Wednesday, April 2, 2014

April is Autism Awareness Month




April is Autism Awareness Month and today is World Autism Awareness Day, April 2, 2014.  This date was adopted by the United Nations in 2007 to shine a bright blue light on Autism as a growing global health crisis. The numbers are increasing and we need to respond. 

Activities and messages of awareness are designed to increase knowledge, spread information about how early intervention and diagnosis can change lives.  Autism is one of only three health issues recognized by the UN with it's own day.


Each day in the month of April, this website will feature some news, story, relevant links, research and personal experiences with autism. 

If you have a story you would like to share, or a question you would like addressed, please leave a comment and it will be addressed this month.

I will also be writing an ongoing feature, "It's Autism, What Now?"

For more information about Autism Speak and Light It Up Blue (LIUB), click here.

Monday, July 29, 2013

MC Transitions

MC Trans, or Montgomery County Transitions is a grassroots organization featuring discussion and e-groups for families of adults with mild to significant disabilities offering support, information, resources as the disabled individual transitions from school-age entitlements within the state of Maryland to a young adulthood and beyond.

MC Trans has announced their meeting schedule for this coming fall.  I have added their meetings to our calendar, beginning with September.  Most meetings will be held on the 2nd Tuesday, exceptions will be noted. 

You can read more about MC Transitions at their website:

http://www.mctransitions.org

The first three meetings will discuss questions for the DDA in a meeting with Rhonda Workman, Assistant Director for State and Federal Relations, Waiver Changes and Resource Coordination and State Government issues.  


Friday, July 5, 2013

Summer Status

Greetings AutMont Readers ...

I just wanted to let you all know what's happening behind the scenes here and when you should expect more posts and information. 

Summertime has hit me like an unexpected water-balloon to the head - my kids have busier-than-I-anticipated schedules with camp for a few morning hours every day and therapy, speech, OT, social group, home therapy and vision therapy three days a week and gymnastics and swimming lessons, throw in a vacation last month and a few visits from out of town family, a weekend or two away which is really just code for stressful-jaunt-and-lots-of-driving, and things are just downright chaotic.  I had really intended on setting time aside (those precious morning camp hours) for posting and updating but there seems to be so much to get done, like exercise, grocery shopping, gift buying for the next birthday party, exercising the dog, my own therapy, or even ... maybe .... GASP, a moment of silence at home to eat lunch and take a deep breath.  And, I confess, I feel guilty when I actually stop and breathe.  The nerve of me, right? 

Let me assure you, I am reading my emails several times a week and scanning for events and relevant information for all of you.  I even inquire at various party venues about sensory-friendly hours and events.  The summer is a time that is lighter in events but harder for so many of us parents.  Typical kids and special needs kids have trouble in the summer; schedules are different, often even day to day or week to week, the weather is unpredictable, vacations occur, it can throw off even the best-planned event.  I know this and I'm living it.  My son has very great days and less than stellar days that I cannot explain.  Did I forget a pill? Did he eat too much junk food at the pool?  Was therapy a total bust today because I forgot his B12 shot last night and he hasn't eaten salmon in a month?  I came blame myself (and I do, a little ... ) but ultimately, I have learned to move on, vowing to get back on track tomorrow. 

I am working on several long term postings, addressing those difficult subjects, like, diet, food, GFCF, what it means and of course, weaving in my personal story about what I have tried, what worked and didn't and how I made it possible for our family and how crazy it made me, because, let's face it, all of these issues affect the entire family and your sanity. 

Sooo ...  I am here, posting when I can, gathering notes and working on things that are coming soon ... I'm answering emails and updating the calendar when I hear of events that are relevant to you.   Please update me with events, your own experiences and let me know what you would like to read about.  Another mother told me today that there are 54 days before school starts again -- 54 days!  I will have so much more free time, .... in 54 days! 

I hope you are all having a safe and enjoyable summer. 

I am really excited for THIS EVENT, hosted by the Montgomery County Police Department,  on Thursday July 25th! 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Autism Night Out

Montgomery County Police are hosting an Autism Safety Night Out event on Thursday July 25 from 6-9pm.

You will have access to resources and tools to help keep kids safe, learn how to prepare for an emergency, kids can tour emergency vehicles and play in a moonbounce.  The K9 unit will be on site as well.

Information will be available about Project Lifesaver, take pictures with police officers and learn about swimming lessons for special needs children.

The event will be at the Montgomery County Police Academy, 9710 Great Seneca Highway, Rockville, MD 20850 from 6-9pm on Thursday July 25.  


Friday, June 14, 2013

COPAA Webinar Summer Series

I've received a message about COPAA's (Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates) webinar series and I'm passing it on to you:

"COPAA is pleased to offer two new LIVE webinar series. The 2013 Summer 5 session series is starting June 4, and the 2013 Fall 5 session series will kick off the new school year! Register for both series, individual sessions, or for the best value purchase a yearly subscription. You will be registered for all live sessions and access ALL previously recorded sessions in the archives. That is over 50 webinars.

If you cannot attend a live session, register anyway and you will be sent the presentation materials and a link for the recorded session to view at your convenience. 

This is a wonderful way to expand your knowledge of Special Education Advocacy from the comfort of your computer."

Click here for the registration information on COPAA's website. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Therapeutic Recreation Summer Camps with Montgomery County Recreation

Montgomery County Recreation is offering several Therapeutic Recreation Summer Camps for teens and adults, ages 13-21, with disabilities.  Each camp session varies a bit in activities but they strive to provide opportunities for socialization, recreation, games, and peer interaction.  If you are enrolled in ESY, ask for special transportation opportunities. 

For more information, call 240-777-6870

CLICK HERE FOR THE REGISTRATION FORM