Category Archives: > Autism / Asperger’s

Information or articles relating to autism spectrum

+ Central Ohio: Transition Fair at Olentangy HS Nov 16

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The Delaware County Board of Developmental Disabilities and Delaware area schools will offer a transition fair from 5:30 pm-7:30 pm Tuesday, November 16th at Olentangy HS, 675 Lewis Center Rd.

The fair is designed for individuals with with disabilities and families to answer questions about life after high school.

Vendors will be on hand to talk about housing, employment options, job coaches, social opportunities, adult day services and post high-school educational programs.

A panel discussion will take place from 6 pm to 7 pm.

For more information call 740-201-3600.

source: Olentangy News 10/10/2010

tutoring in columbus OH:   Adrienne Edwards  614-579-6021  or email

+ Ohio: OCALI 2010 Conference Nov 17-19

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The Ohio Coalition for Autism and Low Incidence (OCALI) 2010 conference and exposition is scheduled for November 17-19 in Columbus Ohio.

This is one of the premier events for

  • Autism
  • Assistive Technology
  • Low-incidence Disibilities  

Register at

There will be presenters and materials from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC),  Muskingum Valley ESC, National Education Association (NEA), Ohio Dept. of Jobs and Family Services, Riverside Local Schools, State Support Team Region 15, Utah State University, Vermont Dept. of Education, Warren County Board of DD.

As well as many other leading agencies, schools, organizations and institutions.

reading tutoring in Columbus OH:   Adrienne Edwards   614-579-6021  or email

+ Autism Spectrum: College Internship Program

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C I P is a 2-week college experience for teens with Asperger’s and learning differences.

Students are given a unique opportunity to take a sneak peek at college life, and to do so in various locations.  Visit

In 2010, four sites around the country hosted the programs: Berkshire Center in Lee, Massachusetts, the Brevard Center in Melbourne Florida, Bloomington Center in Bloomington Indiana, and the Berkeley Center in Berkeley California.

In 2009, CIP held the two-week programs at Indiana University, Florida Tech, Cal Berkeley and Elms College in Chicopee Massachusetts.

Teens ages 16 to 19 with learning differences have a unique opportunity to learn valuable skills necessary for making a well-prepared transition from high school to college or while pursuing vocational interest.

Participants have the chance to practice new skills in a supported environment where they will build self-confidence and experience success.  They also build friendships and have lots of fun.

This experience provides a convenient window into independent living and life on a college campus.

Features of the Summer College Internship Program

  • 2-week residential pre-college program
  • Use of college or universities facilities (dorms, classrooms and cafeteria)
  • Furnished on-campus dorm living with Internet access
  • 24/7 staffing
  • Access to campus fitness and recreation areas
  • Computer lab
  • Laundry facilities and instruction
  • Meal pass (vegetarian and vegan friendly cafeteria)
  • Cost in 2010 was $3875, covering room, board, most meals, the majority of activities and staffing/support .

Activities and events have included hiking outdoors, swimming and exploring local highlights.  Access is provided to campus recreation centers, tracks and pools. 

There have been ropes courses, theme park trips and professional sports outings.  In addition, there is scheduled downtime and time to socialize.

Curriculum includes morning reframing classes focusing on daily and weekly themes, as well as developing a better understanding of a student’s own learning difference.  Students receive introductions to executive function, sensory integration and social thinking. 

There are Person-Centered Plans using PowerPoint and a variety of multimedia tools to assist in creating short- and long-term goals.

Other curriclum includes College 101: What You Need to Know to Be Successful.  There are self-advocacy, health and wellness, cooking and independent-living skills sessions.

As life-skills are taught, staff also target the importance of maintaining overall well-being.  In addition to diet, fitness and personal hygiene, stress management is also underscored.

And experienced CIP staff members balance independence with  structured support as they assist individual students.

I learned about the CIP programs from an article in the Boston Globe by Joanna Weiss.   She reported on the recent CIP experience at the Berkshire Center this summer.

…they take courses in “executive functioning” — not business techniques, but the cognitive work of decision-making and self-control.  In their classroom, posters offer tips for talking to acquaintances.  “Smile and say ‘hello’ to initiate a dialogue.  Ask them how they are, to build rapport.”

Weiss says the staff makes it clear that autism isn’t something to “cure” or “defeat.” 

The program’s founder, Michael McManmon says a diagnosis is a piece of your identity.  His philosophy is based on self-knowledge. 

“If you understand who you are and what makes you tick,” he says, “then you can alter it and you can fit into the world.”  

Jeff Wheeler, the program’s academic coordinator says that young adults often find their way to the program after experiencing failure.  His task is to convince students that they have the power to meet their goals and seek their dream careers.

Weiss reports that  the program has a small foundation to finance scholarships.  A handful of students get help through state programs or local school systems.

sources include the Web site at and Joanna Weiss’s article at on 9/12/2010.

tutoring in Columbus OH:   Adrienne Edwards  614-579-6021  or email

+ STEM Curriculum and Students with Learning Challenges

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Linking complex math equations to tangible tasks and objects  students could see, touch and interact with, increased their competence and fluency in different subject areas.

According to an article by Richard G. Collins and Joseph J. Viscomi in IDA’s “Perspectives” newsletter, the Brehm Preparatory School in Carbondale IL   has responded to the pressure for increased STEM education.

Brehm is a grade 6-12 coeducational boarding school for students with complex learning disabilities.

STEM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.

Brehm has increased its instructional opportunities in forensics, physics, chemistry, anatomy, precalculus, calculus, assistive technologies, and computer programming.

Programming classes were implemented.  Students are now given  the ability to think abstractly and solve complex problems with a computer.  A programming language, SCHEME, was selected for its simplified set of rules which allow students to learn all the syntax in less than 30 minutes.

Much like the game of chess, say Collins and Visconti, this language is quickly learned, but it requires practice and an ongoing implementation of strategy for mastery.

Students successfully used the computer to apply complex concepts in order to solve otherwise impossible problems.  

SCHEME  gives immediate feedback, a distinct advantage when dealing with bugs or short attention spans common to students with possible executive function issues.

The school turned to  the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) ( 

The FRC  competition allows engineers to work with students in an innovative and exciting setting, where  they build robots to solve problems.  According to the article,

The competition was a great opportunity for all involved, and, with the help of some mentors, served as the foundation of a successful program that is very exciting and motivating for students.

It gives them the opportunity to demonstrate their skills head to head with teams from around the world in a very competitive environment ruled by gracious professionalism.

Since students with learning challenges often excel in creative thinking and hands-on projects in the arts, they also excel in fun hands-on STEM projects that combine science and technology.

Brehm students learned science skills in order to design and test theories for solving problems related to tasks for their robots.  

In order to use the latest industry standard computer, electronics, robotic parts and programs, students had to understand and use technology.

This kind of difficult application involves melding creativity, understanding, cooperation, stressful timelines and individual experience.    When Brehm students linked complex math equations to tangible tasks, the result was engagement with objects students could see, touch and interact with.

So, while these students were strengthening their STEM education, they were learning leadership and teamwork skills.   They dealt successfully with stress and tight timelines.  And faculty noticed that the program has a positive impact on all areas of school life and decisions.

In order to quantify the experience at Brehm, administrators looked at graduation placements.  This is what they found: prior to the introduction of the robotics program, students weren’t selecting STEM-related majors. 

But since the three-year inclusion of this program, the first graduating class who participated in the project went to CalPoly Tech, DePaul, Carnegie Mellon and Wisconsin Stout in majors that included computer science, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, and chemistry.

Brehm School is located at  1245 E. Grand Avenue   Carbondale, IL 62901.   Phone: 618.457.0371    Fax: 618.529.1248   Visit  Information:

The Brehm School also offers their Options program, which  is a comprehensive transitional program for post-high school students with complex learning disabilities.  For that information, visit  

sole source for this information is the article by Richard G. Collins and Joseph J. Visconti in the  Summer 2010 issue of “Perspectives,” a quarterly publication of the International Dyslexia Association.   

tutoring in Columbus OH:   Adrienne Edwards   614-579-6021   or email

+ Central Ohio: September Meeting of Parents Support Group

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Special Needs Connections” is a Central Ohio group for parents of special needs children.  It meets nearly every month.

This group hopes to allow parents to share information, support each other, and very often presents professional speakers able to address specific concerns.

  • Next meeting: Thursday September 23, 2010
  • Where: home of Molly King 130 Big Run Rd Delaware OH 43015
  • Time: 7:00 to 8:30 pm
  • Speaker: Lydia Jennings MA, case supervisor at the Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Topic: Social skills
  • RSVP (so enough materials): Molly King 740-369-4047,

Molly King says let her know if you have specific questions for Lydia Jennings, so she can pass them on to her ahead of time.

tutoring in Columbus OH:  Adrienne Edwards  614-579-6021  or email

+ Babies Disinterest in Faces Possible Risk for Autism

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Shari Roan’s blog at the L A Times notes research published in the Journal of Child Psychiatry and Psychology.

Researchers from the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore and the University of Delaware have observed 25  6-month-old infants who were siblings of children with autism.  (Siblings are at much higher risk of developing the disease.)

These infants were compared with 25 infants from families with no history of autism.

The infants were observed performing a task that measures their ability to learn, and their level of social engagement with a  caregiver.

Researchers found that infants in the low-risk group were more likely to have normal social gazing: they looked at their caregivers, pointed to toys and became excited as they played.

The high-risk siblings, though, spent less time looking at caregivers and more time focused on the toy.

The two groups did not differ in how well they learned the game being played with the caregiver.

Authors are A N Bhat, J C Galloway and R J Landa

Landa says the study provides more evidence for early diagnosis, and that the lack of interest in people’s faces is “a subtle difference that could be easily overlooked by both parents and some professionals.

for access to the complete journal article :  For Roan’s 9/2 LA Times blog post, find it at .

tutoring in Columbus OH:   Adrienne Edwards   614-579-6021   or email

+ Council for Learning Disabilities Annual Conference Oct 8-9 2010

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The theme of the 32nd CLD Conference at Myrtle Beach is “Practices for Promoting Positive Change: Meeting the Needs of Struggling Learners.”  The conference is being held on October 8-9, 2010. 

It offers high-quality topical sessions addressing issues and evidence-based practices in the field of learning disabilities.

Make hotel reservations  no later than September 5, 2010 to take advantage of the special CLD rate.  Contact the hotel directly at

2010 Conference Strands

  • Effective practices in collaboration and inclusion
  • Evidence-based practices in literacy
  • Evidence-based practices in mathematics
  • Effective content area instruction (science and social studies)
  • Evidence-based practices in behavior interventions and positive behavior supports
  • Responsive practices in cultural and linguistic diversity
  • Evidence-based practices in transition
  • Nonverbal learning disabilities and autism spectrum disorders
  • Current issues, research and policy in special education
  • Current issues in school administration

 To register, visit     

For more information contact Mary Provost, Conference Director at

tutoring in Columbus OH:   Adrienne Edwards   614-579-6021  or email