Home > Family Services > Family Services Office Hours – 8/17/11

Family Services Office Hours – 8/17/11

Office Hours, a new resource available on the web at www.autismspeaks.org will easily connect families to a wide variety of autism-related resources, including Family Services’ Toolkits, and the Autism Speaks Resource Guide, an online national database of autism providers and resources searchable by state and zip code. Family Services’ Office Hours is designed to quickly provide access to resources that are available and free to the entire autism community.

“Having a family member with autism can easily lead to feeling isolated without knowing where to turn. In addition, most families have little free time to search for reliable information about autism, yet they may be in need of timely information. Office Hours offers a quick connection to the Autism Response Team(ART) who can assist you in getting the information you need as quickly as possible,” states Marianne Sullivan, Assistant Director of National Outreach and Resources.

The Office Hours resource is staffed by ART coordinators who are specially trained to connect families affected by autism to resources.

In addition to Office Hours, ART is available by telephone during usual business hours at 888-AUTISM 2 (888-288-4762). You can also reach ART by email at familyservices@autismspeaks.org.

Here is the transcript:

Welcome to Office Hours offered by the Family Services Department at Autism Speaks. Today’s Office Hours is staffed by Marianne Sullivan, RN, MN, Assistant Director of National Outreach and resources.
Back to School for Children with Autism
What we can do to make the transition back to school as smooth as possible for our kids with autism? Over last few weeks we’ve highlighted ways to reduce the stress associated with back to school; one common theme: plan and prepare ahead of time! Do you have a tip you to share with other parents?
Comment From Guest 

I took my son to his new school several times to tour and meet important people. I started at the end of the year before his move and had at least 2 visits over the summer.

Hi there! Those are some great suggestions. How did it work out?
Making the time to meet and get to know the key people in your child’s school is a great way to start the new year!
Comment From Guest 

My child is transitioning from a private school to public this year..He is entering 7th grade. What can I do to ease this transition?

Thank you for your questions.Family Services offers the School Community Tool Kit that offers great ideas on how students can adapt in their new school
Please feel free to download all of our Tool Kits! They are FREE!
A great idea would be to gather a portfolio of your child’s strengths and and challenges as you introduce your child to his/her teacher
Portfolios can include artwork, writing, and other school related samples
This is also a great way to have a record of your child’s school life.
Comment From Erica 

My son is 3 and has ASD. He started pre-k at an integrated school on his 3rd birthday. We are preparing him for the new school year, which he has no problems with. My issue is the length of time. Is a full day of school overbearing to a child with ASD?

Hi Erica – Every child is different. It is an excellent question. Remember you are the parents and you know what is best for the child. It is a matter of making sure that you as a parents are monitoring the stresses or behaviors of your child to indicate how well they are doing. I would include the teacher in terms of getting them on board to monitor certain situations
Remember every plan can be adjusted based on your child’s needs!
Comment From Guest 

My child started high school this week – the increased student population and campus size seems to be giving him the most anxiety in this change…we will be meeting his teachers tomorrow evening…or, at least 7 of the 8…and have sent emails introducing ourselves. I’ve reminded him that he didn’t like the changes each time he ‘moved up’ – from elementary to middle, from middle to junior and to give himself some time to adjust. Any more suggestions?

You have laid great groundwork communicating with the teachers and have created an opportunity for continued interaction. Again, the portfolio is a great resource to go back to. It is important to see the progress of your child through the years.
Another thing you should check out is our Transition Tool Kit. The Autism Speaks Transition Tool Kit was created to serve as a guide to assist families on the journey from adolescence to adulthood. You can never plan to far in advance!
Comment From Guest 

I seem to be having trouble getting my sons school to understand that he needs special help at all. He has attended there for two years in the early childhood program but was just recently diagnosed with ASD. He is starting full day kindergarten and they don’t seem interested in the ideas that I have for my son such as visual schedules, help off the bus and with lunch. They have him labeled as delayed on his IEP and also don’t seem interested in changing that to a firm ASD label. How do I insist on these things?

The key is to knowing what your child’s rights are under IDEA and State law. We have a ‘Special Education and Advocacy’ Community Connections that you may find helpful.
Tomorrow we will be releasing a new Community Connections that will be targeting IEP’s as well. You can also join our LIVE Q & A tonight a 7pm EDT with Gary Mayerson as he, ‘How To Compromise With Your School District Without Compromising Your Child’
Comment From Guest 

My 9 year old son was diagnosed with HFA this summer. My question is do we allow the teacher to tell his classmates? If so, what is the best way to go about this? He attends a (wonderful) private school and they have been very helpful. Just curious if we ease some of the teasing he receives by telling his classmates?

If your child was just diagnosed, you can order an Asperger Syndrome and High Functioning Tool Kit that includes ideas how to talk to classmates about ASD. You can order one for FREE.
There is a more specific section that you may find especially helpful, ‘Asperger Syndrome/HFA and the Classroom.’
You can order the kit by calling us at 888-AUTISM 2 (288-4762) or email us at familyservices@autismspeaks.org.
There is a specific module of the School Community Tool Kit that deals with how to talk to your peers about ASD. You may want to share this with your child
Comment From Renee 

Son is going to the same school..but they moved him to a new teacher and classroom which is going to be difficult since he had his last teacher for 3 years..He is 17 and large for his size and doesn’t talk so what can I do to make the first couple of days go smoothly for him?

Renee we want to suggest good communication right from the beginning. Can you talk to the teacher ahead of time? Youc an tell them about your son – likes and dislikes, how he communicates, etc.
We would also want to recommend the Transition Tool Kit that you can order or download for FREE!http://www.autismspeaks.org/family-services/tool-kits/transition-tool-kit
Comment From Guest 

WONDERFUL! Thank you so very much—just pulled from the links and my printer is going nuts! The questions sheet is fantastic! Thank you!

That is great! We are so glad that we were able to help and PLEASE keep us posted!
Renee, another though – perhaps you may want to ask a former teacher to share with his new teacher what your son’s strengths and weaknesses are. Maybe they can share strategies that worked with your son and those that may not have
Comment From Guest 

My AS son will be going from full day preschool to half day K. He did NOT get the teacher he wanted but his twin did, so he’s going in with a bad attitude. I am meeting with his teacher the wk before K starts and have a little “about Jason” booklet for her. I have to wait to get any special education help, I am told. Our school district is VERY against IEPs and 504s…

Again the key to your child’s rights are under IDEA and state law. As a parent you have the right to request that your child be assessed and that services be provided.
I recommend you provide your school with a copy of IDEA.http://idea.ed.gov/
You have to know your child rights. Your special needs child has the right to a free and appropriate education.http://www.autismspeaks.org/what-autism/your-childs-rights
Tonight Gary Mayerson will be on for a LIVE Q & A to discuss ‘How To Compromise With Your School District Without Compromising Your Child’
Please feel free to join us at 7pm EDT TONIGHT!http://www.facebook.com/autismspeaks?sk=app_232959576748556
Comment From Jenny 

4.5 boy with pdd-nos. Is there an example of a notebook that would allow his special and integrated school teachers, aids, and PT’s to communicate with eachother and me on progress/ concerns?

Hi Jenny, thanks so much for your question. Please visit our School Community Tool Kit Appendix that contains many forms and other resources.http://www.autismspeaks.org/sites/default/files/sctk_appendix.pdf
Paula Kluth is also a wonderful resource. She has samples of personal portfolios that you may choose to model your child’s after
Portfolios can be in paper, audio, or video form. They are meant to serve as a record for past experiences so you can track your child’s progress
Comment From Anthony 

My son is 33 months and so far not showing any signs of autism… At what age can I stop worrying about regression?

Hi Anthony – it is good that you are on top of this. Continue to observe your child as he develops. Here is a link where you can learn the signs. http://www.autismspeaks.org/what-autism/learn-signs
Comment From Jo 

We are a military family and have moved twice in the past year, resulting in my ASD/ADHD daughter going to two schools for K, and now starting 1st at a whole new school. 3 schools, in 3 different states. The original IEP call for school provide Speech and OT with additional OT after school one day a week. The second school cut OT because the provider essentially didn’t have time for my daughter in her schedule, she was the only provider in the county and serviced ALL the elementary schools. The new school is doing their assessment for what remains on her IEP, speech therapy. Can I ask them to reevaluate her needs for OT? And I’m worried now that they might cut her speech, if they do, she wont even have an IEP anymore. what can I do?

Hi Jo – Because military families move, there are special services, provided by the military that should advocate for your child. Operation Autism is a resource guide designed for military famlies
Autism Speaks is involved with autism advocacy efforts for military families as well. Please visit Autism Votes for more information.http://www.autismvotes.org/site/c.frKNI3PCImE/b.5141983/k.A9E4/Military_homepage.htm
‘Welcome to StimCity’ is a wonderful blog by a woman named Rachel. She is a military wife and her daughter has ASD. You may find comfort in reading her blog.
We were lucky enough to have her blog for us!http://blog.autismspeaks.org/2011/07/21/itow-meeting-my-baby-girl/
Comment From Diana 

My child is in a dod school. They dont seem to have the right placement for her but wont referr her to a school that does what should i do about this?

Hi Diana – Wright’s Law has specific information on meeting the needs of your child with special needs. You can learn more about it here. http://www.wrightslaw.com/info/dod.index.htm
Thanks so much for stopping by today for Family Services Office Hours. Please come back with us tonight as Gary Mayerson leads us in a Q & A ‘How To Compromise With Your School District Without Compromising Your Child’
We will see you next week! Remember to stay positive and have a great school year! Keep us posted on your progress!
As always you can call us at 888-AUTISM 2 (288-4762) or email us at familyservices@autismspeaks.org.
  1. Patty Barnish
    August 18, 2011 at 10:19 am

    do you know where I can get legal services for my son with Autism? We had a problem last night at a local carnival where they continuosly discriminated against our son. We live in Manville, NJ

  1. August 22, 2011 at 9:01 am

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