Moms write book about autism with humor and wisdom

Two mothers with four autistic children between them have written a book on the humorous side of parenting a child with autism. Sandy Hallett and Nikki Wisor’s How our Children With Autism Raised Us As Parents; The Ninety-Nine Jobs Needed to Raise Kids With Autism includes 99 jobs a parent needs – two of the jobs are barber and plumber!

Raising children with autism can be challenging, but a local woman teamed up with a friend to write a book that is helping parents worldwide.

So far the book has been sold to people on three continents. Sandy Hallett and her husband live in Seneca County. They have a nine year old son with autism. Her best friend has three children with autism and together they’ve written a humorous account of their lives with the kids.

It’s called How Our Children with Autism Raised us as Parents; The 99 jobs needed to raise children with autism.

via Local mom teams with friend; writes book on autism | 13abc.com.

Play deals with challenges of autism

“Love and Communication,” a  new play about a family dealing with a child’s autism diagnosis will get a staged reading in Philadelphia after winning a national competition. One of playwright James Christy Jr.’s three children is autistic.

This Saturday afternoon, a new play by Main Line native James Christy Jr. will receive a staged reading in Center City.

“Love and Communication” has an ambitious theme: it focuses on the struggles of a husband and wife after their son is diagnosed with autism.

Christy, who now lives in Princeton, is one of the six winners of the annual competition sponsored by PlayPenn, an organization for new play development. Each year, PlayPenn holds a national competition to select the most promising works in progress.

The playwrights are then given the unusual opportunity for two weeks of intensive work on their plays, culminating in a staged reading.

The theme of Christy’s play has deep personal meaning for him. Of his three children, the oldest, Jimmy, who is now 7, was diagnosed with autism at age 3.

via Main Line Media News.

High divorce rate in autism families is a myth

Parents of autistic children often hear that the divorce rate in families with autism is 80%, but a new study debunks that figure as a myth.

”There really weren’t any significant differences in terms of family structure when you consider children with autism and those without,” says study researcher Brian Freedman, PhD, clinical director of the Center for Autism and Related Disorders at the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore.

via Autism Families: High Divorce Rate Is a Myth.

Effects of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy on Parent-Reported Autism Symptoms in School-Age Children with High-Functioning Autism

Cognitive behavioral therapy CBT may be helpful for reducing autism symptoms in school-age children.

This pilot study asked whether cognitive behavioral therapy may be helpful for children with autism ages 7-11 years old. Nine children received cognitive behavioral therapy for 3 months, and an additional10 children did not receive therapy until 3 months later wait-listed controls.

Parents were asked to score their autism symptoms before and after treatment. Children who received therapy improved as compared to children who did not receive therapy. The improvements lasted at least 3 months after the therapy was stopped.

via Research: Brief Report: Effects of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy on Parent-Reported Autism Symptoms in School-Age Children with High-Functioning Autism | Healing Thresholds Autism Therapy.

Mom Pleased with Support of Autistic Student

When Jill Mitchell first met with Yuma Elementary District 1 to inquire about services available for her autistic son, she was prepared to fight for them.

Mitchell, who moved to Yuma from Woodland Park, Colo., last summer, said services for her son Connor, 10, were not optional – she said she has read books and attended conferences and knows what works.

But despite some criticisms she had heard about special education programs at the district, Mitchell was pleased with what she found. “The fabulous thing about District 1 is that I didn’t need to fight because they agreed on everything,” she said.

The Arizona Department of Education audited Yuma Elementary School District 1 in October after a complaint was filed by a parent. The audit noted that 29 percent of special education teachers have not met the Highly Qualified standard in the subject area they are assigned to teach as mandated under the 2001 No Child Left Behind Act. And there are four positions currently filled by long-term substitutes.

Mitchell said she knew that her son needed a paraprofessional “and without blinking an eye, they agreed.”

Via Mom Pleased with Support of Autistic Student

The Special Education Blame Game

It’s unfortunate, but true: when parents of children with disabilities begin to seriously question the appropriateness of the special education program being provided to their child, the school district will often start to play “the blame game.”

The Special Education Blame Game is when educators attempt to assign responsibility for a student’s lack of success in their school program to the parents.

via The Special Education Blame Game | Special Ed Justice | Connecticut Special Education Lawyer.

Mom’s idea links sports, special kids

The mother of a child with autism who found a shortage of local sports programs for special needs children has come up with a simple solution: start her own program.

Suzanne Schwarz said she applied 18 years of experience as a special education teacher and knowledge gained from raising her 10-year-old son Tristan to create a program that teaches special needs children the skills to learn a variety of sports.

via Mom’s idea links sports, special kids | The Autism News.