Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Autism Night Out

Montgomery County Police are hosting an Autism Safety Night Out event on Thursday July 25 from 6-9pm.

You will have access to resources and tools to help keep kids safe, learn how to prepare for an emergency, kids can tour emergency vehicles and play in a moonbounce.  The K9 unit will be on site as well.

Information will be available about Project Lifesaver, take pictures with police officers and learn about swimming lessons for special needs children.

The event will be at the Montgomery County Police Academy, 9710 Great Seneca Highway, Rockville, MD 20850 from 6-9pm on Thursday July 25.  

Friday, June 14, 2013

COPAA Webinar Summer Series

I've received a message about COPAA's (Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates) webinar series and I'm passing it on to you:

"COPAA is pleased to offer two new LIVE webinar series. The 2013 Summer 5 session series is starting June 4, and the 2013 Fall 5 session series will kick off the new school year! Register for both series, individual sessions, or for the best value purchase a yearly subscription. You will be registered for all live sessions and access ALL previously recorded sessions in the archives. That is over 50 webinars.

If you cannot attend a live session, register anyway and you will be sent the presentation materials and a link for the recorded session to view at your convenience. 

This is a wonderful way to expand your knowledge of Special Education Advocacy from the comfort of your computer."

Click here for the registration information on COPAA's website. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Therapeutic Recreation Summer Camps with Montgomery County Recreation

Montgomery County Recreation is offering several Therapeutic Recreation Summer Camps for teens and adults, ages 13-21, with disabilities.  Each camp session varies a bit in activities but they strive to provide opportunities for socialization, recreation, games, and peer interaction.  If you are enrolled in ESY, ask for special transportation opportunities. 

For more information, call 240-777-6870


Sunday, June 9, 2013

Event Summary Week of June 10, 2013

Check out the AutMont Calendar to see all of the activities for this week, as well as those coming up!

Monday, June 10:
Employment Supports for People with ASD

Tuesday, June 11:
Meeting: Adult Autism Resource Group

Wednesday, June 12:
Public Meeting: Accessibility at Recreation & Parks Facilities

Thursday, June 13:
Helping Children Learn How to Face and Manage Their Own Anxiety


Do you know of another event? Leave details in the comments!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Wandering: How you can protect your child today!

There were two sad stories in the news recently about autistic children who wandered away.  You can read them here, and here, if you are interested in the specifics. They end in tragedy, which is so very sad and very scary.

If you have an autistic child wandering is a very real concern.  Thankfully, if you live in Montgomery County Maryland you do not have to live in fear of the worst any longer.  There is a program that can help you and your family prepare and plan, should a wandering event happen. 

Montgomery County has a fabulous program run by the Montgomery County Police Department called Project LifeSaver.  It is run by Officer Laurie Reyes.

Designed as a proactive effort to protect those in our community who are likely to wander; Alzheimer's patients, children and adults with Autism or Downs Syndrome, it is entirely free to caretakers and patients within the county.

With the help of Officer Reyes, you can identify likely places that your child (or patient who is likely to wander) is likely to go, should they leave the house without your knowledge, you prepare in advance a list of who to call and simply being registered in this program helps the police begin their search for your loved one in a more individualized manner, specific to the wanderee and your location.  They also offer GPS tracking bracelets for the most extreme cases.

You can contact Montgomery County Police Officer Laurie Reyes at 301-840-2788, Laurie.Reyes@montgomerycountymd.gov, or click here to being the application process.
Officer Reyes talked to Fox 5 about the Project Lifesaver program. You can see the video here. 

I have to be honest: I haven't signed up for this and I have known about it for several years.  Noah only wandered outside alone one time and it was sort of a misunderstanding but it could easily happen again if I told him we were going to walk to the park and then I got distracted, it is possible that he could just leave without me.  I really want to sign up, you know, just in case.  I have heard first hand that Officer Reyes is very warm and easy to work with.

I hope you take advantage of this great program!  If you do, please report back how it went! 

Monday, June 3, 2013

Social Skills Building Play & Learn

The Olney Counseling Center is offering a two week session of a social skills class for children 6-12 years old.  For children who have difficulty making and keeping friends, have anxiety, ADHD, ASD, or need help with social awareness. All activities include therapeutic goals to work on relationship, self-awareness and awareness of others.

To learn more about the sessions being offered,contact Jill Lyons, LGSW at 301-466-5285. Sessions will run June 17-27 and August 5-15.  Registration is required, the session is $300. 

Social Skills groups are an excellent way to help generalize the skills learned in speech (and other) therapy and it is excellent practice for higher functioning kids who are in mainstream classes and for any child who needs coaching in social situations.  It gives them a professionally-supported environment in which to practice the very skills that allow them to be mainstreamed.