I’m Asperger’s, Not Autistic!






The recent decision by the DSM to combine the autism spectrum into one diagnosis have people diagnosed with Asperger’s fear that, if they are specifically called “Autistic”, they will be stigmatized with the autism label. Many have managed to avoid being called autistic because there are people who do not know that Asperger’s is a type of autism.

People who are autistics have to face their situation daily unlike people with Asperger’s who are incorrectly diagnosed because “Asperger’s” is not a stringently accurate term in the first place. The reason is that they either fit criteria for classic autism or are excluded from Asperger’s because of self-help delays. Also, many people who are diagnosed with Asperger’s are simply diagnosed that way because they appeared to be high-functioning.

They feel that those people who don’t know much about Asperger’s syndrome will stereotype them as Autistic. In addition, those with Asperger’s syndrome prefer to separate themselves from the stereotype of autistic people who fit the “non-verbal child rocking in the corner.” Whatever it may be, they are ready.

Please refer to the full article below.


Promoting Social Inclusion of People with Autism and other Disabilities in Education

Dr Shore meets with Shema Kolainu staff:

Promoting Social Inclusion of People with Autism and other Disabilities in Education

 A free workshop series for parents, teachers, therapists, and others working with children on the autism spectrum was presented by Dr. Stephen Shore, an Assistant Professor to the Department of Special Education, at Adelphi University.

As an introduction Dr. Joshua Weinstein Founder and CEO of ICare4Autism presented Shema Kolainu’s sister school Tishma in Jerusalem Israel. He presented a video of the school and its various activities.

He also spoke about Icare4autism and its vision of creating the Global Autism Center on Mt. Scopus in Israel, dedicated to catalyzing breakthrough innovation in autism research and treatment.

Dr. Shore presented the development and use of educational accommodations as extensions of good teaching practices. Attendees were able to learn ways to implement and find practical solutions for including children with autism and other special needs into the regular education experience.

During the workshop Dr. Shore also shared a touching description of his own personal struggles and how he was successful in his life even with autism.

This workshop was held at our Brooklyn location and attendees were given a certificate of completion upon request.


Developing a “Team” Collaborative Approach for Autism

As part of our free workshop series at SKHOV, we held a workshop yesterday on the Development of a “Team” collaborative approach for Autism. Many parents and caregivers from all 5 boroughs were in attendance.

The workshop discussed the essential key members and their roles and responsibilities of a child with Autism. As discussed the “Team” Collaborative Approach consists of siblings, parents, extended family members, friends, teachers, therapists, physicians, and other medical professionals as well.

We also discussed the various mental, physical, dental, oral, and other health issues associated with Autism. People with Autism are prone to suffering a range of health related complication that can make life difficult, uncomfortable, and in come instances may cause social isolation.

Our next workshop will be held on December 11, 2012, which will be discussing the Promotion of Social Inclusion of People with Autism and other Disabilities in Education by Dr. Stephen Shore of Adelphi University.
This presentation will examine the development and educational use of accommodations as extensions of good teaching practice. Attendees will come away with easy to implement, practical solutions for including children with autism and other special needs into the regular education experience.

City Hall Rally to Save Autism Funding 2012

Shema Kolainu – Hear Our Voices CEO & Founder Dr. Joshua Weinstein, with SK-HOV staff and students and Council Members Brad Lander, Mark S. Weprin, David Greenfield and Dan Halloran.

Shema Kolainu – Hear Our Voices CEO & Founder Dr. Joshua Weinstein, with SK-HOV staff and students and Council Members Brad Lander, Mark S. Weprin, David Greenfield and Dan Halloran.

On Tuesday, April 24, New York City Council Member Mark S. Weprin invited Council Members, service providers, and families of children with autism to a rally on the steps of City Hall, in an effort to urge the New York City Council to continue funding for its citywide autism initiative. Continue reading

Autism Workshop Teaches Adaptive Daily Living Skills

Shema Kolainu's Educational Coordinator Chani Katz, MA, BCBA, fields a question.

Parents and professionals were welcomed into Shema Kolainu – Hear Our Voices today for a free autism workshop. Continue reading

Workshop on Employment for those with Autism keeps all Engaged

Autism Workshop

Dr. Stephen Shore presents "Employment Opportunities for People with Autism: Observations on Promoting Success"

Shema Kolainu – Hear Our Voices was pleased to host a workshop presented by Dr. Stephen Shore this morning. Dr. Shore is an Assistant Professor at Adelphi University and has published several books and chapters on autism including his personal experiences. Continue reading

Free Autism Workshops for Teachers and Parents

Dr Stephen Shore holding a workshop

Here at Shema Kolainu – Hear Our Voices, School and Center for Children with Autism we pride ourselves on regularly opening our doors to share our finding about children with autism.

At SK-HOV we provide comprehensive, research-based educational practices and related therapeutic services to maximize the learning and participation of children (aged 3 to 11 years) with various developmental and neurological disorders.

Our education and training program is designed to inform participants about autism, related services and behavior analytic techniques used to teach personal, social, and academic skills.

So far this year we have had a workshop about how to address sensory issues as well as a workshop on curriculum development for advanced learners. Continue reading

FDNY Trained How to Rescue Autistic Children During Emergencies

Capt. Bill Cannata has been training the FDNY in what to do when handling an autistic child in an emergency.  Cannata, an autism first responder educator has first hand experience with his autistic son, Ted.

“A lot of the time, people with autism don’t understand what’s going on so they don’t know what’s expected of them,” said Cannata. “They’re going to do opposite of what a first responder would think.”

Cannata, from the Westwood, Mass. Fire Department, travels the country, teaching emergency responders how to deal with autistic children.

Autistic children can suffer sensory overload from the loud noises and flashing lights associated with an emergency situation. Sometimes lacking a natural sense of danger, they may resist rescue, run into a fire instead of away from it, or even attack and bite the very person trying to rescue them.

Cannata’s son, “can be very aggressive; Ted’s a biter. If you keep getting into his personal space, he’s probably going to bite.”  Cannata uses this example to illustrate that rescuers first need to approach in a quiet, non-threatening manner. He goes on to instruct rescuers to be wary of touching: some might fight back, so try not to touch near the shoulders or face.

Cannata recommends the use of simple, short instructions like “Get up” or “Wait here,”. And never to use slang like “Are you cool?” as it will be taken literally. Be prepared for a forced entry, warns Cannata. Parents often have to lock every door in the house to keep an autistic child from wandering out.

Wednesday’s seminar was recorded so that autism training can happen in every firehouse and for all new recruits at the fire academy on Randall’s Island.

Bowling League Helps Autistic Teens Socialize

High-functioning autistic teens in Cary, North Carolina have found being part of a bowling league to be hugely beneficial for a lot more than just their bowling score.  Cary Youth Aspie Bowling League, established by Karen Scandariato who has two children with Asperger’s, has proven to be a great way for the members to improve their social skills.

It is common for those with Asperger’s syndrome to have difficulty in social situations and find it hard to make friends.  Scandariato has found a way to provide the participants with a supportive environment to foster their social skills.  Rewards are offered when the teens demonstrate things like empathy or compassion.

Taking part in the bowling league is also beneficial for the parents.  Scandariato finds that she sometimes has to pull parents aside when they are assisting their children too much or trying to rescue them for difficult social situations.

Continue reading

Special College Programs for Students With Autism

Many autistic teens out there have the brains to make higher education a breeze, but are lacking in some of the social, time management and organizational skills they’ll need to make the grades they deserve. Luckily, there is a wide range of colleges out there stepping up to offer support and help for students with autism spectrum conditions. Here are 10 of the growing number of colleges that can be a good choice for students with autism, as they can provide support groups, assistance with courses, special classes and all the information students need to get a degree. Continue reading