I was on Special Needs Talk Radio, Autism As They Grow with Bobbi Sheahan!!

Autism Help USA/Technewszone
Autism Help USA/Technewszone
Autism Help USA/Technewszone

I had the opportunity to speak on Bobbi Sheahan and Amalia Starr’s Special Needs Talk Radio, Autism As They Grow’s Second to last show. I really appreciate it.

We are trying to make a difference for people with autism for quality of life, education, vocation and to help them find enjoyment in their lives, and promote inclusion as possible in schools. We are trying to do this by giving the gift of music, the arts and technology and by partnering with tech like Android, Blackberry and Apple Ipad Tablets to schools and individuals, music, and arts related organizations and people to help us get funding and reach people.

We would love to be on more shows, to gain support and make a difference.

Here is a link to the show–>http://www.blogtalkradio.com/specialneedstalkradio/2012/05/24/autism-as-they-grow-1


A bio on Bobbi Sheahan–>

Catch my new show, Autism As They Grow, on Special Needs Talk Radio, Wednesdays at 9:30 p.m. EST!

Do people suggest that your child is different – really different? Are you wondering how to make sense of your child’s behavior (or your spouse’s – or your own)? Don’t despair; help is on the way! Bobbi Sheahan and psychologist Kathy DeOrnellas, Ph.D., offer themselves as your scouts in the field. They have valuable information to share – from the moment you realize your kid is different (“My, what a quiet baby I have!”), to the self-righteous moms on the playground, to holding your marriage together in the realm of routines, they candidly tackle autism spectrum issues such as picky eating, bedtime battles, potty training, speech delays, discipline, early intervention, sibling rivalry, and much more!

Bobbi Sheahan is the mother of four children; Grace, her second-born, has been diagnosed with autism. Her new book, What I Wish I’d Known About Raising a Child With Autism: A Mom and a Psychologist Offer Heartfelt Guidance for the First Five Years, has been published by Future Horizons, the world’s largest and most authoritative autism publisher. Bobbi says, “Dr. Kathy DeOrnellas, my co-author, knows more about autism than anyone you will ever meet. Since I can’t bring you to her office – and I would if I could – this book is my way of bringing her to you.” In Chapter 2 (entitled Autism 101), Dr. DeOrnellas brings you more than 20 years of experience, teaching, and research in the field of autism in a readable, conversational manner.

Autism is not only a challenge to a family’s emotions; it can also be a financial drain. Bobbi says, “With families routinely spending thousands of dollars out of pocket each year, we are here to help to point families in the direction of meaningful, affordable help.”

For her part, Bobbi pulls no punches in telling the story of her family’s road to discovering Grace’s autism. “The entire family comes along on this journey, believe me,” she says. “There is a reason that my favorite chapter heading is: Fun and Folly With Self-Diagnosis: Is Asperger’s German for Engineer?”

The book is also enriched by quotes from more than two dozen families who have been breathtakingly honest about everything, from speech delays to potty training, from doing battle with professionals who are supposed to be on your family’s side; this book is an indispensable resource for families. From reading lists to guidance about building a personal and professional support system, the authors offer a crash course to families who don’t have time to waste. The wit and humor with which the information is conveyed is a much-needed breath of fresh air for families who desperately need a break – and a friend.

Available now at Future Horizons, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Borders, and wherever books are sold!

Please listen to the show, I am on at the halfway point. Please share with people in the media.

Please help us to help others, we can not do it alone!!!

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Thank you I appreciate it.

My Guide- A Poem to Remind educators believe in your students and they will believe in themselves by Mari Nosal

Mari Nosal A Poem

This is a fine poem and statement that educator’s, parents, bosses need to show confidence and faith in their students, children etc, and that will inspire confidence in them. I am a parent, and president of a small nonprofit trying to help people with autism, and education via tech, music and the arts. I love it.

Oh teachers listen closely

For this you need to know

My future rests right in your palm

I need you as I grow

My destiny is yours to shape

By words you choose to use

Encourage me, tell me I’m great

Your power do not abuse

Believe in me and I will shine

I will not let you down

Give up on me and let me fail

My choice will be to drown

Please teach me all you know my friend

Do not give up and leave

And I will thrive because I knew

In me you did believe

I have the talent to succeed

But sometimes feel lost

Please help me so I find my way

No matter what the cost

Don’t leave me on the tough days

I need to know you’ll stay

For you help me to grow and learn

And assure me i’m o.k.

Support me, guide me, and teach me

My fate is up to you

For with your words I’ll fail or win

It is up to you you’ll see

Please don’t leave nor write me off

I am worthy of your time

I promise I’ll not fail you

To give up would be a crime

My future is up to you you’ll see

In you I do believe

I will succeed and fulfill my dreams

If you walk with me

In order for me to succeed

I can not walk alone

Don’t give up on me and walk away

My emotions will turn to stone

Teachers listen closely

I need your help today

Help now and I promise

I will make you proud one day



Warrior parents fare best in securing autism services from the Los Angeles Times

Here is an interesting article from the Los Angeles times–>

By Alan Zarembo, Los Angeles Times
December 13, 2011
Second of four parts

From the day her son was diagnosed with autism nine years ago, Stacie Funk has made it her full-time job to find him the best possible help. Hiring lawyers and experts to press her case, she established herself as a mother whose demands could not easily be dismissed.

The series at a glance:

Part 1: An epidemic of disease or of discovery?

Part 2: Services go to those who fight hardest

Part 3: Families chase the dream of recovery

Part 4: Finding traces of autism in earlier eras

About the series | Discuss

The result has been a bounty of assistance for Jonah: A behavioral therapist who works with him at home and comes along on family outings, a personal aide at school and specialists to design his curriculum, improve his speech and refine his motor skills.

So far, the state of California and the Los Angeles Unified School District have spent at least $300,000 on specialized services for Jonah.

Now 13, he bites his hands , pinches his younger siblings and is easily flustered by changes in routine. But his mother is proud of the progress he’s made — his ability to express his needs, read aloud and surf the Internet for movie trivia.

The outside support, she said, helps hold the family together.

“Am I more entitled than someone else?” said Funk, of Encino, whose husband owns a trophy-parts business. “No. But that’s how the system is set up.”

Getting a wide array of help for an autistic child can require waging a small war with the gatekeepers of state and school district services. But not all parents have the time and resources to fight the way Funk did. That contributes to striking disparities in how services are distributed.

Public spending on autistic children in California varies significantly by racial or ethnic group and socioeconomic status, according to data analyzed by the Los Angeles Times.

Jonah Funk, 13

Jonah Funk, 13, was diagnosed with autism nine years ago. His mother, Stacie, says she often describes herself as his eyes, his ears and his voice. “I want him to be treated fairly,” she said. “I want him to receive the things he needs.”
For autistic children 3 to 6 — a critical period for treating the disorder — the state Department of Developmental Services last year spent an average of $11,723 per child on whites, compared with $11,063 on Asians, $7,634 on Latinos and $6,593 on blacks.

Data from public schools, though limited, shows that whites are more likely to receive basic services such as occupational therapy to help with coordination and motor skills.

The divide is even starker when it comes to the most coveted service — a behavioral aide from a private company to accompany a child throughout each school day, at a cost that often reaches $60,000 a year.

In the state’s largest school district, Los Angeles Unified, white elementary school students on the city’s affluent Westside have such aides at more than 10 times the rate of Latinos on the Eastside.

It might be tempting to blame such disparities on prejudice, but the explanation is more complicated.

“Part of what you’re seeing here is the more educated and sophisticated you are, the louder you scream and the more you ask for,” said Soryl Markowitz, an autism specialist at the Westside Regional Center, which arranges state-funded services in West Los Angeles for people with developmental disabilities.

In both the developmental system and the schools, the process for determining what services a disabled child receives is in essence a negotiation with the parents.

Because autism has come to encompass such a broad range of children — from those who never learn to speak or use a toilet to math whizzes unable to make friends — there is often bitter disagreement over what a child needs and who should pay.

Racial disparities

The level of autism services also varies by race and ethnicity. Here are figures on average spending per autistic child across the developmental services system.

Source: California Dept. of Developmental Services. Graphics reporting by Alan Zarembo
Data analysis by Sandra Poindexter

Thomas Suh Lauder, Doug Stevens Los Angeles Times

The financial squeeze on school and state budgets has turned up the temperature, leaving officials caught between legal mandates to help autistic children and pressure to curb spending.

In California last year, autism accounted for one tenth of special education enrollment but one third of the disputes between schools and parents on record with the state.

Carmen Carley, a professional advocate for families seeking public services, said parents who present themselves as formidable opponents fare best.

“Wear a fake diamond ring,” she tells mothers who don’t have a real one. “Make them think you’re ready to fight. Don’t show them you’re weak. Don’t show them you’re tired.”

Carley, of Torrance, gained her expertise by advocating for her own son, Collin, now 14. He received state-funded behavioral therapy for more than eight years as a result of her efforts, which included taking the officials at the Harbor Regional Center in Torrance before a judge.

In contrast to warrior parents, some families simply accept what they are offered.

Gissell Garcia of South Los Angeles was diagnosed with autism at age 3, early enough that intensive therapies might have helped. But her parents, Mexican immigrants who support themselves on the father’s factory job, say that neither L.A. Unified nor state officials ever mentioned the possibility.

The couple requested a one-on-one aide for Gissell. She had a habit of inserting objects into her ears and nose, and they worried she might hurt herself. But school officials said there were enough staff members in her special education classroom to keep an eye on her.

For several years, Gissell has received speech therapy for 30 minutes a week during school.

“I didn’t ask for anything more,” her mother, Yolanda Ortega, said in Spanish. “I accepted it because I didn’t know. I thought she would eventually talk.”

Now 11, Gissell has learned to point when she wants something. The sounds she makes are unintelligible.