CELEBRATE AUTISM AWARENESS MONTH WITH ART
Studio 17 Hosts Art Classes for Students with Special Needs
Local artist Mary Abraham is celebrating Autism Awareness Month by hosting the first ever art classes for students with special needs at Studio 17 in Newbury Park. Mary believes that art is beneficial on many levels and is excited to offer art classes to students with disabilities. Mary’s background as an educator, artist and mother of a child with Autism, gives her a special understanding of how to teach the arts to students with special needs.
Classes will begin on Sunday, April 28th and will feature puzzle piece‐themed projects.
Each one-hour class is limited to four students and is staffed by trained educators.
Sunday, April 28, 2013
11:00am • 1:00pm • 3:00pm
open to students of all ages and abilities
limit four students per class
$25/student includes supplies and individualized support
RSVP to Mary at 805‐480‐0440 or firstname.lastname@example.org
135 Ruby Dr.
Newbury Park, CA 91320
I got our son a weighted blanket a little over a year ago.
When I was researching the different options I knew I wanted a product that was both machine washable and could go in the dryer. I also wanted a blanket that my son would like touching his skin.
He was so happy when he got to custom pick the fabrics for his blanket.
I decided on a toddler size 36 * 52 blanket in custom in a dinosaur fabric from Dream Catcher Weighted Blanket. Our blanket is used every night to help our son fall asleep and stay asleep. He also uses it during the day if he’s having trouble calming down or watching TV.
We take his blanket with us whenever we travel including on plane flights. It comes to the orthodontist office or in the car on long road trips. It is well made with the weight evenly distributed and constructed of cotton.
Weighted blankets are great for people with Fibromyalgia, Sensory Processing Disorder, Autism, Restless Leg Syndrome, Anxiety, ADHD and many other conditions. To see a full list of conditions and benefits of weighted blankets visit the Dream Catcher website.
Our son has grown quite a bit in the past year and loves the weight of his blanket so we are looking at getting him a new blanket. We just need to decided if we keep our current blanket or use the Dream Catcher Blanket Exchange Program.
Do you or someone you love use a weighted blanket?
Cynthia Conway, OTR/L, a well-known local Occupational Therapist and Owner/Director of Companion Connection, has begun coaching young people with Autism and together they recently completed their first 5K race. We want to build upon that success and encourage others on the spectrum (and their families) to come out and run, jog, walk, and have a great time! In addition to Cynthia, we’ll have volunteers from Train 4 Autism and Newbury Park Track Club to help everyone safely achieve their goals. Water will be provided.
I received an email about the Acting Academy for Autism earlier this year. At the time I really wanted to enroll our son. The only problem was he was already so busy with therapies four afternoons per week.
When I found out that the Academy would also be offered during the summer I knew that I wanted our son to attend.
Classes are designed specifically for students with high functioning autism and Asperger’s Syndrome. Students will do theatre games and exercises as well as a group scene for a final performance on Friday evening, June 29.
The cost for the summer Academy is $350 per session.
Call for an interview appointment, if your child has not attended a prior session of the Academy. Ages 9 – 17
Classes will be held at 1414 Thousand Oaks Blvd..
For more information about the Acting Academy for Autism or their other programs visit GoldCoastTheatreConservatory.com
The 2012 Autism Society National Conference is being held in San Diego from July 25th to July 28th. It is the largest autism conference in the USA.
I attended my first Autism Conference in August last year and learned so much. When I found out the national conference was just a few hours away from our home I decided that I had to find a way to attend.
Over 1,000 professionals, educators, parents and exhibitors from around the U.S. and other countries will participate in the 2012 Autism Society National Conference.
The targeted audience for the conference includes:
If you’d like to save some money on attending the conference be sure to Register before June 1st as the early bird discount expires on May 31st.
Will you be attending the National Conference this year?
We arrived at Disney World on May 5th 2012. This blog post is meant to be a guide on what has been available during our stay. Hopefully this can help you if your are currently at Disney World or plan to visit in the near future.
Disney menus change frequently. Posts I read from last year are no longer accurate, so be prepared to be a little flexible and have some back up snacks if you have a picky eater.
This post is a little rough right now. I’m hoping to add more details including photos throughout our stay.
Gluten Free options for children included:
Hamburger and fries (no dairy free cheese available)
Gluten and dairy free chicken strips with fries
Dessert (grapes, applesauce, jello, carrots, frozen pineapple popsicle)
If you are staying at the resort they may be able to make the zebra cookies gluten free with advance notice. They wouldn’t be dairy free.
Regular Childrens Menu included:
Mac n cheese
Dessert (as listed above, plus chocolate chip cookie, Disney ice-cream bars)
Gluten free options for children include:
Hot dog (James Morell chicken and beef hot dog)
Udi Hot dog bun
Dessert (OMG chocolate chip cookie, grapes, carrots)
Hamburger with Udi’s bun
Regular childrens menu included:
Gluten free options for children include:
Hamburger with Udis bun (no dairy free cheese)
Toffuti ice-cream with sprinkles (rice + food coloring)
Gluten free options for children include:
Salmon (our son loved this. Note he also likes crab cakes)
Kozy Shack cherry cerise smart gels
Surf snacks fruity bears
Enjoy life boom choco boom ( gf ricemilk crunch)
Enjoy life nut and gf soft baked chic chip cookies
Rocky mountain caramel popcorn gf + nut free
We arrived at Disney World on Saturday evening for an 11 night vacation. I have been a little anxious about this vacation as our 8 year old son has been gluten and dairy free for almost 18 months now and this is our first major trip away. Much to his dismay I was not going to be able to bring his favorite frozen foods from Trader Joes like we did one previous vacation to San Diego. He even asked why we couldn’t bring a cooler on the plane so he could have his favorite waffle breakfast.
So far things are going OK. We used a local service to buy some staple groceries before we arrived and we have lunch or dinner reservations at sit down restaurants each day. So far the biggest challenge has been our Quick Serve meals. It appears that quick serve locations don’t have a dairy free cheese option which rules out Cheese burgers if they are on the menu. We are often struggling to find acceptable sides and/or desserts with a picky eater who is intolerant to many fruits and vegetables.
Dont get me wrong, I think Disney has a lot of great options and the chefs are wonderful at trying to accommodate to his needs. It would be nice to see a little more variety and to have the ability to plan ahead a little more. Disney no longer publishes their gluten free menu, as I believe it was difficult to guarantee items by location based on volume and suppliers. For our sit down dining reservations we were able to speak to some of the chefs about 2 weeks prior to arriving as our sons Aspergers can make it difficult for him to cope if there isn’t a food selection he likes. Our plan was to change reservations if a restaurant didn’t have something he liked to avoid a potential meltdown.
As we’ve been visiting each restaurant or Quick Serve location I’ve been trying to take note of the gluten free menu so I can share with those of you visiting at the moment or in the near future. Disney changes menus and suppliers frequently so please understand if that neither I or Disney can guarantee items will be available.
Visit my Disney World – Gluten and Dairy Free Food Options post for more details.
On April 2nd we joined the Autism Speaks, Light it up Blue campaign.
With as many as 1 in 88 children in the US now being diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder it’s imperative that we continue to improve Autism awareness.
Autism Awareness can mean different things to different families and this April has seen so many different events.
Here are just a few highlights:
Sensory Friendly Movies (held monthly at select AMC Theatres)
Plenty of people have put on their walking shoes to raise money by joining a local walk for Autism Speaks.
There are still a few more walks in April and they continue throughout the year.
Our son’s awesome therapist, Cynthia Conway from Companion Connection ran a half marathon with Train 4 Autism to raise money for Hacienda Oaks Estate. Hacienda Oaks Estates mission is to provide a self-sustaining farm that will offer opportunities for the community to live green and healthy, while empowering adults with developmental disabilities to live meaningful productive lives.
Have you attended any Autism Awareness events this month?
Are there any events happening in the next week you’d like to share?
AMC Theatres in conjunction with the Autism Society of America are bringing families affected by autism and other disabilities a special opportunity to enjoy their favorite films in a safe and accepting environment on a monthly basis with the “Sensory Friendly Films” program.
What makes these movies different from a regular screening?
Upcoming Sensory-Friendly showings* include:
March 10 – Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax
April 7 – Mirror Mirror
May 5 – Pirates! Band of Misfits
June 16 – Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted
All shows are at 10:00 am local time.
*Dates and films are subject to change.
This program is available at many locations across the USA. For a complete list of participating theatres visit AMC Entertainment.
If you’ve been to a Sensory Friendly Film please share your experience by leaving a comment below.
I had read that you could add chocolate chips so I gave it a try for Valentine’s Day and they were very popular, but our son loves his frosting…
Tomorrow there will be food treats in the classroom and Master 8 has requested chocolate chip sugar cookies with frosting.
I figure that if I baked a cupcake he would only eat the frosting, so he can enjoy his cookies.
This sugar cookie recipe is extremely versatile, in that the dough and the cookies freeze well and it’s simple to substitute different flours. Handling of the dough once the cookies are cut is super easy, even for small hands.