Autism may give kids super-power-like abilities because they can often see and hear things that others don’t. That is, at least, how 6-year-old Avery beautifully sees it when asked about her twin brother, Xander, who has autism. Their mom, Jenn Medvin, is creating a Kickstarter-funded short documentary, called Little Hero, about Xander’s autism as seen through her eyes. As Jenn writes on their page, Avery “does not view her brother as being a special needs child. Instead, she actually sees him as a superhero. She believes he has “superpowers” and is very good at “helping people.” In this documentary, Avery explains their unique and beautiful relationship from her perspective.”
The good news is that the project was successfully funded earlier this month, so keep an eye out for the finished film. (check out the video above as well)
We’ve been so lucky over the years to come across some amazing people and remarkable organizations in the autism community – and Jaden’s Voice is certainly one of them. This foundation was created in 2010 by Terri Matthews, a mom of three – her youngest child, Jaden, was diagnosed with autism at age two.
Based in Philadelphia, Jaden’s Voice is focused on enhancing the lives of underserved children and families impacted by autism—and they’re doing this in a number of ways. For example, they’ve got some initiatives underway such as Jaden Cares Program that will look to establish a single location that offers services for sensory, occupational and behavioral therapy as well as extracurricular activities (music, art, etc.) – basically a one-stop-shop to offer a comprehensive therapy program. This structure gives you back the time you may be using to shuttle back and forth to various locations.
Jaden’s Voice also has the Jaden’s Family Care initiative that will focus on supporting the families of those touched by autism, offering advocacy, support groups and educational opportunities. And they’re doing so much more.
What if you could get all of your child’s various therapeutic needs met in one place? It seems like an ideal concept (at least one that doesn’t currently exist in Philly). We invite you to check them out!
Summertime can be a more relaxed time of year – school is out, vacations are planned, and the often non-stop days (school, therapies, sports, appointments, music lessons, etc, etc…) are scaled back for these few months. The slowdown may be a welcomed change for some, but for many parents, the lack of a regular routine can be challenging (and the source of many child meltdowns).
Make a visual calendar. Use a calendar to label “typical” summer days, weekends, vacations and holidays. Then create a “typical day” schedule that follows the school schedule as much as possible in terms of lunch time and breaks. It can be very specific if you like, or it can be more vague (brushing teeth, bath, etc).
Talk through plans (and alternate plans). Talk to your child about having a Plan A, but also a Plan B in case things don’t work out. For example, if you’re planning to go to the pool, tell him that if a storm comes up or the pool is closed, you might do something else, and that is your Plan B. Help your child learn to make contingency plans by talking to him when you have to adjust your own plans. By teaching him that it’s not the end of the world when plans change, you can help him learn how to regulate himself before he has a meltdown.
Avoid developing bad habits. It can be tough to stick to a schedule during the summer, when you just want to relax and let go a little bit, but the more you can keep to a routine for meals and sleep, and continue to limit screen time, the more well-regulated your child is likely to be.
Recognize the warnings. It’s important to know the signs that your child is getting overloaded and remove him from challenging situations before a meltdown if possible.
Be positive. Keep things positive, always. With any child, it’s more effective to reward good behavior than to punish bad behavior… parents should try to praise their child four times for every one time they correct something.