Roses for Autism

Roses for Autism employs teenagers and young adults with autism. Roses for Autism ships roses and other flowers nation-wide.

Don’t have your act together for Valentine’s Day? Thanks to Roses for Autism RFA, you can buy freshly-cut, fragrant Connecticut-grown Pinchbeck roses – if you order quickly.

Yes, these are the same famous Pinchbecks, grown under glass in Guilford since 1929, once sought after by hotels in New York and Boston for their heady fragrance and full blooms.

After the Pinchbeck family decided it could no longer run the business in 2008, Ability Beyond Disability, a nonprofit organization based in Bethel, set up RFA through its Growing Possibilities arm. The rose growing, wholesale and retail operation not only keeps a Connecticut tradition and agricultural production going, it provides life training and career opportunities for adults who have been diagnosed on the autism spectrum.

via The Day – Roses for Autism to the Rescue | News from southeastern Connecticut.

Broward County, Florida’s Schott Communities launched school for adults with autism, special needs

This Florida program for adults with special needs will expand from Saturdays to five days a week. Household skills, public social skills, art and wellness are on the curriculum.

Where do deaf and disabled students find enrichment after they age out of public schools?

That’s the question Liz Disney said bothered her for months. As her 21-year-old special-needs daughter, Micaela, nears the cutoff for high school students, the mother wondered how disabled adults found social lives and stimulating education beyond the classroom.

“There’s a great need for students aging out of the system at 22. Their options are limited as to where they go after that,” Disney said. “I think it’s a common fear for parents with special needs. The community doesn’t exactly have fulfillment with jobs.”

As program director of the Cooper City-based nonprofit Schott Communities, Disney works daily with deaf and disabled adults craving life skills after graduation. To help special-needs students integrate from school into successful social lives, she’s launching a COMPASS program this September.

Stemming from a pilot program Schott created in January 2010, she said COMPASS builds character through classes ranging from ballroom dancing to speech therapy. The special needs-championing agency currently offers the class on Saturdays, which includes arts and crafts projects, a yoga course, field trips and “specials,” or specialized classes where guest speakers teach life skills.

via Schott Communities launch school for special-needs adults – South Florida

Man with autism learns to drive, gets job decorating cakes

Michael Holtzclaw enjoys the total process of decorating grocery store cakes, including just being able to get in his automobile and come to work to get started.

The 22-year-old with autism seemed unlikely a few years ago to be able to enjoy such an independent existence. But through the help of the United Way-funded Goodwill Industries, he was able to get his driver’s license and find employment.

“The driving instructor said he was a natural,” said his mother, Linda Holtzclaw, with a laugh.

via Beating driving fears takes the cake for man with autism » Knoxville News Sentinel.

Knoxville program helps employ adults with autism

Adults with autism are getting job training and better acquainted with their community in Knoxville, Tennessee, thanks to Breakthrough Knoxville. The parent-started organization also provides housing, social groups, respite care and other services for autistic people age 18 and older. Breakthrough Knoxville is also working on developing a neighborhood for adults with autism!

Here’s a local news story on the employment program. We wish there were job opportunities for adults with autism in every community!

Every Tuesday, Jennifer Wilkerson helps “Scrappin in the City” open up shop.

“She vacuums. She dusts. She mops,” says Yvette Morris, co-owner of Scrappin In The City.

Not only is she a real go getter, Jennifer is perhaps the store’s most pleasant employee.

“Just a week ago, she started giggling and laughing,” says Sarah Preston, co-owner of Scrappin In The City. Jennifer is autistic. Thanks to a program called Breakthrough Knoxville, she landed a job at Scrappin In The City back in August.

“Breakthrough by design is to help improve the lives of adults with Autism,” says William Brown with Breakthrough Knoxville. “That’s our motto.”

via Knoxville program helps employ adults with autism |

Colorado Springs center to teach life skills to autistic, developmentally disabled people

The tidy apartment near Constitution Avenue and Union Boulevard has it all: washer and dryer, stove, microwave and refrigerator, a TV and sitting area, a furnished bedroom and a handicapped-accessible bathroom.

All that’s missing are the 24 teens and young adults expected to occupy it — not as tenants, but as students.The apartment is one of several real-life teaching rooms at the Foundation for Successful Living, a new center that aims to give autistic and developmentally disabled people ages 14 to 21 the social and vocational tools they’ll need to transition from classrooms into their communities.

At the apartment, the students will learn to do laundry, make a bed, clean, plan meals, cook and keep a budget. In the room with the ersatz bank and post office, they’ll get lessons in handling money, keeping a checkbook and sending mail. The grocery store is where they’ll shop for canned goods and other ingredients for the meals they’ll prepare in the apartment, and the bakery is the place where they’ll practice ordering from a menu, paying for their food, counting change and beefing up their social skills.

via Center to teach life skills to autistic, developmentally disabled people | microwave, constitution, apartment – Local – Colorado Springs Gazette, CO.

‘Temple Grandin’ on DVD with Grandin commentary

“Temple Grandin,” the HBO movie starring Claire Danes as the accomplished, autistic Grandin, is now available on DVD. The DVD includes commentary by Grandin. The movie is up for 17 Emmy Awards — read about it on Temple Grandin’s website.

Nearly every parent of an autistic child knows about Temple Grandin, the bestselling author and brilliant agricultural scientist who’s been a model for what children on that spectrum can become. Playing Grandin in this HBO biopic, Claire Danes captures Grandin’s braying monotone, stooped posture and default defensive stance to other people, but she also conveys her sense of humor and how she makes connections others can’t.

via New on DVD: ‘Temple Grandin’ –

Five Benefits of Growing Up With an Autistic Sibling

Dana Fialco discovered the benefits of having a sibling with autism first-hand; her sister, Tara, is autistic. The two sisters and their parents collaborated on the “Starabella” audiobook series. Starabella features a girl with learning differences who expresses herself through music.

Every sibling relationship is unique, but having an autistic child in a family can impact the entire family dynamic. While much attention is paid to the challenges and difficulties faced by parents and siblings of autistic children, growing up with an autistic sibling also offers many advantages and hidden treasures that can help shape an individual’s life and character. Here are five benefits of growing up with an autistic sibling:

via Five Benefits of Growing Up With an Autistic Sibling – Century City News.

Seven easy ways to help a family diagnosed with autism

From The Huffington Post’s Elaine Hall, a thoughtful post on how to help out a family with an autistic child or adult. Autism caregivers will probably appreciate your help!

We’ve all heard the news: one in 91 children are now being diagnosed with autism in the United States alone. This is staggering. Today, almost everyone knows someone with autism. And yet, with all the talk about cures, causes and concerns, there is rarely any information on how we can support a family with this diagnosis. All too often, because folks don’t know what to do, they do nothing! Even to the extent of avoiding the family out of fear, or just out of not knowing what to do or say. In this post, I hope to show how simple acts of kindness can make a world of difference for families who have children with autism.

Elaine Hall: 7 Easy Ways to Help a Family Diagnosed With Autism.

Missouri severe autism day program opens

Tommy Ney, 21, rolled an exercise ball back and forth to his caregiver, Ed Calvin, on a recent Thursday afternoon at a physical therapy room in Maryland Heights.While it seemed so simple, the action brought a smile to the face of Tommy’s mother, Christy Ney, of Overland.

“I didn’t know what we’d do when Tommy graduated from SSD’s Neuwoehner School this spring,” Ney said. “He has severe autism, and his behaviors are too disruptive for him to be in a sheltered workshop or other day programs. But MAAP will give him a stimulating environment and consistency.”

Tommy will be one of the first three or four clients to participate in the new Midwest Adult Autism Project (MAAP) day program, set to open Sept. 13, in the headquarters of the Center for Head Injury Services, 11786 Westline Industrial Drive. They will attend the program from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. It can presently accommodate up to eight adults.

MAAP will provide individualized, stimulating physical activities and behavioral therapy for adults with severe austistic behaviors.

It will allow Tommy and others like him to remain in their homes, rather than being institutionalized, while providing a much-needed respite for their caregivers.

via Suburban Journals | News | Day program opens for those with severe autism.

Software-testing jobs project for Scots with autism

A new social enterprise will create up to 50 jobs for people with autism by harnessing characteristics of the condition as skills to provide IT services for major Scottish companies.

A dozen trainees with autism are to be recruited by Specialisterne Scotland in the next six months and undergo a four-month training programme before being given positions as software testers with starting salaries from £18,000.

Figures show that only 13% of adults with autism are in full-time employment in Scotland, but the new project aims to tap into the insight, attention to detail and desire for consistency that are common traits in people with autism.

The company, which aims to create a working environment with a high degree of predictability and minimal stress for its employees, is the first in the world to stem from a Danish project that was set up by Thorkil Sonne in 2004 after his son Lars was diagnosed with autism.

via IT project gives career hope to autistic Scots – Herald Scotland | News | Home News.