Monthly Archives: December 2014

December 30, 2014

Podcast with Lori Shayew

Here is a link to my podcast from this past Friday on The Gifts of Autism with Lori Shayew. It was a wonderful hour of engaging conversation as I had the chance to discuss my own personal experiences living with autism growing up and as an adult.

tinyurl.com/qdz4ffb

December 28, 2014

Framework For Global Raising of Humanity

Greetings,
Humanity has the opportunity at this time to connect in the heart and access higher consciousness and guidance for solutions on the planet. The human emotions and consciousness interact with and encode information in the geomagnetic field. An important contribution that can be provided is with each time we add coherent heart energy to the global field environment, and each time we make a shift within our own hearts to forgive and release old hurts and resentments.
As we generate coherent heart energy of love, compassion, care and forgiveness into the global field environment, we draw more facilitation from Universal Source to help resolve our individual and global problems. It’s a gift to serve the planetary Shift in this way and help co-create peace and harmony on Earth. While our problems won’t resolve overnight, as more of humanity come together with compassionate hearts, then resolutions can occur faster than we might imagine, and in unanticipated ways.
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Care Focus – Acting As A Compassion Operative
Center in the heart and breathe in the feeling of love and appreciation to increase your heart energy and coherence. Appreciate the opportunity to serve humanity during this time of the planetary Shift.

Connect in the heart with people throughout the planet who are generating love, care, compassion and forgiveness to help humanity dissipate separation and come together in peace and heart-felt cooperation to create healthy global environment

December 22, 2014

The Gifts of Autism Interviews Amber Black Live this Friday, December 26th.

imageThe Gifts of Autism Interviews Amber Black Live this Friday, December 26th.

The Gifts of Autism™ Giving a Voice to the Gift Beyond the Label is excited to present this Friday’s Guest, Amber Black!

Hear personal insights shared from the Autistic vantage point. Amber will be sharing her experience as well as discussing Energy/Frequency and Autism. Time to peel that onion!! You’ll leave the call empowered and understanding autism on a whole other level.

Please join us THIS Friday, December 26th at 1pm PST. (3pm CST, 4pm EST, etc) 712-775-7085, participant code 456246#

December 7, 2014

Creating Meaningful Jobs for Adults with Autism

As many as 500,000 children with Autism Spectrum Disorder will enter adulthood over the next eight years. Most of the services offered for ASD cater to children with autism, which leaves adults who are on the spectrum to fend for themselves. Since many businesses are hesitant to hire people with the disorder, it can be difficult for adults with ASD to find meaningful employment.

Nonprofit organization Extraordinary Ventures (EV) www.extraordinaryventures.org in Chapel Hill, North Carolina is working to break this trend. EV creates small businesses that are ideal for employing adults with developmental disabilities, including those on the autism spectrum. They started with an event center, which gets rented out for things like bar mitzvoth and weddings, and have subsequently created laundry, cleaning, clerical, and candle-making services.

Van Hatchell, Managing Director at EV, hopes that their organization will break the stigmas and stereotypes behind individuals with ASD, and that EV be able to show other employers the value that those on the spectrum bring to the workforce.

For information about working at Extraordinary Ventures, please contact

Extraordinary Ventures is located at
200 South Elliot Road
Chapel Hill, NC 27514

Office Hours: 9am-5pm, M-F

Phone: 919-967-1100 Fax: 919-967-1169

December 5, 2014

Krav Maga Holiday Self Defense and Leadership

On behalf of the Krav Maga Family and my experience with my amazing instructor Trea. I would like yo share with you all the opportunity to become empowered in such a way that you life is changed immeasurably,enriched with security, unity, and confidence. Children  should live a safely and know what tools they need to have to be secure and strategically equipped when dealing with bullies or any other harmful situation.  Additionally Krav instructors assist in supporting autistics and empowering them in living a safe life with a sense of security and confidence. Please ask to speak with James, Trea, or Chris

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December 4, 2014

Sensory Sensitivities

The community setting offers many opportunities for learning, but it is also a potential bomb of sensory overload for the person with autism. Understanding these challenges can help parents and therapists deal with negative behaviors that may occur.

Consider a trip to a large retail store. Most people can block out the ambient noise, smells, and visual stimuli. For someone with sensory issues, this is a serious challenge. Finding the ability to sort through a plethora of voices and beeps and rattles which may wreak havoc on his nerves. Constant bombardment with images, products, unfamiliar faces, and bright lighting. The brain of a person with autism is not wired to determine which sensory stimuli should be ignored. Waiting in line may also be a painful experience, because it seems to serve no purpose leaving the feeling restrained and uncomfortable. The frustration may be magnified by an inability to communicate or release these feelings. Left with not knowing what to expect and nor what is expected of him.

The easiest solution to this problem is not necessarily the best, though. To never expose the child with autism to a public setting is denying him an opportunity to interact with the community. However, taking steps prior to the errand can ensure smooth sailing. This is an ideal opportunity to write a social story tailor made to the situation. Using pictures and words, provide a step-by-step list of what the errand will entail. For example, where you are going, how you will get there, and what to expect when there. Also include behavior expectations for the person. In addition, alerting the individual of potential sensory issues in advance can help eliminate the fear of the unknown and put them more at ease. It is also useful to bring objects, such as fidget toys, which can occupy their interest while on the errand, in addition to providing a controlled sensory input. If noise is a major issue, ear plugs or headphones with music may be helpful.

Although it may seem daunting to a parent or caregiver to take these steps everytime they go out in public with their child, prevention is the best cure. As the individual with autism becomes familiar with these expeditions, he will not need to be prepped as thoroughly every time.

Sensory Integration Disorder And Autism

Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) is a a neurological condition in and of itself, most often associated with other neurological conditions, including Autism Spectrum Disorders, Attention Deficit/Hyperactive Disorder, and Tourette’s Syndrome. Unlike blindness or deafness, where a person is unable to sense or receive input from sight or sound, a person with SID is able to perceive sensory stimuli. The deficit lies in the brain’s inability to process the stimuli. If the person with SID is hyposensitive to sensory input such as touch, he or she may be more likely to be injured walking into objects or not realizing an object was too hot. A SID patient who is hypersensitive to input such as noise, will often respond loudly and negatively to surprise noises. They may also be able to hear soft noises, such as the buzz from fluorescent lights which is imperceptible to a typical person. Sensory Integration Therapy is a proven treatment for SID and is typically implemented by occupational therapists who also treat patients with autism.

To Hug Or Not To Hug

It is often believed people with autism hate to be touched. Flashback to the movie “Rainman” where Dustin Hoffman’s character, autistic savant Raymond Babbit, has a come-apart, because someone put a hand on his shoulder. While it is important to respect the sensory issues and personal space of a person with autism, physical contact does not necessarily need to be avoided. Many children with autism seek out certain kinds of physical contact, but what they prefer is as unique as the child themselves. Some may prefer hand holding or big bear hugs but have a strong aversion to light touch, such as a gentle hand on the back or arm. For individuals with tactile sensory issues, a light brush on the arm is highly irritating. Others may find it very relaxing to have their arm or back scratched. Often, a negative reaction to being touched is more a response to fear. If they weren’t expecting it, they may become upset. Likewise, if they are already upset, trying to calm them with a hug might only add fuel to the fire. As you develop a relationship with this person, you will learn what kind of physical contact he or she prefers.

Sensory Integration Activities

Sensory integration activities are very valuable in that they can be used as a motivational tool. They can encourage communication and they help the individual calm and organize his behavior. Sensory integration activities can also be used to increase attention and time on task. Choosing which activities to implement depends on the specific needs of the individual. These needs can be identified through self stimulatory behaviors that are exhibited. Rocking is a common stereotyped repetitive movement that serves to address visual and vestibular sensory systems. This behavior can be replaced with activities like swinging on a swing or alternating sit-ups with a partner while holding hands. Tactile sensory integration activities include tickles, materials and sensory bins. Sensory bins are containers filled with beans, pasta, smooth stones or anything that has an interesting and textures. The auditory system can be addressed as the individual moves his hands through the bin making interesting sounds. Deep pressure is a valuable approach to dealing with common proprioceptive needs. Deep pressure involves burrowing into pillows or hugging a large stuffed animal. The individual can roll on the floor or be wrapped in a blanket. These activities are helpful in calming behavior in many cases.

Sensory Issues

Everyone has some sensory issues. Some people dislike a certain fabric or the well-known sound of fingernails running down a chalkboard. People with autism have sensitive sensory systems in many cases. No two individuals are exactly alike. Some individuals with autism may love the feeling of water while others can’t stand to even listen to the sound of water filtering into a bathtub. The sensory issues pose a challenge for everyday activities like grooming and meal time. Many people with autism have sensory issues that make some food textures intolerable and brushing teeth unthinkable.

Sensory Systems

There are seven sensory systems in the human body. Each system is a complex interaction of perception and experience that can be dysfunctional in some cases of autism. Specific behaviors can help us identify which system is lacking or over stimulated. The five senses are taste, touch, sight, hearing and smell. The sixth sensory system is the vestibular system, and the seventh is the proprioceptive system. The vestibular system involves how our bodies process movement. Sight is closely tied to this system. The proprioceptive system involves the body’s natural way of adjusting to its environment. This system involves fine motor activities like buttoning a shirt and coordinated activities like walking down steps.