Issue 8 – Autism and the Vacation Season
- Vacation -The Big Green Monster by Jamie Thomas
- The 6 Weeks Holiday by B’s Dad
- Disney on the Spectrum by Katherine Resch
- Interview with Janet Grillo writer and director of Fly Away the movie by Leslie A. Burby
- Autism in the News: Carly by Mark Blakey
- Not-So-Accommodating Accommodations by Jeannie Davide-Rivera
- Books in the Spotlight: Starbrite Traveler by Jesemine Jones and Ida Keiper
- Q&A Section: Childhood Diagnosis by Leslie A. Burby
- Summer Habits by Brian Katkin
- The Rhythmic Arts Project by Eddie Tuduri
- Summer Social Skills Board Game by Matthew Jason Dever
- Sensory Corner by Leslie A. Burby
- Seek and Find Artwork by Max-N-Me Studio
- Section: Because Not Just Children have Autism: Diagnosed by Professionals, Learning from Experts by S.R. Salas
Here we are in July and now that everyone is on summer break we have a whole new host of issues to face. Within my own family it means getting used to adjusting schedules, which never goes well. Trying to adapt to the summer extended school year, and programs to keep the kids busy and me sane. For those of you that didn’t get extended school year for your special needs child – don’t be jealous. All my daughter will be receiving through the school system is a thirty minute social skills group once a week. That’s right – 30 minutes! Really, what is the point? After realizing that my daughter isn’t welcome in the ‘regular’ summer programs and is “too high-functioning” for the special needs programs, I decided to start our own program and have invited others to join me. I’m tired of kids being left out of all the fun. So starting on July 4th, I will be hosting Activities 4 All Abilities with a 45 minute art class and a 45 minute movement/sensory based class with free babysitting for siblings. I encourage you all to start a small local group or an online community if you can’t find what you need. In fact, in this issue, we have one man that took his experience as a musician to start the Rhythmic Arts Project for kids of different abilities and a Film professor who wrote and produced the only non-fiction narrative film about autism (Fly Away.) I hope it inspires you to use your strengths to help others.
On a different note, if you are anything like me, you are dreading being home all summer, which is why this issue is all about traveling and taking day trips and surviving summer. As always, I have packed this month’s issue full of real-life stories from parents just like you with great writers such as: S.R. Salas, Jeannie Davide-Rivera of http://www.AspieWriter.com, B’s Dad of http://autisticson.wordpress.com, and Jamie Thomas of http://jamiedimmitt.blogspot.com.
However, in addition to the great reads, you have an opportunity to get a $25 Visa gift card if you book your trip to Disney with Katherine from www.imaginationsvacationsbykatherine.com. She wrote us a wonderfully useful article on how to have a stress-free trip to Disney.
There are so many great things to check out in this issue including great guides by http://starbritetraveler.com/#sthash.ma2ynlEY.dpbs on how to plan a vacation and where to travel with children with special needs. The guide walks you through every step of the way from dreaming about the vacation to having a successful one.
In addition to all the wonderful information about traveling, we listened to what you told us and have added a sensory section, a social skills section and a section for teens-adult aged people.
In case all of this wasn’t enough to keep you reading, we are very pleased to have teamed up with Max-N-Me Studios to feature a Seek-N-Find image where your kids and you can look for hidden objects in Max’s artwork. This month’s Seek-N-Find will be the first of many to come images. My kids are excited because I always have seek-n-finds with me to keep them occupied when waiting at the grocery store or at a restaurant. Make sure you check out these addicting images created just for Autism Parenting Magazine by McNall Mason inspired by her son Max.
This month I was honored to interview producer and screenwriter Janet Grillo, a mom with a son with autism that made the non-fiction narrative film Fly Away. I watched this on Netflix and was moved by the accurate portrayal of many of the struggles we encounter as parents. Janet was inspired to write this script about the decision to let her son “Fly Away” and become his own person. If people tell you that they don’t understand autism, I would recommend that they watch Fly Away to get a real taste of some of the issues faced for people with severe autism.
I hope you find this month’s issue as helpful as ever and have a safe and fun summer. If you get stressed please reach out for help by emailing or calling the 24hr help line or join the social network My Autism Team http://www.myautismteam.com/activities or do a search on Facebook or Meetup.com in your area of Autism Support Groups. Also, you can join Twitter. I have finally figured it out and have found a great network of people that are sharing a lot of the same experiences.
Thanks for checking out Autism Parenting Magazine’s July 2013 issue. As always, feel free to send me your comments, questions, and concerns to Leslie@AutismParentingMagazine.com.
Leslie A. Burby