Last updated: 9/26/14
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 Octoberfest. 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! Here is a good read on this very subject: Untapped Potential: Autistic Adults
***When I get a chance to post events here, I have very little time, so YOU may have to copy and paste into GOOGLE, (or another search engine) to find out more information about an event/program.****
The links do not always open directly here.
Kyle is very excited to be back at PWHS! He is taking art studio classes for the first time at the highschool and we can't wait to see what he will create. He will also continue job cruising and working in different environments in and outside of school. After the wirlwind of summer activities Kyle had, we are happy that school will add more of a steady routine. This was truly "the summer of Kyle". (Seinfeld Reference) The more activities Kyle joined, the better everything! He will continue to go to mental health counseling, music therapy, the YMCA, bowling, walking around the park, library, pet store, book store, local eateries.The bet news of all is that with the help of a peer mentor through TrailGuides peer mentoring program, Kyle will continue to be apart of the community more independently. Kyle's dedicated, friendly, and mature mentor is able to help him complete travel training, encourage the use of social skills, and guide Kyle with purchasing, shopping, and running daily errands! Kyle is truly making great progress in all areas of his adult life. Couldn't be prouder!
Kyle, 18 yrs.old, had his first week of overnight summer camp and had a wonderful time! On the thrid day of camp, Kyle's camp counselor, Mr. Myers: Kyle did really well today. He went on the zip line, shoot bow in arrows and played basketball. He's watching shrek 2 movie on his dvd player tonite. He's eating well and is making friends in the cabin. By the end of camp Kyle had been very adventurous in doing the zipline, archery, horseback riding, and caneoing. Summer L.I.F.E. offers experiential learning and social skills development in the context of summer fun. Designed especially to support students, ages 8-21, with high functioning autism and Asperger’s Syndrome, the programs – specialty camps, traditional day camp/overnight camp, and travel excursions – also support students who have social anxiety or difficulty connecting with their peers. Summer L.I.F.E. offers low camper-to-staff ratio, experienced camp staff, ongoing behavior support, structured daily programming, engaging, multisensory activities and “Real World” learning.
To learn more information about this speciality camp ran by Valley Forge Educational Services; the folks that also run the Vanguard School, an approved private school, which offers post-secondary education, career development and social and life skills development to young adults ages 18–21 who have been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, mild emotional disturbance and/or neurological impairment. Contact:Holly Zipperer Phone: 610.296.6725 x115Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgWebsite: http://www.summermatters.org/
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!
(picture below is of Kyle "rocking out" at Music Works, a music therapy class in Haverford,PA
2050 West Chester Pike, Suite 115 Havertown, PA 19083-2742http://musicworkswonders.org/adults.)
Kyle has joined a local YMCA that offers specialized classes for Kyle and teens like him. Kyle has music therapy at Music Works and acting social classes with Theater Horizon. He is enjoying being around his peers and is even going to a few dances and bowling.
(picture of spring session final showcase at Theater Horizon 2014)
Two very dedicated father's, Tom Reinke and Jim Wurster, both with older adult children, that are dedicated to doing meaningful opportunities for our young adults with special needs. Their group is called New Avenue Foundations (located in Chester County/Media/Haverford, PA) They will be at the Media Farmer's Market again this year, starting May 8th. They have a partnered with others at their vendor table, including crafts and such made by people with disabilities. They hold monthly meetings at St. John Chrysostom's in Wallingford, PA to keep our families up-to-date on what we're doing. They are working on setting up some activities for our young adults (including music, drop-in center and cooking/nutrition class). They also have some awesome out-of-the box ideas on some housing for adults with different needs. (Wayne PA, Royersford PA and Narberth PA).
Rattlebox Nature Center to provide a nature outing to learn about and handle animals for people with disabilities. Rattlebox’s goal is to provide individuals of all ages and capabilities with hands-on experience that will better their understanding of the critical role that animals play in the health and welfare of our world and to dispel false stereotypes and myths regarding their behavior and characteristics. This outing will be a learning experience as well as a hands-on experience where you’ll be able to hold and pet animals.
(Kyle looking fondly at the miniature horses @ Rattlebox Farm)
Rattlebox Nature Center, 220 Wawa Road, Media, PA 19063, 610-358-4813.__________________________________________
I hosted a resource table locally, at the Annual Whitemarsh Township Day located at Miles Park, on Saturday April 26th. Thank you to all the parents that came out and found me that day. I believe that it is vital to build relationships with community establishments, especially one that embraces my special needs child, his friends, and all children. Community connections are extremely important for a variety of reasons, especially when they create real life opportunities for our growing adult population of special needs individuals. My personal interest with my networking group: www.Autismguards.org is to create real time activities, job cruising opportunities, employment, higher education, and independent living opportunities.
My son, Kyle, and his entire class have built a positive relationship by volunteering at our local library thanks to a dedicated paraprofessional/classroom aide that happens to be a big part of the library. Through this individual, Kyle's life skills teacher was able to make direct contact with library staff and begin a volunteer program, where the teens from PW life skills class go over and label books, re-shelve books, and do many other important tasks.
May 5th starts National Teacher appreciation week. Did you remember to THANK your child's teacher/teachers? This is the look of pride on a young adults face. Kyle has made progress both at school and at home. We have enrolled him in fun activities, like music therapy and drama classes. We are especially grateful to his Life Skills lead teacher, Mrs. Emily Prager. She listens to our concerns and Kyle's desires. She has chosen electives for Kyle like music, tech Ed, cooking, and most recently art class, because she is invested in seeing that Kyle, and all of her students excel. She has done a nice job scheduling different job options for Kyle to explore. Mrs. Prager has helped Kyle to be educated, social, productive, and challenged. We feel that our family is soooo blessed to have her as Kyle's lead teacher! She is one of a kind and Colonial School District should be proud of having hired Mrs. Prager as it's PWHS Life Skills Teacher. Thank you Mrs. Prager!
College for Students with Disabilities – A Panel Discussion – October 8th 6:00-7:00 Plymouth Whitemarsh HS Library Special Education 101 for Early Intervention Families – October 22nd 6:30-8:30 Upper Moreland Intermediate School TLC Financial Planning for Individuals with Disabilities - November 5th 6:30-8:30 MCIU Fall Montgomery County Resource Expo: A Focus on Secondary Transition and Autism – November 20th 6:30-8:30 Upper Dublin HS Cafeteria
*MY FEST is a big event (Magellan My Life Program)
September 27th with different tables as well as a BBQ. It will be held at Rose Tree Park in Media, and there will be resources and food!
*Peaceful Living conference Saturday September 27; Safe Passage:
Co-Creating Caring Relationships to Navigate Life’s Journey
DATE: Monday Sept. 29- The next "Families CCAN" meeting will include a discussion of staffing models for supported housing for adults with special needs.
Three panelists -- Stacy Levitan, Executive Director at JCHAI, Sr. Francis at Holy Redeemer, and Amy LaGrotte McCann at Carousel Connections -- will share their perspectives on staff recruitment, training and roles in their respective organizations.
Date: Monday, 9/29/14
7:00 pm - refreshments
7:30-9:15 – meeting
Location: Mishkan Shalom Synagogue
4101 Freeland Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19128
DATE: MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2014 - Registration deadline September 25
TIME: 5:30 PM - 8:30 PM
LOCATION: Montgomery County IU, 1605 W Main Street, Norristown, PA 19403
TO REGISTER: Contact Trish Golden, Phone: 610-278-3645, Email: email@example.com
Presented by VISION FOR EQUALITY: This session is led by Partnership trainers.
Oct. 5- ChildGuidance Resource center Funfest!
Sunday, October 5th
1-6pm, rain or shine! Fellowship Farm
2488 Sanatoga Rd. Pottstown, PA
(GPS: Gilbertsville, PA)======================
The 11th Annual Career & Transition Fair will be held at the Commonwealth Technical Institute at Hiram G. Andrews Center on October 22nd, 23rd, and 24th.
10-18-14 North Penn High School 10-1pm Resource Fair for Everyone-Landsdale
10-22-14 PIN transition day-Philadelphia
11-1-14 TOOLS workshop-Philadelphia PA
11-4-14 ID Waiver training in Abington
11-8-14 Race for Resources AM-Bucks County
11-8-14 EFEC Autism Awareness-Norristown
Elmwood Zoo event PM
First annual Colonial Community Day- Saturday, September 13, the Plymouth Whitemarsh High School (PWHS) Band.
North Penn----Saturday October 18
Autism Awareness @ Elmwood Park Zoo---Saturday November 8
Where: Tyler State Park; Bucks County
Kyle and I are helping a local group called Autism Cares Foundation to raise money to continue with the great events that they run free of charge to all families that are dealing with autism.
Additionally, Autism Cares Foundation is now dealing with the issue that is in store for individuals with Autism once they turn 21 by raising funds to open an Autism Resources Center. Please help us by donating to our fundraising page.
If you would like to join our team and walk with us, please let me know. Kids are welcome!
Come be a part of the event!
Team name: AutismGUARDS
Kyle Hayse and Tara Horwitz and Craig Horwitz
Join us for our FREE weekly Fitlife Physical Fitness Program (14 to 25 yrs. old) @ Fitlife Preformance Training.
Be sure to print out our waivers below!