Archive for 2015

How to Dance in Ohio

howtodance01[1]A few nights ago I had the chance to attend the Seattle premier of the documentary film How to Dance in Ohio. What a treat! The film, set in Columbus, Ohio, follows three young women with autism as they prepare for an upcoming spring formal. The formal is a planned opportunity for the girls and other group members to practice everything they have learned throughout a 12-week social skills therapy group. The film takes us through some celebrated rites of passage many young people encounter as well as a look at what transitioning to adulthood looks like for these young women. I was invited to meet the director, Alexandra Shiva and producer, Bari Pearlman, to find out more about the making of this lovely film that is sure to leave you feeling close to the characters as they navigate their fears and worries of the unknown bag that is ‘growing up’.

When asked why make a documentary about autism, what impressed me most, was the filmmakers’ ability to see that this was a film about one slice of autism. The documentary very clearly marks that the social skills group the film follows is made up of individuals with high functioning autism. The clients in Read full post »

Resilience – What is it and Why Does it Matter?

We hear a lot about “resilience” among those who live with chronic adversity. What exactly does this mean and why does it matter? Two veteran parents/providers take a look at this topic as it pertains to parents of children with special needs.

Therese and Lynn are moms of adult daughters with special needs. Therese’s daughter, Sabah, is now 32 so she has had many years to reflect on how parents build resilience in the face of adversity. She recalled the early years when she felt the guilt that many moms feel and her focus was on “fixing her” with many therapies and interventions. At the time, she wasn’t aware that she was grieving but she was. She wondered “why me” but also thought “why not me?” It was in Sabah’s teenage years that Therese shifted the focus to her quality of life. One thing that helped was that her family never did treat Sabah as disabled and always included her wherever they went. Therese also always had expectations of her daughter, not by any other yardstick but her own, meaning that she knew she could learn and grow toward whatever her capacity might be. Read full post »

Free Autism 101 Class This Thursday

Autism 101Please join us this Thursday, October 22, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at Seattle Children’s Hospital for our free quarterly lecture, Autism 101. Autism 101 is intended for parents and families of children recently diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). In this free lecture, participants will learn about:

  • Up-to-date, evidence-based information regarding the core deficits of ASD
  • Variability and presentation of behaviors associated with autism
  • Prevalence and etiology (study of the cause of the disorder)
  • Treatments available
  • Resources for families

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Practice Trick or Treating at Seattle Children’s Autism Center

Join us this Saturday, October 24th, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. for a fun and safe trick or treating experience inside the festive and familiar halls of Seattle Children’s Autism Center. Families with children with autism are invited to wear their Halloween costumes, play in our decorated lobby and practice trick or treating at the center. All ages are welcome, including siblings and friends! A special social story will be available to all visitors to take home to prepare for Halloween.

Tips for Creating an Enjoyable Halloween for Children with Autism:

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Myths and Facts – Evaluating the Science of Autism

This Month’s Autism 200 Lecture: Myths and Facts – Evaluating the Science of Autism

This month’s Autism 200 Series lecture “Myths and Facts – Evaluating the Science of Autism” will be held tonight, October 15, at Seattle Children’s Hospital in Wright Auditorium from 7 to 8:30 p.m.. David Eaton, ARNP and Jennifer Mannheim, ARNP from Seattle Children’s Autism Center will lead the lecture.

There is so much information on the internet about autism. How do you separate fact from fiction? Two of Seattle Children’s Autism Center’s providers, will talk about how to read the science so you can make up your own mind. They will cover some of the popular topics today so you can decide if it is a myth or fact. Read full post »