The start of a new year provides an opportune time for change – a chance to wipe the slate clean. From a pledge to lose weight, reduce debt or quit a unhealthy habit, the first few weeks of January are typically filled with a mixture of really good intentions. While all these resolutions are certainly worthy, the new year should also offer a different kind of resolve – a renewal of hope and strength.
We all face daily struggles. Some people have excellent resources in their communities for children on the spectrum – others have to travel far for therapy solutions. There are families who have one child on the spectrum, while others have several. Some people have family members who are at the ready to help while others must fly solo. Everyone’s story is different.
It’s hard to see the light through the trees sometimes – especially at the end of the day when you feel like you never left survival mode. While considering all the new year has to offer, let’s pledge to spread hope and instill power in ourselves and others. Let’s help fellow families find that daily strength. Whether you reach out to another family with a child on the spectrum with information that has helped your family or you simply post something positive on someone’s Facebook wall, in a matter of two minutes you could make someone’s day.
This month, we have selected an assortment of articles we think will both support your daily needs as a parent as well as inspire you.
We know some of you are single parents so we are excited to share single mother and Autism Specialist Debi Taylor’s personal advice in “Applauding Your Own Strengths as a Single Parent.” Debi encourages readers to meet daily challenges head on and focus on a love for family for strength and support.
In an effort to keep parents informed and children on the spectrum safe, we have several stories this month that focus on protecting your child. Part-time professor and co-founder of Special Appucations, Sarah Kupferschmidt shares her advice for teaching your child important parameters and safety rules in her piece “3 Tips for Protecting Your ASD Child from Sexual Abuse.” This is sometimes a challenging task, especially with children on the spectrum. We are also pleased to highlight an interview by officer Joseph Pangaro with Lt. Jerry Turning, who has a child on the spectrum. The article explains the challenges police often face when interacting with people on the spectrum and the need to bridge the gap between police and families affected by autism.
For those families overwhelmed by the complexity of coordinating the necessary legal, financial and government benefit information and tax strategies surrounding the care of family members on the spectrum, we are starting a new Q&A column this month. Ryan Platt, a Chartered Special Needs Consultant from A Special Needs Plan™ will act as an excellent resource by answering your questions on a bi-monthly basis focusing on special needs financial planning. This month the question centers on a parent of an adult son with autism who is concerned about what will happen when he is no longer able to care for his child. Be sure to send us a quick note with your questions.
With education always on the forefront, we are also happy to include retired Speech-Language Pathologist Caroline Lee’s article, “Teaching Reading to Verbal and Non-verbal Autistic Children.” Since children on the autism spectrum are often better able to learn through concrete experience, pictures and the written word, Caroline explains how to use the whole word reading method to help reach reading goals.
We are also thrilled to feature “6 Steps to a Fun, Friendly, Family Fitness Program,” written by Eric Chessen, an exercise physiologist with an extensive background in Applied Behavior Analysis and founder of Autism Fitness. Eric offers excellent tips for making beneficial fitness and physical activity fun, accessible and effective for the entire family. These home-based exercise programs, he believes, can be the foundation for a healthier, more independent generation.
As we enter a new year, we wish you unconditional love and support from friends and family. May your hope and strength continue to be renewed.
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Amy KD Tobik
Issue 27 Features
- 2014 Outstanding Contributor Awards by Amy KD Tobik
- 6 Steps To A Fun, Family-Friendly Fitness Program by Eric Chessen, M.S., Founder, Autism Fitness
- Charis Hills Camp Provides Summer Fun for Kids with Learning Differences by Debi Taylor
- Chasing The Lasso by Michael J. Cameron, Ph.D.,BCBA-D
- What is Autism? by Dan L. Edmunds, Ed.D.,B.C.S.A., DAPA
- Tantrums and Meltdowns – The Three Step Model to Behavior De-Escalation by David Sponder, Educational Psychologist;BCBA; RDI
- Teaching Reading To Verbal and Non-Verbal Autistic Children by Caroline Lee
- Military Families Affected by ASD and Tricare Treatment Benefits by New Release
- Behind The Police Badge – Interacting With Autism by Joseph Pangaro
- Help: Who will Care for My Adult Son When I Cannot? by Ryan F. Platt, MBA, ChFC, ChSNC
- 3 Tips for Protecting Your ASD Child from Sexual Abuse by Sarah Kupferschmidt
- Applauding Your Own Strenghts As A Single Parent by Debi Taylor
- Growth Spurts and Autism – 5 Tips for Helping Your Child During Development by Dawn Marie Potter
- Help: My Child Doesn’t Sleep by Angelina McDonald, MS, BCBA, MFTI
- Herb-Stuffed Pork Chops by Elouise Robinson, Autism Food Club