Autism Family Resources


Here are some family autism resources for both families and educators.

15 Behavior Strategies for Children on the Autism Spectrum

 

How to Create a Backyard Sanctuary for Kids with Disabilities

 

For Educators: Strategies for Working With Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder

 

Helping Asperger’s Teens To Survive and Thrive: 15 Key Steps

 

Creating a Home Atmosphere of Solitude to Help Cope with Adult Autism

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25 Must-Read Resources for Siblings of Children and Adults With Disabilities

This is an article that I have wanted to write for a long time as it is personal to me. I watch my youngest nephew growing up with the responsibility of caring for his older brother with a disability. From helping him get dressed in the morning to looking out for him while in school. As my nephew without disabilities grew, he would ask me why his brother was treated so special by others around him which is a difficult question to answer. Now an adult with a family of his own, he still is protective of his brother and continues to love him and look out for him.

Children who have siblings with disabilities often carry an added weight. They are protective of their siblings and from this added experience, it has taught them to be compassionate towards others. the following resources are useful for siblings, parents and providers looking for information to help families with disabilities.  Please email me at specialneedsresourceblog@gmail.com if you have additional information that you would like to share.

Sibling Organizations and Support Groups

Sibling LeadershipThe mission of the Sibling Leadership Network is to provide siblings of individuals with disabilities the information, support and tools to advocate with their brothers and sisters and to promote the issues important to them

Siblings of Autism-Siblings of Autism is dedicated to supporting the siblings of individuals on the autism spectrum through educational scholarships, respite funds and outreach programs.

The Sibling Support Project– National program dedicated to the life-long and ever-changing concerns of brother and sisters of people with special health, developmental, and mental health concerns

Sibling Resources– A growing network of adult siblings of people with intellectual disabilities and developmental disabilities. Provides up-to-date information, resources and training opportunities.

Sibling  Support Resources

I Am A Sibling- The ARC

Sibling Support- Family Drug Help

There with Care

SOCIAL MEDIA

Facebook Group

Sibling of Children with Disabilities

Instagram

Special_Needs_Siblings

Siblings of Autistic Kids

Sibling of Special Needs

Twitter

Sibs

Special Needs Siblings

Article Links

5 ways to support siblings in special needs families (Child Mind Institute)

8 things siblings of children with special needs struggle with (Washington Post)

10 great books if you have a sibling with special needs (Friendship Circle)

12 ways to support siblings (Brooks Publishing Company)

Caring for siblings of children with special needs (Kids Health)

Dear sibling to a child with special needs (The Mighty)

Emotional problems facing siblings of children with disabilities (Psychiatry Advisor)

Having an autistic sibling (National Autistic Society)

Helping siblings of children with autism spectrum disorder (Raising Children)

Siblings and Cerebral Palsy (Cerebral Palsy Guidance)

Sibling Issues (Center for Parent Information and Resources)

Sibling of children with disabilities (Psychology Today)

Supporting siblings of children with disabilities in the school setting (ERIC.ed)

Ways a child care providers can support siblings of children with special needs (Extension)

Early Intervention-Resources and Information

Early intervention services are provided through the IDEA Act-  a law that makes available a free appropriate public education to eligible children with disabilities throughout the nation and ensures special education and related services.

Early interventions are covered under the IDEA Act and is defined to meet the developmental needs of an infant or toddler with a disability and the needs of the family to assist appropriately in the infants or toddler’s development as identified by the IFSP team in any one or more of the following areas:

  1. Physical Development
  2. Cognitive Development
  3. Communication Development
  4. Social or Emotional Development
  5. Adaptive Development 

IDEA Part C regulations also include intervention services that fall  under the law including:

  1. Assistive technology
  2. Audiology service
  3. Family Training
  4. Health services
  5. Medical Services
  6. Nursing Services
  7. Nutritional
  8. Occupational Therapy
  9. Physical therapy
  10. Psychological Services
  11. Service Coordinator
  12. Sign Language
  13. Social Work
  14. Special Instructions
  15. Speech-language pathology
  16. Transportation and related costs
  17. Vision services

The Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center (ECTA) provides information on family rights, procedural safeguards and complaint resolution

For Military families with children with disabilities, click here to locate the Parent Training Information Center in Your state. There is also a Military Parent Technical Assistance Center

Additional Resources for Military Personnel

National Military Family Association

Resources Especially for Military Families

Resources for Military Families of Children with Disabilities

Locating Early Intervention Centers In Your Area

ECTA maintains a list of websites here.

For more information including resources, worksheets, and activities, please visit my Pinterest Board

Social Skills Resources for Parents and Special Education Teachers

For some autistic children, social situations can be overwhelming and cause a great amount of anxiety. One of the characteristics of having an autism spectrum disorder is social interaction. Dr. Lorna Wing described social interaction as:

  1. not paying attention to others
  2. being aloof, distant and uninterested
  3. being alone and withdrawal
  4. difficulty in making and sustaining relationships
  5. a lack of social skills

social-skills

Social skills vary from conversation to friendship skills. The following links provides social skills resources on a variety of topics:

5 tips for running a social skills group ages 7-11. This site provides tips on increasing social skills via working in a group.

12 activities to help your child with social skills. This article by the Friendship Circle describes 12 ways to help improve social skills

101 ways to teach children social skills. Written by Lawrence Shapiro, this ready-to-use reproducible activity book (pdf) contains information on communication, being part of a group, caring about yourself, and problem solving.

Building social skills through activities. Danny Pettry created an e-book that focuses on various activities that will increase social skills for children.

Kind words sensory lesson friendship activity. This article includes information on why kind word are important through sensory play.

More tools for teaching social skills in school. Examples of role-plays, worksheets and student behavior.

Social skills activities. Free printable activity sheets on developing and practicing social skills.

Social skills lesson activities. Developed by special educator Angela Cardenos, this website includes various lessons on social skills and friendship

Social skills lessons on friends. A lesson plan and activity on identifying the qualities of a friend and naming behaviors that a friend may exhibit.

Social Skills Worksheets. This site includes printables for social skills designed to develop appropriate social skills.

15 Great Fidget Sensory Gifts For The Holidays

With the holidays approaching, finding the right gift for someone with sensory issues can be challenging. Fidget toys are great gifts for both children and adults, especially for children diagnosed with autism and ADHD. Fidget toys provides sensory input in a less distracting way. They can help improve concentration and attention to task and also help children and adults focus and remain calm as well as decreases stress and anxiety.Below are links to a variety of fidgets including texture, tactile and visual.

fidgetgifts

 

 Texture Fidgets

Tangle Creations Jr.- amazon.com
Metallic Texture-amazon.com
Brain Noodle-Therapy Shoppe
Tangle Hairy-Office Playground
Bumpy Gel Sensory Ball- Children’s Therapy Store
Palm Size Massage Balls- Therapy Shoppe

Stretch Fidgets

Stretching String-Therapy Shoppe
Stretchy Happy Face-Office Playground
Spaghetti Stress Ball- Office Playground
Pull and Stretch Bounce Balls-Amazon

Squeeze Fidgets

Poppin Peeters- Jet.com
Bug-Out Bob-especial needs

Chewy Fidgets

Oval Chewy Necklaces-Therapy Shoppe
Scented Textured Chew Stixx- Therapy Shoppe
Chewable Gem Beads Necklace-Stimtastic

 

Parent-Led Intervention May Reduce Autism Severity

Deanna Ballard helps her son Zachary, who has autism, while his sister, Makenna, looks on. New research suggests that parent-led intervention can make a big difference for children with the developmental disorder. (Renee C. Byer/The Sacramento Bee/TNS)
Source: Disability Scoop

For the first time, researchers say they have evidence that parent-led intervention for young kids with autism continues to yield gains several years later.

Children who participated in an intervention between the ages of 2 and 4 displayed less severe symptoms six years later, exhibiting fewer repetitive behaviors and better social communication, according to findings published this week in the journal The Lancet. Click here to read the rest of the story.

My ADHD Story and What You Can Do


Source: The Bender Bunch

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, known as ADHD is a behavioral condition that affects nearly 11% of our student population. These children are typically very impulsive, hyper, and struggle to pay attention and remain on task.

You may say, “Well that’s me.” Many of us have difficulties paying attention when something doesn’t interest us, or sometimes we may feel hyper. I do! But children with ADHD struggle so much with these behaviors that it often takes over and affects every aspect of their life; home, school, and their social life. Click here for the rest of the story.

Transition Planning Timeline

One of the goals of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act is to include transition planning services for all special education students at age 16. Transition planning is mandated through IDEA 2004 which serves to help students begin the process of preparing for post-school activities including, postsecondary education, vocational education, integrated employment and adult services. A timeline will help you stay focused on achieving each step.

The law states transition planning should begin no later than 16 years old or before. It is recommended transition planning should begin by age 14 since services are different in the adult services world including long waiting list depending on where you live and what services are available.

14 Years Old
  • Transition planning should begin no later than when your child is 14.4- It is the law in most states.
  • Begin to research agencies who provide services for individuals with disabilities
  • IEP meeting should focus on the student’s needs, interest in preparation for adulthood
  • Research various aspects of transition services
  • Begin to explore recreation activities
15 Years Old
  • Develop a vision statement
  • Transition goals should be part of the IEP
  • Begin to discuss home services
  • Attend information fairs that offer information on future planning including residential, guardianship and employment
  • Start planning an independence plan at home where possible
16 Years Old
  • Transition goals at the IEP meetings should be updated.
  • Confirm how long students will attend high school- 4 years or until age 21
  • Start the process of getting referrals to your state agency
  • Begin researching adult services and programs. Some waitlist can last for years
  • Initiate application to adult service agencies
17 Years Old
  • Confirm a graduation date
  • Update transition goals in the IEP
  • Begin to invite adult service providers to IEP
  • Begin to investigate guardianship information and the process
18 Years Old
  • Adult eligibility should be completed
  • Apply for SSI (Supplemental Security Income) and Medicaid.
  • Visit adult providers programs
  • Attend job fairs if appropriate
  • Establish legal guardianship if necessary
  • Explore future planning
18-21 Years Old
  • Refine vision statement
  • Revise and update IEP goals
  • Invite transition coordinator your child’s IEP meeting
  • Explore and obtain necessary funding for adult programs
  • Ensure there is a plan for medical/health coverage
  • Confirm all support services are in place.

Below is a free transition printable planning checklist. Feel free to download the PDF.

transition-planning

transition-planning-checklist

Developmental Disability Acronyms You Should Know

Similar to special education, adult programs are full of acronyms that are used during meetings and in general conversation. Whether you are new to the field or a parent or caregiver with a child entering adult services, you will find this page useful as you navigate your way through adult services and programs.

acronyms

 

Active Treatment (AT). A continuous, aggressive, and consistent implementation of a program of specialized training, treatment and related services that helps people function as independent as possible.

American Disabilities Act (ADA)- A civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life.

Assessment– A way of diagnosing and planning treatment for individuals with disabilities as part of their individual plan of service.

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)- A group of development disorders that can cause significant social, communication and behavioral challenges.

Cerebral Palsy– A disorder that affects muscle tone, movement and motor skills.

Commission on the Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF)- An independent, non-profit accreditor of health and human service organizations.

Council on Developmental Disabilities-State Councils on Developmental Disabilities (Councils) are federally funded, self-governing organizations charged with identifying the most pressing needs of people with developmental disabilities in their state or territory. Councils are committed to advancing public policy and systems change that help these individuals gain more control over their lives.

Day Program– A day program to assist individuals in acquiring, retaining, and improving skills necessary to successfully reside in a community setting. Services may include assistance with acquisition, retention, or improvement in self-help, socialization, and adaptive skills; provision of social, recreational, and therapeutic activities to maintain physical, recreational, personal care, and community integration skills; and development of non-job task-oriented prevocational skills such as compliance, attendance, task completion, problem solving, and safety; and supervision for health and safety.

Developmental Disability– A group of conditions due to an impairment in physical, learning, language or behavior areas.

Developmental Center– residential facility serving individuals with developmental disabilities owned and operated by the State.

Habilitation– Service that help you keep, learn, or improve skills and functioning for daily living.

Human and Community Based Services (HCBS Waive)- Provides opportunities beneficiaries  for Medicaid beneficiaries to receive services  in their own home or community.

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) – Protects individuals records and other personal information.

Intermediate Care Facilities (ICF/ID)- Medicaid benefit that enables states to provide comprehensive and individualized healthcare and rehabilitation services to individuals to promote their independence.

Independent Living Center (ILC)- Community-based resource, advocacy and training center dedicated to improving the quality of life for people with disabilities.

Individualized Service Plan (ISP)- Written details of the supports, activities and resources required for the individual to achieve personal goals.

Individual supported employment-  Competitive employment in the community in integrated business settings for comparable wages.  Paid support staff provides training on the job site as well as follow along services and supports to the individual and business as needed.
Job Coach– An individual employed to help people with disabilities learn, accommodate and perform their work duties including interpersonal skills.

Individualized Supported Living Arrangement (ISLA) – This residential service is provided to people with developmental disabilities and/or intellectual disabilities in their own homes or apartments.  The level of support provided is individualized to the person’s need for training and assistance with personal care, laundry, money management, etc.  Individuals who receive ISLA typically need a higher level of support than people in a Supported Living Arrangement (SLA).

Intellectual Disability–  a disability characterized by significant limitations both in intellectual functioning (reasoning, learning, problem solving) and in adaptive behavior, which covers a range of everyday social and practical skills. This disability originates before the age of 18.

Least Restrictive Environment (LRE)- Individuals with disabilities should live in the community of their choice and receive the necessary services that will help them maintain their independence.

Level of Care- ICF eligibility determination

Person Centered Planning (PCP)- A set of approaches designed to assist someone to plan their life and supports. Used as an ongoing problem-solving process uses to help people with disabilities plan for their future.

Plan of Care– A document developed after the assessment that identifies the nursing diagnoses to be addressed in the hospital or clinic. The plan of care includes the objectives, nursing interventions and time frame for accomplishments and evaluation.

Provider-Typically private non-profit community organizations that provide vocational (and other types) of services to adults with disabilities.  These services are usually paid by state agencies.

Qualified Intellectual Disability Professional (QIDP) -Ensures individuals with Developmental and Intellectual disabilities receive continuous active treatment in accordance with Individual Support Plans (ISPs). Provide counseling, case management, and structured behavior programming to people with disabilities receiving Residential Services.  Responsible for the implementation of rules and regulations as required by licensing entities. Qualified Developmental Disability Professional (QDDP): Individual qualified to work as an expert with persons with developmental disabilities. The QDDP has a four-year college degree in an area related to developmental disabilities and a minimum of one-year experience working in that field.

Quality Assurance/Improvement (QA/QI)- Facilitate quality improvement activities to ensure compliance with accreditation standards regulations, funding source requirements, agency standards and assurance that all required manuals and procedures are maintained and implemented

Residential Care – Services provided in a facility in which at least five unrelated adults reside, and in which personal care, therapeutic, social, and recreational programming are provided in conjunction with shelter.  This service includes 24-hour on-site response staff to meet scheduled and unpredictable needs and to provide supervision, safety, and security.

Respite Care – Temporary relief to a primary caregiver for a specified period of time.  The  caregiver is relieved of the stress and demands associated with continuous daily care.
Self-Advocacy: an individual with disabilities speaking up and making their own decisions.

Self-Determination- Individuals have control over those aspects of life that are important to them, such as the services they receive, their career choices and goals, where they live, and which community activities they are involved in.

Service Coordination- Assists individuals with developmental disabilities and their families in gaining access to services and supports appropriate to their needs.

Supported Employment- Community based employment for individuals with disabilities in integrated work settings with ongoing training and support typically provided by paid job coaches.
Supported

Transition Services – Services provided to assist students with disabilities as they move from school to adult services and/or employment.

Special Needs Expo

specialneeds.expo_nj

If you are in the New Jersey area, The Special Needs Expos will be hosting an event in New Jersey on September 18th, 2016 from 11:00am to 4:00pm. The expo will be held at Teaneck Marriott at Glenpointe.

The free event is geared towards delivering information to parents, caregivers, professionals and children. Resources and information include special needs schools, camps, recreational sports, respite programs and social service groups. Additional exhibitors include non-profit organizations, special needs trust information and non-traditional therapist.

For further information, click here