February is here! Changes in Pennsylvania are happening constantly. Please get involved and participate in these conversations! I think that we need to collect public opinion, data from consumers and families here in PA, to ask what they want regarding independent working and living. Data should drive what initiatives, policies, and waivers we create for our citizens. What are the practical uses and how do they play out in the real world? I believe it is extremely important to hear and listen to consumers with Autism; those that can advocate for themselves. Parents can advocate for our children! I will continue to be a very vocal advocate for our Autism community and remain steady in talking loudly about the issues that matter to us by writing local legislatorsThe President has made his State of the Union Address. Sadly, I am not sure issues involving health, special education, safety, funding for independent working and living are even thought about seriously in Washington D.C.. Our citizens with disabilities do not seem to be a priority in our current congress.
*If you would like to learn about local meetings and events during the months of December and January, make sure you visit the Facebook page: Autismguards
(It is easier to update information daily there!)
We parents must help our young adults tap into their talents and hidden potential by exploring opportunities, expanding possibilities, and focusing on high expectations while setting and meeting Realistic Goals." Tara Horwitz. With so many new opportunities happening around Montgomery County and conferences and the past Octoberfests this year. I get so excited over the fact that real conversations about improving services and funding are happening around here, so when I can't attend something, I may send an email, just to be included in the conversation. I may even write an actual letter!
With the winter months approaching, it is time for me to recharge, reflect, and plan for the future. I am in the process of editing this entire website and hope that the changes in the reources section are helpful to many. I am working on making sure links are clickable and that all information is as accurate as possible. It will take awhile, but it will get done. New resources are being added!
Here is a good read on the subject of exploring opportunities with our unique children: Untapped Potential: Autistic Adults
My son, Kyle, is an adult living with Autism. He has made me very proud and taught me more than I ever imagined. Do you have a teenager or an adult living with Autism? I do! Actually, as I meet up with more and more parents of children with any special need, I am realizing that we aren't much different from one another. We all want our children to thrive and live out happy lives. I started this site to keep track of resources for developmentally delayed/neurologically impaired pre-teens and teens, because I am concerned about transitioning, especially from highschool to "the real world".
We do not have monthly meetings at this time, however, we do provide information on local area meetings that may be of interest to those in the Autism community.
You are encouraged to check out easily updated information via our Facebook page: Autismguards.
(Pictured above Kyle and his Mom, Tara)
All the Best,
P.S. Don't know where to start? * Autismspeaks.org
This site is listed there, along with many other great resources to help us all!
*NEWEST=Community-based Skills Assessment (CSA): Developing a Personalized Transition Plan!
There are several valuable guidelines and outlines for the best ways to get started on advocating for your child or loved one.
The tool kit that I have found most helpful for my own son is the Transition Tool Kit!
They have an Employment Tool Kit and many others.
They hold the market on research and many other things...
Keep a binder and good luck on your journey!