Monday, September 3, 2012

who decides what's NORMAL?

'Not Ordinary Redefining My Autism Life' = NORMAL is our new series about living on the Autism Spectrum.  Share your perspectives, advice, questions, comments on Not Ordinary.

Also, get a copy of 

Asperger Syndrome in the Family: Redefining Normal



AutismCares is a consortium of leading autism organizations who have come together to support individuals with autism and their families during natural disasters and other catastrophic life events.   

AutismCares understands that families living with autism often need additional and specialized support in recovering from critical life-challenging events. Leading autism organizations, along with committed individuals in the community have come together to support families in their time of need. 

  • AutismCares is funded by the contributions of the its Partners and other individual donations.
  • 100% of donations from member organizations are distributed to the families in need
Program Oversight:
AutismCares Partners:   
  • Set program goals and objectives
  • Makes final selection of families to receive awards
  • Help recruit new member organizations
  • Assist in promoting AutismCares within the autism community and throughout their respective organizations
  • Be available to speak with the press as required
Q: How do I apply for an AutismCares Support Award? 
A: Each family must complete an online application. We understand that you may not have your own computer; however, computers are available for use at all public libraries. If you absolutely cannot access a computer, please call 1-888-288-4762 and the Autism Response Team (ART) Coordinator will help you complete the online application.

Q: What information does AutismCares require from my family?   
 A: If you are chosen to receive an AutismCares award, additional information may be required based on the nature of the request. All information is considered confidential and will be treated as such by AutismCares and its Partners.

Q: I have questions about my application; who can I speak with?
A: Contact AutismCares via Serena Selkin, Autism Speaks Family Services Grants Manager at (917) 475-5059 or e-mail

For  a list of Sponsors, Application specifics and further details, refer to:


"All Children can Learn." - Students with Aspergers

Welcome Back to School!
"All Children can Learn."
Let's start the school year by understanding our Students  who are learning while on the Autism Spectrum, specifically, those with Aspergers Syndrome.

This is an excerpt from 'Autism Learning Felt'.

Many parents with children that have Asperger’s know that there are going to be problems that arise having their children in a mainstream school. But are those problems a product of the child or of the system? Schooling so often these days is like a cookie cutter factory. Those that fall above or below the norm just have to fit in.
This is a reason that many parents choose to homeschool. They can teach their child in the way their child learns best. With a guided curriculum toward a auditory, visual or kinesthetic education, the parent’s approach to teaching becomes more efficient for the child to learn.

  Read the complete article at Educating Children with Asperger’s Disorder

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

SPED Attorney & fees

IDEA’04 changed the section on attorneys’ fees to provide that a school district or SEA may now recover their attorneys’ fees from the parent’s attorney who files a complaint that is frivolous, unreasonable, or without foundation or who continues to litigate after the litigation clearly becomes frivolous, unreasonable, or without foundation. Section 615 (i)(3)(B)(i)(II). Also, the statute now provides that a school district or SEA may now recover their attorneys’ fees from the parent or the parent’s attorney where the claim was presented for an improper purpose, such as to harass, to cause unnecessary delay or to needlessly increase the cost of litigation. Section 615 (i)(3)(B)(i)(III). 

Procedural Safeguards - The series Part XII

[image: Safeguards Transporter] Safeguards Transporter (Photo credit: Wikipedia) This is the final installment in a multi-part series on procedural safeguards under the federal special education law, the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act. I work a lot in this area, so it is near and dear to my heart. Despite the importance of procedural safeguards. however, many issues in this area are misunderstood. I hope that all of the different types of special education stakeholders who read this blog find the information in this series helpful. Be sure to tell me what you thou... more »

Profile Picture  Special Ed Attorneys, Part I: When Should You Hire One?

This is Part I of a three-part series dealing with the role of special education attorneys in the IEP process. This first part outlines exactly when you should consider hiring a special ed lawyer. The second part of the series looks at qualities you should seek in hiring an attorney. Part III will tell you [...]

Reasons Why Your Child Might Meltdown at School

'Navigating Life, Parenting, and Relationships with a differently wired brain.' ~  Parenting with Asperger's Syndrome: Reasons Why Your Child Might Meltdown at School: post-meltdown crash (He was posing and did this on my request. I try to avoid photographing any of the kids in a bad moment, for their d...

Sunday, August 26, 2012

"How do you know WHEN 'It's Back-to-School Time'?"

Like most kids, our 7 year old can't wait for SUMMERTIME!  He enjoys weekday recreation time, endless playing in the backyard and daily fun at community playgrounds, meeting new friends in his extended school year program, camps, staying up late, etc.... 
As Parents, we know it's back to school time WHEN:
  • big box stores put out the school supplies displays (1 month in advance)
  • clothing retail stores advertise school attire with summer clothes in their commercials (1 month in advance)
  • our son is 'tired' of summer camp (last 2-3 days)
  • our son is asking for new SCHOOL apps on the iPad, iPod Touch! (2 weeks in advance)
  • you've seen all of the summer movies at the local theater
  • you're bored with the selections in Redbox, Netflix, Hulu, iTunes, Media Hub, etc...
  • our son resets his summer 'wake-up' and 'go-to-bed' schedule to the SCHOOL TIME!
If you think about it, there are many signs of the school time.  Students, Parents, Teachers and the Community share in the 'Back-to-School' annual mode.

"How do you know WHEN 'It's Back-to-School Time'?"
Picture of KBJCosse''Enjoyable School Year'  shares transitions in life, and 'Special Needs Blogs' which are 2  'EnjoyHi5Autism'  boards that pinned the following 'You Know It's Back to School When...':
A special kind of class: You Know It's Back to School When....

Pinned ImagePinned Image

Growing up with Special Needs: How a Typical Sibling Can Form Healthy Relationships

My typical 9-year-old, Luke, has a special condition: he knows he’s “typical.” He also knows his older brother, Chris, is autistic. There are times when that comes in handy.

Growing up with Special Needs: How a Typical Sibling Can Form Healthy Relationships

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Opposition to cutting education funding that benefits Students on the Autism Spectrum

Recession, Budget Cuts, Schools Closing, Educators layoffs and firings, uncertified and inexperienced Teachers and Paraprofessionals, archaic teaching tools and resources, limited or underfunded training are a few of the tantamount concerns regarding the appropriate educating of Students with Autism.
We've included some videos about concerns of any Parent who is in school.  Why?  Often, families with kids who have special needs and/or disabilities have similar needs + specific concerns.

Let's start with a current release:

The video and transcript of this compelling report on the necessity of appropriate education schools, supports, services and  resources for Students on the Autism Spectrum.  William's parents concerns express the questions and issues that many families are facing when it comes to their child's schooling.

ABC News  Updated Fri Aug 24, 2012 1:05am AEST
A leading expert on autism is warning of the long-term costs if funds to assist the education of children with autism spectrum disorder continue to be cut.
Source: Lateline

Autism expert warns against cutting education funding - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Teachers care about the affects of the lack of sufficient education funding, too.
'Rethink Autism' organization has deliberately encouraged Parents to prepare for times when Students on the Autism Spectrum will face limitations in funding, resources, treatments and care.
When after-school programs are underfunded, some of our Autistic kids who are 'mainstreamed' and can tolerate 'full inclusion' are affected, too.

Will we go back to the days when Hawaii considered 'no school Fridays'?  How devastating this will be for Parents who's child depends on school-based therapies and individualized education programs.

Who Knew...?

   Who Knew, over the years, ABC News has compiled a plethora of videos about Autism?  View archived and recent relevant information from varying perspectives about various aspects of  Autism: kids, Parents, adults, health, education, legislation, relationships(dating/marriage), costs, families,  friends, research, therapies, treatments, statistics, debates, myths and other perspectives of life on the Autism Spectrum.

Here are a few videos:

  • Caring for Autistic Teens

  • Nation's First Adult Autism Clinic

  • Film Portrays Parents' Autism Dilemma

  • The High Cost of Autism

  • and more

  • Home Autism Detector Worries Some Doctors

  • Autistic Boy Devastated After City Bans Pet Pig

  • Autistic Marine Court Martialed, Bad Conduct Discharge

  • Autism Voices and Views

  • Research Suggests Genetic Link in Autism

  • Financial Challenges Among Autism's Costs

  • Oxygen Chamber a Treatment for Autism?

  • Love Conquers All for One Autistic Couple

  • Life 101: Learning to Live With Autism

  • and more

    NIGHTLINE: Special Autism Reports By John Donvan stories...
  • Girls and Autism

  • Story of Survival

  • The Face of Autism

  • Siblings Cope with Autism

  • Adults With Autism

  • Autism: Finding the Words

  • and more videos

    GOOD MORNING AMERICA: Autism Special Report stories...
  • Autism Up Close

  • Autism Advancements

  • OnCall+ Autism

    Did you know that ABC's OnCall+ included Resource Centers for  Autism?  Although this section contains articles, they are so vital to the historical significance of the Autism Spectrum awareness and acceptance campaign.  It lists 'Top Medical Centers for Autism', and

    Autism Voices and ViewsAutism from seven unique viewpoints, told in their own voices.

    Autism Resources By StateAn interactive map that helps you find autism resources in your area. Interactive Resources, too.
    Questions for the Experts?Do you have a question about autism for the experts? (A few videos of provided at the bottom of the page.)

    ABC News OnCall+ Autism stories...
  • Index: Autism Basics

  • Index: Autism Risk Factors and Prevention

  • Index: Autism Symptoms and Diagnosis

  • Index: Autism Treatment and Early Intervention

  • Index: Living With Autism

  •  Autism Basics is our favorite section.  It's all about understanding the SPECTRUM of Autism.

    Section 1: Autism Basics

  • Brain Test to Diagnose Autism?

  • Test Shows Promise in Autism Diagnosis

  • Autism Detection in Infants?


    1. ABC News OnCall+ Autism Center Home Page - ABC News

      ABC News Medical Editor Dr. Tim Johnson welcomes you to the OnCall+ Autism Center with easy-to-use advice from dozens of expert doctors on autism spectrum disorders.
    2. Autism Rates Rise to 1 in 88, CDC Says - ABC News

      One in 88 children is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, or ASD, by age 8, according to a study released today by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and ...
    3. Recent Autism Videos from ABC News - - Breaking ...

      Read the latest news and watch the latest videos on autism, autistic disorders and research on the autism spectrum. Articles and videos are organized by medium in ...
    4. Autism Transplant Denial Sparks Debate - Autistic Man Denied ...

      It was hard enough for Karen Corby to hear that her autistic son would need a heart transplant to survive, but it was even harder to take the news that ...
    5. ABC News Nightline Autism: Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) ABC News Nightline Autism: Applied Behavior ...

      Jake and Andrew are quite similar in many ways -- both adored by their parents -- and both diagnosed with autism while they were in pre-school. Both Jake and Andrew ...
    6. Autism expert warns against cutting education funding - ABC ...

      A leading expert on autism is warning of the long-term costs if funds to assist the education of children with autism spectrum disorder continue to be cut. TONY JONES ...
    7. Autism Breakthrough: Girl's Writings Explain Her Behavior and ...

      Carly Fleischmann has severe autism and is unable to speak a word. But thanks to years of expensive and intensive therapy, this 13-year-old has made a ...
    8. ABC News flunks ABC's of Autism in Reporting - AGE OF AUTISM

      By Anne Dachel I was amazed at an investigative series that ABC News just aired. It was all about how the U.S. government allows psych drugs to be used on children in ...
    9. Page 2: Autism Genes Unlock Disorder's Mystery - ABC News

      New findings by Harvard researchers may bring families one step closer to discovering a cure for autism, a disorder shrouded in mystery. Research published in the ...
    10. Tune In – ABC World News Tonight « Autism Speaks Official Blog

      In a story scheduled to air tonight, ABC World News Tonight with Diane Sawyer will feature Autism Speaks Executive Vice President of Programs and Services Peter Bell ...