(I would also add they've contributed to our overall culture in very positive ways)---Editor
The House of Representatives passed The Combating Autism Reauthorization Act (CARA). This legislation authorizes $693 million in funding for three additional fiscal years. A personal thank you to all who contacted their representatives advocating for the extending of this very important legislation. Kudos to all!
Autism Support Network ran a terrific piece recently entitled, "Top 10 Terrific Traits Of Autistic People." In short, these traits include, but are not limited to, the following (note: I only use "people first" language, so the text will not always match that of ASN):
- People with Autism Rarely Lie
- People on the Autism Spectrum Live in the Moment
- People with Autism Rarely Judge Others
- People with Autism Are Passionate
- People with Autism Are Not Tied To Social Expectations
- People with Autism Have Terrific Memories
- People with Autism Are Less Materialistic
- People with Autism Play Fewer Head Games
- People with Autism Have Fewer Hidden Agendas
- People with Autism Open New Doors for Neurotypicals
Allow me a moment to add two more terrific traits to this list.
So What's So Darn Hard About IEP's Anyway?
My answer may surprise you. Not much. IEP's or Individualized Education Program (IHP's or Individualized Habilitation Plans in the community) are plans that should meet the SPECIFIC needs of each child with Autism or a developmental disability. So I always tell parents---relax. We'll all get through this process. Having said that, what should parents expect from their school district or from their provider?
- Get Involved in the Process. Parents---you are a vital part of the interdisciplinary team. Get to know each team member including the teacher, the behaviorist, case manager, health consultant and any other professionals deemed necessary and appropriate to development of the treatment plan.
- Learn and Know the Areas That Are Covered in Each IEP. These are generally referred to as the "Goals." These include language skills, communication, verbal skills, gross and fine motor skills, social skills, self-help skills and task completion.
- Ensure the IEP is Useful, Valuable and Effective. Although IEP's are generally reevaluated annually, do not hesitate to ask for additional up-date meetings if you have questions about any part of the IEP process. Your child's teacher is your child's best advocate. Get to know him/her well.
Autism Research Institute Fall 2011 Conference. Oct. 13-16th. Las Vegas, NV. Contact #: 877.644.1184
Maine Autism Conference. Oct. 15, 2011. Augusta Civics Center. Augusta, Maine. Contact #: 207.626.3042
20th Annual Texas Autism Conference. Oct. 13-15, 2011. Raliant Park Convention Center. Houston, Texas. Contact #: 361.561.8524