Friday, September 19, 2014

ASD.. Street & Community Safety; ASD and Teaching Safety Instruction Part 1

This is an ABA approach to priming safety in the community as taught by Nick's team. We are having a very rough time with safety, so we created this tool. It's a 6 part short video maybe it will help you too. 

Priming Before the Dentist: A Video to help our kids prepare and lower anxiety.

It's been a slow process but every year the visits to the dentist get a little easier, no doubt because Nick knows they are not going to kill him! Or maybe he's just learned what to expect :) Here's a video that might be good to show to kids in preparation for a trip to the dentist.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014


Once again, Science is catching up :).

Wednesday, September 10, 2014
The latest research shows one in 68 children will be diagnosed with autism. Many of these kids struggle with making friends, communicating with others, and social interactions in general.

While no one yet knows what causes autism, scientists at Vanderbilt University are finding out exactly what's out of sync when children with autism try to express themselves and communicate with others.

"Generally I would describe having asperger's syndrome as being like a computer that's running a different operating system than what most computers are running," said 16-year-old Austin Miller, who has asperger's.

Diagnosed at age 12, his mom Karen says she's always noticed a delay in the way he processed speech.

"I would say something to him and then I would say, 'Austin, did you?' and then he would start to answer. And so I learned, I have to give him more time," she said.

Now a new study is helping explain why. Headed up by Dr. Mark Wallace, a team at Vanderbilt found what kids with autism see is out of sync with what they hear.

"It's like a badly dubbed video is the way we describe it," said Wallace.

In some, the timing can be completely off.

"And we believe that, that change in the binding of visual and auditory information is sort of the foundation for the problems that they have in things like language and communication and social interactions," said Wallace.

That sounds spot on to Austin.

"I think I can see a couple memories where I'm talking to my dad and maybe his mouth just looks a little bit out of sync," he said.

Researchers are building on that knowledge by testing a new interactive video game that's designed to retrain the brains of those with autism, focusing on how rewards help the brain.

"So it basically takes the tuning of the nervous system and shapes it, so that they get better," said Wallace.

The ultimate goal is to help kids like Austin communicate better.

The study also helps explain why some children with autism are often seen covering up their ears or eyes; it could be the delay in sight and sound that confuses them and makes them focus on one sense at a time.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Silver Alert Expanding to Include Individuals with Developmental Disabilities

Sacramento Is Considering Expanding The Silver Alert To Include Those With Autism!

Sacramento is considering something akin to the Amber alert for those with autism; they would expand the Silver Alert — intended for seniors over 65 — to include those on the spectrum, due to their tendency to wander.
An 18-year-old with autism in Los Angeles county recently bolted from his mother when they were out shopping — and he wasn’t found for almost three weeks. His mother and grandmother searched everywhere for him, and after reaching out to law enforcement and receiving little aid, they turned to online autism communities.
Watch the following video to hear more and then - if you have not already done so - go to and send the Autism Related Wandering PSA to your friends, family neighbors. Our autism community understands we have a problem, but the entire community needs to understand. Let's use this PSA and spread the word! 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Help Get The Word Out! Share this PSA & Increase Awareness about Autism Related Wandering

Step one was the creation of this PSA. Step two and most important is sharing to save lives.  You can share this link or send people directly to to watch the PSA. Doesn't matter how we do it, only that we do.  Thanks!!!

Additional resources

If you are looking for more information about autism and wandering, check out these resources.
The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children is dedicated to raising awareness of wandering in the autism community.
The AWAARE Collaboration has a mission to prevent autism-related wandering incidents and deaths.
  • Frequently Asked Questions - Answers to some of the most common questions regarding wandering in the autism community.
  • Big Red Safety Toolkit - Download tools and resources for caregivers of someone with an autism spectrum disorder who is prone to wandering.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Bullies without Boundaries! Ice Bucket Challenge turned into sick joke against teen with autism

How is it that some people always find a way to turn something wonderful into something horrific. Once again, one of our unsuspecting kids who could never conceive doing something so horrible to another person is abused. So sad. I am speechless. 

**Important note: The family asked that we show the video to make other parents aware of bullying.**
BAY VILLAGE, Ohio – Police are investigating an alleged case of bullying involving a teenager with autism who took the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.
“Once we found out about it, we were just horrified,” said Diane, the mother of the Bay High School student.  She claimed her youngest son was videotaped as feces, urine, spit and cigarette butts were dumped on his head by a group of juveniles.
“I want these kids held accountable for what they did to him and they targeted somebody who just didn’t really understand what was going on,” she said.
FOX 8 News is not identifying the family by last name to help protect their son.
According to the victim’s mom, Diane, the video was discovered on her 15-year-old son’s cell phone. She, along with her husband and other son, Jacob, wants it to be made public.
“I mean, the first thing that popped into my mind was like, why could someone – how could someone do this?” said Jacob. “How could someone really be this cruel to someone?”
In the video, the boy with autism is seen standing in the driveway of a home off school grounds. He’s wearing only his underwear as a bucket of fluid is poured from the roof of the garage. The bucket allegedly contained a mix of bodily fluids instead of ice water.
“He was embarrassed because he did not know what the contents were until afterwards and then he didn’t want anybody to know,” said his mom. “They used his phone to tape it and they put it up on Instagram.”
“This is just too far. It’s really bad,” said his brother, Jacob.
The Bay Village Police Department was made aware of the alleged incident on Wednesday. According to Det. Kevin Krolkosky, criminal charges could be filed.
“It’s disturbing to watch, you can obviously tell that somebody has been taking advantage of there,” said the detective.
Det. Krolkosky met with the parents and said it’s not a prank; it’s possibly a crime committed on the boy with autism by a group of juveniles who could face delinquency charges.
A spokesperson for Bay High School, where the victim is a student, said they’re now working hand-in-hand with police as they investigate.
“Obviously, if possible, we do want to hold those individuals accountable for their actions,” said Det. Krolkosky.
The police are just beginning their investigation and we’re told it could take a few weeks to file charges but they have a good idea who was involved.
“The bucket challenge is supposed to be raising awareness for this disease and now they’ve turned it into a sick joke,” said the victim’s mom. “I just can’t understand why kids would do something this cruel.”
The boy’s mom and dad wanted the video released to make other parents aware of bullying so they’ll have a conversation with their kids on how to treat people.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Superior Court Encourages Lawyers to Violate Rights of People with Developmental Disabilities

Thanks to a mom who's been through Hell and wanted to share her story to help others, I've been made aware of the unthinkable challenges that can happen around Conservatorships, especially in families where the parents are divorced.  When I first heard their story my automatic response was "This can't be, it's just too terrible. It must be an isolated case". When I began asking more people I learned many families were dealing with this, and it was not something I could afford to ignore. My son will be 18 soon enough, and his rights will kick in and I need to know the realities of raising an "adult" with autism and conservatorships. Below is a summary of the issue, and a link to a guide showing recent research findings, and it suggests ways our attorneys can challenge these guidelines when needed.

The Disability and Abuse Project released a new report today that focuses on deficiencies in the performance of attorneys appointed to represent people with developmental disabilities in limited conservatorship proceedings in California.
The report was released in the form of a guidebook, designed to help court-appointed attorneys challenge judicial guidelines that encourage them to engage in practices that may violate ethical and constitutional requirements.
Here is a description of the guidebook, taken from the Project's website:
This guidebook releases research findings by the Disability and Abuse Project regarding the policies and practices of the Los Angeles Superior Court.  It reveals how court guidelines encourage attorneys to violate the rights of people with developmental disabilities in limited conservatorship cases.  The guidebook calls for systemic changes, but until they occur, it suggests ways that attorneys can challenge these guidelines by using advocacy methods consistent with the ethical and constitutional duties and that protect the right of clients to due process of law
The report was sent to 50 attorneys who regularly represent clients in limited conservatorship proceedings.  It was sent two weeks in advance of a mandatory training seminar they will be attending on September 13.  It was also sent to the panelists who will be making presentations on many of the topics covered in the report.  We hope that the receipt of the guidebook prior to the seminar will stimulate a lively discussion about the proper role of attorneys in such cases and what attorneys should do to comply with ethical and constitutional requirements.
It was also sent to all members of the Board of Trustees of the State Bar of California, with a request that the State Bar convene a Task Force on Limited Conservatorships to study the problems outlined in the report and to make recommendations to the State Bar about how to improve the performance of attorneys handling such cases.
For more information, including a link to the guidebook and links to the letters mentioned above, go to:

Sunday, September 7, 2014

This is How a 10-Year-Old Boy With Autism is Treated in a Police State

Is it getting worse, or are we just paying closer attention? It was reported that the school did not call the parents before calling the police, and even though his dad did arrive before the police, he was denied access to his son to calm him down. 

If you wonder why I post these awful stories, it's because it's hard to talk about this, it's hard to imagine this could even happen to our kids, but if it happens to one child it could happen to our child. I believe the only defense we have is awareness, if we're going to keep our kids safe in this crazy world. 

A photo, taken at Cypress Elementary in the Lakeside Community, in Kissimmee, FL, submitted to the Free Thought Project this week, paints a very disturbing picture.


The photo is of a 10 year old child handcuffed, laid out on the back of a police cruiser. The boy’s name is Ryan and he has autism. According to Ryan’s mom, Elaine Maldonado:
He had difficulty being redirected which resulted in a really bad meltdown. My son made threats to harm himself with scissors which were accessible to him from the teacher’s desk. The principal did not call us, but did call law enforcement to have him Baker acted.
The teacher did call my husband and he arrived at the school within minutes and 10 minutes before law enforcement. Upon his arrival he was told that he could not see Ryan because he would be interfering with an investigation and would risk being arrested.
When three law enforcement officers arrived to the classroom, Ryan was still very upset. They proceeded to drag him down the hall, passed by my husband who was very upset and placed him on the trunk of the police car on one of the hottest days of the week (100 degrees if not higher – police officer states this in his report ) and handcuffed him in front of the school and held him down on the hot car for several minutes before communicating to my husband that they planned to baker act him.
The Florida Mental Health Act of 1971, commonly known as the Baker Act allows the involuntary institutionalization and examination of an individual. It can be initiated by judges, law enforcement officials, physicians, or mental health professionals.
Basically this child was going to be taken from his parents, against their will, by cops, acting on behalf of a school principal, and put into state custody for displaying behavior that parents of autistic children are all too familiar with. According to the police report, the boy was thrown on top of the car because the pavement was too hot. Apparently the car, in 100+ degree Florida weather, was a welcomed cooling zone.
The fact that police were called to a school because teachers could not control a 10 year old speaks to the level of incompetence and lack of training within the school. Also the fact that the principal would not allow Ryan’s dad to see his son, and possibly diffuse the situation prior to his son being cuffed and stuffed, shows just how dependent the system is on the application of state force.
Ryan’s mother posed a very good question, “If he (the principal) was so concerned that he would harm himself why would he wait 10 minutes for the cops to arrive?”
The fact that the principal refused to allow a father to see his son, and waited until police arrived is a disturbing symptom of a much larger systemic problem. This problem has to do with society’s dependence upon state sanctioned force to solve problems. This dependency is so strong that the principal would not even let the boy’s own father try and calm his son. He could not see that as a solution; the only solution (in this principal’s mind) was that of state force.
The Free Thought Project reached out to the family Friday to see if they were able to file a complaint against the Kissimmee Police department, and according Mrs. Maldonado, ” The Chief of Police stands by his team.”
The family is however, planning on taking legal action against the school because they claim the principle violated their parental rights.
We asked the Maldonado’s how Ryan is doing now and if they have him back in their custody. They do have him back and they explained, “He doesn’t want to return to school. And he continues to repeat everything he heard administration and law enforcement talk about – Baker Act etc.”

Why Do US Police Kill So Many Civilians???

This chart compiled by Business Insider shows police shooting statistics from 2011

Are we crazy? Why do our police kill so many people? In the chart above, you can see just how alarming American statistics on fatal police shootings are when compared to other Western countries.
The FBI reports that in 2011, cops in America killed 404 suspects in acts of "justifiable homicide." Astonishingly, though, as FiveThirtyEight reports, this number likely doesn't include every civilian fatality that year since it relies on voluntary reporting and doesn't include police homicides that aren't justifiable. 

Read more:

Friday, September 5, 2014

OMG, Who wouldn't want that Kid!!!!

Really?!, Who wouldn't want a teenager who...

Is joyous and laughing most of the time instead of complaining.

Never holds a grudge

Never lied to you.

Never rolled their eyes in disgust, made that awful "tisk" sound with their tongue, or looked at you as if you were crazy because you asked them to do something.

Could not care less about wearing "Labels" to impress their peers.

You can spend $5.00 or $500 for their birthday or Christmas, and they are just as thankful.

Has a great sense of humor.

Always let's their sibling take the front seat!

Isn't embarrassed to be seen with mom.

Has an incredible memory, seemingly fondly remembers everyone they ever met.

Never gossips, or puts down other people.

Judges people based only on how they treat others; not where you live, how you look, how much money you have, how popular you are or what you drive.

Treats everyone the same no matter their race, age, intelligence, or physical appearance.

Would never join a gang or get mixed up in the wrong crowd.

Feels remorse when they make you mad.

Almost never complains about doing daily chores.

Oh, and when they are sick will take really nasty tasking medicine without complaining.

Well I have one, Nick!!

So to all of you who ask "How do you do it?" or think my life is so hard, consider that.


because she see's this, even when she wants to toss him out, I also have an angel is his sister!