Words that Parents of Autistic Children Love to Hear

things to say to autistics

There are certain approaches that are more welcomed when touching on the sensitive topic of autism in the family. Here is some advice for using the right words to say when referring to a beloved special needs child. Continue reading

Interior Design Concepts for Best Response in Autistic Children


At Shema Kolainu – Hear Our Voices, we have a specially designed multisensory room for the children to explore. Also called the Snoezelen room, students enter the controlled multisensory environment (MSE) to experience various scents, colors, sounds and music, and tactile stimulation … Continue reading

New York Autistic-Friendly Disney Live Show

We, at Shema Kolainu are very excited about the autism-friendly Disney live show that will take place during Autism Awareness month in New York . The Theater Fund has helped organize autism friendly performances for young children and adults in the past, including famous Broadway shows like “Lion King,”  “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” and “Wicked”. This time Fund created an autism-friendly show by calibrating with Feld Entertainment, Inc. with main focus on younger audience.

Most children with autism cannot attend regular theaters as well as  movie theaters, due to the anxiety they get during the performance or movie. This show is constructed without strobe lights and loud sounds, specifically to make autistic children comfortable. Also, venue will have quiet areas with coloring books, beanbag chairs and autism experts. This calibration will provide a new place where New York  families will be able to engage with their kids. “Disney Junior Live On Tour! Pirate & Princess Adventure” will open doors on April 19, 2014 at the Theater at Madison Square Garden.







“This image released by The Theatre Development Fund shows the cast of ‘Disney Junior Live On Tour! Pirate & Princess Adventure.’ ”

Original story http://www.tdf.org/TDF_SupportPage.aspx?id=137

To learn more about autism please click here http://www.shemakolainu.org/newsite/What is Autism

The Incredible Progression of a Young Shema Kolainu Student

Like many children that have been diagnosed with Autism, 3-year old Daniel would refuse to communicate with words or even gestures. He would get frustrated to the point of tears, and would end up banging his head or pulling the hair of his teachers. They tried to get him to join in with social groups within his preschool class at Shema Kolainu, but he simply refused. Despite the fact that Daniel did not want to communicate, his teachers never gave up on trying, and were hopeful that one day he might find a way to express himself. What happened next was beyond what anyone would have expected.



Daniel learned to use a board that had photos of some of his favorite toys and things that he liked. His teachers hoped that he would repeat the names of these items after they said them, because he would not feel as threatened or afraid to communicate about an item that he truly enjoyed. Eventually, Daniel began repeating words regarding things he liked. He would speak one word, such as “iPad”, “truck”, or “ball”. His communication abilities expanded further when he began saying that he would “want” each specific item. His ability to convey his longing to hold a specific item, is truly astounding, and his journey from being non-verbal to being able to express himself, is nothing short of miraculous.

Montgomery Public School System Unveils Their First Sensory Room

This World Autism Awareness Day, two elementary school teachers made inclusion more than a motto with the opening of a state-of-the-art sensory room, also known as a snoezelen or controlled multi-sensory environment (MSE). Tuesday morning Elizabeth Newell and Lauren Breeding, special education teachers at Wilson Elementary School in Montgomery, Alabama, unveiled the school’s new sensory room, the first in the Montgomery Public School System. Newell and Breeding have been working to see the sensory room become a reality since 2009. The special classroom is designed to comfort students on the Autism Spectrum with behavioral research supported lighting, sound, and interactive materials. Though sensory rooms may look like playgrounds, Breeding explains educational benefits for autistic children saying, “It gives them an opportunity to participate in the regular education classroom…to learn and explore in their own way.” On the day of the unveiling, each elementary class had a special lesson about Autism Spectrum Disorders.

At Shema Kolainu – Hear Our Voices, our students have greatly benefited from the soothing stimulus of the snoezelen room. Our controlled multi-sensory environment is alterable for various children’s needs, with multiple lighting and sound designs and a musical hopscotch with adjustable levels of difficulty. Our interactive LED spiral sensation panel is both calming and educational, teaching children cause and effect associations. To learn more about our snoezelen room and other therapeutic or educational innovations, visit the services section of our website or contact us!




To read more on Montgomery’s success story visit:

Griffin, Allison. “Delighting the Senses: School’s New Sensory Room Helps Autistic Children to Learn.” Montgomery Advertiser. N.p., 2 Apr. 2013. Web. 4 Apr. 2013. <http://www.montgomeryadvertiser.com/article/20130403/LIFESTYLE/304020034/Delighting-senses-School-s-new-sensory-room-helps-autistic-children-learn>.

New Hope for Speech Development in Children with Autism






A new study conducted by The Kennedy Krieger Institute Center for Autism and Related Disorders has revealed that severe language delays in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) gained significant language advancement by the time they are eight years old. According to this study, which has been the largest sample to date, a remarkable 70 percent of children who at age four show abnormalities in communication, achieved phrase or fluent speech as they matured.

The data for this study was collected by the Simon Simplex Collection (SSC). This project gathers data on children with ASD aged four to eighteen with families who are unaffected by ASD. The SSC studied a sample of 535 children, eight years or older. At the time of their entry into the study, researchers selected children with ASD who had little or no speech at age four. The results of the study concluded that 119 children mastered phrase speech, 253 children were fluently speaking by age eight. 163 children never gained fluency in speech or phrase.

The results of this study give parents and families of children with autism hope that with appropriate therapy children with ASD can make significant strides in their speech and language development.

Gallery Exhibits Autistic Student’s Photography

Last night, the You & I gallery in Kennewick, WA displayed the work of 20-year-old Austin Saget, who is an austic. Saget is in his final year of high school and the exhibition featured his senior project. His interest in photography began 5 years ago when his neighbors gave him a film camera. This same neighbor acted as a mentor for Saget , fostering his interest and supporting his outlet. Saget photographs primarily landscape and architectural patterns. Brooke Yunt, co-owner of You & I gallery, describes Saget’s work passionately saying, “This kid has natural talent oozing from his work.”

Saget’s is yet another beautiful success story of coping with ASD. With the encouragement of his community, Saget has found a form of expression that is satisfying and tapped into his talents. At Shema Kolainu we encourage arts education and believe in fostering the individual talents of our children.



For more details about Austin Saget’s exhibition: