Shaped like a ball, it has an endearing ‘face’ that changes expressions, and uses sound, light and colours to interact with users through adaptable games that improve cognitive and motor skills. More than a tool for caregivers and educators, Leka is described by its developers as a “robotic companion”. For children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), connecting with others can be challenging. The robot is able to guide children through a range of activities, helping them to improve their communication skills and ability to learn.
Summer presents a challenging amount of time to fill for any parent, but when your child needs routine and structure to make it through the day, finding predictable ways to fill that time is a particular concern. Terri chats with Charlie Zegers, who writes about sports and also about parenting kids on the autism spectrum, about strategies for a successful summer, including camps that can accommodate your child, structured time at home, and activities like bowling, fishing, kayaking, going to movies, catching a baseball game, and maybe even taking in some theater.
via Parenting Roundabout.
On the one hand, as parents of kids with special needs, we’re desperate for them to do the things their age peers are doing. We want them to be adept at the tools of the world today and fluent in the language of our times. On the other hand, don’t lie and stop cursing and don’t make secret social media accounts, and get away from that computer and stop playing video games and put down that phone. Amanda chats with Charlie Zegers, who writes about sports and also about parenting kids on the autism spectrum, about how you tease out what’s the condition and what’s the age, and how to discipline without stamping out important developmental progress. Are we expecting more from kids on the autism spectrum than we’d expect from typical kids, as About.com’s autism expert Lisa Jo Rudy asked in an article on her site? Or should we be expecting more from typical kids? Listen in for some good food for thought on parenting on and off the spectrum (and if you’re interested in getting your kids coding, the sites referred to are Scratch and Game Salad). If you’re reading this somewhere without hyperlinks, come to http://parentingroundabout.com for the full recap experience.
Satisfied yet? Can we PLEASE move on now?
A major study published in one of the world’s leading medical journals has concluded that there is no link between the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccination and autism in children.
The findings from the study of a cohort of around 95,000 children will not surprise most scientists, who have been reassuring parents of the jab’s safety for 17 years, since the publication of now discredited research by the gastroenterologist Andrew Wakefield.
Remember the story that was going around Facebook about a young athlete with special needs whose mom bought him a varsity letter jacket and whose school made him stop wearing it? Amanda had a chat with Charlie Zegers, who writes about sports and also about parenting kids on the autism spectrum, on whether buying a kid a letter to honor participation on a non-varsity team is something parents ought to be doing, however well-meaning and understandable such an effort may be. They talked about the meritocracy of sports, what a varsity letter signifies, how appropriating such a symbol may stir bad feelings along with good ones, and why there may also be unintended consequences to extending eligibility so that students in special education who get to high school a little older than their peers and stay longer can keep playing.
via Parenting Roundabout.
Remember the story that was going around Facebook about a young athlete with special needs whose mom bought him a varsity letter jacket and whose school made him stop wearing it? Amanda had a chat with Charlie Zegers, who writes about sports and also about parenting kids on the autism spectrum, on whether buying a kid a letter to honor participation on a non-varsity team is something parents ought to be doing, however well-meaning and understandable such an effort may be.
Former MSU basketball player Anthony Ianni fighting bullying in schools nationwide
TUCKAHOE- The Michigan Department of Civil Rights and the Autism Alliance of Michigan today announced the Relentless Tour – a first-of-its-kind anti-bullying initiative − will come to New York during Autism Awareness month, April 28-April 30, 2015.
Motivational speaker Anthony Ianni, a member of Michigan State University’s 2010 and 2012 Big Ten Champion and Tournament Championship teams and the 2010 Final Four team, facilitated by Tuckahoe SEPTA, will speak at assemblies held at three schools, grades 3-12, in the Tuckahoe Union Free School District, on April 30, 2015. He also visit the Eastchester schools on April 29, 2015. He will also act as assistant celebrity coach for the South East Consortium Hawks in an exhibition basketball game against Bronxville J.V. at Bronxville High School at 7pm on April 28, 2015. This event is free and open to students, families, and the general public. Younger attendees will have a chance to do a shoot around with Ianni at halftime.
Ianni was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder at the age of four and was the victim of bullying as a child. He graduated from Michigan State University and became the first known individual with autism to play Division 1 college basketball. Under legendary MSU coach Tom Izzo, Ianni played with the 2010 and 2012 Big Ten Champion and Tournament Championship teams, and the 2010 Final Four team. He has won a number of awards including MSU’s Tim Bograkos Walk-On Award, the 2012 MSU Unsung Player Award, and was named a 2013 Detroit Pistons Community Game Changer finalist (http://relentlesstour.com/meet-anthony-ianni/).
Through the Relentless Tour, Ianni seeks to raise awareness of autism and the problem of bullying. Students with autism are frequently targeted by bullies, with an estimated 65-90% of individuals with autism having been victims of bullying at some point in their lives.
Michigan Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley and Ianni kicked off the Relentless Tour in October of 2013 and announced the tour’s mission of reaching 659 schools statewide with their anti-bullying message.
In addition to Lt. Governor Calley and MSU Basketball Coach Tom Izzo, the Relentless Tour has generated the support of Detroit Red Wing Niklas Kronwall and former Detroit Lion Nate Burleson, all of whom are working to spread the anti-bullying message.
“Bullying is something we must put an end to, not only in Michigan but across the country,” said Ianni. “Everyone is affected by bullying in some way and students with autism are at incredibly high risk to be victimized. Our hope is that through my story and spreading our message we can not only inspire kids to take a stand against bullying but also make bullies rethink their actions.”
For more information on Anthony Ianni and the Relentless Tour, and to submit a request to bring Anthony to your school or event, visit www.relentlesstour.com. For more information about the upcoming visit to New York, contact Tuckahoe SEPTA Co-Chair Tara Zegers at Tuckahoe.Septa@gmail.com.
Some children can’t learn social skills on their own—they need help. Your involvement as a parent is essential to help your child learn new skills and use them in a variety of settings. You already help your child to develop social skills by modeling good social skills yourself and by creating situations in which your child can practice. For example, when you invite children over to play or get your child involved in extracurricular activities, you are helping him or her build social skills.
via Apr 10 Social IQ.
Cassidy Amendment Title II Part A will allow schools to spend federal funds on training educators to understand, identify and address the early indicators of learning disabilities, like dyslexia.