Category Archives: support

Miracles of Goodness

BelieveThereIsGood

When I look at my son and see the huge strides he’s made in his life, I know there is good in the world.

When I talk with parents who will do anything to help their child with autism spectrum disorder, I know there is good in the world.

When I work with teachers who have students with ASD in their classrooms—and they just want more tips on making the experience a better one for the student—I know there is good in the world.

When outsiders take an interest in my son because they sense his passion and talent, I know there is good in the world.

When my friends with neurotypical kids take an interest in my neurodiverse kid, I know there is good in the world.

When I can fill a room with parents of kids with various spectrum disorders and we can all bond and gain strength from each other, I know there is good in the world.

Tomorrow we begin a New Year. Let’s find something positive, something good in each day. And by this time next year we’ll have 365 more miracles of goodness in our lives. Here’s to 2016!

drewbendaniel

 

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Leveling the Playing Field

grad blog

Today, when my son walks up to receive his diploma at his high school graduation, his peers and teachers and friends in the audience will see a mature, man-child strutting across the stage—and if I guess correctly, he’ll punch the air a few times, too, in complete exhilaration—but only those who knew him when he was young will truly see the transformation. The miracle.

The entire day represents the culmination of 15 years of hard work, tears, preparation, frustration, desperation, exasperation, triumph and more.

Technically, it means he fulfilled all the course credit requirements put forth by our school district. Fulfilled them. He completed 230 credits—and 25 more for good measure. And by the way, he earned a 3.8-something GPA. He made the honor roll and he’s graduating with Honors. He passed the CAHSEE the first time he took it, too! He even took some Honors classes. Sorry, but this mom has got to boast.

He lettered in marching band for four years, my drummer boy.

This child who couldn’t speak at four years old has been the voice of the movie critic—Foothill Film Fanatic—for his campus newspaper—KnightLife.

This child who didn’t walk until he was 16 months old and couldn’t hold a pair of scissors in his hand plays piano, types a movie blog and bangs his snare drum in the marching band—never out of step.

This child who didn’t know how to be around others or how to appropriately interact with others became the president of the Sci-Fi Club at school—and organized his own Monday Movie Madness film club with friends over the summer.

He’s endured so much to get to this point. Quite frankly, I’m in awe of his willingness to keep trying and not give up. No matter how anxious he gets. For too much of his young life he’s been reminded that he’s ‘different from everyone else.’ We never quite understood why that was such an issue.

He’s learned coping skills for socialization issues. He’s tested for and passed his California driver’s license. He’s attended high school dances, football games, student clubs and activities. And he’s part of the digital video production team.

He volunteers in his community, has made two short films and co-authored a book.

My late-speaking child says it so eloquently: ‘If people could just look beyond my autism, they’d see me for who I really am.’

Well, I’m glad my son is different from the others. But obviously today he isn’t all that different. Today he is graduating high school just like all his peers. Right alongside them. Today the playing field is level. Finally.

Look out world, the best of Drew is yet to come!

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SPECIAL EDITION: ARM Teams Up with UCP-OC on June 25!

UCP logo

4098_ARM_Heart2HeartHeader5

There will be a SPECIAL EDITION of ARM’s A Heart-to-Heart With Mom on Thursday, June 25, 2015 from 10am to Noon at UCP of Orange County.

For more information or to RSVP, please contact Helen Simpson:  949-333-6413 or hsimpson@ucp-oc.org. Click here to see flyer.

See you at A HEART-TO-HEART WITH MOM on Thursday, Mar. 12!

TwoHearts

It’s time for another Heart-to-Heart with Mom roundtable discussion.

This Thursday, March 12. There are still some spots available.

Click here to register!

Come and share, learn, connect, laugh and most importantly, find out that you’re not alone.

Let’s Talk Autism

ARM’s Debora L. Smith will be a guest on the Let’s Talk Autism w/ Shannon and Nancy online show on Autism-Live.com on Wednesday, Feb. 11 at 11:15 am PST. Tune in for the online interview.

LetsTalkAutism with Shannon & Nancy-Wednesdays @ 11am(PST) - act-today.org

A HEART-TO-HEART WITH MOM | A few seats left!

Don’t miss our roundtable discussion on Thursday, Feb. 12.

Click here for details.

Be Mine

DISCUSSION TOPIC: “HOW OUR CHILDREN SHOW LOVE”
Myth: People on the autism spectrum cannot feel or express love or empathy.
Fact: Many — in fact, most — people with autism are quite capable of feeling and expressing love, though sometimes in quirky ways. Further, many people with Autism Spectrum Disorder are far more empathetic than the average person, though they may express their empathy in unusual ways.

Love You, Two!

The Next Heart-to-Heart with Mom | Feb. 12

TwoHearts

MARK YOUR CALENDAR: Thursday, Feb. 12 is the next Heart-to-Heart with Mom…

Featuring our interactive HEART SEAT! We spend a few minutes doing an actual case study with a willing participant.
Sign up here:

https://eventbrite.com/event/15563641270/

Try A Positive Approach!

For the latest in ARM’s ADVICE FROM MOM campaign, click here.

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A New Year and A Fresh Start | 2015 ROUNDTABLE SCHEDULE!

freshstart

IT’S A NEW YEAR. AND IT’S TIME FOR A FRESH, NEW START.

Toss out the strategies that haven’t worked for the past few years. And I mean toss them. If you’ve seen no improvements or even changes, you obviously need some new techniques.

Be flexible enough to try something new. We always ask our kids to be flexible. Now I’m asking you to try the same.  rubber-band

Something else to help jump-start your new year is to connect, or simply re-connect with others. Our HEART-TO-HEART WITH MOM roundtable discussions provide the perfect opportunity for this!

TwoHearts

2015 Heart-to-Heart Schedule:

All Thursday discussions are held at Temple Beth Sholom in Santa Ana from 7-8:30 pm.

  • THURSDAY, JAN. 8

  • THURSDAY, FEB. 12

  • THURSDAY, MAR. 12

  • THURSDAY, APR. 9

  • THURSDAY, MAY 14

  • THURSDAY, JUNE 11

  • THURSDAY, JULY 9

  • THURSDAY, AUG. 13

  • THURSDAY, SEPT. 10

  • THURSDAY, OCT. 8

  • THURSDAY, NOV. 12

  • THURSDAY, DEC. 10

RSVP to debora@autismresourcemom.com

Here’s to a New Year filled with exciting possibilities! Cheers!

LAST CALL!

4098_ARM_Heart2HeartHeader5A few seats remain for tomorrow evening’s A HEART-TO-HEART WITH MOM. If you’d like a place at the table, RSVP now.
Thursday, Dec. 11 from 7-8:30pm
Temple Beth Sholom, 2625 N. Tustin Ave., Santa Ana, CA 92705
RSVP to debora@autismresourcemom.com