The Family Services Department at Autism Speaks will now offer online Office Hours each Wednesday, starting August 3, 2011, from 1:00-2:00 p.m. EDT
Office Hours, a new resource available on the web at www.autismspeaks.org will easily connect families to a wide variety of autism-related resources, including Family Services’ Toolkits, and the Autism Speaks Resource Guide, an online national database of autism providers and resources searchable by state and zip code. Family Services’ Office Hours is designed to quickly provide access to resources that are available and free to the entire autism community.
“Having a family member with autism can easily lead to feeling isolated without knowing where to turn. In addition, most families have little free time to search for reliable information about autism, yet they may be in need of timely information. Office Hours offers a quick connection to the Autism Response Team(ART) who can assist you in getting the information you need as quickly as possible,” states Marianne Sullivan, Assistant Director of National Outreach and Resources.
The Office Hours resource is staffed by ART coordinators who are specially trained to connect families affected by autism to resources.
In addition to Office Hours, ART is available by telephone during usual business hours at 888-AUTISM 2 (888-288-4762). You can also reach ART by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here is the transcript:
Welcome to Office Hours offered by the Family Services Department at Autism Speaks. Today’s Office Hours is staffed by Marianne Sullivan, RN, MN, Assistant Director of National Outreach and resources.
The transition from summer back to school can be tough for everyone, especially for parents of kids with autism? Do you have questions about how to smooth the transition back to school? What can you do to prepare over the next few weeks?
Comment From Marilyn nunez
What is considered an appropriate education plan for a 6 year old boy diagnosed with pdd nos and adhd combined type? He did veru well in kindergarten almost all E’s on his report card terranova scores
Hi Marilyn – IDEA provides a free public appropriate education program for children with special needs. Each child is entitled to a program that is tailored to their special needs and a placement that allows them to make reasonable progress with no cost to the family
A plan for your 6 year-old will depend on what his needs are
That is wonderful that he received all E’s on his report card! We are glad he is doing well, just keep understanding what his needs are so he can keep making progress
Comment From Angela Grullon
My son was just diagnosed with autism, he will be attending school for the first time in september. How can i make his transitioning easier since he will be going 5 days a week from 8 to 2. He just turned 3 years old.
This can be a very difficult time of adjustment for your son. It is great that you are trying to make the transition easier for your son. There are a few things you can do to prepare
The School Community Tool Kit provides information and resources for general education and administrative school staff to support a positive school experience for children with autism.
Here are some tips for younger students
There is a wonderful Paula Kluth article that has great suggestions for parents getting ready for school
Here is a link to the full article/sites/default/files/documents/family-services/paula_article.pdf
Comment From Angela
My daughter is an 8 year old ppd nos with ADD – high functioning autism. She is in a regular 3rd grade class. We had quite a few issues with behavior and working with others last school year. The doctor keeps bringing up the topic of meds, but right now im against that. Do you know of any resources in memphis, tn? I work so hard to find her things she can fit in. Any suggestions on what I can keep doing with the school to make sure my child receives a quality education?
Hi Angela, how are you?
If your child was just diagnosed with autism please check out our 100 Day Kit
Oops sorry! We got ahead of ourselves
Here is our Resource Guide for Tennessee/community/fsdb/state.php?sid=21
It is very important to work with the IEP Team if it is necessary to understand your child’s behaviors to request a behavioral assessment
Hi Angela Grullon – here is our 100 Day Kit
The Autism Speaks 100 Day Kit and the Asperger Syndrome and High Functioning Autism Tool Kit were created specifically for newly diagnosed families to make the best possible use of the 100 days following their child’s diagnosis of autism or AS/HFA.
You can download it for FREE here!/family-services/tool-kits/100-day-kit
Comment From Katie
My 14 year-old sister with Aspergers and ADHD will be starting public high school next week. She has not been in school since December (homeschooled) or public school in 2 years (private, homebound, homeschool). How can we help her make a sucessful transition to a very different environment?
Hi Katie! It is terrific that you are thinking ahead – preparing for a successful transition will make all the difference
Please take a look at our Community Connections/family-services/community-connections/back-school-its-transition-time
There are a lot of great articles that can act as a resource for you
Comment From Angela Grullon
Another question. He has this repetitive behavior where he runs back and forth throughout the day, just running.
Hi Again! We suggest that you meet with your IEP team and request a behavioral assessment so that the team will have a better understanding of the behaviors and how to intervene. It is all in the consistency of implementing the behavior plan!
Hi Katie – you can also look to our Transition Tool Kit
The Autism Speaks Transition Tool Kit was created to serve as a guide to assist families on the journey from adolescence to adulthood.
You can download this kit as well for FREE!
Comment From Gabriel
Comment From Gabriel
I have a 25 years old brother who is nothing productive.
You may also want to check out the Transition Tool Kit
We are working with on Adult Services because there is such a need. Please also visit Advancing Futures for Adults with Autism (AFAA)
We are working to bring more focus on this topic as more children with autism are becoming adults. We are looking for a program that focuses on life skills and independent living would be a plus
Also, check with the Department of Rehabilitation in your community. They should have programs for adults with autism
Comment From Dena
How can i help my 7 year old son, with his emotions. i know he is going to cry those first few days back to school. He will be in mainstream 1st grade. Even though his has the Autism diagnosis, they say he no longer needs to be in the ASD classroom, nor need a para pro. I’m a little nervous about this.
Even though your son is not in a special needs classroom he has a right to special needs services.
Under IDEA parents are a vital part of the IEP process and your input should be taken very seriously, even though your child is not in an autism specific classroom. You have the right to request your child has certain services provided
I suggest you read IDEA and understand your rights and the process that is involved in working with your school district
You should also visit our page, ‘Your Child’s Rights’ to help with this matter. /what-autism/your-childs-rights
Comment From Gabriel
The Department of Rehabilation said he is low-level skill
Gabriel don’t give up hope
Continue to search your community for the rights that your brother is entitled to. You are doing the right thing and I know your brother will appreciate all of the support
Having a family member with autism is a lifelong pursuit of finding the best possible fit. Hang in there – you are doing a great job!
Comment From Guest
how can i make the transition to kinder for my son easy? he use to have an assistant and now he won’t. plus he was not accepted for summer school, so i think it is going to be hard on him to go to school full day.
If you check our our Community Connections you will be able to find some great articles from professionals on how to make this transition easier. /family-services/community-connections/back-school-its-transition-time
A suggestion that has worked well for parents, is to meet with the teacher prior to the start of school, to introduce your child. Put together some documents that share your child’s strengths and some successes they have had in the classroom
It is also helpful to offer some books on autism. Your child’s teacher may not know the latest autism teaching techniques and they may find it helpful
Paula Kluth’s book, “You’re Going to Love This Kid!: Teaching Children with Autism in the Inclusive Classroom” is a great resource
Stay positive – back to school can be tough for everyone. But is a great time to be hopeful and optimistic about the year to come!
Comment From bobbylee
when my son comes home with home work what might take another kid 30mins is taking my son 2 hrs… how can i address this with his teachers with out looking like i want them to take “pity on him”?
The best thing you can do is open lines of communication with your son’s teacher
Start with a brief meeting discussing the issue of homework. See if there are small adjustments that can be made. Hopefully the teacher will be a good listener and will work with you on addressing the fact that homework is taking longer than it should
Once the teacher realizes that you are here to help and want to address these issues, many of these problems become easier to solve
Comment From kendra
I am having a problem with my daughter the teachers talked me into having her go to a different school than the one i had chosen saying it would be a better fit for her. now they are telling me because they have no room they are going to have to send her to this other school (the school i did niot want her to go to at all) because of the comments madre from other people in my asd parent group please help
As a parent – you are the person that knows your child the best.
You have every right to bring these issues to the IEP team
You are a vital part of the IEP process and you cannot be brushed off.
If you are not happy with the decisions that have been made you may have to consult with an advocate or an attorney. In our Resource Guide we have a directory of advocates and attorneys in your area
You can also refer to our Special Education and Advocacy Community Connections
Comment From Dixie
Hi there, is the school tool kit specific to the States, I am writing from Canada and am hoping for something like this for my daughters school
Hi Dixie – we have an Autism Speaks Canada
You can contact them here -http://www.autismspeaks.ca/contact-us
Here is a link to their Family Services Database -http://www.autismspeaks.ca/family-services-database/reset
Comment From vanessa
is there something that i can do to help my son understand that not all the toys he sees he can have? he is autistic troughs tam trams everywhere.
Hi Vanessa – you have to figure out what the triggers are for the tantrums
I suggest your start by using social stories to prepare your child for a visit on a shopping trip
It is all in the preparation. You can get photos of the store and items that he can have and can’t have so he will better know what to expect
‘The New Social Story Book’ by Carol Gray would be a great resource for you to use
Comment From Joyce
We are at the point with are Grandson who is non-verbal, looking into the ipad to communicate with each other. Any recommendations on where and how to get one free or cheap?
There are sites that do exist that give away these iPads, but as you can imagine, they are in very high demand. iPads are a proven resource as a communication tool for people with autism. You can check here http://itaalk.org/
Put your name on every list and don’t lose hope. We also produced a ‘Technology and Autism’ that you may find helpful
Comment From eleanor
i have a 7 yr daughter non verbal and she has had a paro pro for 4 yrs and now they want to change her and give her a aid that knows nothing about autisum very nervice
Hi Eleanor – we would recommend offering books and resources about autism. Inform the new aid about your child’s unique strengths.
You have to communicate with your aid and keep them updated and over time you should see progress
Here are some links from our School Community Toolkit that will be helpful
With training and support, this aid may turn out to be a great fit with your child. Stay positive!
Comment From Dixie
My daughter is in senior kindergarten, she is neither high or low functioning, she is just in the middle. She has lost her educational assistant because of this. I am not allowed to send professionals in to consult with the classroom helper for confidentiality reasons. Everything is a hurdle. She is not recogized by her school board as having autism, even though she has a diagnosis. She has no IEP. She is slipping through the cracks and I feel I cannot properly advocate for her. Any suggestions, or more important, what exactly are her rights?
Hi Dixie – we recommend meeting with an advocate or attorney.
You can search the Resource Guide by your state to find a legal representative or advocate
Comment From Marilyn nunez
Any resources out there for advocating on school issues?
Hi Marilyn, you can just check the links above. Thanks so much for joining!
When asked, “How can parents work with their teachers?’ One of the best responses I have heard was from Paula Kluth
She suggests creating a short portfolio, pamphlet, or even a video for the teach. You want to give the teachers some idea on how to work with the new student.
For the full interview, you can visit here:/sites/default/files/documents/family-services/paula_interview.pdf
Again, the idea is to give teachers a well-rounded view of your child.
You can find more suggestions from Paula atwww.paulakluth.com
Comment From Michelle
Is it possible to overload our child with services?
Hi Michelle – the important thing is that you know your child best. You must understand what he or she’s needs are.
Some kids need less, some need more, but as a parents advocate it is your responsibility to keep what is best for the child in mind.
Your child is lucky to have you as a parent who can monitor their response to services
As a parent you have an opportunity to play a vital row in your child’s life.
We would like to invite you all to subscribe to our ‘Community Connections’ newsletter
This month we will be focusing on ‘Back to School’
Community Connections, published monthly by the Autism Speaks Family Services team, aims to increase opportunities and awareness for people with autism and their families in their local communities.Each month’s newsletter explores a relevant topic with practical tips on dealing with everyday situations, links to local resources, and stories from experts and families who share their successful experiences.
You can sign up here -http://events.autismspeaks.org/site/c.jqLTI1OxGlF/b.5766483/k.3E56/Community_Connections_Sign_Up/apps/ka/ct/contactus.asp?c=jqLTI1OxGlF&b=5766483&en=cnLALGMlGbJCLHOqF8KzHKNsEgJGIMNiH5IKJZPAJrH
Thank you all so much for coming to Office Hours. Please join us again next Wednesday. Keep us posted on your progress and remember to stay positive as you embark on the new school year!