My ode to Thanksgiving 2016!

 

 

I would to take a moment to give thanks to my Family, and followers. I hope to finally achieve my goal of helping people with autism soon.

Our interest stems from the fact that I have asperger’s as do my children. I have a vested interest in making a difference.

I would love to be in the audience for Ellen’s 12 days of Xmas, despite being Jewish we could share the gifts to help people!!

Watch this video on YouTube.

http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/240108?a=1433442

I hope for the best for my family and yours as well.

If anyone knows Ellen please tell her about us!!

Art Therapy for High-Functioning Autism: How to Get Started

Music Therapy
www.thearts4autism.com
Coping with a condition such as autism is a challenge that many of us and many of our loved ones face. However, so many strategies  exist to make life easier for those of us in this camp. Many haven’t heard of it, but art therapy is one of them, and with this great new tool, you can very much help the special high-functioning autistic person in your life find an excellent therapist. Here’s what you need to know.
Check Educational Background
Art therapy is not a subject into which people merely leap. In fact, most have to earn at least a bachelor’s degree in a related field, but many go on to pursue their master’s as well. When meeting with art therapists, verify proof of their degree and ask what experiences they had in college or grad school. Many of them will have completed internships, so they have real life experience upon entering the workforce, and it’d be prudent to find out how relevant their assignment was to the situation of your friend or family member.
Working with Students
As most people know, paying for health and medical procedures is quite expensive. Not everyone can afford these extra therapists (and many have insurance plans that don’t cover this kind of treatment). However, there is a way to still enjoy these services. As mentioned above, many art therapy students are required to intern at local hospitals or other care facilities once or twice. If you cannot afford a traditional therapy program, ask your hospital or local college if interning students are allowed to offer therapy to your loved one for free or a reduced price. This does not mean that all training art therapists will be able to do so. It depends on your state, local educational institutions and more.
Space
Parents who have high functioning autistic children might be inclined to hang around during the art therapy sessions. If the therapists request that they do, or both parties have a mutual agreement that such an arrangement is best, then they should. However, in quite a number of instances, people might tense up if a parent is nearby. A therapist might also notice that the patient is not eager to discuss certain issues with a parent present in the room. Therefore, it is often better to leave them alone – anything that you need to be aware of will be made known to you. Space is healthy – never forget this.
Don’t Diagnose
After you have observed a couple of the art therapy techniques, you might assume that you can use these methods at home. For example, you might see an art therapist explain how a drawing of a house has a particular significance in someone’s life. You go home and try to apply the same theory to another person or try to replicate this with your loved one. However, that analysis on the part of a therapist is comprised of many components. Only professionals can truly recognize these for they really are.So many treatment options exist for individuals living with autism. Art therapy is especially helpful though, because it allows patients to put together images and engage in crafts. In other words, this means they are having fun, expressing themselves and also (hopefully) healing. Those who have tried this method largely support its use, and it might be helpful to speak with some who have already tried this track.

Jennifer Banks writes about health, addiction and therapy. She works from and writes for http://www.delrayrecoverycenter.com.

Autism Resources!!!

Click Here!

Parenting a child with Asperger’s syndrome?

Learn successful strategies
from one who has gone before you.

You want a self-assured, confident son or daughter.
Let me tell you how that might be possible.

aspie

“When Shannon was diagnosed with Asperger’s, the evaluators told me they were amazed at her poise and self-confidence. 

“Learn the parenting secrets that brought her to the great self-confidence level she has today!”

Nurturing Your Asperger’s Child

by Phyllis Wheeler

An e-book from a mom of two Asperger’s kids–updated for 2012

Click for more information–>

Click Here!

We thank Dinosaur’s and Roses a local Thrift Store and Art Studio in Las Vegas for Helping us with a fundraiser!!!

If you can share the link to this coupon or print it and share it as widely as possible that would be great!!!

We would like to thank Dinosaurs and Roses for believing in us and helping us with a fundraiser!!!

We are trying to help autism via technology, music and the arts and appreciate the help tremendously!!!

Dinosaurs and Roses Coupon

Technology, Music and the arts for Kids with Autism: Tech News Zone Wants to Help by Vickie Ewell!!

Ipads helping people with autism learn and communicate
Ipads helping people with autism learn and communicate

iPads for Kids with Autism: Tech News Zone Wants to Help

Tech News Zone’s Project TEACH offers kids with autism and their families the gifts of technology, music, culture, the arts, and educational assistance.

When the Apple iPad surfaced in April 2010, many schools adopted it to help children with communication and language skills – but with a starting price of $500, it’s pricey. Out of reach for many families with autistic children who could benefit from the device, Autism Advocacy and Technology News Zone, Inc. (a Nevada nonprofit corporation) wants to help iPads get into the hands of those children.

Established on January 11, 2011, the company has been actively seeking sponsorships and donations to purchase iPads and other technological equipment they can give to those in need; but the response has been lower than anticipated. Even so, David J. Berkowitz, Tech News Zone’s founder and president, remains hopeful that as word spreads and people become aware of their existence, his dream for getting iPads to kids with autism will become a reality.

How an iPad Can Help Autistic Children

Children on the autism spectrum struggle with communication, social, and engagement skills. They have difficulty integrating sensory information and dealing with change. An Apple iPad offers help in all those areas, as well as a unique ability to attract autistic children through their fascination with technology.

While many kids show an equal interest in an iPod, fine motor control difficulties can interfere with their ability to use the tiny icons. An iPad works better because it’s larger, but still portable. For an example of how this newest technological device helps children learn, you can watch a short video of a child with autism tracing letters and learning to spell and read whole words, rather than through phonics.

While many on the spectrum are lower functioning than the child in the video, other apps designed for those with special needs teach:

independence
counting
drawing
life skills
memory skills through remembering pictures
how to make digital puzzles

By keeping autistic children engaged in playing games, this newest trend can eliminate or lessen their desire to withdraw from the world around them. It also helps attention span, motivation, and their ability to interact with parents and educators.

What Makes Autism Advocacy and Technology News Zone, Inc. Different?

Helping autistic children overcome the negative aspects of autism is a goal that parents, educators, and companies like Tech News all share in common. While not the only ones attempting to raise money for iPads, this company differs because Berkowitz has Asperger’s Syndrome himself. “I know what it’s like to live with autism,” he says. “So I want to help.” With a strong passion for technology, as well as education, music, and the arts, his mission and dream to serve his fellow autistics and their families fuels the upward climb to overcome the obstacles that most newly organized companies face.

But being able to relate to what autistic children go through isn’t his only reason. After losing four rental homes in the last four years due to each going into foreclosure, Berkowitz also understands what it’s like to live on a shoestring budget, to have his credit ruined due to circumstances in life, and not be able to give your kids everything they need.

The drive to advocate for those even less fortunate than himself propels him forward. “I live, die, and breathe technology,” he says. “I love it, as do my kids. I am a brainiac, high functioning as pie.” In addition to the gift of technology, Berkowitz also wants to “help arts programs and inspire them to include those on the spectrum. I am Asperger’s, and my three kids are too. So I have a vested interest in making a difference.”

What Does David Berkowitz Want to Do?

In addition to securing as many iPads as he can get his hands on – through monetary donations, fundraising events, and corporate sponsorships – Berkowitz has implemented Project TEACH. Using each letter in the word to guide him, Berkowitz wants to give the gift of:

T = technology: provide tablets, AAC communications devices, and other computer technology to autistic individuals who need them.
E = educational assistance: ballet lessons, swimming lessons, and skills classes.
A = the arts, culture, and entertainment: donate musical instruments to individuals and classrooms; and provide free tickets to shows, concerts, the theater, and sports events to those who can’t afford them – “So more autistic individuals and families can enjoy their lives.”
C = care and assistance: pay it forward by helping all those in need.
H = holiday help: whether that’s Chanukah or Xmas.

Securing iPads for Kids with Autism is Only the Beginning

It takes a big heart to take on such a large project like giving away Apple iPads, but Berkowitz’s grandiose dreams come with no limits. In fact, he’d like the company to grow into a national foundation for autism one day. But for now, his focus is on getting the necessary funds to gain 501c3 status, engaging with others on Twitter, and running his website: TechNewsZone. “We need all the support possible,” he says. “We accept articles and stories, as well as rants, with regards to the daily struggles of autism.”

He’s also looking for people who can donate their older technological devices gathering dust in the closet, something they just want to update, or their old musical instruments. In addition, he’s always looking for help in building autism awareness and furthering his company’s goals. “If they can get us known, or on a show like Ellen, that would be huge.”

Sources

AOL News, “Engage and Educate Kids with Autism” (accessed June 15, 2011).

Autism Research Institute, Temple Grandin, “Teaching Tips for Children and Adults with Autism,” last revised December 2002 (accessed June 16, 2011).

Interview with the President of Autism Advocacy and Technology News Zone, Inc., David Joseph Berkowitz

Help for an Arts Foundation for Autism as seen on www.specialneeds.com

We were recently written about on specialneeds.com–>http://www.specialneeds.com/products-and-services/autism/help-arts-foundation-autism Please check them out, they are a simply great website with tons of special needs resources and articles.

Help for an Arts Foundation for Autism
Help for an Arts Foundation for Autism

This guest piece is written by a man passionate about his vision. David Berkowitz lives in Las Vegas, is an honorably discharged veteran and spent the last 20 years in sales and marketing. David lives with Asperger Syndrome and is raising three kids also on the spectrum. Looking to improve the lives of individuals with autism through technology and the arts, David wants to share a bit about his vision with our readers. He is trying to make a difference for autism, please help him in his efforts.

AUTISM ADVOCACY AND TECHNOLOGY NEWS ZONE
By David Joseph Berkowitz

As an individual with high functioning Asperger syndrome, a kind of autism, and the father of three kids who are also on the spectrum for this disorder, I have always felt a need to make a difference for the people with autism. I dream of establishing a national organization like the American Heart Association or American Cancer Society to make living on the spectrum better for those with autism related disorders. Utilizing my knowledge and passion for technology with my personal experience and interest in autism, I launched http://technewszone.com, on January 11, 2011. We are a state nonprofit seeking our 501c3. Our intent is to become a national Arts and Technology Foundation within the autism community.

We are a tech-focused state nonprofit. As we get funded we intend to help those on the autism spectrum by giving the gift of the arts and technology to make the lives of people with autism better, and to support their families and the educational facilities that serve them.

We are determined to make a difference in the lives of people with autism and their families.

Our Plan:

Our intent is to give the gift of the arts and technology through donated musical instruments, arts supplies, and tablets and along with proper training to children and young adults with autism, their families, and the educational programs and schools that could make use of them. We also plan to fund applications to use with the technology. We plan to help the arts in schools as well as promote inclusion of people on the spectrum.

Tablets and musical instruments are a very kinesthetic devices and they make learning easier for many people with autism. Tablets like Apple iPads aid in education and improve the level of involvement in many aspects of their lives. However, a decent tablet runs $400-$800 which is very expensive for most families of people with autism. In addition, musical instruments, the arts such as dance classes are very costly to the individual.

We also give the gift of music and the arts, and to save the music especially for people with autism and special needs. Schools are very short on funding especially for the arts and music. Most parents of kids with autism cannot afford instruments, band trips, choir events and other arts materials. We want to help.

We will donate musical instruments to people with autism and education to improve quality of life. In addition, we will give the resources to provide help to theatre programs in both private and in public schools, as well as other arts that accept people with autism in their programs. We strive to promote inclusion and acceptance.

In order to further the quality of life for people with autism we want to expose them to cultural events. We will donate tickets, to musical events, theater, and other arts to enrich their lives.

I feel that many people with autism are talented in the arts and music. Even if not talented in the arts, I feel they can definitely benefit from the exposure to arts, music and technology.

The first help we need is funding for our 501c3, as well as a lawyer or cpa to do the paperwork properly. We also need exposure such as on TV, in the newspaper, magazines, and web based as well. We can not do it alone and need support to make a real difference.

Please help us help others for the next school year.

We need your help to donate of tech, music and the arts for the school year starting in September. We want to give tablets to people with autism, as well as gift cards and tickets to concerts to make their holidays happier. Please go to our website now and make a donation today to help us make a difference for people with autism and their families. Even a $ 5.00 gift card or a donation on our website will make a huge difference in the quality of life for people on the autism spectrum.

We are also seeking corporate sponsors who can help us in the future as well.

In addition we need media exposure so please put a link to this article on your website as well.

Our tech and autism blog is http://technewszone.com, and we will soon have our autism nonprofit site up as well at http://www.autismhelpusa.com as well soon.

To make a donation–> http://technewszone.com/tech-news-zone-and-paying-it-forward-for-autism-zone/donate-today-autism-technology-music-arts/

I am smart, different, and am going about it on my own; I am not rich and need support so that I can help other people with autism. If you are interested in helping our organization, Autism Advocacy and Technology News Zone, Please do not hesitate to contact me.

About the Author:
Autism Advocacy andTechnology News Zone, Inc. A Nevada Nonprofit Corporation

www.technewszone.com
Twitter: itechnewszone

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Autism-Advocacy-and-Technology-News-Zone-Inc

Email: davidb@technewszone.com

Myths And Misnomers Of Aspergers Characteristics – A Light Hearted Observation by Mari Nosal

aspergers
aspergers by Mari Nosal

I am Asperger’s, a brainiac, at times clueless at others. I am hyper aware of many things, do not notice some of the basics. I get it. My 3 kids are on the autism spectrum as well. I can totally relate. I have been trying for over a year to find supporters, donors, and sponsors to help us to help people with autism. We need help with technology, music like instruments, and the arts-tickets, art supplies to help people on the spectrum.

Here is a quirky but cool article by Mari Nosal an autism expert and educator:

Recognition and identification of Aspergers syndrome has skyrocketed in the last decade. Unfortunately, the way it is portrayed through the media venue has provided individuals who do not interact with families or children directly involved with a stigmatized lenses of the syndrome. ie Sheldon Cooper on the Big Bang Theory void of the ability to display emotion, Gregory House of the House series who expresses a diagnosis to a patient with apparent disregard to their feelings, Jerry the Lawyer of Boston Legal who allegedly had Aspergers and was portrayed with comorbid maladies such as grabbing his thighs standing on tippy toes and running away making odd noises.

In my opinion these television characters provide a disgraceful impression to society in regards to Aspergers. Successful Aspergians who work beside you and your peers. Aspergians who are parents, doctors, lawyers, scientists, teachers, students and more.

I wish to present a portrayal of some misnomers regarding Aspergers . I will draw from personal experience that I have acquired both as an educator and interactions with family members on the spectrum from both a serious and humorous perspective. These are merely my personal observations.

1) Individuals with Aspergers are incapable of lying:

This is a mistaken perception due to their penchant for bluntness. i.e. If a teacher wants to know who misbehaved in class the child with Aspergers would be ones best source of information. Bluntness is not the same as lying however. Like any other child, children with Aspergers may stretch the truth to avoid trouble.

If Aspergians can’t lie, than our family was not informed of this fact. I recall picking up my son at preschool. He was four years of age. He had been displaying behavioral issues such as sticking his fingers in his ears and closing his eyes when the teacher gave him directions. He would respond by saying, “I can’t hear you or see you, LALA,LA.”

I used a candy bar as positive reinforcement. This was a treat because candy was not freely available at home. When I picked him up from preschool, I would immediately ask how he behaved for the teacher. If the report was good, he received a candy bar.

I recall picking him up from preschool and asking how his day had gone. His eyes darted from me to his teacher. He replied with a quick, “Mom come on out in the parking lot and I will let you know how I behaved. “I foiled his intent to give me a good report when we were out of his teacher’s earshot.

I responded by telling him that I would ask his teacher directly about his behavior before leaving the classroom. My son disappeared. I heard the bathroom door slam shut in his classroom. He had evidently run in there to hide.

I would consider this an example of the capability an Aspergian has to strategize and to lie with the intent of reaping the reward of a coveted candy bar. My sons plan was foiled by my intervention. However I will add that my son’s actions were within the norm for any child seeking to avoid losing a reward. Heck what adult for that matter has never done something similar such as calling into work feigning an illness to take a day off from work:-0) (cough,cough)

2) Individuals with Aspergers cannot display empathy

I would argue this assumption. Many have difficulty verbalizing emotions hence societies perception of lack of emotion. On the contraire, Aspergians get emotional overload resultant from struggles with compartmentalization of sensory intake. I merely have to look back on the gift my son made at age six for me to confirm his capability to empathize. I had the flu and was bed bound. I woke to queries of “mom are you sleeping”? Well son I am awake now son:-0

There at my bedside stood my son. In his hand, he proudly displayed a paper plate dripping with a rainbow of food color. I will refrain from describing the state that my kitchen was in resultant from my son’s work of art. You can use your imagination to conjure up what a rainbow of food coloring spattering’s did to my house:-0)

Was this a verbal expression of emotions? No it was not. As an Aspergian, he has difficulty with naming his emotions. My son had displayed his concern and yes, empathy for me through his actions instead of words. Expressions of concern were done in his unique way via actions versus words.. It was empathy none the less.

We won’t broach my emotional state when my flu ridden body saw my rainbow colored kitchen:-0)

3) Individuals with Aspergers are not capable of manipulating their environment

I will elaborate and confirm their skill – set with an experience had during homework time in my school age class. I was tutoring a nine year old with Aspergers. Everything was going well during math homework which was compiled of rote facts. He was always compliant when homework required the use of his wonderful rote memory.

We moved on to reading passages. I was attempting to assist the child in answering questions regarding the passage he had read. He was expected to summarize the passage which required processing skills. Rote work being his forte, his demeanor quickly changed. He attempted to stonewall. I persisted. The child looked up at the clock and said, “You know Miss Mari, my mother will be picking me up very soon”. I was silently amused at his comment. What he was stating in a diplomatic manner and silently thinking was, Miss Mari, get off my back will you please? I would surmise that this showcased his capability, and attempt to manipulate his environment.

Recently my son was attempting to draw me in to one of his discussions that resemble a verbal dissertation. These verbal tugs of war always occur when we are discussing a topic that he finds distasteful such as chore requests, manners, behavior, etc. I have realized that his verbal tug of wars is the direct result of his intent to draw me off the topic at hand. My response of choice is to tell him that the discussion is over and walk away. We must pick our battles carefully to reduce what I call the deaf ear syndrome. If the discussion is going in loops walk away. No audience takes the fun out of it.

During the conversation I told my son that I would not be roped into his verbal dissertation. His response was, “you just did Mom. You answered me back”. One can see the manipulative power struggle that is evident here. I ignored my sons comment. His goal was to veer me away from the topic at hand. I continued on my way and held my ground. To continue our debate with have proved futile as we would have gone around in circles repeatedly. I attempt not to get drawn in to a rousing game of lets have a debate until mom forgets what she wanted me to do in the first place. I merely walk away and hold my ground.

4) Individuals with Aspergers have no sense of humor

This belief stems from the fact that Aspergians tend to perceive statements from a literal perspective. Dual meanings or ideas in jokes are difficult to comprehend. I worked with a I was a one on one teacher with a ninth grade girl with Aspergers. I recall excitedly telling the teenage girl that she was on fire because she had comprehended an important concept we had worked on for an extended period of time. The young lady responded with stiffened limbs. She repeatedly demanded to know why I had said she was on fire. She kept saying “I am not on fire, I am not on fire, why do you say I am?”

Aspergians most certainly do have a sense of humor. One would merely have to observe the night I came home from a nine hour shift in a group home. I was extremely tired and fumbled for my keys in the dark night. Suddenly, a figure jumped out of the bush saying Boo I am Mari. I must have jumped 20 feet. My son had apparently downloaded a photo of me, cut a mask out of cardboard, and glued my picture on the front complete with eye holes. Hence, the reason he called it a Mari mask. Upon entering the house my other son was wearing one as well. This was definitely an example of my son’s ability to create a humorous experience.

In closing I would like to convey the fact that individuals with Aspergers present with the same range of emotions as neurotypicals, they merely convey those characteristics that every human being possesses in a way that works for them.

Perhaps we could all start looking at how we are similar versus how we are different. Accept each others differences and harness them to create a more copasetic and positive society. No two Aspergians are alike anymore than two neurotypicals. Like Baskin Robbins ice-cream, humans come in 32 flavors. Embrace that individuality, forget the them and us ideology and replace it with a WE will get more accomplished than a ME. I will leave you with this question and provide an answer to ponder.

Question: Who is more important, the Physician or Trash Man.

Answer: They are both equally as important. Without a physician we could not TREAT disease and we would perish. Without trash men we would HAVE disease and become ill.

This is just a thought to ponder regarding differently abled individuals and society at large.

Regards,

Mari Nosal, M.Ed., CECE