About Autism News and Views

Autism News and Views will provide regular updates on news about Autism. In addition, we have provided important links to a wide variety of web sites that will provide you with information on Education, Health, Safety, Advocacy, Service Providers and much more. Use Autism News and Views as your source for the best information on the Autism Spectrum.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Help For Military Families; Toolkit for Clinicians; Summer Fun Helps Improve Social Performance

Editorial Note:

Autism News and Views has been publishing for about two months now. And I'm very proud of the product and our service. We've received an exceptionally good response. I want everyone to know that Autism News and Views provides the best information on autism resources that one can find right now on the internet. If you're a parent, we have links to many of the best resources for you including a whole host of providers and schools. These include, but are not limited to, sites such as Parent to Parent, Parent Education Network, Moms Fighting Autism, Child Parent Autism Cafe, and many more. If you're in the profession of serving individuals with autism, you don't have to go much further than navigating and exploring this page for important information. Almost anything you need on autism, you will find here. The same goes for researches, students and medical personnel. And if you happen to be someone who is looking for employment in this profession, many of the providers linked here are looking for good employees. In other words, you can start you job search with Autism News and Views. I ask all of you to consider this publication your on-line virtual consultant. Please mark it to your "favorites," visit often and share. You'll find your entire library devoted to the autism spectrum right here.

Thanks for your time.

Jerry Komar, M.Ed.

"...people with AS and their families are not alone and can help one another as well as be helped by people who make the effort to understand their difference. And that AS is not just about needing help; it is also about being given the space to be different. In the right environment, people with AS can make remarkably valuable contributions."--Simon Baron-Choen, Ph.D.

With Memorial Day almost upon us, I wanted to take the opportunity to list some of the web sites that help military families who have children with autism.
  • American Military Families Autism Support {AMFAS} is by military families and for military families. They provide information, support, news and many other options for military families dealing with autism. http://update.amfas.org/
  • Operation Autism: A Resource Guide For Military Families is a web-based resource specifically designed to support military families that have children with autism. The web site also provides information on autism and military health care, educating children with autism and additional important resources. I've personally took some time to navigate this site, and it offers a lot of good information. www.operationautismonline.org/
  • Act Today (Autism Care and Treatment Today) For Military Families is a national non-profit whose mission is to raise awareness and provide treatment services to families that cannot afford the treatments and services their children require. www.acttodayformilitaryfamilies.org/
Summer Fun Has A Great Outcome:

A recent treatment program at Canisius College found that "...an innovate multi-component summer social development program to be effective in improving social performance of children with high-functioning autism." The program lasted 5 weeks. 35 children, ages 7-12 years, participated in the clinical trial. 18 children were randomly assigned to receive the summer program and 18 to a wait-list control condition. Treatments included direct instruction, modeling, role-playing and performance feedback. The general findings suggest "that children in the treatment group improved significantly in their understanding of what social skills to use in a range of social situations..." {Source: Institute for Autism Research at Canisius College, Christopher Lopata, PsyD and Marcus Thomeer, PhD}

Fantastic Resource For Clinicians:

Since 2008, The American Academy of Pediatrics has available a comprehensive resource to help support health care professional in the identification and ongoing management of children with autism. The following is some of what is included in this kit {CD-ROM):
  • Example screening tools
  • Guidelines
  • Management checklists
  • Developmental checklists
  • Developmental growth charts
  • Record-keeping tools
  • Emergency information forms
  • and more.
For more information, just visit: AAP-Caring for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Resource Toolkit for Clinicians or try searching using Amazon available on this web site.

4 Your Bookshelf:
  • Autism Tomorrow: The Complete Guide To Help Your Child Thrive in the Real World featuring Dr. Temple Grandin. This book covers areas such as: independent living, safety, employment, puberty, sexuality, dating, bullying and so much more. Testimonials about this book have all been very positive.
Recommended Reading:
  • Autism Digest has a great piece this month entitled, "Trouble Finding a Job? Common Barriers for Individuals with Asperger's Syndrome." In short, the barriers listed are no different than those for anyone else. They include, but are not limited to, ineffective resumes,  missing key qualifications, and simple errors in writing. Go to www.autismdigest.com/ for that article and many more good pieces (I found, "Closing  the IEP Deal" {March-April 2005} very interesting. I think you will too. I recommend it for parents).
Movie Recommendation:

  • A Mother's Courage: Talking Back To Autism was an HBO production in 2010. If you missed it, get a copy and watch it. If you've seen it, it's worth watching again. In short, it's a mother's journey to Europe and Iceland to find treatments for her son. It's narrated by Kate Winslet. It's also the winner of several international film festival awards. This is an exceptional film. I would encourage you to tell others about this film.
  • Chocolate is another oldie but goodie and a lot of fun. This 2009 release is about a teenage girl with autism who happens to be a kick boxer. Lot of action. The film is subtitled in Thai. It's received some good reviews.

Seminars and Conferences:

  • Asia Pacific Autism Conference. Perth Australia. Sept. 8-10, 2011. Contact #: 618.9389.1488. Email: info@eecw.com.au
  • Seminar: "Fostering Peer Play and Friendships for Children and Teens on the Autism Spectrum: The Integrated Play Groups and Friend 2 Friend Models." Location: SFU Vancouver, BC. Event will be at the Harbour Center, Labatt Hall Room 1700. Dates: Oct 21 and 22, 2011, 9-4pm both days (Doors will open at 8 am on Oct. 21st).  Contact #604.528.0560. Registration: http://www.friend2friendsociety.org/calendar/seminars/index.php
Preview: In our last edition, we reviewed the challenges faced by African American children and adults with autism. In an upcoming edition, we will target Latinos with Autism. In my brief research thus far, I'm finding Latinos face similar problems as do African-Americans; yet, some are distinctly different. Keep an eye out for this report coming soon.