How to Stop Wandering: Some Tips for Parents

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Being a parent to autistic child is challenging but their love does miracles. Every child and every case is special and unique. Of course, parents have already surfed the Internet and other resources, including books, phone apps to help them … 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

Senator Pushes For Autism Support Services

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Senator Chuck Schumer is proposing an act intended to help young adults with autism transition into the workforce and higher education. It is expected to be voted on in early 2014. Continue reading

Finding the Right Doctor for Your Child with Autism

Finding the Right Doctor for Your Child With Autism

Finding the right doctor to help your child with autism can be a difficult assignment. However, there are several resources which can help you including the approved Doctor Listing, which has doctors recommended by parents in the autism community. Continue reading

Schoolyard Designed for Children with Autism

Schoolyard Designed for Children with Autism

A Kansas State University graduate student is creating a schoolyard that can become a therapeutic landscape for children with autism.

Chelsey King, master’s student in landscape architecture, St. Peters, Mo., is working with Katie Kingery-Page, assistant professor of landscape architecture, to envision a place where elementary school children with autism could feel comfortable and included.

“My main goal was to provide different opportunities for children with autism to be able to interact in their environment without being segregated from the rest of the school,” King said. “I didn’t want that separation to occur.”

The schoolyard can be an appealing place for children with autism, King said, if it provides several aspects: clear boundaries, a variety of activities and activity level spaces, places where the child can go when over stimulated, opportunities for a variety of sensory input without being overwhelming and a variety of ways to foster communication between peers.

King researched ways that she could create an environment where children with autism would be able to interact with their surroundings and their peers, but where they could also get away from over stimulation until they felt more comfortable and could re-enter the activities.

“Through this research, I was able to determine that therapies and activities geared toward sensory stimulation, cognitive development, communication skills, and fine and gross motor skills — which traditionally occur in a classroom setting — could be integrated into the schoolyard,” King said.

King designed her schoolyard with both traditional aspects — such as a central play area — and additional elements that would appeal to children with autism, including:

  • A music garden where children can play with outdoor musical instruments to help with sensory aspects.
  • An edible garden/greenhouse that allows hands-on interaction with nature and opportunities for horticulture therapy.
  • A sensory playground, which uses different panels to help children build tolerances to difference sensory stimulation.
  • A butterfly garden to encourage nature-oriented learning in a quiet place.
  • A variety of alcoves, which provide children with a place to get away when they feel overwhelmed and want to regain control.

King created different signs and pictures boards around these schoolyard elements, so that it was easier for children and teachers to communicate about activities.

“It is important to make the children feel included in the schoolyard without being overwhelmed,” King said. “It helps if they have a place — such as a hill or an alcove — where they can step away from it and then rejoin the activity when they are ready.

“Most children spend seven to nine hours per weekday in school settings,” Kingery-Page said. “Designing schoolyards that are educational, richly experiential, with potentially restorative nature contact for children should be a community concern.”

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Boy with Autism Bullied by Teachers

Stuart Chaifetz plays with his son Akian Photo: Mel Evans / AP

Stuart Chaifetz plays with his son Akian

Stuart Chaifetz put a wire on his 10 year-old son with autism, Aikan and recorded staff in his elementary school in Cherry Hill calling the child “a bastard,” talking about vomiting that morning due to a hangover, and apparently teasing the child to the point where he had a “half-hour meltdown.”  Continue reading

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

Dining with Autism

Dining with Autism

Going out to eat at a restaurant can be difficult for any family and for a family with a child who has autism, dinner out can include rude stares and harsh comments.

Children diagnosed with autism often exhibit challenging behaviors, some of which can considered disruptive to those around them. Repetitive language and behaviors are classic signs of the disorder and can range in intensity. Continue reading

Responding to a Child’s Autism Diagnosis

Listen to adults with autism. It may be hard to imagine your child with autism as an adult who could offer advice about autism to others, and many parents dismiss adults with autism for that reason. But adults with autism were once children and they went through many of the same things that your child will go through. Reading their writing or meeting them in person will be enormously calming, because it will allow you to imagine a future for your child with autism. Dr Stephen Shore was diagnosed with autism when he was two and a half and now regularly gives workshops at Shema Kolainu – Hear Our Voices for parents and professionals drawing on his experiences growing up with autism. Continue reading

Autism Video Company asks Families for Suggestions

The makers of Be Like Buddy™ are inviting families affected by autism to give suggestions for their 2012 video productions.

Be Like Buddy™ is a new, online video series for children with autism that stars a puppet, who learns important life skills with the help of parents, teachers and visual aids. The first episodes are set to launch in Summer 2012, but what happens next will depend on input received from the autism community. Continue reading