Tuesday, April 15, 2014

If There Is One Thing That I Want People To Remember Me For, It Is That I Am The Parent And Advocate Of A Child With #Autism

     Are you as surprised as I am that I have found time to post again during #AutismAwarenessMonth? Like everyone else, I have priorities that tend to remind me of everything that needs to be done. Even when I am buried beneath my obligations, I still try to make the time to do the things that I enjoy like writing. It is usually then that I find myself fighting to carve out more time to share more posts because I am flooded with the rush of wanting to shout, what I have learned, from the roof tops!
     I am a contributor, and an amateur one compared to many, on a great website called Special Happens. It is my privilege to have the opportunity to share another post with their audience. Please take a few minutes to read The Many Challenges of an #Autism Parent Returning to College! I would appreciate it if you would share this post with someone who might be trying to decide if he or she wants to return to college to finish a degree. Thank you for your support!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Everyone Is Entitled To Their Opinion But, I Think That We Are "Losing Sight Of The Big Picture" When We Should Be Raising #AutismAwareness In Our Communities To Accept Our Children!

Honestly, it has been difficult to figure out whether I am more appalled at what I have witnessed in the social media over the last several days, or more exhausted from the countless edits that I have invested in this post, as I put my feelings into words. The overwhelming negativity has taken over the social media where the coverage of positive Autism Awareness should exist! 

As advocates, we have chosen to bash, berate and boycott those who have raised the most awareness for our cause, not thinking of how others view our "temper tantrums" in the very social media we should be using to promote the positive awareness that our children deserve. Instead of showing how "immature" we can be about the things which we can not change, we should be concentrating on raising the levels of awareness and acceptance in the community for our children.

If you have a "bone to pick" with a particular company, group or business, please do it in a civilized manner. It is counter-productive to "boycott" a retailer who wants to donate a percentage of their sales in support of Autism Awareness Month, in order to "punish" another organization...this is extremely foolish to spurn the support they have offered!

April is Autism Awareness Month and our primary goal should be to help those in our surrounding communities understand, accept and support our children. Let's focus on how we can project ourselves as "role models" for our children, retain the support of those local retailers who are willing to show support for our loved ones and teach our children the right way to advocate for themselves. We need to maintain a sense of decorum, pride and accountability for our actions as we represent the Autism community. 

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Join ME and @ParentingSpot for a Chance to #WIN the #Autism Play and Learn Prize Pack!!

Do YOU have a child that has been diagnosed with #Autism, or know of another family who does? 
Don't miss out on the opportunity to tell them about the Autism Play and Learn Prize Pack Giveaway which is being featured on the 
Our Parenting Spot community this month!!


I am co-hosting the above Autism Awareness Event, with several other Autism Advocates. We are all working together with the community at OurParentingSpot.net to share positive and informative messages about Autism. Please #share this event with someone you know: a family member, a friend, a neighbor, a coworker, or someone you may have just met in the social media!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

YOU Won't Believe This But, #WorldAutismAwarenessDay Is Definitely The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

I want to explain that I'm not replacing Christmas, which holds a great deal of importance to me. I'm just sharing how much my special needs family and I look forward to #WorldAutismAwarenessDay and the entire month of April. Please check out my guest article on My Town Tutors, It's Time To Show Support For World Autism Awareness Day!, and read before sharing with your friends in the Autism community. Thank you for taking the time to stop by and support our family's efforts to raise #AutismAwareness around us through our daily interactions. Join us in shining a light on #Autism this month by sharing this post and changing your social media profile to support #AutismAwareness around the world!

Monday, March 31, 2014

Enter the #Autism Play and Learn Prize Pack @ParentingSpot!

Do YOU have a child that has been diagnosed with #Autism, or know of another family who does? 
Don't miss out on the opportunity to tell them about the Autism Play and Learn Prize Pack Giveaway which is being featured on the 
Our Parenting Spot community this month!!


I am co-hosting the above Autism Awareness Event, with several other Autism Advocates. We are all working together with the community at OurParentingSpot.net to share positive and informative messages about Autism. Please #share this event with someone you know: a family member, a friend, a neighbor, a coworker, or someone you may have just met in the social media!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Join ME for an #AutismAwareness Event During April!!

     As you may or may not know, April is recognized as Autism Awareness Month. I am committed to trying to post as many days as possible this month in an effort to raise #AutismAwareness in our surrounding communities. I have been a member of the online parenting community OurParentingSpot.net for several years. The parenting community at OurParentingSpot.net is a safe, free e-space and community for dads, moms, teachers, parenting coaches, doctors, tutors, lawyers, & more! I am co-hosting the Autism Awareness Event (scheduled to begin April 1st) being hosted by Our Parenting Spot and working with the community at OurParentingSpot.net to share positive and informative messages about Autism. Learn more at OurParentingSpot.net!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Participants Needed for a Study on the Social Language between Individuals with High Functioning #Autism and their Peers

If your family lives in Oklahoma and are interested in having their child participate in the following study, please continue reading!

Recruitment efforts are underway for a study conducted through the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, OUHSC, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, entitled: “Speech Act Use by Adolescents Diagnosed with Higher Functioning Forms of Autism when Interacting with Typical Peers in a Semi-structured Conversational Context.” The purpose of this study is to investigate the use of social language between middle-school adolescents diagnosed with higher forms of ASD (Asperger’s Syndrome, High Functioning Autism, or Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified) as they interact with their typical peers. This study has been approved by the OUHSC Institutional Review Board.

Participants need to be between the ages of 12 years, 0 months, and 15 years, 11 months of age. Both adolescents who are typically developing and who have been diagnosed with a higher functioning forms of ASD are needed. Typically developing participants need to have a history free of hearing, speech, language and learning disabilities, have no known neurological difficulties, and presently be in a grade level appropriate to their chronological age. Participants with higher functioning autism spectrum disorder must possess fluent speech, normal hearing without impairment, have an average intelligence quotient, and have a documented diagnosis of either Asperger’s Syndrome, High Functioning Autism, or Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified.

All study procedures will be completed at the John W. Keys Speech and Hearing Clinic located in the College of Allied Health, on the OUHSC campus. The study consists of two sessions: the first involving assessment of receptive/expressive/pragmatic language abilities, a hearing screening, and a test of nonverbal intelligence quotient; and the second involving a session where one participant with ASD is paired with two typical peers, matched for language abilities and IQ, work together to build a LEGO© model.

Participation in this research is completely voluntary and participants may withdraw at any time during the study without consequence. The qualifying session will take approximately 90 minutes to complete. The LEGO© session will take approximately 75 minutes to complete. Participants will be compensated for their time for each attended session. The LEGO© session will be recorded for language transcription and analysis. Transcriptions will be coded to protect the identity of respondents. Results will be reported in the sub-investigator’s dissertation. They may be used in a professional paper or presentation. Neither the researchers nor the University has a conflict of interest with the results. The data collected from this study will be kept in a locked cabinet. The only identified risk to participating in this study is the identification of previously unknown hearing, speech, or language impairment. Because most impairments of these types are identified much earlier in childhood, this risk is minimal.

More information regarding the above mentioned research study can be obtained from Karen Karner (405)414-0191 Karen-karner@ouhsc.edu or faculty advisor Dr. Susan Benson (405)271-4214, ext. 46072, susan-
gilmore@ouhsc.edu. Thank you for your consideration. Your help is greatly appreciated.