Autism Society America

N. Jane DuBovy
A2Z Educational Advocates
16712 Marquez Avenue,
Pacific Palisades CA 90272

Dear Jane,

Thank you so much for bringing your Parent Advocate Liaison Training to our 2nd Annual Back-to-School Conference on Saturday, October 15th. Your presentation was a cornerstone of vital information that will help both families and professionals collaboratively develop thoughtful, appropriate and effective IEP’s. We truly appreciate the support you’ve shown ASASB.

The Autism Society of America works tirelessly to serve individuals with autism and the family members who support them, as well as professional caregivers, researchers, policy makers, government regulators and educators, who are all participants in the world of autism. Your contribution will be used to advance this work.

Again, thank you for your strong commitment to bettering the lives of those living with autism. It is only through your generosity that we can continue being the voice and resource of the autism community in Santa Barbara County.

Warm regards,

 


Marcia J. Eichelberger
Co-President

Patti Gaultney
Co-President

The Autism Society of America, Santa Barbara Chapter is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization (33-0599454). Unless otherwise noted, no goods or services were provided to you in return for your contribution. This letter is your receipt and should be kept with your tax records.

New Roads Autism

Innovative High School Education for the Autism Spectrum
In September 2004, New Roads School opened its doors to the Spectrum Program, an innovative high school program for students with social-cognitive learning disabilities such as high-functioning autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, NLD, and the like.

Our program takes a fresh approach by reordering traditional academic expectations to give priority to the true needs of our students in the areas of social, communication, and life skills. To this end, and with the cooperation and collaboration of renowned professionals from the community, from UCLA and from Yale, we are developing and implementing a unique curriculum, aimed not just at teaching our students a set of isolated “skills” but rather focused on improving the coherence of their thinking, their understanding of others and the world around them.
The Program
To the extent of their individual abilities and desires, our students participate in the mornings, in a fully inclusive manner, in the regular academic program offered at New Roads. They are supported in these endeavors by our two fulltime, highly trained Spectrum Program teachers who provide academic assistance, help with organization, and additional interface with other New Roads faculty. Every afternoon, during the time allotted for electives at New Roads, our students are immersed in our unique narrative-based curriculum designed to help them improve the coherence and fluidity of their thinking and behavior.
Our narrative curriculum relies on some “traditional” reading and writing, but more often employs non-traditional modalities such as drama, film, community outings, etc. to encourage the students to attend to verbal and nonverbal signals, nuances of setting, context, plot, and character; in effect, the “storyline” of day-to-day life. We film the students ourselves, on a daily basis, both as part of their own activities and also as a means of monitoring the effectiveness of our interventions and measuring student progress over time. In this we are assisted by graduate students at UCLA who are “coding” our video footage in an attempt to gather valid, objective data.
Board of Advisors
David Bryan, MS, JD, Ph.D. (New Roads, Head of School), Paul Cummins, Ph.D. (New Visions Foundation), Stanley Greenspan, M.D. (George Washington University), Lorie Humphrey, Ph.D. (Private Practice), Martha Jura, Ph.D. (University of California Los Angeles), Connie Kasari, Ph.D. (University of California Los Angeles), Ami Klin, Ph.D. (Yale University), James McCracken, M.D. (University of California Los Angeles), Daniel Siegel, M.D., (University of California Los Angeles), Jeff Wood, Ph.D. (University of California Los Angeles)

information, please contact:
Nancy London
Program Coordinator310-828-5582 (Tel. 1)
310-828-6561 (Tel. 2)
nlondon@newroads.org

Cure Autism Now

Subject: Cure Autism Now – Kids Drawings Needed

Hi Everyone,

Natalie Hamilton in our Orange County Chapter has found a gift bag manufacturer that has offered to develop a line of bags featuring art from children with autism and donate a portion of the sales to CAN.   So I am writing you to ask that you give us drawings that your kids are making this holiday season.

What we needs are pictures drawn on 8 1/2″  X 11″ pieces of paper.  It doesn’t matter if the drawing fills the page or not, but must be colored. They may use crayons, markers or paint.   At the bottom of the page, have the children write their name and age (for example Joel, 8).  Jean Marie Creations, which makes high end gift bags will transform your children’s drawing into gift bags.

Primarily, we are looking to develop a line of bags for next Christmas, so have your kids draw what ever comes to mind – snowmen, Santa Claus,  reindeer, Christmas trees, nature scenes, stockings.   But Jean Marie is also interested in developing a line of Everyday bags, so if you have good drawings of flowers or families, or pets, or whatever, send those as well.

I like the potential for these bags to show people the talents that our kids have.  It also gives your friends and family a chance to show their support by using bags with art from autistic kids.

Please mail your drawings to:

Natalie Hamilton
15927 Overton St.
Fountain Valley, CA 92708

The art transfers better if you do not fold the drawings.  So please send your drawings unfolded in a 8 1/2″  X 11″ envelope.  We need them as soon as possible.

Thank you,

Elizabeth Kilpatrick

Autism Poem

Overwhelmed

I smell

Burlap, sweet and dusty, like old hay;

Sandalwood, jasmine, and cedar

Burning as harsh incense;

Pink rose petal candles;

Musk perfume of the person next to me;

Lotion on my hands.

 

If I just sit here quietly…If I hold my

body tense…

If I don’t move or talk…

 

I see

Hundreds of papers covering the walls,

Flyers announcing projects and events,

Pictures, assignments,

A large paper Easter Bunny;

Pink ruler, blue paint, green paint,

Bright colors dancing across the

teacher’s clothing,

Purple, orange, red, blue;

Green dangling from an ear;

Red moving lips, telling me something

I can’t hear

 

What color is this?

Blue

What color is this?

Blue

What color is this?

…Blue? Um…Royal Blue?

What color is this?

…Purple?…Violet?

 

I feel

Coarse, abrasive burlap on my skin,

Itching, moving, tickling,

Irritating my arm, my back, my chest;

My hair falling in my face,

Touching my cheek;

Cold air draft on my exposed feet,

And coming through the thin burlap;

Harsh smoke from the incense

burning my eyes

Sharp, splintering thorns on my fingertips

 

Stop moving around, you’ll distract the

others…It’s only your clothing…

I hear

Voices, from a speaker behind me

An intercom announcement

Tick, Tick, Tick

Loud sounds of a construction site

Conversations of the people beside me

Angry yelling of the woman

from the back row

Tick-Tick, Tick-Tick, Tick-Tick

 

Listen carefully,

there’s going to be a test.

Why can’t you hear the video? The volume is up

It must be something wrong with you…

 

Loud noises won’t stop

I can’t hear what I am supposed to

“Don’t fidget, place both feet on the ground”

Is that bottle really blue?

I don’t know the answers anymore

My head hurts

Itching, can’t help scratching,

Want this abrasive burlap off my skin

“Stop thinking about it”

Bright, florescent, glaring

Just focus, focus

Why can’t those people stop chatting?

Burning, itching eyes

Harsh, everything’s jarring

I need to get out of here

Think about nothing

 

Retreat… Shut Down

 

I don’t hear the sounds from the other students.

I don’t hear the story from the video.

I don’t smell the incense, see the colors.

Time passes, and the “class” continues around me.

 

Safety

Leaving the room…Out of the chaos…

Back in a safe environment…

My body reemerges from the place

my mind had sent it; my senses reawaken.

 

Tears – as my emotions being to live again, and I am overwhelmed.

 

Calm – a world without the tick-tick, tick-tick,

the sounds of the intercom, the conversations

of people behind me;

Without 5 separate and distinct smells;

without burlap for clothing.

 

But I still feel it, hear it and smell it all.

 

It was only an hour.

An hour in a world of overwhelming

input of smells, sights, sounds and feelings,

where I could not rely on my intellect

to solve the problem.

I only had an hour, not day after day,

of the chaos.

 

I learned

I am less adaptable than I thought.

My behavior, and the behavior of others

in the room, surprised me. When bombarded

with input and chaos, our minds and bodies

did whatever was necessary to cope

with the situation. At that point,

it is not about processing. It is about getting by.

I see and admire

Strength – to face that world of chaos

every day;

Power – to cope when overwhelmed;

Spirit – that keeps going, even when the body

and mind must retreat into shut down.

Austism Bill

Here is a letter to fax to Senate Majority leader, Bill Frist and Tom Daschle. It should be easy for parents to use most of this letter and cut out my legal cast and paste in your own personal one.

I think faxing is more effective right now because most senators have staff that reads and responds to email which is easier for them to delete and ignore.
SENATOR BILL FRIST (R-TN) November 17, 2003
SENATE MAJORITY LEADER: REPUBLICAN
461 Dirksen Senate Office Building T 202-224-3344
United States Senate F 202-228-1264
Washington, DC 20510 Re: SB1248
My name is Jane Doe. I am the mother of an autistic 3 year old.

There is much to applaud in Senate Bill 1248, especially when compared with H.R. 1350. There remain provisions which I am unhappy about. I respectfully ask that you do not ALLOW any limits on families’ ability to find legal counsel to represent their children.

My agenda is clear. I have a son with a severe disability, which entitles him to a free, appropriate, public education. Even though my son’s rights are set forth in federal and state law, negotiating his special education plan (IEP) has been a frustrating, time-consuming, and overwhelming process.

My son’s school district, Cambrian School District, San Jose, CA, made several procedural violations and did not adhere to the law set forth in IDEA-implementing a free, appropriate, public education by his 3rd birthday. Therefore, I was forced to hire a special education attorney and filed a due process request.

Currently, I am paying for my son’s education because I refuse to accept the unacceptable. I am confident that we will prevail with our due process hearing but it could take a year before I get reimbursed for my son’s education expenses and for our attorney’s fees, which in total will likely cost me and my husband somewhere between $70,000.00 and $90,000.00 just for 2003 – 2004. I would like to remind you that many families must file due process hearings year after year in order to continue getting their school district to comply with an appropriate education plan.

To date my son’s school district has spent 100% of my hard-earned tax dollars toward fighting me in a due process hearing, including charging me $40.00 for copying his school records. Since my son’s third birthday, 5/9/03, my school district has not spent one cent on educating my child, yet they have racked up quite a legal bill at the public’s expense-fighting me and my son because we attempted to hold them accountable to John’s civil rights as a disabled person.

The autism rate in the public education system has jumped 1,354% in the period from 1991-92 – 2000-01. Autistic students being served in the public schools has increased at a rate almost fifty (50) times higher than the rate of all disabilities combined during the eight year period from 1991-92 – 2000-01. (U.S. Department of Education’s 2002 Report to Congress on Individuals with Disabilities Education Act-IDEA).

Inappropriate special education programs lead to increasing legal and administrative costs to deal with the disagreements between parents and school districts through due process hearings. IDEA and state education codes ensure nothing. School districts are notorious for noncompliance and many families must hire attorneys just to scare school districts into compliance.

The parents, grandparents, friends, relatives, and professionals serving special needs children represent a population exponentially greater than the 6.5 million special needs students in the US-a bipartisan “voice” that must not be silenced or ignored. Senators running for re-election must know that we will not forget if we are ignored and limits are placed on our ability to find legal counsel for our children.

On behalf of the 100,000 autistic students being served in the public school system, I thank you in advance for not allowing any limits on families’ ability to find legal counsel to represent their children and for expeditiously getting this bill to the floor for a vote.

Sincerely,

Jane Doe

Autism Study

UCLA Functional Brain Imaging Study of Autism

UCLA Functional Brain Imaging Study of Autism — Research Study
Help us gain a better understanding of children with autistic spectrum
disorder (high functioning autism or Asperger’s syndrome) by having
your child participate in a study of brain structure and function conducted by
Dr. Susan Bookheimer in collaboration with Dr. Marian Sigman. [Normally
developing children are invited to participate to form a comparison group.]

Your child must be in good health between the ages of 7-18; have a
previous diagnosis of autism or Asperger’s [or be a normally developing child];
must not wear braces.

Children with autism or Asperger’s will receive a diagnostic evaluation
to determine if they qualify for the
study. Children that qualify will have a functional magnetic resonance
imaging scan of their brain during a
second visit. Participants will be paid $25 per visit.

[Normally developing children will receive a brief language assessment
and have a functional magnetic
resonance imaging scan of their brain during one visit and earn $25.]

Call for more details: 310-825-3478.

Autism Disillusioned

To Whom It May Concern:

I am an Occupational Therapist currently working in the educational setting. I have been a pediatric therapist for 16 years and have spent equal time in the clinic and in the school setting. I am currently developing some policy and guidelines for my District and inadvertently came across publications of due process hearings on the internet. While reading through a number of articles I became extremely disturbed by some of the decisions made. In many cases, parents were suing the school district for violation of FAPE. In one case, the parents were demanding more services to address their child’d deficiencies in the areas of pragmatic language and social skills; apparently the child was unable to decifer the subtelities of social situations and was having difficulties establishing special peer relationships. Well, what a surprise, the CHILD IS AUTISTIC!! I feel an increasing amount of resentment toward these parents that are demanding that school districts fund endless amounts of ABA, or now RDI, OT, Recreational THerapy, Music Therapy, etc.in seemingly futile hopes of making their child NORMAL. I feel all the negative energy of “going after” the school districts has become an unfortunate coping mechanism for parents who cannot accept their children for who they are. I beleive the focus should be on the child’s strengths and supporting the child by loving him/her for who he/she is!

It would be extremely helpful to me as a therapist, and as always an advocate for EVERY child I work with, to understand the logic behind some parents expecting/demanding the school systems “fix” their children or pay…
Thank you for your time.
Respectfully,

Jane Doe, OTR/L

Dear Concerned Occupational Therapist:

I do feel that it is important for professionals to understand where parents are coming from, and therefore wish to respond to your concerns. Our website is geared towards educating the public, primarily parents but also others, including those, like yourself, who work with these children.

First of all, I want to clear up your misconception that parents want the school district to “fix” their child. Certainly all the parents I know and represent, including the one that I work with and whose child I love as my brother, love their children for who they are and are not trying to “fix” them. In fact, in this day when so much focus is on “finding a cure,” there are still many parents out there who celebrate the unique gifts that their children have that may also be connected to their autism. For examples of that, I hope that you will come back to our site soon and see our article on our 4th of July parade float, where the unique talents of many kids were celebrated.

Having said that, while parents are not seeking a “fix” they are certainly entitled to seek services, supports, therapies and accommodations to give their child the opportunity to make progress, have friends, and one day be an independent and productive parts of society. This means not only focusing on their strengths, as you put it, but also on supporting their weaknesses. For kids with autism, it is true that a social communication deficit is at the heart or core of the disability. But I disagree that that means a parent should accept this and not ask for services or supports which could enable the child to make progress in these areas. This is what they are entitled to – a program that meets the unique needs arising from their child’s disability. It is not only about academics. Because the larger world is not only about academic skills. It is about becoming socially, emotionally, behaviorally, and academically prepared to face the world after school.

If you are looking for further information, I suggest you go no further than the very beginning of the law itself – the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, or Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (2004). You’ll find an answer to your resentment right there in the congressional findings – where Congress found the following:

� Disability in no way diminishes the right of individuals to participate in or contribute to society.
� Improve educational results for children with disabilities is an essential element of our national policy of ensuring equality of opportunity, full participation, independent living, and economic self-sufficiency for individuals with disabilities.
� The implementation of appropriate services for students with disabilities was “impeded by low expectations” for children with disabilities
� 20 years (now 30 in new law) of research and experience has demonstrated that the education of children with disabilities can be made more effective by having high expectations for such children, strengthening the role of parents, ensuring the special education is a service and not a place, providing appropriate special education and related services and aids and supports to children.

After making such findings, Congress enacted the IDEA, which guarantees the right of children to a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) based on their unique, individual needs. If you read this act, you will find that many of the services you refer to as “seemingly futile,” such as Recreational Therapy, were specifically identified by Congress as related services to be provided for kids with disabilities.

Then lets look at the research. In addition to the research on which Congress based its findings, years of research has confirmed that early intervention works, and that the prospects for kids with autism, learning disabilities, and other disabilities is much better if they have intensive intervention. Start with, for example, the book Educating Students with Autism, which was published in 2001, and based on significant research. Or read “Overcoming Dyslexia,” by Sallie Schaywitz. These and numerous others support the need for early, research based interventions for these kids. You mentioned RDI (relationship development intervention), and certainly Dr. Gutstein’s work is of the more recent research on this topic. Dr. Gutstein’s findings support that interventions make a positive difference on the prognosis for the child.
The days when Autism is seen as a sentence to a life without friends, without meaningful communication with others, are over. No, we are not trying to “fix” the child, but we are certainly trying to give the child all of the strategies and tools that could help that child function in the world.

What you seem to be the most concerned about is funding – which is probably the source of your “resentment.” On this too, I ask you to do further research before you develop such strong feelings. First, funding for special education programs is specifically set aside according to federal and state laws, so it is not coming out of what $ could be used for other school programs. Second, children with disabilities become adults with disabilities, and we as a society are either going to spend money on them earlier or later. If we educate our kids appropriately, provide services in their areas of deficit, and support them into the transition into adulthood, there is a greater likelihood that they will be able to be productive members of society. If we give up on them because they have a disability, so we think it is useless to expect them to learn these skills, then we are guaranteeing the need to provide for these individuals for the rest of their lives, because they will not be successful independently. And yes, this even applies to the subtleties of friendships and peer interactions. Because they not only have to learn job skills, but how to survive in a workplace, where interactions with others are necessary. Research also supports that people who have positive relationships in their lives are healthier.

But beyond the law and the research and the funding, what we are talking about is children. And, with all respect, if you don’t have an autistic child close to you in your personal life, it is probably difficult for you to understand what it is that parents are seeking.

I don’t know of many parents who are in denial about their child’s disabilities. I’m sure that there are some out there, but typically the ones to come to us for help have fully accepted their child’s condition, and have accepted what the child’s unique needs are as a result. Typically, what they are seeking first and foremost from the school district is their acknowledgement of the child’s needs. Unfortunately, there are many people who do not understand what is currently known about Autism – that the spectrum encompasses a full range of capabilities, strengths, deficits and needs, that early intervention increases the chance of a higher level of functioning, that yes, even Autistic kids can learn the “subtleties of social situations” and have peer relationships. And if that is possible –and far from “seemingly futile,” why shouldn’t any parent want that for her child?

I hope that you will not stop with what little exploration you have done. Please talk personally to parents who have kids with disabilities. Read the law, read the research. It is sad to me that persons who are in this field – providing services to students with disabilities – have such strong “resentment” towards these families. And I know that you are not the only one. There are many persons in our society who do not, as you say, understand the perspective of these parents, and see what they are doing as “futile” and wasteful of resources. It was one of the initial goals of the IDEA to eliminate the prevalence of such misunderstandings. For me personally, it is part of why I do what I do… I am an optimist and remain hopeful that with each kid that is supported and becomes an asset to society, with each kid who makes friends with “typical” or “normal” children and therefore broadens their understanding of the world, with each teacher who learns the subtleties of autism… we are closer to a better understanding in society in general, and only then can we start to talk about acceptance.

Thank you,
Carrie Watts
A2Z

Austism Children grip

Children in the grip of autism
More families faced with a difficult diagnosis

By Molly Masland
Health Editor
MSNBC

Updated: 4:46 p.m. ET Feb. 23, 2005

Adam Walden’s best friend is his cello – and that’s just fine with him.

Like all children with autism and related disorders, the 8-year-old boy from Los Angeles has trouble interacting with others and forming relationships. Learning to speak has been an enormous challenge for him and, at an age when many kids are being scolded for chatting in class, Adam sometimes has problems even recognizing the human voice.

Once regarded with suspicion by his classmates, Adam rarely got invited to birthday parties and during those few occasions that he was asked, he was often found hiding under beds or running away down the street. But life took a positive turn for Adam once he was introduced to the cello. Recently admitted to the Colburn School of Performing Arts, Adam has learned to communicate with others through his music and performs regularly in recitals, where he hams it up and loves to be on stage.

“Now he’s known in school not as the autistic kid, but as a cellist,” says Adam’s mother, Rosanne Walden, who has fought for years to keep him in regular classrooms and is currently suing the L.A. Unified School District to allow children with autism access to gifted-learning programs.

Not just ‘quirkiness’
After more than four years of intensive therapy and treatments, Adam has reached the point where most people who meet him would at first just think he’s a little eccentric or different. But, as many experts point out, autism is not simply “quirkiness” or an unusual personality trait, but a serious disorder capable of destroying families and children’s futures. Like others with the condition, Adam’s progress has been hard-won.

His struggles are increasingly shared by many across the United States as rates of autism continue to skyrocket. Some experts estimate that as many as 1 in 166 children born today will be diagnosed with an autistic disorder. Autism is now the second most commonly diagnosed serious developmental disability in children after mental retardation.

While the causes for the dramatic rise in cases over the past decade are the subject of much debate, one thing is certain: early diagnosis is crucial. By being aware of key symptoms to watch for, parents can help spot the disorder and, if necessary, ensure their child begins treatment.

“One of the factors in a good [autism] prognosis is early intervention,” says Dr. Sally Ozonoff, associate professor of psychiatry at the MIND Institute at the University of California, Davis. “It’s been shown pretty clearly that starting an intervention at age 3 is better than 5, or starting intervention at 2 or potentially even earlier than that is better.”

But while most experts agree that beginning treatment for autism at an early age is important, the process of diagnosing children can be fraught with difficulty and makes the goal of early treatment sometimes easier said than done.

‘Experts on things’
First identified back in the early ’40s, autism was once thought to be the initial stages of schizophrenia. The name derives from the Greek words “autos,” meaning “self,” which describes the often withdrawn and self-focused perspective people with the disorder appear to have.

“There was lots of confusion about what it was,” says Dr. Fred Volkmar, professor of child psychiatry, pediatrics and psychology at Yale University, who co-authored the latest definition of autism and related disorders in the Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (Fourth Edition).

Decades of research have now made autism the most well-known disorder in a category recognized by the American Psychiatric Association as pervasive developmental disorders. In addition to autism, the category includes Asperger Syndrome, Rett’s Syndrome, Childhood Disintegrative Disorder, and Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified, a catch-all category for children who clearly have impairments but don’t meet the criteria for any of the other disorders (see box below). In many cases, the differences between the various disorders are often slight and easily confused even by specialists.

Four times more common in males than females, according to the Cure Autism Now Foundation, autism affects people from all socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds. It involves a wide spectrum of symptoms ranging from mild to severe, but all have three areas in common: communication problems, impaired social relationships, and unusual patterns of behavior.

“Most children come into the world set up to be experts on people,” says Volkmar. “But children with autism don’t have this. They’re set up to be experts on things, their inanimate environment.” Research shows they tend not to look at faces as much and have difficulty reading body language. They can also develop unusual behaviors, such as repeatedly twitching their fingers, rocking, spinning, or rolling their eyes.

Diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders typically takes place around age 3 or 4 when a child has not begun speaking, although many children, such as patients with Asperger Syndrome, do develop language skills. In some instances, a child appeared to be making normal progress in most areas of development, but then began to regress. In other cases, parents were worried about their children long before the diagnosis, but were mistakenly reassured by their pediatricians that there was nothing to be concerned about.

If a parent suspects autism or other developmental delays, it’s important for them to push their doctor for an evaluation with a trained specialist, says the MIND Institute’s Ozonoff. “The fact is most parents are not going to bring this up unless there is a problem. Parents never want their child to have autism, so the only person who would pursue this is someone who’s really concerned.”

And for most parents, the initial diagnosis is devastating. “My first thought was that they’re wrong,” said Sara DiFucci of Albany, N.Y., whose 6-year-old daughter Amanda has mild autism. “The only autism I knew was from the movie ‘Rain Man,’ and my child was certainly not like that.”

Early warning signs
In order to receive a diagnosis of autism or a related disorder, children must meet a certain number of behavioral criteria as described in the Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. In general, the criteria are applicable to children around the age of 3 or older, so diagnosis at an earlier age is much more difficult.

But given the importance of early treatment, Ozonoff and her colleagues have begun a study to determine whether there are identifiable symptoms of autism in infancy. So far, the research has shown that there are indeed detectable signs of the disorder in many babies long before they reach the age when it would be easier to spot.

Ozonoff has narrowed the preliminary results of the research down to six key symptoms in infants and toddlers that parents should watch for:

  • Children don’t orient or respond to their names
  • They don’t look at faces or make eye contact as much
  • They don’t show objects to others or point at things
  • They smile at others less
  • They don’t try to imitate others as much
  • They show less interest in other children

Whatever a child’s age when the disorder is identified, once a reliable diagnosis has been made, the hardest part is figuring out what to do next. Some children with very high-functioning autism may not need major intervention, but given the serious impairments that usually accompany the disorder, most with an autism-related diagnosis will need long-term treatment.

“A disorder is an impairment, not just quirkiness,” says Volkmar. “We’re talking about things that take over a child’s life. They become a source of anxiety and stress, something that causes major problems.”

As many autism advocates point out, the goal of diagnosis and treatment is not to label or change a person’s fundamental personality, but to help children learn to live better in the world and give them more choices for the future. While autism never goes away, people with the disorder can go on to have meaningful, successful lives.

And, as the number of children with autism grows, society will increasingly have to make adjustments for their different perspectives and needs, researchers say.

“On top of normalizing an autistic child’s development, we have to prepare them to explain themselves to what will hopefully, one day, be a welcoming world,” adds Rosanne Walden.

© 2005 MSNBC Interactive

 

Autism Attorney

 

Welcome
to the A2Z Educational Advocates website.
A2Z
helps parents obtain special education services for their
children. We are an Autism Attorney Law Firm working to represent parents of special needs kids at every level of the process.
autism and s

We assist parents with navigating the maze of school districts, including, IEP’s, compliance complaints, Due Process hearings, and beyond. We come at this with a unique approach, working on every case as a team, with Parents a vital and active part of that team.

 

Autism Attorney for Your Child

Autism Attorney – click here to review a list of Austism cases we have represented

N Jane DuBovy, M.A., J.D. Attorney at Law, Certified Mediator: When my son was diagnosed with Autism at age 3, I was temporarily defeated. I didn’t know what to do or where to turn…Los Angeles Special Education Attorney

Autism Attorney in Los Angeles, Pacific Palisades, California

For help with services for your child from a Autism Attorney please contact our Special Education Law Firm

Disabilities Law Firm

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) provides for children with special needs, free of charge, from the local school district. For the parent of a child with autism, a skilled Autism Attorney can help you overcome your difficulties in securing these special education rights for your child.

At A2Z Educational Advocates, we focus on helping families protect the rights of their children with autism. The background of our attorneys and staff make us especially well suited to educational advocacy.

Carolina D. Watts, Advocate: My first exposure to children with disabilities came during my work as a legal intern at the Office of the Child Advocate in Georgia. Through my contact with the child welfare system, I discovered how many children with special needs were not getting the services that they needed…Los Angeles Autism Advocate

Mandy Favaloro, J.D. Attorney at Law: While an undergraduate student at the University of Redlands, I had the opportunity to be trained as a reading tutor for children who had fallen behind in school and needed individual attention. It was an amazing experience teaching a child to read…Autism Attorney

Autism Case involves a middle school student with Autism, who has previously been placed in NPS. Student is bright, and at one time was identified by the school district as gifted. He is currently not in a placement. A2Z is seeking appropriate prospective placement and services, along with compensatory education and reimbursements. Case settled. Student was placed at the Center for Learning Unlimited which is an unique learning environment. Parents also receive transportation reimbursement…read more autism cases

Our goal is not only to provide parents with representation, but also to empower parents, and ultimately the child, to become better advocates themselves.
From USAAA Weekly News, an email newsletter that addresses a range of topics on Autism Spectrum Disorders and Asperger’s Syndrome.

A young adult with autism talks about ‘the brain memo’ I was driving to the market today, lost in thought, half listening to my son who has autism. I try to forgive my transgression, as sometimes I tend to multi-task and ponder how the entire population views his disability. Consequently, my digression is a self fulfilling prophecy…Autism Spectrum Disorders

 

Does
your child have any of the following disabilities?


Specific learning disabilities
• Speech/language impairments
• Mental retardation
• Emotional disturbance
• Multiple disabilities
• Hearing impairments
• Orthopedic impairments
• Other health impairments (limitations in strength,
vitality, or alertness, including AD/HD)
• Visual impairments
• Deaf-blindness
• Autism
super
sensory session – understanding Autism

• Traumatic brain injury

Does this disability adversely affect your child’s educational
performance?

Is your child being served satisfactorily by your school district?

LET US ANSWER YOUR QUESTIONS. Call 888 IDEA-ADA
(888-4332-232), for more information.
contact us for more information.

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Statistics
in California for the 2002-2003 school year do not support
Congress’ underlying premise.

  • Attorneys
    were responsible for less than 40% of all requests for
    due process hearings.
  • With
    respect to due process decisions rendered, parents won all
    or
    part of those cases approximately 72% of the time when represented
    by an
    attorney.
  • When
    parents represented themselves, they lost 75% of the time.
  • School
    districts where represented by an attorney in approximately
    80% of the cases decided.
  • In cases where school districts were represented by an attorney,
    they lost all or part of the cases approximately 58% of
    the time.

Regional Center services

Services and Supports Provided by Regional Centers

• Adaptive equipment services
• Advocacy
• Advocacy assistance or facilitation
• Assessment
• Assistance in finding, modifying and maintaining a home
• Behavior Modification
• Camping
• Childcare
• Community integration services
• Community residential placement
• Community support facilitation
• Counseling for the consumer
• Counseling for the consumer’s family
• Daily living skills training
• Day care
• Development and provision of a 24 hour emergency response system
• Development of unpaid natural supports
• Diagnosis
• Diapers
• Domiciliary care
• Education
• Emergency and crisis intervention
• Emergency housing
• Emergency relief for personal care attendants
• Evaluation
• Facilitated circles of support
• Facilitation, including outreach and education
• Facilitation with a facilitator of the consumer’s choosing.
• Financial assistance
• Follow-along services
• Foster family placement
• Habilitation
• Home location assistance
• Homemaker services
• Identification of circles of support
• Infant stimulation programs
• Information and referral services
Mental health services
• Occupational therapy
• Paid neighbors
• Paid roommates
• Parent training
• Peer advocates
• Personal care or assistance
• Physical therapy
• Protection of civil, service and legal rights
• Protective services
• Provision of circles of support
• Recreation
• Recruiting, hiring and training personal care attendants
• Respite
• Respite for personal care attendants
• Self-advocacy training
• Sexuality training
• Sheltered employment
• Short term out-of-home care
• Social services
• Social skills training
• Sociolegal services
• Special living arrangements
• Specialized dental care
• Specialized medical care
• Speech therapy
• Support services for consumers in homes they own or lease
• Supported employment
• Supported living arrangements
• Technical assistance
• Training
• Transportation services
• Travel training
• Treatment
• Vouchered services
• Services and supports that are necessary For families to maintain their children with developmental disabilities at home, when living at home is in the best interest of the child.
• Services and supports needed to maintain and strengthen the family unit, where one or both parents is an individual with developmental disabilities.
• Other service and support options which would result in greater self-sufficiency for the consumer and cost-effectiveness to the state.