Inspire Kids – The Story of a Tiny Frog who Didn’t Listen

Inspiration for Kids

Once upon a time, there was an ambitious group of tiny frogs who arranged a climbing competition. The goal was to reach the top of a very high tree. A huge crowd of frogs had gathered around the tree to watch the race and cheer on the contestants. The race began. Not one tiny frog […]

Self-Advocacy: Like Speaking a Foreign Language

Self Advocacy is Hard

“Use your words” and “Ask, and you will receive” are phrases I heard a lot during my childhood. Back when I was younger, I thought this meant to stop being so shy and well, speak up. I also wasn’t the kid who enjoyed imposing on people or asking for things I wanted. Little did I […]

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How do I Build Self-Confidence in My Child?

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Self-Confidence is crucial for the emotional development of children. Self- Confidence is what helps them follow thru on tasks despite ups and downs and accomplish goals at home, in school and other activities. It is especially important in children with learning disorders, intellectual disabilities, ADHD, anxiety and mood disorders, as they are more vulnerable to […]

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What Does it Mean to be “Different”?

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Many of you probably know that I am an openly high-functioning autistic college student, and I am very proud of identifying with this. I am open because I want to make a difference and inspire others to feel the same way. I own my quirks, my strengths, and my weaknesses. I am a very proud […]

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Raising Awareness of PANDAS/PANS Syndromes in Children

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Today marks the very first PANDAS/PANS Awareness Day. “PANDAS (Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections) and PANS (Pediatric Acute-onset Neuropsychiatric Syndromes) are devastating syndromes that are likely as prevalent as Pediatric Cancer and Pediatric Diabetes.” (PANDAS Network.org Newsletter) Strep, walking pneumonia, viruses, Lyme, and other infections can trigger an autoimmune reaction resulting in […]

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Lessons from A Tragedy: The Death of Alex Spourdalakis

Alex Spourdalakis

My heart broke when I read the tragic story of Alex Spourdalakis, the fourteen-year-old child with autism and severe behavioural challenges killed by his mother and godmother as part of a murder/double-suicide pact (Zennie, M.). The two women survived the suicide attempt after being discovered by authorities who were contacted after Alex’s dad tried repeatedly […]

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Self-Advocacy Navigates Life

autism self advocacy

“Odd-ism? That’s why I am odd!” I will never forget that night. We were at the dinner table when my then sixth-grader, JJ, had a revelation. He asked why he took the medications (after five years) that were lined up by his glass of milk. I took a deep breath and started to explain. “You […]

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Why We Need to Advocate Against Our Children’s Labels

advocating autism diagnosis

One of the quieter moments in the much maligned Star Wars movie, The Phantom Menace, is the first conversation between Padme and Anakin. Listening to him talking about his past, she suddenly exclaims in shock, “You’re a slave?”, to which Anakin indignantly replies, “I’m a person and my name is Anakin”. That understated moment highlights […]

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Fireflies – Lighting the Way to Awareness

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“Fireflies”, a Jubilee Project short film, is lighting up autism awareness in a simple way, with over 126 thousand views on YouTube in a few short months. Launched in December, 2012, “Fireflies” is an emotionally powerful short story about love and friendship with no borders. Fireflies showcases a young boy and his desire to understand […]

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“What We’d Like the World to Know”

self-advocacy

The majority of the individuals I am blessed to work with are adolescents.  One of our main goals is to promote self-advocacy.  Whenever I have the opportunity to facilitate workshops where the topics include autism and Asperger’s, I usually ask my panel of experts for input.  Recently, I posed the question, “What do you want the […]

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