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April, 2011:

Autism Presentations in Indianapolis/ Lebanon

On Wednesday, April 27th, Becky Cash of and Mika Adams of Educational Consultants will present talks on the needs of families living with Autism.  Sponsored in conjunction with the Witham Family YMCA, these talks will be from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Witham YMCA in Lebanon, Indiana.

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6:00 p.m. Mika Adams, from Educational Consultants, will join us to speak about creating an educational plan for your child.  Mika has vast experience working in the public schools and has worked with countless families.  Mika brings the unique experience of being able to help you advocate for your child, while understanding the laws and scope of the schools.

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6:45 p.m.  Becky Cash, mother of 3 children on the autism spectrum, nutrition consultant and author, will provide an interactive workshop for families on creating a family autism plan.  Our days can often get tied up in getting from one place to another or dealing with the next issue to come down the road.  Having a complete plan with help to make sure that both your children with special needs get what they needs; as well as, that each area of family living is addressed.  Becky will help you to begin looking at each area of that plan.

Please join us.  Childcare is available for YMCA members and facility tours will be available.  FREE tot he public.

Aspergers Symptom Checklist

I often find it difficult to find just what I am looking for in the autism world.  I may be looking for a research study and be sent surfing the web… or in this case, looking for a checklist of symptoms and find the criteria for diagnosis ( which is tedious to say the least).  Well, I found this great checklist at on Aspergers.  This is a list of Social behaviors that you may encounter with asperges.

Basic Aspergers ChecklistThere is a certain set of symptoms common to Aspergers. However, each case of Aspergers is unique and not everyone experiences the same combination of symptoms. Here is a basic checklist to help you identify Asperger symptoms:

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Social Interaction Difficulties

A person with Aspergers may have difficulty with the following aspects of social interaction:

  • General social skills: She wants to socialize with others but does not understand how to interact.
  • Relating to others: She does not understand other’s emotions or social responses accurately in a group situation. She may not understand if an activity or conversation is boring or upsetting to another person.
  • Difficulty playing with others: She may not understand how to initiate play with her peers or how to play by common social rules. For example, she may take a ball from a group of children playing a game without asking to join the game first. She will not return the ball if they ask for the ball back because she does not understand the negative reaction.
  • Problems with two-way conversation: She has trouble with initiating and maintaining a two-way conversation. She may appear to talk at someone than with them. Conversation topics may focus on an obsessive interest. She speaks inappropriately such as talking too loudly or softly.
  • Inability to understand common social cues: She may not comprehend common social cues such as facial expressions, body language or gestures.
  • Rigid range of interests for social interaction: She will only engage in a narrow range of activities or talk about certain subjects.
  • Inappropriate responses: She may behave or respond to social situations in an unusual or inappropriate manner. For example, an affected person may laugh at something sad.

I often find that families run from diagnois, fearing that it is really just a label.  For those of us with children on the spectrum, we can tell you that diagnois is about getting the services and understanding that your child needs.  You need only read stories of adults, never properly diagnosed to know what life is like being misunderstood by everyone.  I hope this list may be of benefit to you.


iPads helping Children with Autism Communicate

Speech Pathologists all over America are applying for grants to put iPad in there classrooms.  Sounds a bit like a gimmick until you realize that children, who have never or barely ever communicated are now breaking through.  I first became aware of this in a newsletter from TACA (Talk About Curing Autism).  The newsletter features an amazing story about an 11 year old boy who had barely been able to talk and was growing more frustrated by the day.  Today he is also using his an iTouch at school (with much work from his parents).  His parents did site a manageable issue, though.  Recently, their son figure out how to re-program the writing app so that he could use icons and not have to work so hard, an issue I am rather certian his parents are happy to manage.

But this boy is not isolated in his success.  In February of 2010, Fox 11 News highlighted a speach pathologist who was also using the devices in her classrooms.  Many schools are even receiving grants to make this technology available.

We are very blessed in that, through early intervention, speech therapy and nutritional supplements, our daughter was able to learn to talk on her own; however, for many families, devices such as this may be the first time they see their childrens’ potential, watch their children come into our world or even see the words, “I love You” for the first time.  More importantly, for the older children who have been screaming out to be heard for so long, this may just be the saving grace that allows them to finally be heard.

Aspergers Syndrome

My son is a 4th grader with aspergers syndrome.  We are so blessed to have found a school that not only accepts him, but truly embraces him.  However, socially, life is tough.  While visiting his school, a couple weeks ago, I experienced a taste of his reality.  I was there with another of my children, but as I walked through the cafeteria, I noticed my son was sitting  at a table completely alone.  He had told me that the other children would not sit with him, but seeing it was a different reality.  I sat and talked with him for a couple minutes and then asked one of the girls he had always been friends with if he could sit with her.  She said yes, as did some other children.  Of coarse, I knew I had created the scenario, and really, I had only met my own needs as a mom.

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It was not minutes later when the teacher told me that an incident had taken place… inappropriate jokes… not vulgar, but some girls feeling were hurt.  I was shocked.  How, in a matter of minutes, did I leave a peaceful situation that resulted in chaos.  Later that night, as I sat with my son and told him he needed to write apology letters, his eyes welled up with tears.  Since he really does not cry much, I knew something was wrong.  What came out was that he was actually being harassed, ongoing,  and his comments were his boiling point.

For children with aspergers, life can definately be a whirlwind.  I would love to hear your comments on ways you help your child with aspergers.  Or, if you have aspergers, we would love to hear your thoughts, also.


Upcoming Autism Talks- Indianapolis

 April is Autism Awareness Month.  The Witham YMCA in Lebanon, In. and will be presenting a speakers series on Autism related topics.  Families, Caregivers and all those who love someone on the spectrum are invited to join us.  the Witham YMCA is a full service facility and staff will be on hand, the nights of the talks, to give tours of the facilities, share information on programs and to answer your questions.  please contact Becky Cash at for more information.
April 13th from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Becky Cash from ASDPerspectives will join us to speak on Nutritional and Biomedical Approaches to Autism.  Becky lives in Zionsville with her husband Chris and 5 children.  As the mother of three children on the autism spectrum and a nutrition consultant, Becky works with families accross the country to help them help their children.  Becky will share information on research, nutrition and healing our children through diet and nutrition.  Becky is also the author of the book, “Healing Autism Naturally,” available soon.
Cornerstone Autism Centers will also join us to speak to parents and caregivers on choosing the best treatment programs for our children.  Autism is a journey that can be complex; however, when we find the right treatment fits for our children, everyone in the family benefits.  The clinical staff from cornerstone Autism Centers, in Lafayette, will share will us information that will help you in choosing the best treatment for your child.
April 27th 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Mika Adams is an Educational Consultant who has worked in schools around the area.  after spending years helping schools and families create plans to help children better function in the schools, Mika started Autism Consultation, LLC.  Mika now works with individual families to help create plans both for home and school.  Are you struggling to help your child best learn in a school environment?  Mika Adams will help you get to the next step.
Becky Cash from ASDPerpectives will be on hand to talk with parents and caregivers on how to create a comprehensive family plan.  Autism affects every aspect of a families life and treatment is not one dimensional.  It is too easy to spend all of our time focusing on the educational needs of the child or engulfed in the emotional issues of the family or trying to navigate the nutritional needs.  As a parent of children on the spectrum and a consultant in the field, Becky aims to help families get on the path to healing faster.  This will be an interactive talk that will help you start to map out a family plan.

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