Home

 
                                                                                                                                                                 

Last updated: 7/20/14


 
(Kyle and his pet Chizzles)

Welcome Friends!

My son, Kyle, is 18 years old.  He 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".
  •  I encourage every parent of a special needs child to make your own play date. Call ahead. Explain ahead. Be the change you want to see!!!!                                                                                                    (I started out small, just one girl called Kyle and asked for him to hang out...that expanded to half his class...and now extended friends of passionate parents like myself.
  •  It is not easy, but it can get easier. 
  • Throw some parties!!!!!!!!!!! Meet up!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Awareness is happening-------ACTIONS are happening!  People are accepting.  :)
  •  It also helps if you include all exceptionalities and differences beyond Autism.....we all have challenges, but together we can have ENORMOUS SUCCESS!!!
This is a parent and guardian resource/networking group, facilitating educational information and recreational resources for adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Autism Guards is a localized web-site for neighbors of Montgomery County (Conshohocken, Lafayette Hill, Norristown, East Noriton, North Whales, Blue Bell, Plymouth Meeting, Chestnut Hill, Flourtown, Springfield, etc...) and beyond.  We are currently using social media to continue dialogue and spread valuable information and resources. 

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,                                  
Tara Thompson-Horwitz

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!  
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.)


Check out the FUN! page for many ideas and resources for summer activities.

So what is your latest endevour with/for your child, teen, adult?  Have you thought about the SUMMER yet?  LOOK what's NEW >>>>in the News tab>>> 
April is over, but  AUTISM ACTION must continue.  With the release of the CDC's new numbers, (1:68) indicationg a higher prevalence of children developing Autism, we need to fight harder than ever to secure resources for our children, teens, and adults living with Autism.  


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)

*Recently, I have met with 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).

*June Event- Farm outings!  We have partnered with 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) 

The event will be held at Rattlebox Nature Center220 Wawa Road, Media, PA 19063, 610-358-4813.

PLEASE rsvp TO:  Valerie Parry Gardener at 610-358-4813 or via email at rattlebox220@msn.com for information about this and other events they have. Check out their website at http://www.rattleboxnaturecenter.com/. To arrange a visit to Rattlebox Nature Center, please call Valerie. They are open 7 days a week.
Space is limited!  (She can accomodate special needs and can be flexible with tour times!)

  • Saturday, June 21st from 2:00 to 3:00 for       ages 4-9

  • Saturday, June 28th from 2:00 to 3:00 for            ages 10-16

Maximum event size is 10.  The cost is $15 and includes a souvenir.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________

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! 
 

_______________________________________________________________________

 
(Kyle and his little sister, Rachel)