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Old March 5th, 2017, 07:18 AM   #671
Visionary7903 Male
Autism Awareness
  
 
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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 Abilities Network is a Towson, Maryland-based nonprofit whose mission is to challenge the community to acknowledge the value and equality of people of all abilities. This includes children on the Autism Spectrum...
Quote:
Katy Marchman is like any other 10-year-old girl. She's a bright, bubbly blonde who squabbles with her 8-year-old sister, Alex, about clothes. Her mother, Kim, affectionately calls her a 'diva-in-training.'

There's just one difference -- Katy lacks the ability to verbally communicate, due to her diagnosis of Angelman's syndrome, a neuro-genetic disorder that falls on the autism spectrum.

But Kim is quick to point out that Katy's disability is secondary to who she is. "Some families will say, 'Oh the disability is part of the family," but Kate is just one of our three children,' she said. "She's so many other things."

One of the biggest characteristics that defines who Katy is as a person is her love for everything Ravens. "She is a humongous Baltimore Ravens fan," Kim said. "To the point where we're not allowed to say any criticism during the games."

The Marchmans, which includes Katy's father, Mark, and her older brother, Andrew, 17, first discovered Katy's love for football when they visited Ravens training camp 4 years ago. "Matt Stover saw us and Katy got to meet all the players," Kim said. "I had no idea she was going to love it."

Since that day, Katy has visited camp at least four times every summer. She watches every game. She carries around a scrapbook of pictures of her with players like Musa Smith, Mark Clayton, Ray Lewis and Todd Heap.

Katy communicates through hand gestures, body language and pictures of symbols. She often 'writes' letters and cards to her favorite players, and even made a 'Welcome to Baltimore' card for new head coach John Harbaugh.

As part of Katy's daily education, she receives services from [the Abilities Network.]

"With Katy, what they found, was that she responded to everything Ravens," said Lauren Dunn, Abilities Network Director of Development. ?When a child has Angelman's, it helps to work on something they enjoy. When Katy started going to training camp, she got excited, and she responded."

On Monday, the Abilities Network is hosting 'Time Out For Charity,' a benefit event in which the organization's employees, volunteers and consumers get to mingle with Ravens players. Katy is going along for the second year.

"She's knows it's coming, but we can't tell her what day it is, because she will stay up until 1 a.m. the night before," Kim laughed.
Here is a link to a video on an Abilities Network fundraiser from a couple of years ago:

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Old March 8th, 2017, 10:22 AM   #672
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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.

"What we've seen is an incredible shift of tolerance and acceptance of people of varying abilities, backgrounds ... different lifestyles," said Cindy Pearl, a Challenges teacher at Middletown Primary. "Different, not less, is becoming a real important part to recognise."

...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.

Pearl said their help will become even more crucial as the number of autistic children and class sizes continue to grow.

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. And when they can move a child completely out of the program and into a classroom with their peers, Pearl said, that's the biggest success of all.

"We've changed the quality and the outcomes of their life forever."
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 11th, 2017 at 10:39 AM.
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Old March 22nd, 2017, 11:52 AM   #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.

RISE is a Severna Park, Maryland-based nonprofit whose mission is to provide community and professional awareness, family support and resources, financial assistance, and a continuum of therapeutic services to promote confident, competent individuals with Autism Spectrum and Related Disorders. RISE stands for Resources Interventions Support Education...
Quote:
...RISE, which stands for Resources, Intervention, Support and Education, seeks to provide therapeutic services, financial and family support for people with autism spectrum and related disorders. The hope is to help them become competent and confident individuals while providing community and professional awareness.
RISE recently held a community event at Ruth Parker Eason School in Millersville to do just that and introduce to the public new safety initiatives it has created in partnership with the Anne Arundel County Police and Fire Departments.

...The recent event concentrated on safety issues that face parents with children with developmental disabilities. The first part of the safety project is concentrating on RISE's current partnership with the county police and fire departments and getting information to them. The parent registers through RISE to provide pertinent information that can be provided to the 911 system, which will alert police officers and fire personnel that a person with disabilities lives in that household. Specific information can help emergency personnel be better prepared to provide the best support possible.
The second part is the introduction of the safety bracelet which houses a GPS unit for those who are prone to wandering.
"The device will allow officers to channel the location of the individual," said county police Capt. Francis Tewey. "It is a quicker recovery with fewer resources."

The day included information from the Anne Arundel County Crisis Prevention Office and Pathfinders for Autism. The county police and fire departments invited children to sit in and honk the horns of emergency vehicle and many sensory station were available including sand art and a moon bounce.

..."It's a no-brainer," said Tewey. "It promotes awareness and provides safety information."
Since its founding, RISE has provided over $68,000 worth of services to families statewide, concentrating in Anne Arundel County. These are services like speech therapy, motor therapy and adaptive sports that many insurance companies don't cover. They receive funds from their annual conference, workshops and through grant programs.
"The ultimate goal is to get a facility to teach life skills," said Brandy Tayman, a RISE volunteer. "We want to have a place to teach children on the spectrum to boil water, manage money and do laundry -- just to be independent."

...They are co-sponsoring the [awards] held Thursday ...for the Special Education Citizens Advisory Committee which honors teachers, parents and those who help support individuals with developmental disabilities.
"I am so excited to see things happen," said Tayman, of the goal of attaining a facility to support teens with life skills. "Cheryl is working so hard to get it all together."
RISE for Autism will be participating in the 24-hour Great Give taking place from 6 p.m. May 5 through 6 p.m. May 6. Their next fundraising event will be the annual golf tournament beginning at 8 a.m. May 15 at Renditions Golf Course in Davidsonville.
Here is a link to a video from RISE of some bicycle riding kids involved in the 'Bike to the Beach' fundraiser: https://www.facebook.com/RISEforAuti...6402919484845/


Last edited by Visionary7903; March 27th, 2017 at 06:07 AM.
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Old March 27th, 2017, 06:23 AM   #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.

Madison Fields, based in Montgomery County, Maryland, is a fully functional farm that offers an inclusive environment where those with special needs, or not--can play, learn, work together. Madison Fields is a a project of the Rockville, Maryland-based nonprofit, the Madison House Autism Foundation...
Quote:
The Amazing Maze, an eight-acre corn maze at the newly renamed Madison Fields ...will open on September 4, to provide individuals of all ages and abilities with the chance to enjoy a fun, inviting agricultural experience. The corn maze, along with a variety of Mother Goose-themed activities, will be open Fridays through Sundays, throughout September and October.

The 400-acre farm property is located ...in the Montgomery County Agricultural Reserve. Madison Fields is owned by Madison House Autism Foundation, a non-profit that develops awareness and strategic solutions to the lifespan challenges autistic adults and their families face. The Foundation took ownership of the ...farm in 2014, following a bequest by its previous owner...

"Madison Fields is a beautiful farm and we're excited to share some of its beauty with those want to enjoy it by navigating The Amazing Maze," said Doug Balls, Madison Field's farm manager. "It's going to be great fun and we look forward to welcoming the families and individuals who are able to join us."

In addition to the corn maze, Madison Fields will feature Mother Goose-themed activities including the 'Ring Around the Roses' straw bale maze for younger children, and the 'Mary Had a Little Lamb' farm animal meet and greet. Local produce, breads, soups, honey and other goods may also be for sale, in conjunction with other local farms. In October, 'Peter, Peter Pumpkin Eater' pumpkin carving will be added. Proceeds from ticket sales to The Amazing Maze or any additional donations will support the Madison House Autism Foundation...
Here is a link to a video on Madison Fields:


Last edited by Visionary7903; March 27th, 2017 at 10:52 AM.
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