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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/


Last edited by Visionary7903; April 10th, 2017 at 02:49 PM.
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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

(source: - Page Not Found)

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 22nd, 2017, 12:41 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.

Roses for Autism, based in nearby Guilford, Connecticut, is a dynamic small business that helps individuals with Autism become employed in their local communities by growing and selling fragrant fresh cut roses. Roses for Autism continues a three-generation legacy of growing gorgeous roses and other flowers at the historic Pinchbeck farm...
Quote:
Tom Pinchbeck never dreamed he'd turn his family rose farm into an employment center for people with autism.
In 2008, faced with a sagging U.S. economy and fierce international competition from South American rose growers, Pinchbeck found himself priced out of the market. He had no choice but to do the unthinkable -- close the farm started by his great-grandfather.
Shortly afterward, a college friend of Pinchbeck's, Jim Lyman, approached him with an interesting proposition. Lyman was looking for a way to address the very real problem that many young adults with autism, including his own son, Eli, face: How to transition successfully into adulthood as they grow beyond the cutoff age of built-in state benefits and supports.
"Lyman approached me with the idea of using the greenhouses as a background for vocational therapy for people on the autism spectrum," Pinchbeck says. "I was still reeling from having to close the place down, and it seemed like an interesting way of putting together a really unique program from the ashes of Pinchbeck's Farm."
Now Pinchbeck is working with the group Ability Beyond Disability...

"Our program is really designed for people to come into the program, to learn the skills they need and to help place them in their community, help them find a job, hopefully find a career, and really be a productive member of society," says Joan Volpe, Ability Beyond Disability's vice president. "That's really the goal of Roses for Autism is for folks to be a part of a work life that we really take for granted."
Helping achieve that goal is Lori Gregan, the farm's retail manager who's part cheerleader, part mom and part boss.

"I don't have the book knowledge on autism," she says, "But I do have the people knowledge, the instinct."
She works with employees such as 29-year-old Ethel Bondi, who came into the Roses for Autism program struggling with anything outside her set routine.
"Ethel came, and anytime there was any change, anytime I asked her to do anything at all, it was like, 'I quit.' She would get her coat and she was gonna leave," says Gregan. "I'm like, 'whoa whoa whoa, why are you quitting?' She's like, 'I can't do that.' It was always 'I can't.' Now it's like, 'I will. I can. And I am going to.' "
Bondi possesses a talent for making dried rose wreaths -- one of the farm's best-sellers.
"They were supposed to be for just Valentine's Day, but then people wanted them afterward, and they are still wanting them," she says.
How does that make her feel? "Proud," Bondi says, smiling tentatively. "They are a big hit."
"If I show Ethel she can make this wreath, she wins," says Bondi. "She owns that, and now the next girl that comes in next to her, she can show her, and my job is done. She's a viable employee. There might be a quirk or two, but that's what makes us who we are, if all the stones in the river were the same, there would be no song."
Will Swartzell, a 19-year-old Roses employee with autism, thrives on the uniqueness that makes him who he his. And he hopes success stories like his can help shatter misconceptions that might make employers hesitant to hire people on the autism spectrum.
"We all stereotype," Swartzell says. "But I think it's so important not to; to keep your mind open. Everybody's different. Nothing defines a person except themselves."
It's a sentiment echoed by his mother, Sandra.
"I think it's really important for these kids to have a place where they fit in and contribute," she says. "They have so many great strengths, and I think people are focused more on their challenges more than their strengths. But a place like Roses can really allow them to celebrate who they are and at the same time learn important job skills that are so necessary for them to be productive members of our society. They are so capable of that. There is no doubt about it."
Working often makes adults with developmental disorders happier and more satisfied with their lives, says Dr. Max Wiznitzer of Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland. It gives them a sense of purpose, and they usually do a good job, he says. They're often very focused.
"They follow the rules," says Wiznitzer. "Autism is that way -- one of the diagnostic criteria is the desire for sameness. They're going to be punctual. They're going to show up every day. They have a lot of positive behaviors that employers like. It can be very beneficial both for the employer and the employee."

But there's somewhat of a downside, says Wiznitzer. They work several hours a day, and "then they go back to where they're living, and they're somewhat isolated from everyone else and -- what do they do with their leisure time? We have to make sure they have time for the other stuff, too."
Looking across the retail center, where her employees are hard at work cutting, pruning, designing and packing, Gregan's voice fills with optimism.
"To see the change in my employees from day one to day 10, there are no words. I can see this going global. There are people who are autistic all over the world. They just need to know how they fit in and we need to give them those tools. "
With the help of a few charitable grants, Roses for Autism is doing just that -- helping young adults with autism fit in, find their strengths and improve their lives.
Pinchbeck's alliance with Ability Beyond Disability has saved the family farm -- turning it into a nonprofit business that produces almost a million flowers per year.
It's a solution as unique as the workers who helped save the Pinchbeck family legacy, all the while finding their own place to shine...
Here is a link to a video on Roses for Autism:

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