LIFE IS A SPECTRUM

We're still big fans of our new iPad, the biggest drawback being the sheer volume of apps out there that we have yet to try, a lot of them completely FREE. I thought that as Billy finds his favorites, I'd spotlight them, in case you're looking for a great distraction, reward or skill-builder.

AutismXpress
FREE
A simple program that animates faces with different emotions. Choose “Happy” and a goofy cartoon laughs. Choose “Angry” and a red-faced blob bares his teeth, frowns and growls. I'm not sure how educational “Gassy” and “Burpy” are but Billy loves them.

Dr. Seuss books
$3.99 each
We have Oh the Places You Will Go, Green Eggs and Ham, and Dr. Seuss' ABCs, and each one has been played over and over by both kids. The great thing about these books is the interactivity. When you touch a picture anywhere on the page, you see and hear the word associated with it. You can choose “Read it myself” or “Read to me” options.

iGoPotty
FREE

From the geniuses who brought us Pull-ups. Billy LOVES LOVES LOVES this app. We have absolutely no problem about going to the potty now. When I click a button it sings, “I'm a big kid now!” and he stops whatever he's doing and starts dancing along to the music towards the potty. If he goes, he gets to click “I used the potty!” and gets an animated “sticker.” After nine stickers, the app reveals a new game, such as a drawing program or a matching game.

Kindergarten.com Apps
$0.99 each
ABA-based flashcard game designed to help kids categorize objects and people and develop more functional language skills. We've noticed a bit of echolalia/scripting after use of one set a few times, but luckily, there are more sets out there. I would recommend using this one as a jumping-off point for conversations, even if they get the answer “wrong.” For instance, if Billy is asked to “Choose the one you sit on,” and he points to the baby, we talk about what would happen if we sat on a baby.

Look In My Eyes
$2.99
Interesting practice for making eye contact; suggested for kids with high-functioning autism or Asperger's. Close-up photos of smiling kids appear and within a second or two, a number flashes in the center of the child's eyes. Billy's job is then to click the right number on a keypad. If he gets the number right, he earns “money,” which he can then spend to buy food in a cartoon fast-food restaurant or buy furniture – either way, he doesn't care anything about that part. I haven't noticed any definite increase in eye contact in the real world but stay tuned ...

Solar Walk
$2.99
Beautiful tour of the solar system with a 3-D option and groovy space music in the background. You can highlight each planet and its moons, drill into its core, read about its stats, check out pictures of the satellites that have orbited it, etc. You can drag the planets around and rotate them, so that you can look at their dark sides, light sides, orbits and relation to the rest of the solar system. Can't recommend this one highly enough! We use it as a post-bedtime story, lights out activity, and as a reward for successfully completing his nighttime routine.

First Words / First Words Christmas
FREE / $1.99 – 4.99
Drag and drop letters into the right position to form words. As soon as the words are in the right order, the picture of the object animates. There's a “lite” version that's free with a variety of words like “cat,” “train” and “cake.” You can also get sets of words with themes like “animals” or “around the house.” Billy liked the free version so much that we bought the deluxe set for $4.99 and then because we're all about Christmas in this house, the Christmas First Words for $1.99.

Ocean Blue
$9.99
A beautiful virtual ocean aquarium but not really worth the $10 price tag – unless you have an autistic child obsessed with fish who finds staring at it soothing. There are two different environments you can choose from for your fish and eight different animals, including a variety of fish, a shark and a sea turtle, that you can add to the environment. I'm a bit concerned at how much time he spends electrocuting the fish. But then again, WHY is electrocution of the fish an option? You can also feed the fish, take pictures of them or flush them. Yay. But it IS beautiful; the graphics are second-to-none.

Snowman 3D
$0.99
Mr. Potato Head in Snowman form. This cool little app lets you roll up three snowballs with your finger, stack them up, then choose from a variety of eyes, noses, hats, mouths, and bits of flair to add to your virtual Frosty. You can make a snowman that looks like a pirate or one that looks like a clown – or Billy's favorite, the pirate clown. This is a fun way to discuss body parts. And pirates.

Virtuoso
FREE
This is the kind of app that just blows my feeble mind. How does the same screen become a field of snow you can roll into snowballs in one application and in the next, it's a dueling piano? So so cool. I taught Billy to play “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” on this piano, which keeps him busy long enough for us to manage to eat a meal in a restaurant. You can apparently upgrade to a “pro” version of this piano for $0.99 but I don't know how much more you'd want out of an iPad piano or how many pros are going to be bringing this along to gigs, but if you've upgraded, let us know if it's worth the 99 cents.

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Apps for Autism

Thanks for sharing these apps! My 2 older boys are in an autistic support program at school and their teacher got a grant to get an iPad and some iTouches to work with the kids. If I hear about any interesting apps when they start using them, I will let you know. They are going to work on using them for schedules and things in the beginning but she is still in the planning stages. Very exciting that there is such great technology out there for our kids!

Dr. Seuss

There's a Dr. Seuss app? I wonder if they make one for iPhone.

These are all great tips. Solar Walk and Virtuoso sound right up Henry's alley. I'm glad to hear Billy continues to get so much out of this too. I told a friend that you've been having great success with your iPad, and she's thinking about buying one for her boy, Ben. Good info, as always, Amanda!

Eye contact

Sorry, yeah, I didn't make that very clear: The number shows up in the iris of each eye. So if he's staring at a close-up picture of a smiling child, he'll see two #7s, one in each eye.

I agree with you, though, it does seem a little odd. I read the extended description of the app, and they are careful not to make ANY claims that it is proven to increase eye contact -- only that it "could." A lot of things COULD, I suppose: staring at mug shots, looking at yourself in the mirror, wearing Groucho Marx glasses/nose ... actually, if those last two worked, Billy would be aces at eye contact by now. But I'm going to keep an "eye" on it, so I'll let you know if we see any progress.

Speaking of mirrors, though, have any of you out there experienced a greater increase in eye contact if you and your child are both looking into the same mirror. I would swear -- well, maybe not under oath but I have a strong inkling -- that Billy is better at eye contact when he's looking at my eyes in a mirror, rather than in the real world. I don't know what, if anything, that means ...

Look into my eyes

The number flashes like in the iris of the child's eye, or in the space between the eyes? The concept admittedly is a little "off" to me - but I can't think of a better alternative! Definitely interested to hear if you see progress down the road. Caring for an autistic child, and making eye contact has been something we've been encouraging and reinforcing, but seeing little progress.

iReward!

Have you tried iReward? It's available for iPhone and iPad, costs $2.99 and let's you set up a reward system where you can track the number of times they perform a particular behavior before they get a reward. I haven't used it a lot, but setting up the first one was really easy. You can have pictures of rewards that they can choose from and you can set the number of times they have to successfully complete the behavior or activity before being rewarded.

That's great info. For those of us losers who just have the iPhone, some of these apps are available for it as well. I know that Solar Walk is, but maybe the graphics are less impressive on the iPhone. I like the sound of the potty one...I wish there was just a generic one (maybe there is) that tracked how many times some customizable behavior is performed before they earn a reinforcer....like staying in her own damn bed at night.

So Informative!

I don't have an Ipad, but if I ever get one, I know who to turn to for advice!

Total 7 comments

This is what I discovered in Willow's play kitchen after giving her (oh, the thrills!) a REAL pan from the cabinet with which to play house:

S_playkitchen

A pony in every pot?

I'm not sure if this indicates an imaginative brain or a sociopathic one. So in honor of Wordless Wednesday, give me your words: What's going on here?

Reader Comments

Our new band name

Dave and I are putting a band together again with some other friends, and we've been thinking about band names. I think both Unicorn Stew and Pan-Fried Star Catcher sound like viable options.

@Mary: LOVE the story of little you "cooking" the family poodle! Our long-suffering kitty cat (god rest her soul) endured many an imaginative role before she went on to the Playskool kitchen in the sky :-)

People people people...everyone knows that is NOT a unicorn but Star Catcher. And everyone knows that Star Catcher is delicious when lightly pan fried.

Leftovers!

That looks like Sunday night dinner at my house!

Bob and the Unicorn

Is that the chick from Bob the Builder in that pot with the unicorn? I'm not sure what's happening, but I think that would be an excellent Bob episode. Would beat the crap out of what passes for a plot in Bob the Builder episodes.

Not a caption, but related: my mother loves regaling boyfriends with stories of how at the age of 3, I stuffed the family poodle in the Playskool kitchenette oven. And how I failed to remove the shelf within the oven, which would have provided more comfort for said pooch.
At least Willow had enough sense to cook with inanimate animals.

Unicorn Stew

This is one of my favorite dishes although I have hard time finding a place that makes traditional Unicorn Stew like my Grandma did. The key is cooking the hind quarters first and adding a dash of fairy dust at the very end. As a serving suggestion, try it poured over susquatch corn bread with a side of loch ness monster liver pate. My mouth is watering already.

Tastes like chicken!

Total 7 comments

I think Billy got his first love-note yesterday. I was unpacking his backpack and found a folded up piece of notebook paper. Unfolded, it read “TO BIRLYI” in pencil, followed by a heart and a whole bunch of Dora stickers.

 

beautifulbilly

Hands off, girls!

I had had one of those “dark nights of the soul” the night before, tossing and turning and waking up at 3 a.m. with the thought, He may never go on a date. He may never go to prom. He may never find someone who will love him and marry him and have a family with him...

 

And then literally the following morning, I found the love note. It was like a sign. I brought it up to Dave and he (who walks Billy to school every morning) said, “Could be any one of them. He's a rock star in that class. As soon as he walks in the door, they're all, 'Billy! Billy! Billy's here!'”

 

Billy, of course, is oblivious to his fans, more concerned about getting a clear path to the water fountain and spending some quality time with the dry-erase board and markers – his morning routine. (We had an unfortunate incident one morning when another child decided to park himself in front of the water fountain, which led to a discussion of polite ways to ask someone to move.)

 

Then I realized that most of Billy's autism challenges would in no way limit his ability to get girls in high school: He has no desire to please people. He makes limited eye contact in social situations. He can't sit still in class and misbehaves. He gets surly if you try to talk to him about anything serious. Come to think of it, most of my high school crushes could have been autistic and I probably wouldn't have noticed.

 

True, Billy talks non-stop about whatever interests him, regardless of whether you care in the slightest. But if he gets fixated on the guitar or sports or motorcycles (god forbid), then he'll pretty much be crack for high school girls.

 

I tracked down some of my latest fears to the fact that Billy's been fixating on the Dr. Seuss book Oh the Places You Will Go again. Specifically, he's been echo-ing the line, “Alone, I'm afraid, is something you'll be quite a lot.” He doesn't seem all that bothered by the line. He just brings it up again and again, like he's thinking about it. Sometimes he does that when he's trying to work something out.

 

It breaks my heart. I immediately grab him up and say, “You'll never be alone. Mama will always always always be with you.” Then he inevitably gives me this startled look like, “Oh, great. Yeah, THAT sounds like fun.”

 

He's got a lot going for him. He's absolutely gorgeous with beautiful big blue eyes that literally stop people in the streets. He's funny and loves to make people laugh and to laugh himself. He's talented musically and very smart.

 

And then I realize that of course he can find someone to love who will love him back. Of course, there will be someone out there that realizes how special he is, someone who's willing to help fill in the gaps where he has difficulties and appreciate all the amazing unique gifts he has. After all, isn't that what we all hope that real love will turn out to be?

Apparently, there's one little girl in pre-K who already recognizes quality when she sees it. The little hussy ...

Reader Comments

roclafamilia

Helpful blog, bookmarked the website with hopes to read more!

I stumbled across you're blog the other day and I just wanted to reassure all of the parents who are concerned about romantic prospects of their kids with autism. While only of my old boyfriends was offically on the specturm niether my husband nor any of my previous romantic relationships have been neurotypical. Plus, through the blogosphere, I've met tons of adult auties and aspies in long term relationships.

Lovin the little man

Billy has started singing that song "When Somebody Loved Me" from Toy Story 2. It's a song sung by a DOLL who's remembering when she was owned and loved by a little girl, before that little girl grew up and gave her away. But honestly, it chokes me up every time he sings it! I really need to get a grip ... :-)

I just found your blog and came across this post of yours. My son is also on the spectrum and I've thought these same thoughts myself. Yet, I know these children will find love. They radiate something amazing and what is wonderful is that you see it already...that little girl is just the first of many who will want to scoop your lil man up! He is a doll, btw =)

He's blessed

The unconditional love of his parents will carry him through everything. That touches me more than anything. Billy is truly blessed. And a very beautiful little boy! Being the mother of two sons, I can so relate to your "little hussy" comment! :-)
Sunshine xx

Arranged marriage

I love it! I'll draw up the contract. We don't have any camels, goats or chickens to seal the marriage bargain, but we have lots of squirrels and a non-working Toyota Celica in our yard.

Oh, he looks so like you! Maybe Billy and Audrey can make one of those "if neither of us is married by 30..." pacts, or we could make it for them.

life is uncertain

I haven't had the specific challenge of autism to deal with but we've had some kids with learning disabilities. I've had some of the same thoughts and I still worry about how they will turn out and what they'll do in life. I also have those thoughts about my other kids, so I suppose that's just the way it is. As the mom of 5 boys, I can tell you that all little girls are hussies!

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This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Dr. Seuss book, Green Eggs and Ham. One of Billy's favorite apps on the iPad, the interactive book has been played in our house more than 50 times in the last 48 hours, and it's starting to get to me. I think it's a great book, but I'm starting to dream in Dr. Seuss-speak.

greeneggs

(Random House)

After a couple dozen times, it slowly started to dawn on me that Sam-I-Am reminded me of someone. I woke in the middle of one night to the sound of Billy reciting “Could you?! Would you?! On a BOAT!!” and realized why he loves this book so much: Sam is autistic. Consider...

1. Sam-I-Am has a strange diet. So does Billy. Billy recently brought home a class project called “My Favorite Food.” There were black dots all over a white sheet of paper. I asked him, “What is this?” Billy: “Raisins.” He does love the heck out of some raisins. And ice cream. And that's about it.

2. Sam-I-Am is totally obsessive about a very specific thing and oblivious to whether anyone else cares. So is Billy. Granted, the subject of Billy's obsession can change (thank God) from month to month, but perennial favorites are the planet Saturn, Charlie Brown and fish.

3. Sam-I-Am has a unique style of speaking. So does Billy. Billy can have an entire conversation with you using lines from Finding Nemo and Alvin and the Chipmunks, and Dave and I are the only ones who can interpret. “Alvin, you were a bit flat!” means he's irritated. And “First day of school!” means he's excited, even if you're in the grocery store and he's just spotted some raisins.

Billy memorizes anything easily, of course, but sometimes he doesn't hear it correctly, particularly if the characters don't speak clearly. Instead of “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing” which he heard on A Charlie Brown Christmas, Billy sings a beautiful note-perfect version of “Mark, the Feral Danger King,” a far more interesting-sounding character, in my opinion, than Charlie Brown.

4. Sam-I-Am doesn't understand personal space. Neither does Billy. Billy's style of making friends involves getting right up in someone's face and shouting something about Alvin and the Chipmunks before enveloping them in a bear hug and wrestling them to the floor. Boys, girls, the exterminator – everyone gets the same treatment.

samiam

(Random House)

5. Sam-I-Am seems completely un-fazed by the potential for physical danger inherent in driving a car off a cliff on to a boat while carrying a platter of ham and eggs. Billy would be right there in that car, nestled between the fox and the goat, given the opportunity.

When Willow was about 8 months old, I found him at the top of our stairs, squeezed into her baby walker, ready to push off. I asked him what in the Hades he thought he was doing and he responded, “Roller coaster!”

Happy birthday, Green Eggs and Ham! And thank you for showing us that, in the end, a singularly obsessive person can make friends, live a rich, colorful full life with some unusual pets, drive a car, and expose the world to new ideas – like coloring eggs green – that we might not have considered.

Reader Comments

Dr. Seuss

@Lynn: Yeah, I'm a bit soured on the whole book right about now as well. There's nothing like repetitive 4 a.m. recitations to kinda take the shine off the penny.

@Maura: You should hear his other Xmas carols, like "Violent Kite." I definitely have to get him listening to some Springsteen. I wonder if I could convince Springsteen to do a cartoon. #awesomecartoonidea

@Chris: Thanks for stopping by!

@Karen: So funny about Ms Niece. Billy got confused his first week of school by the fact that everyone was talking about the school mascot, the Bobcat. They're the Buck Lake Bobcats and there was lots of discussion of "I'm a Buck Lake Bobcat!" etc. His grandmother then asked Billy, "What's your teacher's name, Billy?" And he replied, 'Bobcat!" We FINALLY worked that one out :-)

@outoutout: I'm sure you're right. It takes a special kind of mind to imagine a Fiffer-Feffer-Feff and a Zizzer-zazzer-zuzz!

@Tonya: I've only watched The Middle once -- I'm going to have to check it out again! (I never manage to watch anything until about a week after it airs; thank god for DVR :-)

@Sunday: Billy is now a total Dr. Seuss devotee. He loves his new interactive Cat in the Hat book too!

@Melody: Diagnosis is definitely a constantly moving target. It helps with some things -- like school services and insurance coverage. But no diagnosis will ever explain the uniqueness of our children, their challenges, or their changes. We have to watch them like hawks and be ready for the next development, whatever it may bring. I wish you all the very best. Please let me know if there's ever anything I can help with.

I love this & had to laugh all the way through. The single mindedness, the tenacity and determination, the repetitiveness of speech, the lack of awareness for other's oppinions... all of those things and more are rampant in my home! :P

We have been trying to determine the exact diagnosis for my kids, but it seems there may well be no specific target to aim at. I'm afraid we'll forever be treating ever changing symptoms with various therapies and meds. I hate that part, but with no meds, the amount of difficulty for everyone is 1000 fold. Oh wait, maybe I'm the guy who doesn't want to try the green eggs and ham, then "MMmmmm, Saaayy. I do like green eggs and ham!."

Wow!

You are sooo right! Both my boys are on the severe end of the autism spectrum and both love Dr. Seuss books with their back and forth flow of reading.

Wow! I never thought of it that way! :-) I guess he did have some strong tendencies, huh?! lol

Speaking of those with tendencies, I'm sure that Brick from "The Middle" is on the spectrum somewhere. Have you seen that show? It comes on ABC on Wednesday nights.

Found you from the blog frog SITS community. Glad I found you. Have a great day!

Ah, good ol' Dr. Seuss..

He was almost certainly autistic himself. :)

I hear you!

Hi Amanda!

As a Mama of a kidlet on the Spectrum, I hear you!! I so enjoyed your comparison and agree with your conclusion that there really are so many options and possibilities for the singularly obsessive (it just takes some digging, patience, & perseverance to find them & help them find the route that will work for them)!

I know that hearing something not quite the way it was really said bit quite well! We introduced a teacher once, called her Miss Denise, only he heard, Mrs. Neice and it stuck for the rest of the summer. And I agree, Mark the Feral Danger King does sound much more interesting!

As a toddler, when my kidlet would wake early, there were no calls to get up, but I could hear Dr. Seuss books being recited aloud from memory and in their entirety. I thought it was so cute & showed a love for books, but now I know differently. :>

Thanks for stopping by today! I'm so glad to have connected with another Mama with many of the same challenges! :>

Karen
Twitter: @timecrafted

PS I saw Angle's air quoting autism.....talk about making my blood boil!!

Nice hooking up!

Nice hooking up on SITS! I love the quirkiness of Dr. Seuss, and what a great way to explain ASD behaviors! We sure need a sense of humor with our kiddos! ;)

Chris

Mark the Feral Danger King

I like Billy's rendition of Hark the Herald Angels Sing. I'd like to hear how he interprets that Manfred Mann/Bruce Springsteen classic, "Blinded by the light, wrapped up like a duece, another runner in the night," because what the devil does that mean? Perhaps Billy can make some sense of it for me.

Total 12 comments

"Take off the mandates for coverage in the state of Nevada and all over the United States," [Nevada Republican Senate candidate Sharron] Angle says in a video from a speech she gave in 2009 at a Tea Party rally in Winnemucca. "You know what I'm talking about. You're paying for things that you don't even need. They just passed the latest one," Angle continues, then makes a reference to autism, using her fingers to make quotes around the term that describes a range of developmental disorders. "Everything they want to throw at us is covered under 'autism' so that's a mandate that you have to pay for...” --Las Vegas Review-Journal, Sept. 24, 2010

Apparently, Sharron Angle doesn't believe in autism. Or maybe she's like that character Joey from Friends and doesn't actually know what air quotes mean.

Either way, I don't understand her point: That autism doesn't affect enough children for it to be worth the cost increase in premiums that cover it? Well, I'm sure that premiums would be much lower if they excluded all diseases, disabilities and illnesses. Pure profit. Cover nothing; just charge premiums.

I think that some people in the country are under the impression that the second mandates when into effect – and Florida passed one of these laws – people were just beating down the door to get an autism diagnosis and jump on board for some fun, free speech, occupational and behavioral therapy. There's no better way to spend your day than sitting around the lobby of the speech and hearing clinic. I can't get enough of that place and its turtle tank.

Florida's law is a good piece of legislation that helps a lot of people. But not us. We're one of those families that slipped through the (rather large) gap in the law. My husband works at a company with fewer than 50 employees, so despite the fact that as a smaller group we pay higher premiums and higher deductibles, autism is not covered. (For some reason, our deductible went up $1,000 this past year, though.) We can, luckily, get some speech and occupational therapy by using a medical diagnosis code of “static encepholopathy,” provided by our neurologist.

As I mentioned last week, we looked into the option of switching to Florida KidCare. It's not one but actually several different programs. During the first call, a customer service rep told my mother that yes, all autism therapy was covered by KidCare.

On further investigation, though, we discovered that's not true. The good news: If your income qualifies you for a subsidized premium (about $20-30 a month) through Children's Medical Services, everything is covered – speech, OT, ABA therapy. If you think you would qualify and would like my contact at CMS, please email me privately at AmandaBroadfoot@gmail.com. She says that she can get you enrolled in 24 hours. (I don't want to post her email here, because I don't want her inundated by Robocommenter with ads for buying cialis online.)

The bad news: If your income doesn't qualify, you cannot buy into this program. You can't even pay an unsubsidized premium.

The good news: There is a KidCare plan that anyone can buy into and the premiums are reasonable (about $159/month) – Florida Healthy Kids.

The bad news: ABA therapy is not covered under this plan.

The good news: You can apply for a Medicaid DD waiver to help with costs of medically necessary therapy not covered.

The bad news: There is a three-year waiting list and it's getting longer every day. You can apply to be bumped to the top of the list, but I was told by my contact at CMS who was kindly lowering my expectations, “They're dealing every day with homeless children and those in life-threatening situations.”

Wow. It had never really dawned on me that there are homeless disabled children out there on the streets, but of course there are. Of course there are. There are homeless autistic children. There are autistic kids in the foster care system. There are autistic children battling other diseases as well. There are autistic children whose parents can't or won't advocate them for any number of reasons.

I still haven't found out how to get coverage for ABA therapy, but we're exploring some options. I have, however, had my eyes opened...

While I was wallowing in my hate hole last week, there were parents out there hoping and praying to God that one day they would end up as lucky as me -- living with a roof over their heads with plenty of time and money and food for their kids and the opportunity to give them the best kind of therapy available anywhere: the loving support of a happy home.

So I'm out of the hate hole – though I am sparing a little bit of intense dislike for Sharron Angle and her air quotes around “autistic.” If she doesn't believe in autism, I'd love to put her in a room with Billy and challenge her to get a word in edgewise during one of his recitations of Alvin and the Chipmunks.

But when I was ranting on Facebook about Angle and her wingnut disbelief in autism, my friend Brian responded succinctly, “That's OK. I don't believe in Sharron Angle.” Tru dat.

Reader Comments

Med. Waiver

Thanks for that kick in the pants, Lynn. I hadn't done it yet -- I've been feeling sort of like a balloon with the air let out since last week. But you're right: the last three years have certainly flown by. And it's not like we're not going to need the money in three years -- as much as I'd like to think our finances are going to skyrocket :-) I'm going to get that process started this week.

Sharron Angle can kiss my fat ass

Did you put yourself on the waiting list for the waiver? Even though there is a 3 year wait, the waiver takes them until they're 18 or 21 and three years goes by awfully fast. Don't feel guilty like you are taking someone's spot that needs it more...that wouldn't happen. In IL they said that I would never qualify and then out of the blue they did a lottery and I got it. So you never know...

I never get emotional over ANYTHING on the Internet. Never.
But when you talked about homeless and other unfortunate children with autism and other diseases, I got a lump in my throat and a little misty-eyed. How difficult it must be for them not receiving therapy and way to possibly make their days less frustrating, in addition to not understanding WHY they can't express themselves. And for those with severe autism, possibly being abused by parents or caretakers not having the patience and education to know why their child acts the way they do.

It breaks my heart to know that children are subject to either scenario, and so many more. It's so hard to want to love all of them yet feel so helpless because you can't.
You can only speak out for the disease and those unable to find their voice in hopes it will change what services are available to them. To potentially make their suffering a little less.

Oh, The Irony and Why I Won't Be Ranting Today

The autism mandate does not help us either. I work for FSU, but as a self-insured employer, FSU is also exempt from the autism mandate. Oh, the irony!! FSU has an growing Autism Institute, but it will not cover speech and language therapy for the autistic children of its own employees through its own speech clinic!

It is not all bad news. As an FSU employee, I do receive a discounted rate for speech therapy and the remainder that is paid out of pocket can be deducted from my Medical Reimbursement Account. Which means it is from pre-tax dollars. Which means I am getting a break from the federal government. You see where I am going with this...

I have to stop now. Every time I try to finish this post, I begin to devolve into a rant most unbecoming of your blog :). And life is too short for ranting. Better to spend my time researching Florida's political candidates and getting my vote out for November 2.

Prestigious Award

Amanda, I bestowed upon you an extremely prestigious blogging award. When you get a chance, check it out at my blog. Unfortunately, there is no cash prize that accompanies this honor.

Excellent Post--Again!

Where I live, you can get ABA provided for free through the Country Regional Center. It takes forever to go through their process, and it CAN be difficult to get accepted (they won't take kids with Asperger's or PDD-NOS diagnoses). It took us almost a year to get accepted in. But we chose an agency we love that is 100 percent funded through them. That's the good news. The bad news is because of limited budget resources, they only provided ABA for 2-3 years at most (but that's huge). We're getting kick out of ABA after only a year, but they claim our daughter is really done with it an can't benefit from it any more. After reading what you posted, I feel blessed to have even have gotten the year!

i don't believe in her either!

i wish i lived in NV so i could not vote for this idiot.

Total 7 comments

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