A Mission of Kindness and Awareness for ALL!

Join our autism nonprofit and Someone Special Uniquely Personalized Books in spreading “Kindness and Awareness” by educating all children about children with autism and other special needs. We create autism awareness education and curriculum so parents and teachers can introduce important topics of autism in the inclusive classroom. Someone Special Books allows the parent or educator to further personalize the message of acceptance through their customizable picture books. Working in collaboration, we help children develop the compassion and … [Read more...]

How Did the Autism Society Conference Inspire Me?

There have been 46 previous Autism Society conferences but number 47 in New Orleans was my first. What a gathering! The hallways were filled with people—professionals, families, autistic individuals—who were ready to learn and network. I enjoyed the exchange of ideas and being able to meet so many amazing people face-to-face. I learned what many autistic individuals are accomplishing and felt inspired. I listened to the ways families are creating their own opportunities for their children and felt inspired. I discovered professionals, … [Read more...]

How to Win at the Friendship Game!

“Well, hello folks! Welcome to The Friendship Game, the only game show where everyone’s a winner because everyone gets a friend!” Navigating the social world is challenging for everyone and making friends is one of the most socially complicated. Some people have the natural ability to network, make connections, and know how to grow them into friendships. You can see it even when they are children…the ones who just know how to hang out make everyone feel welcome and comfortable. When my autistic son was growing up, friendships didn’t come … [Read more...]

The 5 Common Autism Myths and Misperceptions

Where to start? These are the 5 common autism myths and misperceptions I hear regularly: Autism Myth 1: You can't be autistic you are too social. Yes I can be, I am able to enjoy others company as many autistics can. We can enjoy social occasions like parties and cinema trips. I love concerts and the theatre. That does not mean however that I do not risk sensory overload in those places which happens frequently. It does not mean that I do not need to rest for up to eight hours after intense social reaction, I do. Autistics can be … [Read more...]

This is Some Village!

Last week I went to OCALICON, which is one of the biggest (if not the biggest) annual autism conference in the country. It's one of the best things I do all year. I got to speak three times this year, including my first big solo session…90 minutes presenting to mostly professionals about how their language around autism affects the kids who are hearing it. I also spoke on a panel as part of the AGI Young Leaders with my amazing advocate friends. The third day, I spoke with a dear friend and mentor to a smaller group about medical … [Read more...]

“Communication for All” Innovative Assistive Technology in Action

“When you walk into the classrooms at Jesse Baker School, what you see are engaged students,” said Sharon Stanley, a Speech and Language Pathologist (SLP) for the Elk Grove Unified School District (Sacramento County).  Sharon works with the team of educators at The Jesse Baker School, an extraordinary elementary school for students with special needs. Their mission? To provide “a full-spectrum education for their exceptional students.” As an SLP, Sharon’s motto for all children is “Communication for All,” and she is dedicated to making … [Read more...]

How to Grow a Kid

I grew up knowing that I was broken somehow and it was my fault. At school, I heard things like, "Come on, you know better than this!" and "You are smart enough to know better!" and "If you would be a little less maniacal about your grades, kids wouldn't be so mean to you." At home, I heard that I was self-centered and careless. I had a big list of negatives I could tell you about myself, but only one positive: I was smart. But I didn't have to work for my grades and test scores. They just happened, because I have a really good memory. So, the … [Read more...]

Why Autism Needs to Be Taught in the Classroom

I am sure that most of you by now have heard the term “autism awareness” and you probably know that there is a national autism awareness month every April. It was so declared by the Autism Society in April of 1970 and its intent was to educate the public about Autism Spectrum Disorder. So for 45 years we’ve been raising awareness. It’s not surprising that there’s a growing trend within the autism community to evolve that term into “autism acceptance.” So many of us—parents and autistic individuals—feel that we need to move the public past … [Read more...]

A Message of Hope: One Young Man’s Views on Love and Autism

By Jenny Palmiotto, Psy D Two nights ago, a mother and her 13-year-old son, David, had one of those surprisingly delightful conversations. One in which his parent felt validated that her efforts to help her child grow are paying off.  He is becoming a man. She has helped guide him to be warm, kind, tender, and hopeful. In this moment with David, the conversation turned to the topic of soulmates. The timing seemed right so mom inquired about what his soulmate might look like. She figured his answer would about what physical traits he’d … [Read more...]

The Awe and ‘Awww’ of Autism Service Dogs

By Elizabeth Geier, Rover.com A boy walks through the crowded halls of his school tethered to a dog who helps him remain calm in the crowd, find the correct classroom, and get settled in his seat before class starts. A family enjoys dinner at a busy restaurant with a dog laying patiently at their child’s feet. A young woman sits in a chair with her head in her hands, rocking back and forth; her dog puts his front paws on her lap and applies deep pressure until her body releases tension and she is able to carry on with her day. These are … [Read more...]