Another book repost…not about autism, but an in-depth look at a family whose daughter uses a Speech Generating Device to speak. Schuyler is now a teenager and I still love to read her dad’s blog and see what she is up to! She now uses an ipad to communicate. If you have a child that is non-vocal currently or does not use speech to communicate, speech generating devices are opening doors for these kiddos! It’s so exciting to see kids learn how to communicate!
I recently read a book, “Schuyler’s Monster” about a father’s experiences with his daughter, Schuyler, and her disability. Robert Rummel-Hudson refers to his daughter’s disability as a “monster” throughout the book that left her unable to communicate verbally. His honesty regarding what he went through before, during, and after diagnosis offers real understanding for professionals and may allow parents to feel understood or not alone. Although some parents and professionals may not like his opinion about disabilities or religion, I found the book to be inspiring and full of hope. Schuyler’s parents never give up on helping her have her own voice through a speech generating device. “Schuyler’s Monster” is a book for all individuals who work with kids who have disabilities.
And if the book leaves you wondering what is going on now for Schuyler, you can read Robert’s blog to find out more!
As April began, I was filled with anxiety, excitement, and eagerness to start and complete all the things I wanted to do. When April 2 came, I read a few blogs parents of children with autism posted. I have to say, a few stuck with me that I wanted to share, regardless of if you, as the reader, are a parent or professional, in the autism world. The one today may seem a bit harsh as you begin to read it, but I think by the end, you will see her perspective.
Kim Stagliano is raising three young ladies with autism spectrum disorders, between the ages of 15-21. She talks about the reality of autism that is mostly not mentioned in the feel-good stories that are reported most of the time that point to autism breakthroughs or special things individuals with autism can do. As the author of “All I can Handle: I’m No Mother Teresa,” she talks about life raising her three daughters. I have this book and am looking forward to reading it cover to cover in the near future.
The best advice Kim gives in her article is to make a difference in someone’s life who has autism…whether that is inviting a child to a play date, birthday party, volunteering your time or energy to help at a local center that works with children with autism, or being a friend to a parent who has a child with autism…there are no little jobs in the autism field. Each and every one make a difference.
JAC is approached a lot to help the community in the greater Jackson area and throughout Mississippi know what to look for in an autism spectrum disorder. Because autism does not always present itself the same way and is purely diagnosed behaviorally, it can be a hard and messy thing to diagnose. We currently do not diagnose autism, but occasionally provide consultations to families who suspect their child may have autism.
It is important to have a professional observe your child and interview you if you think your child may be on the autism spectrum.
Here is an important information sheet that provides helpful insight into autism.
JAC_Autism Spectrum Disorders Information Sheet_April 14
We are so thrilled to be able to bring you our first ever Autism Awareness shirts! We plan to take orders through Friday, April 8, 2016 for the initial order. This is exciting because the money collected past what is needed to pay for the shirts and having the shirts made will directly benefit families in the greater Jackson, MS area! The extra money will go directly back into the center and making sure that we are able to best serve the autism population in central MS.
The shirts are GRAY with TEAL imprint X Small Youth- 3XL and the 2T-4T are BLACK with TEAL imprint. Cost of shirts is as follows: 2T-Adult XL $12, XXL $15, and 3XL $16. The shirt in the order form shows you the design.
*Please note: you will need to fill out an additional form if you need a variety of sizes. Thank you!
Pete Wright, an attorney for individuals with special needs, will be speaking about special education law on July 24 in Jackson, MS. The special education law and advocacy conference will be held at St. James Episcopal Church and some of the hosts include: Mississippi Coalition for Citizens with Disabilities, REACH MS, and Mississippi Parent Training and Information Center. This is a great opportunity to increase your understanding of special education laws. You can register here.
World Autism Awareness Day was April 2, 2013. Lots of places around Mississippi, the United States, and the World showed their concern and assisted with educating others about autism. Some businesses and famous landmarks were lit in blue for Autism Awareness and people chose to wear blue or their favorite autism shirt to show their support to families and professionals alike that work with students on the autism spectrum. One school not only wore blue for autism, but also raised money to go towards a local autism group. That school was Madison Avenue Lower Elementary. Thank you for your support MAE! Let’s spread the word throughout the month of April and educate more people about autism.
Throughout the month of April, I will be posting more frequently in honor of Autism Awareness month. I will be sharing about exciting opportunities at Jackson Autism Center, tips for working with your child/student with autism, and other helpful information. Check back often!
April 2 is World Autism Awareness Day. Buildings and houses will “light it up blue” to increase autism awareness throughout the world. Mississippi has its own facebook page for families to share how they will support “Light It Up Blue.” I am proud to say that the University of Southern Mississippi will light buildings blue in honor of World Autism Awareness Day.
As we learn more about autism and see increases in rates of autism, it is more important than ever to share with the world about autism and increase autism education. For parents who struggle in the grocery store, toilet training their child, or even communicating with their child, we will Light It Up Blue! Help educate people who think these children are behaving badly.
You can help by buying blue light bulbs at Home Depot or Lowe’s. Many people put a blue light on their porch for April 2. Another way you can help support this special day is visiting Autism Speaks and purchasing a shirt or other promotional products, donating, or helping spread the word.
I am ready for April! I have already ordered and received this year’s stash of Light It Up Blue shirts as well as a few past shirts. I hope to see your posts on facebook about how you shared in autism awareness day April 2, 2013.
In just a few days, on Wednesday, February 13, professionals and families alike will gather at the MS Capitol Building to raise disability awareness, speak with our representatives and senators regarding current laws, and network together to find services for individuals with disabilities. To register, click here.
Jackson Autism Center will be attending this event that is hosted by the Mississippi Coalition for Citizens with Disabilities. Please stop by the table and introduce yourselves. JAC is interested in serving your needs.
If you live in the Hattiesburg, MS area and have a child with autism or work with children with autism, you will not want to miss this opportunity to share your thoughts and feelings about what is needed for individuals with autism in the state of Mississippi! The meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, January 22. 2013 from 6:00-7:30 pm at the Trent Lott Center in Hattiesburg. The Mississippi Autism Advisory Committee is seeking feedback from parents and professionals about what Mississippi can do to improve services in the area of autism.
If you are not in the Hattiesburg area, there will be additional Autism Hearings in the following areas soon: Starkville (T.K. Martin Center) and Meridian.
Families, teachers, therapists, and other individuals who are interested in the well being of persons with autism spectrum disorder should come to this public hearing on Tuesday, November 27 6-7:30 pm at the Eudora Welty Library in downtown Jackson, MS. This is an opportunity given by the Mississippi Autism Advisory Committee to be heard on topics that you believe are important to persons with ASD. I want to encourage you to take time out of your busy schedules to share your experiences with individuals who have autism as well as strengths and weaknesses and areas Mississippi needs to address to better assist these individuals. Every voice should be heard!