12 for 2012 for Autism Scholarships!!!

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As 2011 draws to a close, I am struck by the dichotomy of that year that has been. It has been a year of great challenge for most of us, yet within this year there has been evidence of the blossoming of the human spirit. Seemingly ordinary people have taken it upon themselves to do extraordinary things for the common good.

So here we stand in the midst of various holidays and on the cusp of a new year. What can we do yet in the coming days to further the relevance of 2011? I know it is easy to be preoccupied with the hectic events during this time or focused on political battles, but it would feel so good to kiss 2011 good bye and greet 2012 with an act of love and kindness.

Thus, I have a proposal to everyone. One in every 110 children in the US has an Autism Spectrum Disorder. A lot of the time, families impacted by ASD struggle on so many levels; financially, emotionally, etc. This year at the AutismOne Conference, the Son-Rise Program, taught at the Autism Treatment Center of America, was awarded Best Autism Therapy Tool. Son-Rise has been a great gift to our family over the years. We are certain that our daughter would not have progressed as far as she has to this point, if not for Son-Rise. Scholarships for both my husband and myself to attend the Son-Rise Startup Course started us on our way, and we am eternally grateful. This is one charity that we know personally that puts genuine effort into helping those who are in need. The Son-Rise Program has helped over 25,000 Autism families from more than 80 countries globally.

Most of us are facing great financial challenges, but small donations added to other small donations have a huge impact. So I am urging everyone reading this to make a tax deductible donation of at least $12 to the Autism Treatment Center of America to bring 2012 in with a wave of compassion. If you want to donate more, please certainly do…donate $24, $60, $120 or what ever you can manage. That said, even that small $12 donation is a magnificent gesture of kindness. Most of us can afford to part with $12 for a good cause and that warm feeling of knowing we have helped. Twelve dollars is approximately what you spend for two people to eat at a cheap fast food place. Ask 12 friends to donate too…it all adds up!

A wave of compassion can form $12 at a time.
If you donate at least $12 ($12 total) & pass this on to
12 people who donate at least $12 ($156 total) & they in turn pass this on to
12 people who donate at least $12 ($1,730 total) & they in turn pass this on to
12 people who donate at least $12 ($20,748 total) & they in turn pass this on to
12 people who donate at least $12 ($248,848 total) & they in turn pass this on to
12 people who donate at least $12, together, we will raise $2,985,996 (nearly THREE MILLION DOLLARS) for scholarships in 2012!
Please go to: http://www.autismtreatmentcenter.org/document.php?sectionid=7&documentid=52 and on the billing information page at the bottom, in the “Please use my donation for:” section, please copy and paste, “Son-Rise Program Scholarships [12for2012]“. Note: Please include the [12for2012] so they can track the number of people doing this versus random donations. Please donate at least $12 and share with at least 12 people, working together we will make a huge difference in the lives of countless Autism families.

Dear readers, I have seen you come out in force to support UDS Service Dogs, SafeHouse, the Old Stone Museum, etc., and I thank you for all of that. Hence I implore you all with your open, loving hearts to do this one more act of kindness in 2011 to send compassion, love and positive energy into the universe for 2012. Let’s do it $12 for 2012 for Autism!!!

Here is the corresponding Facebook event page:
http://www.facebook.com/events/297836760255137/

Happy holidays, everyone!!!
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Puppies Are NOT Presents…The REAL Cost of the Puppy in the Window

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I begin this cautionary post with a poem that I stumbled upon many years ago.

CHRISTMAS RETURNS
“Santa comes quietly long before dawn
While shops are still busy and lights are still on
While dinners are cooking and kitchens are warm
And children count presents they’ll open by morn.
He slips past the trees in windows aglow
Through the gate to the backyard
As icy winds blow
To find the pup he brought last year
Chained up in the snow
And, kneeling, he whispers,
“Are you ready to go?”
There are too many stops like this one tonight
Before the beginning of his regular flight
He leaves not a note or footprint in sight
Just an unbuckled collar
On a cold Christmas night…..”
AUTHOR UNKNOWN
If anyone knows who the author is, please let me know.

In our house one of our favorite holiday songs is “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas” Filled with childhood naivete, people love this cute song, but of course parents aren’t getting their children hippopotami for presents. That would be totally impractical. However, every year countless multitudes chant the mantra “Let’s get a puppy for Christmas!”, with no thought of the practicality of this action.

Having been involved in dog rescue years ago, I have written in the past of the abuse and prevalence to disease from which a pet store puppy originates. I have seen the result of puppy mill dogs kept in cages all their lives, with their only purpose in life to breed more and more pets. Note: Puppies that come from the local pet store or on the Internet originate from puppy mills, and no reputable breeder will sell you a puppy without getting to know you and what kind of home that you will provide. I have also witnessed the aftermath of dogs being neglected and abused because those would had them as pets were ill-equipped to care for another living creature. Thus, I will not belabor that heartbreak in this post, rather direct you to my Valentine’s post regarding rescue dogs.

Instead in this post, I deal with the current moment: Christmas six days way and the idea of giving a puppy for Christmas. While holiday times are full of light, color and childhood magic, they are hectic and often stressful. Really, think about bringing a puppy or even an older dog into someone’s life in the midst of running from event to event, working extra hours to pay for the holiday, and dealing with family relations which on occasion are situationally toxic. Also, speaking of toxic, there are any number of holiday related things that can harm or kill a dog, thus the new pet needs to be closely supervised or kept in a safe area or dog crate to prevent them from chewing on holiday decorations; lights, Christmas balls, holly plants, poinsettias, etc. Timing is important when adding a new family member.

If you are getting a pet for a child, whether your child or someone else’s, no matter how much that child insists that they will take care of the pet, ultimately the responsibility falls to the adults in the household to be certain that their new furry family member gets the proper care. This is really not the time of year to undertake an unplanned challenge. Puppies, while cute, fun and super soft, are a lot of work. They chew on everything that they can. They have what seem to be thimble bladders and bowels, waking their owners at all hours of the night…because if they are not dealt with at the time, their owner may discover a pee and poop covered puppy in the morning. That is not conducive to getting to work on time. Additionally, the money for which the owner is working so hard will be going in part to the local veterinarian for routine visits, as well as the unexpected. For example, our dog has developed allergies, and the diagnostic process gets costly. Once the puppy has out grown the pottying issues, new issues emerge, such as adolescence…from approximately the ages of six to twelve months, even the most well trained dog starts the “you’re not the boss of me” phase. It’s like having a teenager trying to swipe the keys to the car to go to a party that they have been forbidden to attend. They are testing their boundaries in all kinds of ways, and it is vital that the owners of said puppy put in the time, effort and money to train the dog to be a respectful family member.

When getting a new pet, that pet’s relationship to other pets currently in the household must be considered. Forging a good relationship with an existing dog takes finesse. Constantly correcting an older dog for not playing nicely with the puppy will create resentment on the older dog’s part. Thus, the older dog and the puppy need to be closely supervised, and the puppy must also be taught to understand that there are times that he/she must back off and give the older dog some space. Furthermore, if there is a small animal in the house, this will require extreme caution. Though a puppy may be friendly with a pet rabbit, ferret, etc., there may come a time when instinct kicks in and the small animal is viewed as “lunch”.

Also, by getting a puppy or adult dog for a child or even another adult as a present, you are actually cheating the recipient out of a very special moment; the moment of discovering which puppy or dog with whom they have that special connection. I remember vividly the moment that I first met each of the dogs that have shared part of my life and my heart. Several of those dogs came from the local Humane Society, and two of those dog came from well researched breeders. I remember meeting our most recent family member, Ella, who is now fifteen months old, when she was six weeks old. When her breeder let the litter out into the main play area to meet us, Ella (the runt of the litter) lead the pack straight up to us. Minutes later, the little dickens was trying to trot off with my purse. We spent time with the litter again a week later, after the Puppy Aptitude Test was conducted, and we were verifying the results with our earlier impressions. Thus, by the time we brought her to our home at nine weeks old, a bond was already forming, making our experience more worth the extra work and lack of sleep that would come our way in the next several months.

Ella at 6 weeks old during our first visit.

Ella at 6 weeks old during our first visit.


Hence I implore you, do not get a puppy or dog as a gift for Christmas. Make a New Year’s resolution to brain storm with the recipient(s) to find the puppy or older dog that is the right breed or mix breed and personality for them and to prepare their lives for the new family member. Don’t overlook mixed-breeds who are in shelters and available for adoption…our Labrador/Chow mix, Tenor, who came from the local Humane Society gave us fifteen wonderful years and countless treasured memories.

So here is a list of links to assist you on your endeavor in the new year:
AKC Breeds List to help you learn about the breeds. This list is still useful when considering a mix breed to determine what mix will work for the recipient’s life.
AKC Breeder Referral Contacts
AKC Breed Rescue Links
Info Dog can help you find a local dog show in order to get to know various breeds. Additionally, your local breed club will likely schedule social events such as luncheons, agility trials, etc. that will offer the opportunity to really interact with the breed of your interest.

Also, remember that the Humane Society estimates that twenty-five percent of dogs that enter shelters are purebred, so this is certainly an option for finding your new family member.
The website Pet Finder, enables you to search by breed, age and location for dogs and other animals from shelters and rescues.
If you are contemplating such an addition to your family, please check out my dog information page at this link.

Merry Christmas!

Our Ella at 7 weeks old after having her Puppy Aptitude Test

Our Ella at 7 weeks old after having her Puppy Aptitude Test


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Action Alert! Save the Old Stone Fort Museum — Emails Needed NOW!!!


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In the current economic climate, everyone must tighten their belts, but it must be done wisely with a vision of the future and acknowledgment of the importance of the past. Museums and historical landmarks are often shortsightedly seen as dispensable. Yet, the vision of the next generation is shaped by its understanding of the past and history’s relevance to modern times. One such museum that is in peril due to imminent budget cuts is the Old Stone Fort Museum in Schoharie County, NY.

Whether you are a history buff, a home school or public school parent or simply a concerned citizen of the USA, please take a few minutes to voice your support for the Old Stone Fort Museum. The Old Stone Fort Museum’s budget is a pittance in the Schoharie County overall budget (a mere three-tenths of one percent of total county expenses), yet if the county decimates the museum’s budget, the Schoharie County (and indeed our country) will lose an educational and historical treasure.

The management of the Old Stone Fort Museum has proposed alternative budgetary recommendations. Please send an email now to the Schoharie County Board of Supervisors Clerk (Karen Miller millerk@co.schoharie.ny.us ), urging the county supervisors to accept the budgetary recommendations of the Old Stone Fort Museum management. Time is of the essence, emails must be in Thursday, December 8th. We all have hectic lives, and it is easy to put something aside and forget to do it, so please send Clerk Miller a quick email now, supporting the Old Stone Fort Museum management’s budgetary recommendations. Additionally, please include in your email the state that you live in, if you are not a Schoharie County resident, and if you do live in Schoharie County, please include the name of your town or post office. Everyone can email to help! Also, if you can spare an extra moment, please copy and paste in the comment section of this blog what you send to Clerk Miller, so that I can share your emails with the Old Stone Fort Museum’s management. Thank you in advance for your help!
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Thank You For a Great 1st Year! 50,000+!!!

One year ago today, I posted my first blog piece. To date, this blog has had 50,359 hits. The response has been more than I could have imagined. Thank you to all of those who have supported me in this endeavor! I am extremely humbled and filled with gratitude! May you all have a wonderful holiday season!

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A Different Kind of Veteran: Eli, The Belgian Sheepdog, 9/11 Therapy Dog

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When we are out with our service dog in training, Ella, the most common question is what breed is she (or what mix is she)…some people think she is a collie/chow mix. Belgians are not that well known in the USA, which I kind of like because I prefer that they don’t become over bred and thus a rescue crisis like other breeds such as Dalmatians. That said, the Belgian breed, which can be challenging for a novice, has my great affection for their intellect, loving spirit and playfulness…and of course, their beauty. My affection was born from the entrance of a Belgian shelter puppy, Diva, who came into our lives in 1993. Yesterday, Veteran’s Day, I saw the video below and immediately flashed back to our Diva, as the dog, Eli, has a very similar head and expression to Diva.

Like his Belgian ancestors, who performed heroic efforts in World War I as messenger dogs, Red Cross dogs, ambulance cart dogs, etc., Eli has also served heroically. Eli, born in 1999, is one of the last surviving 9/11 canine heroes, having served as a Therapy Dog since the trauma of that day. Eli is also the 2011 Ambassador of The National Dog Show on November 19 and 20 at the The Greater Philadelphia Expo Center and televised Thanksgiving Day on NBC. He even has his own Facebook page.

Thus, I post this video in honor of Veteran’s Day weekend (because one day is not enough to show our gratitude), in honor of Eli himself for bringing healing and joy to those in need and in honor of all Belgian Sheepdogs, as well as all the canines who love us whether pure breed or lovable mutts.

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Our Diva and our daughter taken the week after 9/11.

Our Diva and our daughter taken the week after 9/11.

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Happy Halloween!!! Please Vote for Our Service Dog’s Photo

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Please vote for our Belgian Shepherd service dog, Ella, (Cinder Ella Enchanted) to win the Blue Buffalo Halloween contest.
http://bluebuffalo.com/halloween/costume-contest.php?costume=4533
We could win a year’s worth of dog food for our service dog. As any special needs parent knows, we have to save money where we can…our daughter has special dietary issues and is on a long list of biomeds, plus we are hoping to save up for a Son-Rise Program Outreach or Intensive. Besides that, Ella is cute and well worth a vote. :-) It only takes a moment to vote…please share with your friends.
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Belly Dance for SafeHouse…Shelter from a Storm of Abuse

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Ziva Gibbs, Dance Teacher

Here’s a video for inspiration for those facing challenges.

It is advised that if caught outside during a storm with no protection, we should find a ditch, and lay in it making ourselves a small (hard to hit) target for lightening. Yet for some of us, the sense of being small to hide from lightening strikes and flying debris is a daily part of life. Abuse in its various forms seems like a never ending storm of chaos and pain.

Too much time spent trying to make ourselves small to be less of a target never stops the storm, and over time creates the belief that we are actually small and powerless against a raging storm. Self doubt builds and secrets are kept, isolating us from help…just what the abuser wants. The abuser wants us to be small and alone…all the better to control us. People do not exist just to be treated like garbage. We all have immense power within us and a destiny to fill…and that destiny is bigger than any abuser. I write this in the first person collective (we/us/our) because abuse can happen to any of us. Though the abused often feel ashamed, there is no need for that emotion. Being targeted by an abuser does not diminish who we are…it does not impeach our intellect, talent or spirit.

Abusers often make threats of further violence and/or ruining personal reputations of their target and/or family and loved ones, in order to keep control. Hearing that someone we love may be killed if we leave is a powerful emotional obstacle to leaving…however, staying does not buy safety. Someone who is threatening to do those things under the condition of us leaving, is just as likely to do them if we stay. There is power in letting the secret out. Letting others know what we are going through, helps us build a support system. There is no reason to feel embarrassed because likely someone else that we know has experienced this. We do not deserve the abuse, and we did not cause it. The statement, “You make me so mad!” is not valid. We do not control that person’s emotions and actions…they chose them. We, in turn, can chose our emotions and actions…we are each a life force of amazing power worthy of respect. I have experienced abuse in my childhood…seen it happen to others…known those who stayed in it…and known those, who though frightened out of their minds, found a opening, took control and got out.

Last year, I found out that someone, who has brought a lot of light and beauty to our lives, had fled an abusive situation. During the time without her, she was missed, but we were happy that she found her wings to fly to a safe and happy life. At the time, an Orianthi CD occupied my daughter’s player, and every time the song “Courage” played, I thought of the dear spirit who winged her way to safety.

It is my hope that everyone who finds themselves in harm’s way at the hands of a spouse, parent, family friend or other finds safe passage to a happy life. Leaving seems impossible if we look at the mountain of reasons why we believe we can’t do it. Yet, mountain climbers ascend a mountain one step at a time…they find a place to grab to pull themselves up, a place to step to prepare for the next step, and make their way.

There are organizations to help…and to donate to if you would are inclined to do so. Our daughter’s former belly dance teacher, Ziva Gibbs, is trying to fund-raise for one such organization by hosting belly dance workshops. As I’ve stated in previous blogs, I have great affection for belly dance. Belly Dance can be enjoyed by all body types, because it embraces the joy and color of the universe.
Here are the details:
“Mini Workshop Series With Ziva
Spice up your summer with a blast of Belly Dancing and Bollywood! Ziva will be coming home to Pa. this August to share some of her latest choreography… Don’t miss this opportunity while she is in town. Take a journey of love and passion with her latest Bollywood choreography to Mind Blowing Mahia from the Hit Hindi Film Cash. And get your shimmy engines started with a drum solo to Portent by Pasion Turca. Plus the best part, a portion of the proceeds from these workshops will go to the SafeHouse Organization, helping survivors of Domestic Violence. So come out and dance to not only uplift yourself, but shimmy to uplift those who need a helping hand.

Each workshop will be two hours long and include a warm-up and cool down. Please bring veils (2 or more) with you to the Bollywood workshop if you have them (if not a limited amount will be available to borrow).

A suggested donation of $20.00 per workshop can be paid in cash or check at the door. Please make checks out to Ziva Gibbs. If you would like to make a direct donation to SafeHouse, please visit www.safehousecenter.org for details.

Workshops will be held at MGM Dance Studio, 241 North Main Street. Shrewsbury PA. For more information or to hold your spot please contact Ziva via phone 734-355-7360 or email zivalynn@yahoo.com

Dates and Times:
Bollywood
Friday August 19th 6:00-8:00PM
Drum Solo
Monday August 22nd 6:00-8:00PM”

Note: If you don’t have a veil, don’t let that stop you from attending…other than borrowing veils at the event, you can get some sheer/chiffon fabric at the local store and cut it to a size of 3 yards by 45-50 inches (or less if you are of petite height).
Below is a map and some videos.

This is Ziva performing.

Though I don’t have the instructional video mentioned or know the person in the YouTube below, and this person is not affiliated with the above event, I thought I’d include this YouTube excerpt as an example of some lovely veil choreography.

If you didn’t get the chance to listen to this song at the beginning of the post, I think it’s worth posting twice. “Courage” by Orianthi

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Click this link to go to the Autism Action Plan

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AutismOne Conference & Awards: Video & Musings


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We have not yet made it to an AutismOne Conference, but hopefully some year. In the meantime, they have DVDs and will have downloads in the near future of the various presentations for this year…click here.
Below is a video of the AutismOne Awards which features a song by an Autism dad.
The awards program starts at approximately four and a half minutes into the video, so you can scroll forward. The award winners were determined by votes from over 4,000 Autism professionals and parents globally.



Video streaming by Ustream

Spoiler Alert!!!
If you are a person who likes to be surprised, don’t read any further until you have watched the video. Below is a list of the award winners and some comments about those who are close to my heart.
Spoiler Alert!!!

Alright, and the winners are:
Best Therapy Tool: The Son-Rise Program
Best Presenter: Raun K. Kaufman {Click to watch video of Raun’s AutismOne presentation about Son-Rise.} Scroll down and it is on the left side of your screen.
Most Influential Teacher: Martha Herbert
Best Therapist: Nicole Beurkens
Best Supplement: Digest Spectrum by Enzymedica
Best Product: The Listening Program
Best Compounding Pharmacy: Lee Silsbsy
Most Inspirational Doctor: Dr. Philip DeMio
Most Inspirational Parent: Kristi Hogg
Most Community Focused Non-profit: TACA

Congratulations to all the winners and nominees!

To Kristi Hogg, though I had not heard your name before you won for Most Inspirational Parent, I am sure you are fantastic, because Autism/special-needs parents are made of some very special stuff. Most Inspirational Parent was a tough choice…I saw several names of parents of whom I think quite highly. It makes me think of a quote from actor Mike Farrell talking about being asked to name his favorite episode of M*A*S*H, “It’s like be asked to pick a favorite from a beautiful litter of puppies.” That said, to all the Autism/special-needs parents reading this, everyone of you are an inspiration! God, the universe, or Source has infused us with all that we need to travel the road ahead with our children…those qualities give us a fortitude that most will never experience. So, embrace yourself as an inspiration!

Seeing The Listening Program win for best product was a treat. My husband and I have always been keenly aware of the extraordinary impact that music has on the mind and spirit. Thus, when we heard about this specialized program incorporating music, as well as sounds of nature to gently train an individual’s auditory system to effectively process sound to improve concentration, language, memory, sensory integration, social abilities, physical coordination and more, we were intrigued. After some research, we concluded this was worthwhile. So, my husband, being one of the awesome Autism dads, took The Listening Program certification course to become a Listening Program provider.

Raun Kaufman winning best presenter is well deserved. He uses wit, empathy and a incisive knowledge of the various aspects of Autism to engage and educate his audience. For those of you who don’t know, Raun, as a child, was diagnosed as severely Autistic with an IQ of less than 30, but later after the tireless efforts of his family and volunteers/friends, he recovered to have a full life, including graduating from the Ivy League college, Brown University. Having known Raun for years now, it was a point of amusement to me that as I typed up the winners list while watching the above video, that I miss-typed his award category as “Pest Presenter”. I, like countless parents, initially looked at Raun as a rock star, the boy who had Autism. What an odd experience that must be for him. However, overtime I gained perspective and saw him for the man that he is. It is seeing people as they are that illuminates their real value to the human experience. I’ve seen Raun with an impish twinkle in his eye as he gently prodded students, including myself, to transcend their current beliefs about their child and themselves. In such a moment, the word “pest” might emerge in one’s mind, but it is only as a term of endearment toward someone who has become a valued part of the life’s journey.
This video demonstrates why Son-Rise won AutismOne’s Best Autism Therapy Tool award and why Raun Kaufman won Best Presenter.


Video streaming by Ustream

Regarding the Son-Rise Program winning Best Therapy Tool, it is a great joy to me that Son-Rise is finally getting this positive spot light. As those who have read my blog for a while know, Son-Rise has altered our lives in the most positive way possible. It is also a testament to the power of Autism parents, starting with the Son-Rise creators Barry Neil Kaufman and Samahria Lyte Kaufman. Autism parents when face with what is not working for their child become visionaries in order to help their child and in the case of Son-Rise, countless others. There is a great line from the television show, “The Big Bang Theory” that fits this situation, “There is a fine line between wrong and visionary. Unfortunately, you have to be a visionary to see it.” The Kaufmans were told plenty of times that they were wrong, thankfully they didn’t listen. They stepped sure-footedly toward their vision. We, as Autism parents, choose everyday to follow what we know to be right for our individual children. Here’s to all the Autism parents, our visionary efforts and persistent belief in our vision will be rewarded in time.
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Click this link to go to the Autism Action Plan

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2011 Part 2: Events…Therapeutic, Neurodiversity, Education, Support, Advocacy, Conferences & Family Fun


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I have spent the last several days compiling events for the second half of 2011. At this time, I have over 100 events from 23 US states, 6 countries outside the US and the Internet. These events deal with therapeutic interventions {dietary, animal aided, technology, teaching modalities, etc.}, neurodiversity, support groups, advocacy, conferences and family fun {movies, music, the beach, etc}. This is a preliminary events list. I will be adding more. I request that you also tell me about special needs events that you have found by posting them in the comment section, so that I can add them to the main list.

Reminder: When you use our merchant links to purchase what you need, you are supporting various charities to which Fetch It Fido, LLC will donate a minimum of 10% of profits, further development of this site, and of course, helping me provide for my daughter’s various special needs. If you have shopping to do, which even when money is tight there are things that we still get, please check out our merchants by clicking here or on the “Fido’s Specials” button on the top menu. We are adding more merchants regularly so be sure to bookmark this page. Dear readers, you have shown through your action for the UDS dogs that you are motivated to help others…together we can help so many more. Happy shopping!!!
June July August September October November December
June 1 Internet Webinar Biomedicine for Autism – Troubleshooting, Pitfalls, and Solutions

June 1 New Jersey TACA Coffee Talk – Hamilton Square

June 1 Rhode Island Parent/Caregiver Support Group

June 2 Rhode Island Health Care Transition Workshop

June 3 Pennsylvania TACA Chapter Meeting – Pennsylvania — Creating a Successful Home Program for Your Child

June 4 California Matt Savage, World-Renowned Jazz Prodigy in Concert — San Diego

June 4 Delaware Sensory Friendly Movie – Kung Fu Panda 2

June 4 Delaware Horseback Riding for Children with Autism

June (de Junio) 4 Los Cabos, BCS. Mexico Epidemias Pediatricas del Siglo XXI {Asma, Alergias, Autismo, Deficit de Atencion y otros Trastornos Relacionados}

June 4 New York Matinee My Way – Kung Fu Panda 2

June 4-5 Ontario Canada Get a HANDLE on the Autism Spectrum

June 4 Rhode Island MOVE & GROOVE (AGES 4-18)

June 5 California TACA Chapter Meeting – Los Angeles & San Fernando Valley, California — Becoming a Sensory Detective: Sensory Integration Strategies for the Home, School, and Community

June 5 Michigan Lifting the Stigma” 1st Annual Push/Pull Meet, Bench & Deadlift

June 5 Pennsylvania Autism Awareness Night at the Camden Riversharks

June 6 Maryland TACA Coffee Talk – Dunkirk

June 7 California TACA Coffee Talk – Visalia

June 7 Massachusetts TACA Chapter Meeting – Wrentham — Specialized Diets for Autism: Real Life Strategies and Practical Advice for Parents

June 7 New York Albany Family Support Group Meeting

June 8 California Free Workshop! Transition from Early Intervention to Pre-School!

June 8 California AV IEP CLINIC & SRN Training

June 8 California TACA Coffee Talk – Long Beach

June 8 California Movie Screening of “A Mother’s Courage: Talking Back to Autism”

June 8 Pennsylvania Kids-N-Hope Foundation presents the 18th Annual Gelatin Olympics {to benefit the Music Therapy Program at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia}

June 9 California TACA Coffee Talk – Bakersfield

June 9 Internet Webinar Nutritional Factors in Suicide Prevention

June 9 Virginia ALL ARE WELCOME! Thursday, June 9th from 7 to 9pm IN ARLINGTON–PLEASE FORWARD TO INTERESTED INDIVIDUALS

Safety Considerations for Families of Individuals with Cognitive Disabilities, including Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, ADHD, etc.

Scott Campbell, father of a 13 year old son with autism, has done over 130 safety workshops for parents, law enforcement, EMTs and the military throughout the country. He is an active-duty Army officer with almost 29 years of service, a National Ski Patrol instructor with over 19 years of experience in winter first aid and avalanche rescue, a CERT graduate of the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department, former President and Executive Director of Parents Of Autistic Children of Northern Virginia (POAC-NoVA) and currently Vice President of Autism Society of Northern Virginia (ASNV). Individuals with communication deficits can negatively impact crucial interactions with emergency personnel such as police officers, EMT staff, airport security, just to name a few! Don’t miss out on this opportunity to learn about safety issues that may arise in an emergency, and how you can implement strategies that may improve outcomes for a loved one with cognitive or social disabilities. It is at the Langston-Brown Community Center (in room 108 downstairs), 2121 Culpeper Street, Arlington, VA (on Lee Highway in between the McDonald’s Play Place and Heidelberg Bakery). Child care is not provided. Coffee and Light refreshments will be served. Bring a friend or two. Please RSVP by email to kate@specialneedskidsinfo.com. IF UNABLE TO RSVP COME ANYWAY!
Offered by the Arlington County Asperger Syndrome Information and Support (ASIS) group.

June 10 Illinois TACA Coffee Talk – Algonquin

June 10 Illinois A Child’s Brain: Using Neuroanatomy to Improve Assessment and Intervention in Autism, Asperger’s and PDD

June 10 California TACA Chapter Meeting – Long Beach, California — Beginning GFCF Diet & Supplements

June 11 California TACA Chapter Meeting – Orange County, California — Social Skills: Great Playdates Parents Can Organize

June 11 North Carolina Hope-thru-Horses Family Retreat for 7-9 year olds with Parents
9 am – 12 pm

June 12 California 8th Annual TACA Family Picnic – Southern California

June 13 Hawaii TACA Parent Support “Coffee Talk” Honolulu

June 13 Indiana TACA Coffee Talk – Indiana (North)

June 13 New Jersey TACA Coffee Talk – Whitehouse Station

June 13 New York Annual Meeting of the Autism Society of the Greater Capital Region – All are welcome

June 13 Rhode Island ASD Dads Support Group

June 13 Rhode Island Grandparents Support Group

June 14 Wisconsin TACA Chapter Meeting – Fitchburg, Wisconsin — How to Implement a Sensory Diet in the Home

June 16 Nevada Floortime Workshop

June 18 Delaware Beauty and Baseball

June 18 Michigan Out & About 6 Autism Run/Walk For Autism Awareness: 5K Run & Walk and 1 Mile Fun Walk

June 18 Michigan Motorcycle Ride Jackson Chapter of the Grey Dragons First Annual Fund Run for the Autism Society of Michigan

June 18 Tennessee TACA Coffee Talk – Nashville

June 18-19 United Kingdom Treating Autism 2011 London conference

June 20-July 1 Florida HEAL Film Camp with Joey Travolta

June 23 California Friends of Autism Support Group Meeting

June 23-24 Florida 5th Anniversary of the Valley of Dreams Gala and Charity Golf Classic

June 24-25 Tennessee “The By the Brook Retreat for moms of individuals with special needs will be held again this year in Cookeville”…”These retreats are all about pampering, encouraging and restoring moms with spa services, fellowship and fun – By the Brook’s motto is Refresh, Restore, Renew. The early bird registration rates are $39 and will soon go up to $49. The registration fee cover dinner on Friday night, breakfast and lunch on Saturday along with all of your retreat materials and spa services. To find out more and get your registration form, e-mail Becky Davidson at bdavidson@risingaboveministries.org or call 931-526-RISE (7473).”

June 26 Pennsylvania Afternoon at the Beach with Autism Society – NWPA – Erie, PA

June 27 California Pretend City Family Autism Day

June 29 Pennsylvania 2nd Annual Outing for Autism – Erie, PA

June 30 Pennsylvania Block Party at Plymouth Tavern {Corn hole tournament, Minute to Win It Games, Themed Basket Auction, Autism Awareness Merchandise & Information, T-shirt Drop, Raffles!}

July 2 Delaware Sensory Friendly Movie – Cars 2

July 2 North Carolina Hope-thru-Horses Family Retreat for 9-12 year olds with Parents 9 am – 12 pm

July 6-9 Florida 42nd Autism Society National Conference and Exposition

July 6 Rhode Island Parent/Caregiver Support Group

July 8 District of Columbia DC Gluten-Free Vendor Expo & Cocktail Party {The Celiac Disease Program at Children’s National Medical Center (CNMC); Embassy Suites Hotel at the Washington Convention Center}

July 11 Rhode Island ASD Dads Support Group

July 11 Rhode Island Grandparents Support Group

July 16 Florida Special Needs Family Films {A special screening of Disney’s Winne the Pooh in a sensory sensitive, non-judgemental atmosphere.}

July 17 Pennsylvania Annual Family Picnic at Camp Sherwin – Lake City, PA

July 18-19 Illinois The Inclusive Classroom, and Asperger Syndrome

July 19 Delaware Pump It Up Family Event

July 25 California Pretend City Family Autism Day

August 1-4 Pennsylvania National Autism Conference

August 3 Rhode Island Parent/Caregiver Support Group

August 5-6 Georgia “The By the Brook Retreat for moms of individuals with special needs”…”the retreat is, for the very first time, branching out and holding a duplicate retreat on August 5-6 in Monroe, Georgia to reach and serve more moms. These retreats are all about pampering, encouraging and restoring moms with spa services, fellowship and fun – By the Brook’s motto is Refresh, Restore, Renew. The early bird registration rates are $39 and will soon go up to $49. The registration fee cover dinner on Friday night, breakfast and lunch on Saturday along with all of your retreat materials and spa services. To find out more and get your registration form, e-mail Becky Davidson at bdavidson@risingaboveministries.org or call 931-526-RISE (7473).”

August 5 New York Neurodiversity: A Symposium (Syracuse) {Keynote Speaker Ari Ne’eman, Founding President of the Autistic Self Advocacy Network}

August 6 Michigan 7th Annual Ride for Autism

August 6 North Carolina Hope-thru-Horses Family Retreat for Children of All Ages! 9 am – 12 pm

August 8 Rhode Island ASD Dads Support Group

August 8 Rhode Island Grandparents Support Group

August (Agosto) 12-13 Buenos Airies, Argentina Tratamientos Biomedicos del Espectro Autista y Trastornos Relacionados

August 13 Illinois 9th Annual Rally For Autism

August 16-17 Wisconsin Navigating the World of Technology to Enhance Skill Development for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder

August 19-21 California 6th Annual “Back to School” Autism/Asperger’s Conference {Keynote Speaker Temple Grandin, PhD, adult with Autism}

August 20 North Carolina Hope-thru-Horses Family Retreat 7-9 year olds with Parents 9 am – 12 pm

August 21-26 Massachusetts The Son-Rise Program Start-Up {The Son-Rise Program was awarded BEST AUTISM THERAPY at the 2011 AutismOne National Conference; additionally, Raun K. Kaufman, Director of Global Education for the Autism Treatment Center of America, was awarded Best Presenter at AutismOne}
This video demonstrates why Son-Rise won AutismOne’s Best Autism Therapy Tool award and why Raun Kaufman won Best Presenter.


Video streaming by Ustream

August 22-25 Delaware Summer Day Camp at Children’s Beach House

August 24 Wisconsin Kids in the Syndrome Mix of ADHD, Learning Disabilities, Asperger’s, and More!

August 25-27 Sandton Africa Restorative Medicine Conference

August 27 Delaware Sensory Friendly Movie – Spy Kids 4

August 29 California Pretend City Family Autism Day

September 3 Florida Surfers for Autism 2nd Annual 1st Coast Surfers for Autism in St. Augustine

September 7 Rhode Island Parent/Caregiver Support Group

September 10 North Carolina Hope-thru-Horses Family Retreat 9-12 year olds with Parents
9 am – 12 pm

September 12 Rhode Island ASD Dads Support Group

September 12 Rhode Island Grandparents Support Group

September 13 Delaware Upstate Parent’s Coffee Hour

September 17-18 Arizona 2nd Annual Integrative Medicine for Mental Health (IMMH) Conference

September 17 Delaware NCC Skating Party

September 20 Pennsylvania Parent Support Group Meeting, Erie PA

September 24 Florida Surfers for Autism 2nd Annual North Coast Surfers for Autism

September 25-30 Massachusetts The Son-Rise Program Start-Up {The Son-Rise Program was awarded BEST AUTISM THERAPY at the 2011 AutismOne National Conference; additionally, Raun K. Kaufman, Director of Global Education for the Autism Treatment Center of America, was awarded Best Presenter at AutismOne}
This video demonstrates why Son-Rise won AutismOne’s Best Autism Therapy Tool award and why Raun Kaufman won Best Presenter.


Video streaming by Ustream

September 26 California Pretend City Family Autism Night

September 29-30 Colorado Inclusion, Behavior & Social Strategies for the Student/Child with Autism

October 1 North Carolina Hope-thru-Horses Family Retreat for Children of All Ages! 9 am – 12 pm

October 4-7 Oregon 9th Annual International Restorative Medicine Conference

October 5 Rhode Island Parent/Caregiver Support Group

October (Oktober) 8-9 Berlin, Germany Biomedizinische Behandlungen bei Autismus, ADHS und tiefgreifenden Entwicklungsstorungen

October 9-14 Massachusetts The Son-Rise Program Maximum Impact {The Son-Rise Program was awarded BEST AUTISM THERAPY at the 2011 AutismOne National Conference; additionally, Raun K. Kaufman, Director of Global Education for the Autism Treatment Center of America, was awarded Best Presenter at AutismOne} This video demonstrates why Son-Rise won AutismOne’s Best Autism Therapy Tool award and why Raun Kaufman won Best Presenter.


Video streaming by Ustream

October 10 Rhode Island ASD Dads Support Group

October 10 Rhode Island Grandparents Support Group

October 10 Wisconsin A Complete Look at Asperger Syndrome (Tony Attwood)

October 11 Delaware Upstate Parent’s Coffee Hour

October 14 Delaware Teen/Tween Asperger’s Game Night

October 19 Rhode Island 6th Annual Catwalk to Campground Fashion Show

October 20 Texas Wrightslaw Special Education Law and Advocacy Conference with Pete Wright, Esq.

October 21-22 California AutCom (Autism National Committee) Annual Conference 2011: Autism Without Limits
Los Angeles Marriott Burbank Airport 2500 Hollywood Way Burbank, CA
“Join the Autism National Committee’s annual conference and experience a shared vision through positive approaches. This conference will offer:
-Analysis of key issues in autism from a human and civil rights perspective
-Networking opportunities with family members, professionals, and individuals with autism who are at the frontier of social change
-The AutCom Bookstore featuring the most progressive titles and authors in the field of ASD
We want this conference to be as comfortable as possible for people on the autism spectrum. All food events will include a gluten-free, casein-free option. There will be a quiet room with incandescent lighting.”

October 26-27 Minnesota Social Thinking Workshop

October 27-30 Washington US Autism & Asperger Association 2011 World Conference Sponsors and Exhibitors, October 27-30, Seattle, Washington

October 31 California Pretend City Family Autism Day

November 2 Rhode Island Parent/Caregiver Support Group

November 5 Delaware Auction for Autism

November 6-11 Massachusetts The Son-Rise Program Wide Awake {The Son-Rise Program was awarded BEST AUTISM THERAPY at the 2011 AutismOne National Conference; additionally, Raun K. Kaufman, Director of Global Education for the Autism Treatment Center of America, was awarded Best Presenter at AutismOne} To see Raun Kaufman’s presentation of the principles of Son-Rise at the AutismOne Conference, click here http://www.autismtreatmentcenter.org/contents/getting_started/autism1.php

November 13-18 Massachusetts The Son-Rise Program New Frontiers {The Son-Rise Program was awarded BEST AUTISM THERAPY at the 2011 AutismOne National Conference; additionally, Raun K. Kaufman, Director of Global Education for the Autism Treatment Center of America, was awarded Best Presenter at AutismOne} This video demonstrates why Son-Rise won AutismOne’s Best Autism Therapy Tool award and why Raun Kaufman won Best Presenter.


Video streaming by Ustream

November 10-13 Florida National Autism Conference

November 14 Rhode Island ASD Dads Support Group

November 14 Rhode Island Grandparents Support Group

November 19 Delaware Autism Ball

November 19 North Carolina Hope-thru-Horses Family Retreat for 7-9 year olds with Parents 9 am – 12 pm

November 28 California Pretend City Family Autism Night

December 2 Delaware Teen/Tween Asperger’s Game Night

December 9-14 Massachusetts The Son-Rise Program Start-Up {The Son-Rise Program was awarded BEST AUTISM THERAPY at the 2011 AutismOne National Conference; additionally, Raun K. Kaufman, Director of Global Education for the Autism Treatment Center of America, was awarded Best Presenter at AutismOne}
This video demonstrates why Son-Rise won AutismOne’s Best Autism Therapy Tool award and why Raun Kaufman won Best Presenter.


Video streaming by Ustream

December 13 Delaware Upstate Parent’s Coffee Hour
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Posted in Autism, Creativity, Events, Gluten/Celiac, Health/Wellness, Homeschool, Movies, Music, Technology, food, horses | 4 Comments

Advocate for Independent Living for People with Challenges


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If you live in Pennsylvania, take action now! If you know someone in Pennsylvania, please contact them! This could have a drastic impact on those with challenges who are attempting to live independently.
From the United Disability Services website:
“ADVOCACY INITIATIVE UNDERWAY
WE NEED YOUR HELP!”

“The situation: Medicaid regulations require a policy change in how some Consumer-Directed Attendant Care services are paid for. The change will reduce the amount UDS is paid to provide services. Because Consumer- and Agency-Directed Attendant Care services are intertwined financially, substantially reducing payment for one without increasing payment for others will make it financially impossible for UDS and other provider agencies to deliver services after the proposed changes are implemented on July 1st.”
To help, go to the UDS site by clicking here http://www.udservices.org/advocacy2011.asp and follow the advocacy directions.
Here is a video about the various services that UDS provides.

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