Friday, April 18, 2008


It's Autism Month, and I feel inundated with "movie of the week" type stories about the "tragedy" and "suffering" of autism. So for once, I decided to create a post that is not about autism at all. It's about keeping perspective. These sites have provided me with inspiration, empathy and understanding for the great variety of experiences we all have as humans on this tiny planet. We are incredibly fortunate to be here at all. These sites remind me to enjoy the ride:

My Daily Insights - Get a free motivational quote every Monday through Thursday and an inspirational story on Friday

Foundation For a Better Life - Free inspirational quote delivered to your Inbox each day.

Writer's Almanac - This is also National Poetry Month. Writer's Almanac sends a free poem every day, along with a few paragraphs celebrating literary and other interesting events, and sharing biographical sketches of writers.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Better Brushing

Via AutismVox, here is an oral hygiene game that might help kids brush their teeth more throroughly. Here's the article by Colin Barras.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Call for Panelists in NJ

Call for Panelists
Mini-Conference on Inclusion Benefits and Strategies for Middle and High School
Stockton State College, Pomona, NJ
Saturday, April 26, 2008
9:30 am -12:30 pm

As a part of the Mini-Conference on Inclusion, we are organizing a panel session to explore and reflect on experiences with Inclusion practices in grades 8-12. Parents of middle and high school students who are receiving special education services are invited to join this discussion and share their experiences with inclusion in middle and high school. The panel portion of the mini-conference will last from 45 minutes to an hour and include diverse points of view including parents, teachers, and school staff.

Panelists will receive a $75 stipend and an appreciation gift for their time. Self-Advocates are invited to participate in the panel with their parents. Both parents and students will receive the stipend and gift for their participation. Continental breakfast and lunch are included.

If you are interested, please send an email to or call 609-442-4132 before Friday, April 18th. Please include a brief summary of your experience and tell us a little bit about yourself.Susan Coll-Guedes, Ed.M.Parent Group Specialist- START Project Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland & Salem Co.Statewide Parent Advocacy NetworkPhone: 609-442-4132 Email:

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Lego Therapy

Marie McCullough of The Philadelphia Inquirer writes of pediatric neuropsychologist Dr. Dan Legoff's approach to social skills therapy using a common interest among some children on the spectrum - Legos.
"In Legoff's opinion, too many popular strategies involve "skillstreaming" - systematically explaining, modeling, and role-playing acceptable social skills to children.
"I found that approach to be, first, boring and painful to go through for the kids. And second, it didn't seem to work," said the psychologist, who has treated children with neurological disabilities for 20 years. "I needed to find something that they could practice but that they would enjoy and be motivated to do."
About 15 years ago, during post-doctoral training in Honolulu, Legoff noticed that his autistic patients, most of them boys, ignored a playroom full of toys - except for Legos.
A hallmark of autism is an obsessive dedication to one or two interests or activities - typically involving taxonomies, mechanical systems, hierarchies.
"A couple kids came with Lego creations they made at home," Legoff recalled. "In the waiting room, these kids started talking to one another, which surprised their parents. These are kids that don't have any friends because they're socially rejected or isolated."
Thus was born the Lego Club."