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Old March 8th, 2017, 10:22 AM   #671
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Default 'Agricultural specialisterne': rural employment revolution for those with Autism

The subject of recent posts has mainly been on Autism-related events and organisations in Maryland.

The Carroll/Frederick Autism Support Group is a Marriottsville, Maryland-based autism support group with a focus on getting the kids out to play with each other. Middletown Primary School hosts one of Frederick county's 'Challenges' programs that serves the needs of students with Autism and related communication disorders...
Quote:
Parker Langston, 6, can't chat about his day when he arrives home from school.

But after more than a year in Middletown Primary School's 'Challenges' program, he is finally able to communicate his needs and wants instead of crying -- something his mother, Heather, feared he'd never manage.

"They've really taught him how to enjoy being around people," she said.

Challenges uses pictures, sign language, iPads and more to build communication and interpersonal skills in students such as Parker, who have been diagnosed with autism and other severe communication disorders.

The specialized program serves 65 students across six Frederick County public schools: Middletown Primary, Carroll Manor and Middletown elementary schools; Oakdale and Gov. Thomas Johnson middle schools; and Gov. Thomas Johnson High School.

More than 560 students are formally recognized by the school system as having autism, said Dan Martz, special education and psychological services director. Parents choose whether to enroll their child in Challenges based on recommendations by school and special education staff.

...After more than a decade in practice, the Challenges program has fostered greater inclusion and understanding of autism among even the littlest students, teachers said.

In support of Autism Awareness Month, Middletown Primary students on Wednesday formed a human puzzle piece -- a well-known symbol of the complexity and uniqueness of the autism spectrum -- outside the school. Similar celebrations will continue through April at schools countywide.

Educators said hosting Challenges in their buildings makes every day an autism awareness day.

...Unified classes such as peer physical education and art pair Challenges students with first- and second-grade general education buddies as a way to encourage communication to transition into a regular classroom setting.

That interaction builds skills used outside of school as well, Heather Langston said. She said she can now take her son to the park without worrying he may hurt others.

"Peer P.E. taught Parker how to play with other children," she said. "His partner last year was so patient with him and talked him through things as simple as catching a ball."

Budget constraints sometimes limit Challenges teachers from buying new classroom materials or programs, and they are grateful for the support of numerous instructional assistants and speech therapists.

...Langston said the Challenges program's approach and staff-to-student ratio is still overwhelmingly positive. Her son keeps calm thanks to his rigid classroom routine and a daily schedule using pictures, a technique that she now uses at home.

Helping parents create functional lives and the joy of hearing autistic students speak is most rewarding for teachers...
Here is a link to a video from the Carroll/Frederick Autism Support Group: https://www.facebook.com/anna.curtis...type=2&theater


Last edited by Visionary7903; March 29th, 2017 at 09:54 AM.
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Old March 29th, 2017, 10:06 AM   #672
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Post 'Agricultural specialisterne': rural employment revolution for those with Autism

The subject of recent posts has mainly been on Autism-related events and organisations in Maryland.

The McArdle Center for Early Autism Intervention, based in Stevensville, Maryland, strives to work with children and families with an Applied Behaviour Analysis therapy centered approach. By taking a therapeutic approach to education The McArdle Center teaches children with Autism Spectrum Disorders in a way that best suits them as individual learners...
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The ...County Library recently donated more than 150 used children's books to help establish a new library at the McArdle Center for Early Autism Intervention in Stevensville.

The McArdle Center has developed programming to work with children even before they become diagnosed on the autism spectrum, from early detection of signs of autism to providing therapy and education in a year round setting best prepares these children to live full and meaningful lives.

Books contributed by the Friends will be used by McArdle's students, aged 2-8 years.

The founder of the center, Emily McArdle, praised the Friends of the Library for the contribution:

"Thank you so much for this generous donation. We will put the books to wonderful use in our new library."
Here is a link to a video from the McArdle Center for Early Autism Intervention:


Last edited by Visionary7903; April 23rd, 2017 at 12:36 PM.
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Old April 8th, 2017, 12:31 PM   #673
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Default 'Agricultural specialisterne': rural employment revolution for those with Autism

The subject of recent posts has mainly been on Autism-related events and organisations in Maryland.

Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital (MWPH) is a Baltimore, Maryland-based nonprofit specialty children's hospital. MWPH's Autism services include testing and therapeutic services for children suspected of, or already diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders...
Quote:
"My son is in a place where the people understand and care about him." - Priscila Rodriguez, Mother


Ian, 4, ...was fearful and displayed repetitive behaviors.

His mother Priscila Rodriguez, desperate and confused, wanted answers. Her doctor recommended Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital (MWPH)'s Pediatric Psychology.

The Division of Pediatric Psychology at MWPH has a full complement of psychologists dedicated to improving the well being of children and adolescents. Each psychologist at MWPH has specialized training in providing a wide range of services to children having behavioral or emotional difficulties.

Staff treat children with conditions [including Autism Spectrum Disorders.] Recommendations are tailored to the specific needs of each child, and psychology providers work closely with the parents, pediatricians, educators, and other mental health practitioners to identify appropriate treatment services for each child.

Ian was diagnosed with moderate-severity autism in May 2015. Through individual and group therapies, plus occupational, physical and speech therapy, Ian is learning to shape his negative behaviors through different play techniques.

...Thanks to group therapy, he can tolerate the structure of school better. He can communicate and show affection to his family. He can sit still longer to complete tasks, and his social skills have improved, too.

Priscila credits his therapists, like Dr. Antonia Girard, for his progress. She says the entire psychology team really cares about Ian; when they come here for therapies, everyone is smiling and happy to see them. "My son is in a place where the people understand and care about him," she says. "I feel so grateful to be here."

Before Ian's therapies, Priscila felt confused because she didn't understand why Ian behaved the way he did. "They've helped me to understand him, to manage him, and learn about his condition, about his behaviors, his fears. He can feel that I can understand him, so that makes him feel better and not as frustrated as before."

"He can feel what I'm feeling. If I get mad, he gets mad. If I feel frustrated, he's going to be worse. So if I can control myself, he's going to be better. And therapies have helped me to be like that."

"As a mother, it has been difficult to accept Ian's condition, but with MWPH it has been easier. I know he's getting better. I know he's in the perfect place for a better life and future."
Here is a link to a video from the Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital's Autism program from a few years ago: https://www.facebook.com/MtWashingto...1581442577760/


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Old April 10th, 2017, 03:01 PM   #674
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Default 'Agricultural specialisterne': rural employment revolution for those with Autism

The subject of recent posts has mainly been on Autism-related events and organisations in Maryland.

The Autism Spectrum Support Group (ASSG) of Southern Maryland, Inc., is a California, Maryland-based nonprofit that offers support to families and caregivers of people with Autism Spectrum Disorders. The private forum offers 175 families in Southern Maryland the opportunity to help each other...
Quote:
...According to Autism Speaks, [Autism Spectrum Disorder] refers to a range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication, as well as by unique strengths and differences. The term 'spectrum' reflects the wide variation in challenges and strengths possessed by each person with autism.

Autism's most obvious signs tend to appear between two and three years of age. In some cases, it can be diagnosed as early as 18 months. Some developmental delays associated with autism can be identified and addressed even earlier. Parents are urged to seek evaluation if they have concerns because early intervention can improve outcomes.

Learning that your child has [Autism Spectrum Disorder] can be devastating to parents. They feel upset, scared, concerned and alone. Autism isn't the same for any two children. Some children have high-functioning autism--others suffer from a more severe form of the neurobehavioral condition. There is not one autism but many types, caused by different combinations of genetic and environmental influences. No matter the level of autism your child is dealing with, it can be a lonely place for parents. But it doesn't have to be.

...There are four main goals of ASSG:
1. To support families directly impacted by [Autism Spectrum Disorders]
2. To educate families and the community on issues related to [Autism Spectrum Disorders]
3. To raise public and professional awareness and acceptance of [Autism Spectrum Disorders]
4. To work in partnership with other organizations to inform and educate families and the community about issues related to [Autism Spectrum Disorders]

ASSG wants parents to know, they're not alone in their struggles. "We try to eliminate the feelings of isolation families may have when raising a child with [Autism Spectrum Disorders.] We offer a judgment-free environment for families to discuss issues and ask questions. We also encourage families to help other families by sharing information and support, and to stay focused on supporting families on a local level," [Terri Griest, president of ASSG, said.]

Autism is often a very misunderstood disorder. People with [Autism Spectrum Disorders] are affected in every aspect of their life. Griest explained, "[Autism Spectrum Disorders] may cause behaviors that the uninitiated may find perplexing, disrespectful, scary, bizarre or incomprehensible. People's responses often lead them to withdraw, to judge, to become angry, or to offer unsolicited 'advice' on parenting." But with those struggles comes great gifts. The ASSG works to eliminate the stigma associated with people with [Autism Spectrum Disorders]. "Knowledge is key," Griest noted.

ASSG always encourages new members to join. The group meets the third Wednesday of the month from 6:30 p.m.-8:00 p.m. ...There are 'sister' groups in Charles and Calvert counties.

...During Autism Awareness Month, ASSG is participating in and promoting several activities around Southern Maryland to bring more awareness to this community--

World Autism Awareness Day is April 2. Autism Speaks promotes "Light It Up Blue" on that day. People around the world light up buildings with blue lights, and everyone is encouraged to wear blue in support of autism awareness.

Personalized Therapy's 10th Annual Autism Awareness Day. April 8 from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m...
...All funds raised go to local organizations that help people with autism, including the Autism Spectrum Support Group of Southern Maryland...
Here is a link to photos: https://m.facebook.com/pg/AutismSupp...ernal&mt_nav=1

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Last edited by Visionary7903; April 24th, 2017 at 12:58 PM.
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Old April 12th, 2017, 12:50 PM   #675
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Default 'Agricultural specialisterne': rural employment revolution for those with Autism

The subject of recent posts has mainly been on Autism-related events and organisations in Maryland.

The 'Cumberland Tri-State Autism Walk', is an annual Autism awareness event and fundraiser located in Cumberland, Maryland. The walk has has grown beyond what the founder of the event could have ever hoped for...
Quote:
On a cold, blustery day in Cumberland, Maryland, 1,200 people looped the track at Allegany College for the ninth annual Cumberland Tri-State Walk Now for Autism Speaks event on Saturday, April 9, 2011. Walk Chairperson, Marcy Hardinger led the opening ceremonies with special thanks to all Walk participants who came far and wide to enjoy the festivities of the day and support the urgent mission of Autism Speaks...

Walkers enjoyed the 10 Toys that Speak to Autism from Walk Now for Autism Speaks National Sponsors--Toys'R'Us and Babies'R'Us, ...face painting, autism race car and balloons galore! The Cumberland Times-News and radio sponsors WTBO and GO106FM were on hand to capture the events of the day. Special thanks to DJ Express for energizing the crowd...

It was a record-breaking year for Cumberland with $64,000 raised to date with the total expected to exceed $70,000! This tremendous success is due to the hard work and dedication of each volunteer, walker, team member, team captain, sponsor and in-kind donor. Many, many thanks to Walk planning committee for all of their efforts year after year to organize and implement the Walk in Western Maryland.

A very sincere and heartfelt thank you to Marcy Hardinger. [Hardinger's determination] to better the life of [those] affected by autism in the Cumberland community is truly inspiring.

THANK YOU CUMBERLAND for your continued commitment to changing the future for all who struggle with autism spectrum disorders. Autism Speaks and Cumberland is listening!!!...
Here is a link to a video from the 'Cumberland Tri-State Autism Walk' from three years ago:


Last edited by Visionary7903; April 23rd, 2017 at 12:30 PM.
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Old April 15th, 2017, 09:27 AM   #676
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Default 'Agricultural specialisterne': rural employment revolution for those with Autism

The subject of recent posts has mainly been on Autism-related events and organisations in Maryland.

The Kinera Foundation is a Stevensville, Maryland-based nonprofit that seeks to enhance the quality of life for those affected affected by various challenges, including children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. The Kinera Foundation does this by providing social activities, access to various therapies and treatments, while continuing to support inclusive programs...
Quote:
When the Allender family drives along Ritchie Highway, 7-year- old Kellen motions to a Severna Park carnival.
"He always points at this like he wants to come," his mother Becky says. "We never wanted to come because of the crowds. He has problems standing in line."
Kellen has been diagnosed with autism, which limits where the family can enjoy some entertainment. Before Wednesday, the Millersville family had never been to a carnival.
But during an hour-long session minus the crowds and noise, Kellen got a chance to take a twirl on the [swings] at the Earleigh Heights Carnival.
Parents of special-needs children and their siblings enjoyed the sensory-sensitive version of the event thanks to the Kinera Foundation.
There was no loud music, and a limited number of flashing lights. About a dozen children took turns on the teacups, the tilt-a-whirl ...as parents cheered them on.
[Ms.] Russell, of Kent Island, started the foundation, which provides support to parents of children with special needs. Russell launched Kinera to help her autistic 4-year-old-son and to give other families a chance to have fun and be part of the community.
She said kids with special needs often balk at such events.
It's "too much, the light, the noise - it's overstimulating," Russell said. This event gives "these families an opportunity to see if their child can handle it."
Another parent testing out the waters was Beth Jensen, of Annapolis, whose 7-year-old son James also is autistic.
Jensen said while the family has tried trips to Sesame Place in Pennsylvania, they've had to leave movies and ball games because of the large crowds.
Still, Jensen said the family wants to go to an amusement park on a larger scale...
"Something like this gives us an idea if that could be something we could do down the line," Jensen said as James took two trips down the Surfin' Slide.
Here is a link to a video from the Kinera Foundation: https://www.facebook.com/KineraFound...7102719017878/


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Old May 14th, 2017, 07:33 PM   #677
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Default Re: 'Agricultural specialisterne': rural employment revolution for those with Autism

After a 6 year thread length and no other member replying, what has this to do with pheromones?
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Old May 14th, 2017, 07:44 PM   #678
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Default Re: 'Agricultural specialisterne': rural employment revolution for those with Autism

Hi Wotan. In the lounge section, off-topic threads are tolerated. This thread has an important number of views, I guess it's interesting for many people.
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Old May 14th, 2017, 08:18 PM   #679
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Default Re: 'Agricultural specialisterne': rural employment revolution for those with Autism

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Originally Posted by Conjurator View Post
Hi Wotan. In the lounge section, off-topic threads are tolerated. This thread has an important number of views, I guess it's interesting for many people.
Ah. Okay. I read through a few pages expecting something about using pheromones as a treatment for autism.
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Old August 16th, 2017, 12:46 PM   #680
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Default 'Agricultural specialisterne': rural employment revolution for those with Autism

The subject of recent posts has mainly been on Autism-related events and organisations in Maryland.

The Baltimore, Maryland-based Walters Art Museums Sensory Morning program is designed for families of children with Sensory Processing Disorders, and encourages exploration, play, and discovery. Through developmentally appropriate opportunities for hands-on learning in the galleries and art studios, children of all levels and abilities are welcome to learn in the museum...
Quote:
A crowded movie theater with booming noises coming from the screen is usually too much for 7-year-old Ariana Evans to handle.

Like many children with autism, the young girl can become overwhelmed by the sensory overload. She may start to chatter and fidget, disturbing others, and she and her family usually end up having to leave.

It's a dilemma for the growing ranks of parents working to help their disabled kids adapt to the real world. They want their children to enjoy the same experiences as others do, yet be able to express themselves naturally, which sometimes may garner stares.

"A parent in this situation may find themselves in a bind as they want their child to be included in community-based activities but also not have their child's behaviors impede on the other children's enjoyment in the activity," said Tom Flis, senior behavior specialist with Sheppard Pratt Health System.

But families are finding more and more programs aimed at kids with developmental disabilities.

The Walters Art Museum has "sensory mornings" held when crowds are light and, unlike the typical hands-off exhibits, there are items kids can touch. The National Aquarium opens 30 minutes early twice a month, letting disabled people skip the line and has a quiet area where parents can take overly excited kids to calm them. There are also sailing, trampoline and indoor rock climbing activities aimed at developmentally disabled kids.

The Evans family took Ariana last week to a special movie night for kids with developmental disabilities at Bengies Drive-In, organized as a fundraiser for The Arc of Maryland, a grass-roots advocacy organization dedicated to ensuring equal rights and opportunities for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

The kids could talk through the movie and repeat lines as much as they wanted. They could sit in their cars with their families, where they feel safer than in the midst of a huge crowd, which might spark anxiety. They could walk around if they became agitated. Ariana sat in the front seat in her dad's lap and ate a red, white and blue popsicle, popcorn and nachos. Younger sister Liliana sat in the seat next to them.

The girls' father, Bill Evans, said the experience was much less stressful and enjoyable then going to a typical movie theater.

"It's hard to take her to the [traditional] theater," Evans said. "This set-up makes it so she still gets to go to the movies."

...parents and caregivers want to help these individuals participate in their communities.

Education and outreach are needed to better integrate those with disabilities and make situations better since many people may not understand those diabilities, said Sheppard Pratt's Flis.

For example, Flis suggested parents should talk to those who organize activities in their communities, such as the soccer coach or gymnastics teacher, and see if they would be willing to have a child with special needs join the group. Parents also can offer to do a small educational session before events and talk with the other parents and their children about their child's special needs.

"I think many of these parents would be surprised at how accepting others can be," Flis said.

The group Pathfinders for Autism hosts free family events so that families don't worry about paying for an event then leaving shortly after arriving because their child is overwhelmed.

Pathfinders plans an upcoming indoor rock climbing session and next month will rent out the Maryland Science Center so that families can attend. They also have a partnership with the Michael Phelps Swim School where kids with developmentally disabilities can learn to swim.

In addition to the activities, the group also conducts seminars to teach groups how to include people with developmental disabilities in their activities.

"We believe kids with disabilities can be included in any activity given the right support," said Shelly Allred, Pathfinders director of communications.

Jennifer Montgomery of Catonsville used to avoid taking son Nick Leith places that were too noisy or too bright but has ventured out more as he got older. The program at the Walters is a favorite. Before, museums were off-limits.

"To tell him he couldn't touch a painting or sculpture was really hard," Montgomery said. "That didn't always click with him."

In addition to hands-on activities at the Walters' sensory days, therapists come from Kennedy Krieger Institute to work with the kids. Instead of using surround sound for exhibits, the kids can use headphones and the lights are dimmed in many of the rooms. There is also a quiet room with items such as weighted blanket that kids can wrap up in to calm down. They can use bouncy balls to tire themselves out when they become too energetic or to perk up when they become lethargic.

"Many of these are families who are concerned that their child might do something at the museum that isn't ideal," said Ashley Hosler, senior education coordinator of family programs. "We want to make sure they know this is a welcoming space."

Baltimore accountant Nicole Turner said taking son Joshua to programs like that at the Walters helps build overall confidence so that he can participate in all kinds of activities.

The pair go rock climbing, zip lining, and out to restaurants and movies ? even if the event is not specifically for those who are developmentally disabled. Turner has learned there are some days Joshua can handle it and some days when he can't.

"I don't go in with the expectation that we will be somewhere for five hours," Turner said. "I go with the expectation that we go for as long as he can handle it."

Even mainstream businesses are picking up on catering to the needs of this population.

AMC Theaters has partnered with the Autism Society to offer "sensory friendly" movie times where they don't dim the lights and play the sound at a lower volume. Kids can roam freely through the theater when they get uptight, parents said.

The theater chain locations in Columbia, Owings Mills and White Marsh participate.

At Bengies in Middle River on Thursday, the families watched "Inside Out," an animated movie about a girl uprooted from her Midwestern life when her father gets a new job in San Francisco. A second movie, the classic "ET," about a friendly alien who finds his way into the life of family, also was shown on the big screen.

The owner of the drive-in said opening for the event was a no-brainer. The theater had a developmentally disabled worker who staffed the beverage stand for more than six years.

"They need to raise funds and I'm here and it's a good fit," said Bengies owner D. Edward Vogel. "Hopefully it will raise interest and awareness."

This was the first year The Arc of Maryland held movie nights at Bengies, but officials said they would like to make it a regular event.

"It keeps families together in an environment where they don't have to be really quiet," said executive director Cristine Marchand. "It is more inclusive and a more forgiving environment."
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