Monthly Archives: June 2013

10 Impressive Special College Programs for Students With Autism –

10 Impressive Special College Programs for Students With Autism –

It’s worthwhile to check out these schools!

Autism Friendly Screenings at BREA PLAZA 5 CINEMAS

DID YOU KNOW … the first Saturday of every month at 10 am is the Autism Friendly Screening at Brea Plaza 5 Cinemas.  Check the website to find out what the feature will be.


Brea Plaza 5 Cinemas
453 S. Associated Rd.
Brea, CA 92821

FREE WORKSHOP | Social Security Disability Benefits – July 22, 2013, 6 p.m.

One of the most common questions I get from individuals and families has to do with SSDI [social security disability insurance]. I totally understand — it can be very confusing.    Image

The good news is that Area Board XI is holding a free workshop explaining all the benefits and more.

Learn about:

  • Benefits for minors and adults
  • Eligibility
  • Work incentives

ImageSpace is limited. RSVP to or 714.558.4404 for the July 22 workshop. See below for details. Image

10 Ways to Prepare Your Child for Independent Life After High School | SKILL #9

Teach Your Child Basic Rules for Living
When an individual picks up after himself, he shows the world he’s responsible. Period.
And let’s face it, whether he goes off to college and lives in the dorms with strangers or
gets a job and shares his workspace or lunch room with co-workers, they will expect him
to tidy up after himself because they sure as heck won’t. And at this point, no parent
can be waiting in the wings to save him.   Image
I came across this list years ago and I freely post it throughout the house. I like to think
it’s made a difference. I added #16 and #17. They’re my favorites. Or maybe they’re just
the ones I find myself barking the most!
1.       If you open it, CLOSE IT!
Image2.       If you turn it onTURN IT OFF!
3.       If you unlock it, LOCK IT!      Image
4.       If you break it, ADMIT IT and REPAIR IT!
5.       If you can’t fix it, CALL IN SOMEONE WHO CAN!
6.       If you borrow it, RETURN IT!
7.       If you use it, TAKE CARE OF IT!
Image8.       If you make a messCLEAN IT UP!
9.       If you move it, PUT IT BACK!
10.     If it belongs to someone else, GET PERMISSION TO USE IT!
11.     If you don’t know how to operate it, LEAVE IT ALONE!
12.     If it doesn’t concern youDON’T MESS WITH IT! Or, if it’s none of your business,DON’T ASK QUESTIONS!
13.     If it’s not brokenDON’T FIX IT!
14.     If it will brighten someone’s day, SAY IT!
15.     If it will tarnish someone’s reputation [or hurt someone’s feelings], KEEP IT TO YOURSELF!
16.     If you see something on the floorPICK IT UP!
17.     If you empty it, REFILL IT!    Image
~~ Author Unknown ~~
And, my friends, if all else fails, just set a good example
As the mother of a son with autism, I’ve committed myself over the years to learning, understanding and sharing the most effective ways to nurture, protect and prepare a child with autism. Strategies with the potential to reap great rewards for our kids. Strategies for transitions and more, which I’ll gladly share with you.
And right now I’m offering speaking engagements to parent groups, educators, autism support groups, government agencies and community organizations.
Call 714-501-8735. The talk is free. The information is priceless. 

If you’ve missed any of my earlier messages you can find them on my blog by clicking here. Follow me!

For more ideas, contact me today at Be sure to like ARM on Facebook.

New College-age Social Skills Program in Orange County, CA

Great news! Intake sessions are underway for a new College-Age Social Skills Program in Orange County, California.

Spaces are still available for this program for individuals aged 18 to 24.

It will take place in Irvine on Tuesdays at 6:30 pm – once a week for 16 weeks.

For more information or to sign up, contact: Dr. Alexander Gantman,, 310-361-0771.

It’s driving me crazy…

My teenager will take driver’s ed this summer. There, I’ve warned you.

teen-driverWhile I’m truly excited for him, I’m truly scared out of my wits.

I found some helpful advice in this article, Driving in Teens with Autism. I’d enjoy hearing of your success stories with your kids and driving. So please share!

I’ll do my best to be patient and calm — as I bite my nails to the quick!  Nervous-mom


10 Ways to Prepare Your Child for Independent Life After High School | SKILL #8



If you’re anything like me, you don’t want to be fluffing and folding your child’s laundry for the rest of your life. So start instruction early. Be prepared for repetition. Only with practice will these new skills be mastered.
This can be one of the easier chores to teach kids on the spectrum, since it involves activities they often enjoy—sorting [whites, colors, towels] and repetitive tasks. My son is our official “towel folder” and I find great comfort in knowing he’s mastered this skill.
So continue to prepare your child for life after high school and transition to independent adult life by teaching basic laundry skills. Wash, dry, fold, repeat. 
SKILL #8 – Teach Your Child To Do His Own Laundry. 
·         SORT
a.      Whites, colors, towels
·         LOAD WASHER
a.      Teach how to load your machine
b.      Measure out the soap, fabric softener
c.       Set the settings and turn on
·         LOAD DRYER
a.      Transfer clothes to dryer
b.      Check/clean the lint filter
c.       Set the settings and turn on
a.      Some items may be difficult for some kids to fold—especially if they
         have fine or gross motor issues. If so, make it a team effort.
b.      Then put the folded clothes away.     Image
And just remember, it all comes out in the wash!

If you’ve missed any of my earlier messages you can find them on my blog by clicking here. Follow me!

For more ideas, contact me today at Be sure to like ARM on Facebook. 


In my “spectrum” circles, I feel fortunate to know plenty of dads who are completely involved with their kids. I get lots of valuable insights from fathers of young adults, age 20+, as well as dads of teens and younger.

ImageAs we celebrate dads today, I’ve asked a few fathers to share some thoughts with us. Certainly having a child with autism spectrum disorders presents a wide range of challenges. But as you’ll see here, these inspired patriarchs have not let a different way of being stand in the way of a nurturing father-son relationship.


Mike, father of Andrew, 16:

What’s the biggest thing that autism has taught you?

Autism has taught me patience and acceptance and joy, in ways I never thought possible.

The patience is simply a necessity. It comes from a realization that my son must do things, not my way or even the typical way, but rather his way, at his pace, with his own spin and set of priorities.

The acceptance part comes from the need to agree that the ‘non-typical way’ I just noted is okay. 

And the joy comes from the little moments of accomplishment and humor and intelligence and personality that make him so great. I wouldn’t change him for the world.


Precious moment between my husband and son. These times are priceless.




Scott, father of David, 16:

What things do you do to bond with your son?

I try to do whatever he is interested in. We play a lot of video games and read books together. We also like to go out for a hamburger every Saturday.

I read every page of every Harry Potter book aloud to David. Harry Potter was my attempt to get him to like books. He did like those, but generally has no interest in reading. Fortunately, he likes shorter books now, like Diary of a Wimpy Kid. 

Neil, father of Benjamin, almost 17:

Advice for dads who are new to the diagnosis?

Though this world seems like a dark and difficult place to the parent brand new to autism, the truth is, just beyond the fear and anxiousness, there’s a wellspring of warmth, closeness, achievement and happiness to be found, if you’re willing to engage the journey. It’s not always easy. But it’s immensely rewarding—if you’re willing to be patient, accept and move ahead.

Wishing all you dads a very special day. Thanks for being there–through thick and thin! And a singular shout-out to my own father, who has done a wonderful job understanding my son.

10 Ways to Prepare Your Child for Independent Life After High School | SKILL #7

It’s June already and the issue of transition to independent adult life is bearing down upon us. So we continue our focus on transitions with our seventh installment of ways to prepare your child for life after high school.
Personal safety is an indispensable skill no matter what your teen plans to do after graduation. Some of these steps require advance planning—be sure to take the time needed to help make your teen safe. Preparation now will pay off in the long run.
SKILL #7 – Teach your child about personal safety.
  • Boundaries We should all have boundaries on our personal space—we decide what to do with our time, money, actions and emotions.

Likewise, we must respect the personal space of others, ask permission before using property that isn’t ours, always knock on a closed door before entering and ask permission before touching someone else. I’m sure you can think of many more. It’s important to teach our kids to advocate for themselves. Please don’t take that; I’m using it right now, or Please move over; you’re sitting too close to me.

  • Uninvited Strangers Stay Outside Your kids should know that they are not obligated to allow people to intrude when they have not invited them. If your door
    has a peephole, use it—even if you are expecting someone.   Image
It is also good to know your immediate neighbors just in case of emergencies. Knowing who lives across from you and on each side could help in an emergency. And if you notice suspicious activity in the neighborhood, call the police. Observant neighbors help keep communities safe.
  • Stay Alert When Walking, Biking, Driving  Know what to do in case of a car accident. Print this Accident report form and keep a copy in the glove box of your car.
  • Emergency Exit  Know how to exit home/apartment in case of an emergency [fire, earthquake, explosion, etc.] using an escape plan you’ve prepared in advance.
  • Lock Windows and Doors at Night/When Away
  • Basic First Aid Skills  Finally, teach your teen to handle minor crises with a basic first aid kit—always keep one in your home and car. Build one together. Basic Components of a First Aid Kit. Also, know when to get assistance—by calling a neighbor or 911.    Image

ImageIt’s a good practice to carry a whistle and a flashlight on your key chain. You never know when you might need one of them. The ability to rely on yourself to stay safe is just another step toward living independently—and successfully.  Image

If you’ve missed any of my earlier messages you can find them on my blog by clicking hereFollow me!

For more ideas, contact me today at Be sure to like ARM on Facebook.