Certified Autism Specialist https://www.certifiedautismspecialist.com Recognizing Individuals Dedicated to Delivering Quality Care and Instruction Mon, 24 Sep 2018 14:21:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.9 IBCCES Distinguishes Beaches Resorts as Certified Autism Centers https://www.certifiedautismspecialist.com/beaches/ Thu, 13 Apr 2017 13:55:01 +0000 http://www.certifiedautismspecialist.com/?p=5333

Personalized Autism Training and Certification Awarded To Caribbean-Based Hospitality Resort Chain

The International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES) is proud to welcome Beaches Resorts – the Caribbean’s leading luxury-included ®resorts for everyone – to the family of internationally-recognized Certified Autism Centers (CAC) following staff-wide autism sensitivity and awareness training within each of their three Kids Camp facilities in Jamaica and Turks and Caicos. Additionally, each of Beaches Resorts’ Kids Camp team members have received an Autism Certificate (AC) having successfully ...

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Personalized Autism Training and Certification Awarded To Caribbean-Based Hospitality Resort Chain

The International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES) is proud to welcome Beaches Resorts – the Caribbean’s leading luxury-included ®resorts for everyone – to the family of internationally-recognized Certified Autism Centers (CAC) following staff-wide autism sensitivity and awareness training within each of their three Kids Camp facilities in Jamaica and Turks and Caicos. Additionally, each of Beaches Resorts’ Kids Camp team members have received an Autism Certificate (AC) having successfully completed a demanding training program that better equips them to welcome families with individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

In the past, the Certified Autism Center designation was typically reserved for schools and healthcare facilities, which serve individuals with autism and other special needs. Now, as the first hospitality company in the world to complete the rigorous training and certification, Beaches Resorts is better equipped to offer families vacationing on their properties even more inclusive programs for children with autism and other special needs.

As Certified Autism Centers and Certified Autism Specialists, ongoing training for team members is required to ensure they have the requisite knowledge, skills, temperament and expertise to cater to all children including those with disabilities. By undergoing the IBCCES autism training and certification program, it demonstrates that at least 80 percent of the resort company’s Kids Camp staff have successfully completed in-depth training in the areas of sensory awareness, communication, motor skills, program development, social skills, environment and emotional awareness and bullying.

“We are very excited to be working with the Beaches Resorts team to create the first Certified Autism Centers in the Caribbean,” said Myron Pincomb, IBCCES board chairman. “ This distinction ensures that individuals with autism and their families have the peace of mind that Beaches Resorts and their staff have successfully completed the training and certification required to deliver a safe and appropriate vacation experience.”

“As the innovators in the travel industry, we take the lead when it comes to offering all families the best vacation experience bar none,” said Joel Ryan, Group Manager, Entertainment & Youth Activities for Beaches Resorts. “We chose IBCCES because of their expertise and ability to provide the knowledge and competency needed by our Kids Camp staff to properly care for families with children on the spectrum; in turn, vacationing families have the comfort and confidence of knowing their children are in good care.”

IBCCES Certified Autism Centers require staff to complete a minimum of 14 hours in autism training, pass a comprehensive autism competency exam and meet IBCCES Board approval. Ongoing autism training must be maintained every two years.

“Beaches Resorts is setting the industry standard by partnering with IBCCES in making their world-renowned properties friendly for people with autism and their families,” said Dr. Stephen Shore, internationally-known autism speaker, author, and self-advocate. “I encourage other resorts and travel companies to follow their lead.”

For more information on becoming a Certified Autism Center or the IBCCES Autism Certification Program, please call 877-717-6543 or visit www.ibcces.org.

About IBCCES

The International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES) was established in 2001 to meet the training and credentialing needs of professionals who work with individuals with special needs. IBCCES has since expanded into over 40 different countries with training centers in the United States and Singapore and members all across the globe. Our Certified Autism Specialist, Board Certified Cognitive Specialist and Certified Autism Center credentials were established with the highest standards in the industry. As a result, our programs have become the benchmark for those who work with cognitive disorders around the globe. In addition, IBCCES created and hosts the annual International Symposium on Cognitive Research & Disorders.  This global event brings together top neurologists, education leaders and healthcare experts with a focus on research, innovation and collaboration. For information about training and certification, visit ibcces.org

About Beaches Resorts

With three spectacular locations in Turks & Caicos and Jamaica, Beaches Resorts is the ultimate getaway for every member of the family.  With outrageous waterparks, XBOX® Play Lounge, the Scratch DJ Academy, exclusive Kids Camps, teen nightclubs, Certified Nannies, Butler service, Red Lane® Spas, Aqua Centers with expert PADI® certification and training; and free Wi-Fi, Beaches Resorts provides more quality inclusions than any other resort company on the planet. As a proud sponsor of Sesame Street, Beaches Resorts also offers the Caribbean Adventure with Sesame Street®, where kids can spend their vacation with their favorite friends from the Sesame Street gang with daily activities and weekly stage shows. Beaches Resorts are also the perfect place for family gatherings from reunions and special birthdays to FamilyMoons®, Beaches’ signature destination wedding and vow renewal program.  Beaches Resorts is part of family-owned Sandals Resorts International (SRI), which includes Luxury-Included® Sandals Resorts and is the Caribbean’s leading all-inclusive resort company.  For more information about the Beaches Resorts difference, visit www.beaches.com.

MEDIA CONTACT: 

Kristin Chambers

Phone: 904.501.0003

Email: kristin@ibcces.org 

Source: IBCCES 

 

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Announcing the First Advanced Autism Certificate in Nigeria https://www.certifiedautismspecialist.com/nigeriaaac/ Mon, 10 Apr 2017 17:57:57 +0000 http://www.certifiedautismspecialist.com/?p=5328 IBCCES is happy to recognize the first Advanced Certified Autism Certificate holder in Nigeria! Ajimisogbe John Temidayo works at Nobelova Gradani and The Lagos Teaching hospital Nigeria as a neuro-developmental specialist and recently completely the IBCCES Advanced ABA Training Program to earn the AAC designation.
“There is no greater feeling than been able to work with children with neurodevelopmental disorders and to attain great and remarkable functional success,” said Temidayo. “These lovely children were misunderstood because of who ...

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IBCCES is happy to recognize the first Advanced Certified Autism Certificate holder in Nigeria! Ajimisogbe John Temidayo works at Nobelova Gradani and The Lagos Teaching hospital Nigeria as a neuro-developmental specialist and recently completely the IBCCES Advanced ABA Training Program to earn the AAC designation.

“There is no greater feeling than been able to work with children with neurodevelopmental disorders and to attain great and remarkable functional success,” said Temidayo. “These lovely children were misunderstood because of who they found themselves to be, but exceeding joy comes from giving them and their families and friends well wishes and hope, and enabling them to have and live a better quality of life. The AAC is makes me more than adequate to achieve anything.”

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Those that work with Temidayo say that he has a big thirst for knowledge and is committed to learning and improving his skills.

“I am proud to be the First AAC (Advance Autism Specialist) ever in Nigeria,” said Temidayo. “Only God made that possible.”

“Thank you IBCCES, and thanks to everyone who made this dream a reality.”FB_IMG_1490945741382

 

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Dr. Stephen Shore Rings the Bell for Autism Awareness https://www.certifiedautismspecialist.com/nasdaq/ Thu, 06 Apr 2017 15:47:32 +0000 http://www.certifiedautismspecialist.com/?p=5323

IBCCES Board Member Dr. Stephen Mark Shore rang in Autism Awareness on the Nasdaq bell Thursday, April 6 to celebrate April’s Autism Awareness Month. Congratulations Dr. Shore! 

 
About Dr. Shore:
Diagnosed with “Atypical Development and strong autistic tendencies” and “too sick” for outpatient treatment Dr. Shore was recommended for institutionalization. Nonverbal until four, and with much support from his parents, teachers, wife, and others, Stephen is now a professor at Adelphi University where his research focuses on matching best practice to the ...

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shoreIBCCES Board Member Dr. Stephen Mark Shore rang in Autism Awareness on the Nasdaq bell Thursday, April 6 to celebrate April’s Autism Awareness Month. Congratulations Dr. Shore! 

 

About Dr. Shore:

Diagnosed with “Atypical Development and strong autistic tendencies” and “too sick” for outpatient treatment Dr. Shore was recommended for institutionalization. Nonverbal until four, and with much support from his parents, teachers, wife, and others, Stephen is now a professor at Adelphi University where his research focuses on matching best practice to the needs of people with autism.

In addition to working with children and talking about life on the autism spectrum, Stephen is internationally renowned for presentations, consultations and writings on lifespan issues pertinent to education, relationships, employment, advocacy, and disclosure. His most recent book College for Students with Disabilities combines personal stories and research for promoting success in higher education.

A current board member of Autism Speaks, IBCCES, president emeritus of the Asperger’s Association of New England, and advisory board member of the Autism Society, Dr. Shore serves on the boards of the Asperger Syndrome and High Functioning Autism AssociationThe US Autism and Asperger Association, the Scientific Counsel of OAR, and other autism related organizations.

 

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Let’s Talk About Depression https://www.certifiedautismspecialist.com/depression/ Tue, 04 Apr 2017 13:00:36 +0000 http://www.certifiedautismspecialist.com/?p=5322 By Guest Contributor Claudia Cortez
World Health Day is April 7 and this year the World Health Organization (WHO) is tackling depression. Per statistics from the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, 40 million adults suffer from depression in the United States alone. Globally, that number escalates to an astounding 350 million people. The prevalence among children and adolescents is much higher: 1 in every 4 teens will have a major depressive episode in high school. Depression also accounts for ...

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By Guest Contributor Claudia Cortez

World Health Day is April 7 and this year the World Health Organization (WHO) is tackling depression. Per statistics from the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, 40 million adults suffer from depression in the United States alone. Globally, that number escalates to an astounding 350 million people. The prevalence among children and adolescents is much higher: 1 in every 4 teens will have a major depressive episode in high school. Depression also accounts for the second leading cause of death among 15 to 29 year olds–suicide. In an ongoing effort to raise awareness, reduce stigma, and mobilize the community to learn, recognize, and treat depression, WHO has implemented a year-long campaign with the slogan, “Depression: Let’s Talk.” The campaign began October 2016, but it’s not too late to take part in the conversation. 

Through your social media accounts, share posts, videos, and tweets from WHO.

Facilitate access to information and resources by creating events, hosting discussion forums online or at coffee shops, and circulating flyers or handouts. The World Health Organization has excellent resources and materials available for free on their website.

And most importantly, talk. As caretakers, educators, or simply concerned citizens, you can shape the dialogue surrounding mental health by encouraging conversation. Reach out to those you suspect may be depressed. Learn the signs and symptoms of depression in adults and teens and familiarize yourself with resources in your community. Talk about it, share information, and offer support. Lending an ear may save a life.   


What you can do for people who are depressed
(WHO, 2017)

  • Make it clear that you want to help, listen without judgement, and offer support.
  • Find out more about depression.
  • Encourage them to seek professional help when available. Offer to accompany them to appointments.
  • If medication is prescribed, help them to take it as prescribed. Be patient; it usually takes a few weeks to feel better.
  • Help them with everyday tasks and to have regular eating and sleeping patterns.
  • Encourage regular exercise and social activities.
  • Encourage them to focus on the positive, rather than the negative.
  • If they are thinking about self-harm, or have already intentionally harmed themselves, do not leave them alone. Seek further help from the emergency services or a health-care professional. In the meantime, remove items such as medications, sharp objects and firearms.
  • Take care of yourself too. Try to find ways to relax and continue doing things you enjoy.

 

Visit: http://www.who.int/campaigns/world-health-day/2017/campaign-essentials/en/

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/WHO/, Twitter https://twitter.com/who @WHO, YouTube https://www.youtube.com/c/who and Instagram @worldhealthorganizationUse hashtags #LetsTalk, #depression, #mentalhealth

Teen Depression Symptoms (Psychcentral.com)                           

  •     Hopelessness, pessimism, preoccupation with morbid themes
  •     Persistent boredom; low energy, low motivation
  •     Increased irritability, anger, or hostility
  •     Frequent complaints of physical illnesses, such as headaches and stomachaches
  •     Poor concentration
  •     Decreased interest in activities; or inability to enjoy previously favorite activities
  •     Social isolation, poor communication

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Spreading Acceptance: How to Create & Share Your Own Story https://www.certifiedautismspecialist.com/spreading-acceptance/ Sat, 01 Apr 2017 13:05:18 +0000 http://www.certifiedautismspecialist.com/?p=5317 By Donna Sigurðardóttir, founder of I am UNIK
My daughter’s future is bright.  She is thriving at school because they are meeting her every need with an admirable flexibility, thoughtfulness and respect.  All of which has been achieved with close cooperation between home and school, something that I believe are key factors in improving a child’s quality of life.  Why? Because, on one hand we have the child’s parents, who are experts in the child and on the other hand we ...

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donnaBy Donna Sigurðardóttir, founder of I am UNIK

My daughter’s future is bright.  She is thriving at school because they are meeting her every need with an admirable flexibility, thoughtfulness and respect.  All of which has been achieved with close cooperation between home and school, something that I believe are key factors in improving a child’s quality of life.  Why? Because, on one hand we have the child’s parents, who are experts in the child and on the other hand we have the teacher, which is an expert in teaching methods and goal setting. When these two respect each others roles and take the time to listen and work together, magic happens!

Our teacher’s mentality is priceless.  They have so much respect for my daughter and they put every effort in customizing her curriculum and learning environment to her needs. As an example I could mention that she always arrives late for school. Is that okay? Imagine this; she arrives into an empty school building and is exposed to minimum sensory input, which means that her stress levels are low and she gets a good start of the day. Otherwise it would take her teachers about an hour to unwind her after a chaotic school start and a maximum sensory input. That kind of a solution requires flexible thinking and caring.

Another important factor is that we always assume she is trying her best and we look at her reaction and behavior as a form of communication. If she refuses to work on a certain project and acts in a negative way, we assume that she has some form of difficulty solving it. If she denies participating in some activities, we accept her refusal for now and then we try to figure out what is hindering her. We work on receiving her approval for the longer run.  We don’t give up and we do not look at her diagnose as a label.  We look at it as guide to a better quality of life and we believe that she can do anything she wants. Sometimes we just need to work harder in finding the appropriate solutions.

IMG_0099Achieving this level of close cooperation with our school was achieved by in-depth information about how my daughter experiences the world differently, how she reacts to different things and how the teachers can help.  You see, I decided to write a book about my daughter a few years back, describing her challenges and her strengths.  This book was so well received and well appreciated by the school staff because, even though they had worked with many other children on the autism spectrum before, they had no knowledge of working with her.  And this is key!

“If you’ve met one person with autism, you’ve met one person with autism,” says Dr. Stephen Shore, world-known self-advocate and international speaker, and these words are so true. This particular book about my daughter had a great impact on her teachers. They became more understanding and more willing to cooperate with us, the parents.

Because this book had such a positive impact on our life, I decided to expand this idea and after one year of research I opened an Icelandic website called egerunik.is, where other parents or people on the autism spectrum can make their own personalized books. This has been a great success in Iceland and has received many awards and nominations (link: https://iamunik.com/about-i-am-unik/recognitions/). I therefore wanted to share this program and I have now opened iamunik.com.

A little bit about how the program works: after logging in you choose from a wide range of prewritten passages that best describes the child and you can always adapt these passages if needed so they fit perfectly.  All the passages are written in a personal and positive way and they have been proofread and approved by a large group of advisors that consists of autistic people and professionals (link: https://iamunik.com/about-i-am-unik/consultant-team/). After selecting the passages, you can upload personal pictures and choose illustrations for the book.  You now have made a caring book about a child that will help others to understand; teachers, classmates, family members and so on. Many have also used this opportunity to sit down with their children and create a personal book together – not just for others to understand but also to increase self-awareness and to create an open discussion and acceptance about the fact that it’s okay to be different.

This is a new program to the American market, and in honor of the International Autism Acceptance day in April, I would like to offer anyone interested to try this out for free.  You may find more information about the gift code on the website (link: https://iamunik.com).  It is my sincere hope that this program can help fight stereotypes and increase acceptance.  What do you think?

Love,

Donna

 

Iamunik.com is a webpage that has the mission to promote increased acceptance for those with ASD by making it easy for them to introduce their different perspective on life.  It contains a program to create customized books about Autism or ADHD. Adalheidur Sigurdardottir (Donna) is the founder and also a mother of a 12-year-old girl on the autism spectrum.  These last three years Donna has dedicated herself to the world of autism and it has now become her passion to help open the eyes of society for the fact that it’s okay to be different.

 

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Why Dr. Stephen Shore is One of My Favorite Autism Advocates https://www.certifiedautismspecialist.com/autismadvocate/ Fri, 31 Mar 2017 17:45:46 +0000 http://www.certifiedautismspecialist.com/?p=5312 By Kerry Magro, Self-Advocate, National Speaker, and Author
I’ve written many articles about how the lack of having a peer role model growing up on the spectrum affected me. I didn’t know about Dr. Temple Grandin and others who had autism that I could look upon to show me how far I could go. As I reached adulthood though I learned about advocates such as Dr. Grandin, Carly Fleischmann, Alexis Wineman, John Elder Robison, Amy Gravino, Jesse Saperstein, the list goes ...

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kerryBy Kerry Magro, Self-Advocate, National Speaker, and Author

I’ve written many articles about how the lack of having a peer role model growing up on the spectrum affected me. I didn’t know about Dr. Temple Grandin and others who had autism that I could look upon to show me how far I could go. As I reached adulthood though I learned about advocates such as Dr. Grandin, Carly Fleischmann, Alexis Wineman, John Elder Robison, Amy Gravino, Jesse Saperstein, the list goes on and on.

One person though who I particularly look up to is none other than international speaker Dr. Stephen Shore. Stephen Shore is not only a dear friend but also one of the biggest role models I currently have in my life.

Stephen Shore Kerry Magro PhotoWhen I first met Stephen it was at an Autism Society of America conference. He immediately befriended me and wanted to get to know me better. After our first meeting I’d go on to read several of his books and later would be able to contribute a chapter to a book he co-authored called College for Students with Disabilities: We Do Belong. I to this day use his quote “if you’ve met one individual with autism, you’ve met one individual with autism” in a majority of my presentations. It shows how wide and unique our spectrum truly is.

Another quote which I enjoy from Stephen is on his website where he mentions the “unlimited potential for people on the autism spectrum.” What a wonderful message. I think that’s something our entire community wants to see for our loved ones.

Now even years later it’s been astonishing to see how many times our paths have crossed. Although we are only a trade ride away from each other, me being from New Jersey and Stephen teaching in New York at Adelphi University, we still end up running into each other around the world speaking at different events. Most recently, our paths even crossed at ISCRD 2017 hosted by IBCCES in St. Augustine, Florida.

If Stephen ever reads this I would like him to know how much he’s meant to my development and to those in our autism community. To see him featured on IBCCES website and many others today just shows the impact he truly has.

I can only hope that our loved ones, regardless of being on the spectrum can have their own Stephen Shore in their corner to show them all the things they are capable of.

To learn more about IBCCES guest contributor Kerry Magro, visit his website at www.kerrymagro.com.

 

 

 

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How Childhood Jobs Prepared Me for Success as an Autistic Adult https://www.certifiedautismspecialist.com/autismjobs/ Wed, 29 Mar 2017 15:49:06 +0000 http://www.certifiedautismspecialist.com/?p=5310 By Anita Lesko, BSN, RN, MS, CRNA 
I have the good fortune to be a friend of Dr. Temple Grandin. We have a lot in common. We are both autistic, and we share a very similar youth that played a big factor in our adult life. We both started having jobs at a very early age. Temple often talks about her early days, when her job was to greet guests at the door for her mom’s dinner party, and take their ...

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Anita outsideBy Anita Lesko, BSN, RN, MS, CRNA 

I have the good fortune to be a friend of Dr. Temple Grandin. We have a lot in common. We are both autistic, and we share a very similar youth that played a big factor in our adult life. We both started having jobs at a very early age. Temple often talks about her early days, when her job was to greet guests at the door for her mom’s dinner party, and take their coats to hang up. Yes, it was a job. She was given a responsibility to carry out.

Among her numerous other childhood jobs was the one I, too, did for many years — mucking out horse stalls. In conversations with Temple on the phone, we’ve talked about those days of our teenage years spent shoveling out one stall after another. We both love horses and being around them. It was peaceful and it was also a form of therapy. In essence, it was our occupational therapy.

All the childhood jobs we did prepared us for the day when we’d start our careers. We were used to working, showing up on time, following orders from a boss, figuring out how to get a job done. It was just a regular part of our life. So, when the day came to embark into our careers, we really didn’t have to transition into anything. We were already there.

Temple is world-famous for her life and career. She’s beyond amazing! She inspires everyone, autistic or not. I also hope to inspire people with my story and wisdom. I’ve got a lot to offer.

Statistics show that  85 percent of people on the autism spectrum are unemployed or underemployed. That’s a staggering number. I see this to be a very complex situation with multiple factors. One of those factors can be changed by parents. Getting your kid working! Every little chore you have them do around the house is a job. Having them help you set the table, do laundry, tidy up; it’s all working. Once they become a teenager, jobs that have more responsibility are in order. Cutting lawns in the neighborhood, helping elderly neighbors or working at a fast-food restaurant can build the foundation for a child’s future in the workforce.

I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t working. As a young kid, my mom would have me helping her in the kitchen. She’d teach me the art of cooking and baking, and under her close supervision she would give me little jobs to carry out. I would be “assigned” to gather all the ingredients for baking a cake. After I’d assemble everything on the counter, she would stand by me as I followed the recipe and mixed up the batter. Of course safety was always her first concern, so she would use the mixer until I was old enough to be able to safely handle it. Then I’d get to pour the batter into the pan, mom would put it into the oven, she’d take it out, and once cool, I’d put the icing on the cake. I would feel very proud of my accomplishment! I’d be chattering away to her during that whole time, as she was my best friend.

I fell in love with horses around the age of four. It became one of my Special Interests, one that has sustained my entire life. I desperately wanted to learn to ride. Unfortunately, my parents were unable to afford riding lessons for me. When I was 12, I became a working student at a nearby stable. In return for work, you could earn riding lessons. I became quite proficient at mucking out stalls. The more I shoveled, the more riding time I got. I dreamed of jumping horses over big fences in competition. My dream eventually came true, because by the time I was 16, I was jumping horses over six-foot-high fences in some big shows. It was my hard work and perseverance that got me there.

During all those summers and weekends spent at the stable, I not only mucked out stalls, but did other tasks like painting fences, picking rocks out of pastures, emptying trash bins, etc. I was interacting with people, learning to follow orders, knowing the importance of showing up on time, getting a job done, and feeling pride in myself. Little did I know that all of those things were preparing me for my “real” job.

Besides the stable job, once in college I held a variety of other great jobs. I worked as a graphic arts designer at my undergraduate college for the four years I was there. I also worked as a skate guard at a public ice skating arena. I was into ice dancing for a number of years, and because I worked at the arena, it allowed me to get free ice time for practicing. That job also entailed selling tickets at the window for the public skating sessions, making popcorn and hot dogs in the snack shop and other sundry tasks. Again, these jobs were preparing me for my future.

In 1988 I graduated from Columbia University in New York City with my Master of Science in Nurse Anesthesia and embarked on my now 26-year career as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist. I’ve been working full time ever since, in a job that’s not for the faint-of-heart. The operating room is a very fast-paced, ever-changing, high stress environment, loaded with massive sensory violations. Most significantly, as I call it, I’m floating in an ocean of neurotypicals! I would have sunk long ago without all the life experiences of those jobs I’d done in my younger days. I would not have been prepared to interact with people, situations, and the job itself. To date I’ve done over 50,000 anesthetics, and as I’ve carefully calculated, I’ve interacted with over one million people. That’s a lot, particularly for an autistic person.

My specialty area in anesthesia is neuroanesthesia, which is anesthesia for neurosurgery cases like aneurysm clippings, brain tumors, spinal fusions and more. It’s highly detailed and complex, just what an autistic person loves.

When I see articles about transitioning from school to work, I wonder why the transition is always such a big deal. I believe work experience should start early and be part of education. Working at a job and all that comes with it should be second nature by the time students graduate. If it isn’t, life will be very stressful, and possibly even unsuccessful. Those 85 percent of us who are unemployed or underemployed might have had a different story if they were prepared to enter the job market. If you have never worked any kind of job as a kid and teenager, nothing can substitute for that lack of life skills.

Being autistic and working at a career-type job is like going to a foreign country, not speaking their language, and trying to survive. To this day, all these years later, I still feel like a foreigner in a strange land. Yet I’ve built enough experience and “learned the language” enough to stay employed and have a successful career. I know without a doubt in my mind that I would never have made it as an anesthetist if I hadn’t had all my previous jobs.

I hope every parent will recognize the importance of teaching their child the skills to succeed at work. Keeping them sheltered is not helpful, and can set them up for failure. The only way to get skilled at socializing, learning responsibility and learning to work is by getting out there and working. The more an autistic individual interacts with others, the better they get at it. Therapists, counselors and the like all have their places in helping those on the autism spectrum. But nothing can substitute for real life experiences. Nothing.

Upon completion of school, going out and seeking a job shouldn’t be a first-time experience. Having to learn a new job is stressful enough. If you are prepared ahead of time with years of life experience, you will be able to use all your energy to focus on the job. If you are also having to learn how to interact with people, how to follow orders and how to get along in the workplace, it may seem insurmountable.

I believe it is a parent’s duty to help prepare their autistic child for the future by giving them chores, then in their teen years getting them out there doing some type of job. Real life experience can only be learned by first-hand experience. Sure, your kid will make blunders. I’ve made plenty, and still do! But I keep going. And they will too. It will be the best “therapy” you can ever give your child. Help them to have a job and be able to support themselves for the rest of their life.

 

About Anita:

Anita was diagnosed with autism at age 50.  A graduate of Columbia University, she earned her Master’s in Nurse Anesthesia and has been working full time for 28 years.  Her special interests have earned her a flight in an F-15 fighter jet and jumping horses over 6 foot fences.  An internationally recognized autism advocate and member of Autism Society of America’s Panel of Autistic Advisors,  Anita is married to her husband who is also autistic.  She has a new book coming out in September 2017 by Future Horizons that’s going to change health care for autistic individuals around the world.  Anita is also a Project Co-Lead on a $250,000 PCORI funded grant for Adults with Autism and other Stakeholders Engaging Together.  This project aims to  improve healthcare for autistic adults.  Anita is speaking at the United Nations for World Autism Awareness Day. 

 

 

 

 

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When A Child With Autism Struggles Understanding Sarcasm https://www.certifiedautismspecialist.com/sarcasm/ Tue, 28 Mar 2017 13:18:03 +0000 http://www.certifiedautismspecialist.com/?p=5307

By Kerry Magro, Self-Advocate, National Speaker, and Author
Someone once said that ‘sarcasm is a metric for potential.’ Often at times though this is one of the hardest struggles for those with autism growing up.
A lack of sarcasm is often one of the most common characteristics of struggling with an autism diagnosis along with things such as social and communication issues, difficulties reading body language, using different tones in their voices and many more.
I remember as a young boy ...

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kerryBy Kerry Magro, Self-Advocate, National Speaker, and Author

Someone once said that ‘sarcasm is a metric for potential.’ Often at times though this is one of the hardest struggles for those with autism growing up.

A lack of sarcasm is often one of the most common characteristics of struggling with an autism diagnosis along with things such as social and communication issues, difficulties reading body language, using different tones in their voices and many more.

I remember as a young boy on the spectrum in computer class and hearing a joke that I didn’t find funny. It was a sarcastic joke by our teacher and while everyone else in the class laughed I was there completely blank. A girl looked at me after the joke had stopped like I had three heads.

To fit in, I’d often laugh whenever my peers would laugh so I could be part of the group.

Are you joking or are you serious became a common challenge for me during my adolescence. Luckily, my parents started pointing out sarcasm in every day situations and phrases. I could remember a very short woman who was wearing heels one day at school and someone saying, “oh wow, you are SO tall today” and me saying, “but wait, she’s still only 5 feet tall.” Along with my parents, teachers would quickly come in to make me understand the different between a serious moment and sarcasm.

Unfortunately, due to my lack of understanding sarcasm I would often befriend bullies who I thought wanted to be my friends. I was overweight when I was a child for example and a kid would say “Oh, Kerry, you are so skinny” and I’d take that as a compliment.

For educators and parents I often encourage to be as clear in your messaging as humanly possible to avoid misunderstandings. There are many sarcastic phrases today that may go over our heads including phrases such as ‘well that’s just great’ that can be taken literally by many of us.

Also understand though that, like many of my mentees today who are teenagers on the spectrum that they can often out-sarcasam their neurotypical peers at times.

It’s a spectrum.

If your child had a social skills class make sure that this is addressed. Bring it up at a parent/teacher conference. Also, this is something that you can mention in your child’s IEP as something they need additional help with.

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ASD: On the Wrong Side of the Law? https://www.certifiedautismspecialist.com/asd-wrong-side-law/ Fri, 24 Mar 2017 20:22:53 +0000 http://www.certifiedautismspecialist.com/?p=5305 By Carol S. Weinman, Esq., Autism Legal Specialist
What better time to initiate a conversation about encounters with the criminal justice system than during Autism Awareness Month in April? While it may be well known that many individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are victimized and bullied, it often comes as a surprise to learn that individuals with ASD are increasingly finding themselves detained in the back of a police wagon or seated in a courtroom at the defendant’s table. ...

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IMG_3896By Carol S. Weinman, Esq., Autism Legal Specialist

What better time to initiate a conversation about encounters with the criminal justice system than during Autism Awareness Month in April? While it may be well known that many individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are victimized and bullied, it often comes as a surprise to learn that individuals with ASD are increasingly finding themselves detained in the back of a police wagon or seated in a courtroom at the defendant’s table. That’s why the demand for education and awareness on this timely topic is greater than ever before.

So, why are we seeing this rise in criminal offenders? For one, what may appear to be an increase in offenders with ASD may simply be attributed to an improvement in identifying them.  The prevalence of autism is far more common than we knew. According to the latest report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 68 individuals have autism and 1 in 42 males are on the autism spectrum. Secondly, police officers do not recognize the tell-tale signs of ASD and innocently mistake key behaviors as suspicious activity. And lastly, these so-called offenders do not understand that what they are doing may be wrong, let alone criminal.

Figuring out why we are experiencing greater numbers of ASD offenders is not as simple as it may seem. As is often the case, we must first pinpoint the problem before we can remedy it. Is it because police officers don’t understand? Is it because those with ASD lack the requisite mental capacity to understand right from wrong? Even if we begin to understand why this is occurring, what’s the fix? And, how do we balance the need for the public’s safety against the need to protect the rights of the vulnerable ASD population?

Here’s what I do know. While I am rewarded in representing criminal defendants with ASD, I am also left heartbroken. The issue of ASD and crime is complicated and there is a lot of work to be done. And, raising awareness is a good first step on the road to initiating change.

 

Carol Weinman is an attorney that specializes in autism legal consulting, criminal law, and special education services with her office in Fort Washington, PA. Carol additionally speaks at conferences around the world, including ISCRD. More information can be found at www.weinmanlawoffice.com

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Is Your Home Influenced by Down Syndrome (Trisomey 21)? https://www.certifiedautismspecialist.com/downsymdromeday/ Tue, 21 Mar 2017 16:32:41 +0000 http://www.certifiedautismspecialist.com/?p=5300  
By Elayne Pearson, CAS, Speaker/Author/Disability Advocate
World Down Syndrome Day, March 21st – was created for public awareness, promoting fundamental freedoms, and encouraging inclusion for individuals with Down syndrome.
Many know Down syndrome is a genetically-based condition resulting in a range of mental impairments and developmental delays. It’s official term, Trisomy 21, is caused by an unusual division of the two 21st chromosomes into three. Hence, the term Tri-somy 21.
So, March is the third month, and the ...

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Elayne_And_Heidi_In_White_Touched-up[1]By Elayne Pearson, CAS, Speaker/Author/Disability Advocate

World Down Syndrome Day, March 21st – was created for public awareness, promoting fundamental freedoms, and encouraging inclusion for individuals with Down syndrome.

Many know Down syndrome is a genetically-based condition resulting in a range of mental impairments and developmental delays. It’s official term, Trisomy 21, is caused by an unusual division of the two 21st chromosomes into three. Hence, the term Tri-somy 21.

So, March is the third month, and the 21st day designates World Down Syndrome day. Get it?  Trisomy 21 on 3/21. Clever, huh?

Scientists hypothesize the chromosomal change happens at conception, and currently, there is no known cure for Down syndrome. I could go on with boring scientific stuff, but I won’t. But believe me, life with a child with Down syndrome is anything but boring! We testify of that. Having Heidi in our family has been a joyous adventure for almost 30 years.

I offer parents “20 Tips” to help “keep it up.”

  • SHOOK UP ~ Be prepared for various reactions when others hear your baby has Down syndrome. Everyone’s present is a composite of their past, and they see the future through that lens. For example, my father was raised when disabled people were not treated well, and he was shook up when he heard our news. As a scholar of the Old Testament, he suggested our family Fast and Pray to cure Heidi’s mongoloid condition. (His old-fashioned term.) I believed in miracles, but felt our family was meant to experience both growth and joys. (Grandpa Bob became Heidi’s biggest fan.) In contrast, when I told my friend, Jeanie, about our newborn, her eyes brightened up as she excitedly told us about her cute neighbor, Janet, a sweet adult with Down syndrome who lives with her parents and that despite the challenges, have a good “quality of life.”  
  • PASS UP ~ A gift of stronger health is established by mothers turning from baby formula — to breast-feeding these fragile infants. Factories can never replicate the perfect meal for babies. I really feel like “mother’s milk” helped Heidi become stronger, healthier, and more engaged as baby and toddler. Since she was premature, plus babies with Down syndrome are generally slower to grow, I was grateful I could nurse little Heidi for well over one year, and lay a good foundation.
  • COUNT UP ~ Statistics confirm formula-fed babies have more long-term health problems, especially chronic ear infections, requiring medication and ear-tube surgeries.
  • PAIR UP ~ The strain on a marriage with any Special-needs child often causes it to crumble, so Heidi_age2please recommit to your family. This may translate into attending appointments together, helping more with childcare, and going on dates as a couple, etc.
  • SPEAK UP ~ Special children often need specialized equipment. Most family and friends will happily give baby gifts of money — if they know of the need, so don’t be afraid to be honest.
  • SET UP ~ Infants with Down syndrome have low muscle tone and often require certain exercises. Busy parents set their schedule and use reminder charts. Let’s remember exercise is still just as vital in their teen and adult years. (I think we’ve all seen quite a few “couch potatoes” among this adult population.)
  • HOLD UP ~ Although it seems alright, Allergists advise waiting to introduce solid food, (especially wheat-based), until toddlers are older and robust. Dairy and corn may be problematic for digestion, too.
  • MEET UP ~ Sometimes parents feel isolated and overwhelmed, so seek others with similar experiences in parent support organizations, Down syndrome chat rooms online, or special-needs play groups. In my community, we busy moms decided a mothers’ luncheon group worked best while our sweet students were in school! (Finding babysitters for 12-year-olds can be tricky.)
  • BUILD UP ~ People diagnosed within this syndrome tend to get ill easily, so building up their immunity with fresh food, quality vitamins, adequate sleep, less media, less junk food, and more exercise is always wise. It’s often challenging to get a handful of vitamins, minerals, and herbs, etc. down these kids, but blended into banana smoothies can be helpful. Powdered supplements from the health food store (mixed with ice, water, etc.) are also a family-friendly way.
  • WRITE UP ~ Most grandmas wish they had better accounts of happy experiences and milestones as a younger mom. Journaling doesn’t have to be eloquent, even a cute notebook helps track progress, digression, and especially heart-warming events.Heidi_purple_necklace
  • SWAP UP ~ Don’t be afraid to switch doctors, teachers, care provider, or schools. Proactive parenting makes a big difference.
  • LOCK UP ~ Some children crave intense sensory experiences and may jump off high places, repeatedly rub their skin, or eat anything, etc. Please secure chemicals, sharp objects, and potentially harmful items. (We were surprised how smart Heidi was in finding hidden things!)
  • LIGHT UP ~ These kids have the sweetest faces and give the best hugs … ever! Enjoy watching faces light up when your child enters a room. This is what it’s all about.
  • EASE UP ~ Parents, you can do countless things to help your child with Down syndrome, but remember the whole family, your health, and your finances. Choose wisely.
  • LINK UP ~ Involve your child in community and neighborhood happenings, like scouts, art, soccer, dance, and church. You may need to help, or “educate” sometimes, and it’s worth it.
  • BRUSH UP ~ It’s tempting to skip daily teeth-brushing, but please don’t. Healthy teeth matter, and this helps prevent expensive dental sedation procedures. I highly caution against accepting gray amalgam dental fillings, as they leak mercury vapors. Heidi tested high in toxic mercury. Read more at www.mercola.com
  • DRESS UP ~ Individuals with Downs tend to be shorter in stature, plus have short limbs, so clothes shopping can be challenging. I’m glad I know how to alter/hem Heidi’s clothes. Check out Downs Designs Dreams.
  • KEEP UP ~ This adventure is a long haul, so keep forming good habits — enabling your efforts to become easier.
  • PLAY UP ~ Okay, some things may seem impossible for your beloved child to achieve (like being a brain surgeon), but always play up positive strengths, and praise persistence for what they can accomplish (like working at the hospital).
  • LIGHTEN UP ~ Remember, you can’t do it all. It’s okay. Notice the growth, see the satisfaction, celebrate the achievements, and feel the joy. You’re doin’ good!

Take care, and God Bless.

(NOTE ~ This blog/article may be copied and freely distributed to parents – however, please include author’s name and contact information.)

Elayne Pearson, C.A.S., Special-needs Preparedness Specialist is an author, national speaker, newspaper columnist, and natural health consultant.

Questions/speaking requests/feedback?  Email: hiddentreasuresofhealth@yahoo.com

 

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