva D. Martin, Esq. Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome experts will present new interventions and new research in both education and medicine.  Each panel workshop will include five or six experts who will provide immediate answers to attendees’ questions.

Topics include:

  • Current Status of Research and Strategies for the Future
  • Medical/Biomedical Cutting Edge Interventions and Treatments
  • High Functioning Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome
  • Self Advocacy – Experiences, Perspectives, and Challenges
  • Behavioral/Developmental Approaches
  • Support Services
  • Siblings of individuals on the autism spectrum
  • Adjunct Therapies,
  • Nutrition, plus much more

CEU accreditation is offered throughout the entire conference and there will also be displays and information from sponsors and exhibitors.

For more information about the conference, visit the USAAA web site.

Our (Mis)diagnosis

Although she wasn’t diagnosed with Asperger’s until two years ago, our daughter was previously diagnosed in 3rd grade as ADHD of the inattentive type with generalized anxiety disorder.  Looking back, it’s more clear that she was showing some slightly autistic tendencies since elementary school.

When we tried recreational soccer, she would stand in the field and look up at the stars.  She would wander off and do her own thing at Girl Scout meetings.  She would pull out a book in the middle of class and start reading (and not the textbook, either!).  On top of that, although she could identify every single dinosaur ever studied, draw it and describe it, she could not seem to stay organized or turn in her school assignments.  This still remains a problem today.

So, we took her to the psychologist to figure out what was going on.  After two or three long testing sessions, she got a diagnosis of ADHD.  It’s easy to understand why she was diagnosed as she was.  The symptoms and characteristics of ADHD definitely fit (with the “inattentive” label since she most definitely was not hyperactive), and quite often patients receive a dual diagnosis.

Over the next few years, the social weaknesses became more and more evident as she had problems with making friends, bullies, looking people in the eye and facial expressions that did not always reflect what she meant.  The homework struggles continued, although she scored far above average on standardized tests.  The final straw which prompted us to re-evaluate, was during sophomore year when she began taking her health class curriculum to heart, and she began running 3-5 miles a day, and following a strict diet resulted in losing 20 lbs in 2 months and got down to 88 lbs. Fortunately the pediatrician and psychologist were able to talk some sense into her and she regained her normal weight over several months.  Questionnaires were completed, more testing was done, and shazam! – a new diagnosis which made much more sense… Asperger’s Syndrome.

Even though we have this diagnosis — every day is a challenge with unusual decisions (that make sense only to her), achievements, disappointments, emotional highs and lows.  Add teenage attitude to Asperger’s and it’s quite a roller coaster.

So, what’s your diagnosis story?  Thanks to greater awareness, Asperger’s is recognized earlier now than it used to be, and even though we’ve got word that it will be lumped in with the autism diagnosis, it still gives hope and help to those dealing with the ups and downs of the spectrum on a daily basis.

Robert Pattinson and other cast members of the Twilight vampire movie saga are sinking their teeth into a new role. This role, however, is more sweet and savory.

They’ve created a special item that will be auctioned off at the Icare4autism 2010: Cocktail Gala — an EXCLUSIVE Twilight Limited Edition Movie Masterpiece Collage. This fabulous item is made up of memorabilia that is out of production, collectible snippets and things unavailable to the general public. The money raised from the item will go to funding autism research and education conducted by the International Center for Autism Research and Education.

If you’d like the chance to bid on this Twilight masterpiece, you can now purchase tickets to the Icare4autism 2010: Cocktail Gala, which will be held on Thursday April 15th, from 6-10pm, at the Florida Aquarium in Tampa.

Autism Speaks Family Services Community Grants

Autism Speaks is accepting grant applications for services that will enhance the lives of those affected by autism spectrum disorders.  Applications for projects that address specific areas of need in education, recreation/community activities, and young adult/adults services will be considered from community organizations in the United States, and should include a description of how grant funding will support new programs or expansion of existing programs.  Individuals are encouraged to contact local providers and organizations to submit proposals that meet the stated goals.  The average grant award will be in the $5,000 to $25,000 range.  Letters of intent are due June 10, 2010 with final proposals due June 25th. Visit the Autism Speaks web site for details.