Thursday, September 30, 2010

Enjoying the beautiful autumn at the Fair in St Tammany Parish: Rodeo, our friend's chickens and other farm animals, schools exhibits, local crafts and food.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Moms Fighting Autism


Free webinar (a seminar on the world wide web)  is being offered each month by the online community Moms Fighting Autism.  Register at Fighting Autism

Once you register, then you are sent a confirmation email with a call-in number and id; and online viewing link.

Also, they ask for questions to be submitted in advance.  Here is our question for this month:

"Why do Parents have to advocate for their child to receive public services?  Our tax dollars pay for public and federally mandated services for our son as a student, as well as, as a recipient of benefits associated with Disability Rights legislation.  We understand if we have to advocated for him to attend a private school or a private after-school activity like horse-riding. But, to have to advocated for a public education, public health insurance and medical care and other tax covered benefits is preposterous!  This is like telling President Obama he has to pay with his own credit card and petition every time he wants to fly on  Air Force One to uphold the duties of his office stateside and overseas.  Ridiculous! "

This month's FREE webinar is:

Topic:  Moms Fighting Autism: "How To Be An Advocate for Your Child". 

Date/Time: Wednesday, Sept. 29th at 4pm Pacific. (check your time) 

Speaker: Attorney Areva Martin and Moderator: Chantal Sicile-Kira.

Webinar Description:  Nationally recognized expert on autism advocacy Areva Martin shares her hard-won knowledge as a parent of an auti...stic child and an individual rights attorney. In The Everyday Advocate, she lays out vital and relevant step-by-step instructions to parents facing the seemingly impossible odds of advocating for a child with autism.Parents need to become activists for their children rights to services and learn how to safeguard those rights-both in school and in the larger outside world. An invaluable resource, The Everyday Advocate offers practical, real-world actions that work, lists helpful websites and organizations, and gives parents and caregivers the emotional support they need as they face the challenge of successfully standing upfor children with special needs.

For more information, go to  Moms Fighting Autism.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Happy VALUE Day! AMC Movie Theaters

200 pxImage via Wikipedia



Happy VALUE Day! to AMC Movie Theater for dedicating show times for to address the viewing needs of moviegoers with sensory issues.  AMC Sensory Friendly Films alter the viewing experience for patrons with lighting, visual, sound, auditory and timing concerns.  

Two years ago, a Maryland mother and daughter were asked to leave a theater after her daughter with autism became over-stimulated.  This mother contacted the Autism Society.  This national advocacy organization negotiated with AMC Movie Theaters to start a trial viewing of Sensory Friendly Films.  Over 300 viewers showed up for this first screening at the AMC Columbia Mall  14!   Read more about this life-changing strategy in the NPR online article 'IMAX'd Out: Kids With Autism Get Big Screen Break'

Yes, we have mentioned this before, but, anything good is always worth highlighting again!  We are so excited because in the New Orleans Metropolitan area, families faced with a developmental disability, now have 3 theaters they can visit to enjoy movies.  In Harahan, Houma and Hammond - children with autism are happily hurrying and shouting hooray as they head to AMC movie theaters each month. 

To find out how to request a Sensory Friendly Films viewing in your local AMC Theater, go to  Sensory Friendly Films of AMC Movie Theaters.

Now, our 5 year old enjoys going to the movies.  He does not cry, scream or shake in terror as we pull up to the theater.  He checks the displayed posters for his movie, tries to read the marquee, and even goes up to the window to pay for his ticket(if there is not a crowd).   He excitedly walks in handing the host his ticket.

The sensory issues he has associated with a developmental disability are eased due to the dimmed lights, low sounds, and reduction in previews/ads shown. No longer does he cover his ears, closes his eyes, fidgets in his seat and tries to run out of the show.  We notice that hosts remain in the theater to help, if needed.  For safety, the floor track lights remain on. The surround sound booming effect is removed, too.

He enjoys singing, laughing, dancing and interacting with the other movie goers!   He likes selecting which of his favorite crunchy snacks and h2ojuice drink he brings.  Once inside, he enjoys singing, laughing, dancing and socializing with the other movie goers!  What a great play day!   Next year, we might have his 6th birthday party at an AMC Movie Theater and request a Sensory Friendly Film viewing version.  You know what, we can incorporate this concept for a home party, too.

Partnering with The Autism Society,  AMC Sensory Friendly Films are showing the following movies this fall.

Upcoming Sensory Friendly showings* include:
September 4 - Nanny McPhee Returns
October 2 - Legend of the Guardians - The Owls of Ga’Hoole
November 6 - MegaMind
November 20 - Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1
December 11  - The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
All shows are at 10:00 am local time.
*Dates and films are subject to change.
To request AMC Sensory Friendly Films in your market, or to learn more about autism, please contact:
AMC Entertainment Community Relations    |     Autism Society of America

 It really works!  We participated in an email request by a disability advocacy and parent resource center.  AMC Movie Theaters responded to our needs. Now, we have 3 theaters sites showing Sensory Friendly Films!  

Enhanced by Zemanta

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Monday, September 20, 2010

Genetic Testing?

Well, we finally did it! 

We took our 5 year old son for genetic testing.   Fragile X, metabolic, and a few other tests are what the geneticist initially ordered.  As you may recall, since he was 3, he was diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum.
Mommy was a 'high school volunteer' at Children's Hospital in NOLA.  We hope they will find some answers with these DNA results.  
Make sure you are comfortable with the doctor and the medical facility that will do the testing.
Part of the test is a family profile type of  hereditary traits, medical history and personal awareness.  Be HONEST about provided as accurate and detailed answers as you possibly can recall.  Remember, you are there to help your child.  The geneticist is not trying to blame anyone for the reasons that your child has a developmental disability.

We want to thank our child development specialist and our good friend Patricia K.K. for encouraging us to undergo the genetic testing.  
There are many causes associated with autism and other developmental disorders.  This week we want to highlight Fragile X syndrome.

Fragile XImage by Julia Manzerova via Flickr

National Fragile X day was acknowledged on July 22, 2010.  
Have you or are you considering genetic testing for your child with Autism Spectrum? 
Learn more about Fragile X and other genetic tests for developmental disabilities by referring to the links we have posted.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Happy VALUE Day!

Happy VALUE Day!
We are appreciating the doctors who are researching, testing, studying, analyzing and trying to reach determinants about the causes for autism and other developmental disabilities.
Today, we specifically highlight the works of geneticist.  We appreciate their insight and years of studying in order to assist families like ours who seek answers, even to questions we don't know to ask.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Bullying! EDUCATION not intimidation.



Bullying! EDUCATION not intimidation.

We are definitely concerned about bullying at school.  This year, our son will have more interaction with the general student body, as he participates in kindergarten activities.  We know that we can not protect him from life, but, we are grateful that his elementary school/school board has a bullying policy.  We have reviewed it.  We are mindful of the possibility of our son encountering bullying while riding the school bus, on the playground, in the cafeteria, etc... AND EVEN IN THE CLASSROOM.

We are hopeful that just because he has autism and is a student receiving a special education in an inclusive, FAPE that is LRE, he will not be targeted.  This sentiment is extended to all students!

Do you think bullying is an issue and a bigger issue now  than when you were a student?

"Yes, directed towards students and people iwth special needs, bullying is a real issue and bigger than a decade ago."

"With more technological advances and rapid speed of communicating and access, bullying is now a viral threat for the masses to be concerned about its rippling and insidious effects."

"Bullying poses global problems amongst countries, economies, religions, political views, and cultures."

"If left unchallenged, bullying can prevail as the pervasive cornerstone of a generation, like the Nazi regime instituted!"

"Individualism, diversification and the pursuit of liberty can be uprooted from the very core of our civilization, if the world does not annihilate BULLYING!"

You can prevent and stop bullying!

Let's do our best to make and keep our school communities a bully-free zone environment!

EDUCATION not intimidation!



Bullying on IRFE as of March 5, 2007 (the firs...Image via Wikipedia

Enhanced by Zemanta

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

! Yes, directed towards students and people with special needs, bullying is a real issue and a bigger than a decade ago. With moe tech advances, speed of c
ank you son for being a bright light in the midst of sorrow. Let's keep believing and hoping for our loved ones livong on the autism spectrum!

Social Interaction 101


How do you explain death to a child on the autism spectrum?

GrandPaPa passed away the day after Grandparents Day!

 Yesterday, Autism could not dull, hinder, or hamper our son's socialization skills!
Arriving at his GrandPaPa's house, he immediately notices that Grandpa is not sitting on the porch.  So, after quietly standing outside (and listening) as Dad talked with family and neighbors, he comes running in ...
I WANT GRANDPAPA, our 5 year old son runs through his grandpa's home 'requesting'.  No he did not say a word(this time) - this is his way of looking for someone.  He literally LOOKS FOR THEM!

No GrandPaPa.  We know he is thinking about his 'routine'...WHEN WILL WE HANDSHAKE AND HI-5!?

Ok, GranPaPa is not home?... let's ....

Yesterday, Autism could not dull, hinder, or hamper our son's socialization skills!  
He laughed as he initiated playing with his 'sad' cousins.  Ranging from 17 months to 12 years old, our cheerful son, who is diagnosed with autism, adjusted play to suit each one of them.  He even engaged in one-on-one time!  Playing hide-and-seek, crawling like a snail, not standing in front of the tv;snacking, toileting; and just simply laughing, our son enjoyed his family!


As we said our goodbyes,  OUR SON HUGGED ALL OF HIS AUNTS, COUSINS,...!

Well! He picked a good time to prove that 'lack of social interaction theory' WRONG!
Our kids on the autism spectrum do have and express an array of feelings, not just anger.  They do sense others feelings, too.

Thank you son for being a bright light in the midst of sorrow! 

Of course with all of that giving and sharing, our son slept during the entire ride home.

But, we still need help with how to explain to him this abstract concept of  death.
He is still looking for his Grandma who passed in Thanksgiving '08!
What do we tell him when we visit today, Sunday...,  for the next Saints football game against San Francisco..., for GrandPaPa's birthday..., for Thanksgiving..., for Christmas?!

Let's keep believing in and hoping for our loved ones on the autism spectrum!


Enhanced by Zemanta

Sunday, September 12, 2010



What are you doing today to wish your GrandParents a wonderful day?

How are you expressing your love for your GrandParents?

We have written about how our son enjoys giving his GrandPaPa's handshakes and Hi-5! as his greeting.

Today, he will more than likely continue his routine of handshakes and Hi-5!
He will try over the phone with GrandMa, too.

For our son, this is his way of saying hello and goodbye.

For those who know about individuals on the autism spectrum, any form of greeting, touching and expression is WONDERFUL!

Happy GrandParents Day!


Enhanced by Zemanta

Happy VALUE Day! New Orleans Saints


The NEW ORLEANS SAINTS football team is raffling off one of their Superbowl Champions Rings to support the Gulf Coast!  This victory package also includes a vacation and payment of taxes associated with winning these luxury prizes.  The proceeds of the Saints raffle benefit Gulf Coast relief efforts. The Saints Championship Ring was designed by a committee of  the players, coaches and owners of the Saints NFL winning franchise team.  This diamond bedazzled fleur-de-lis embedded bling bling of a ring is exclusively designed and produced by the world-renowned Tiffany & Co.!   I guess this means the winner should expect the ring to be presented in  a priceless Tiffany blue box, too!
New Orleans Saints and Tiffany & Co. 2010 Superbowl Champions Ring


This is one of the several efforts to help the Gulf Coast residents affected by the BP Oil and rig explosion over 5 months ago. Saints quarterback Drew Brees has also been promoting the Pepsi Challenge for the Gulf Coast, too.

We appreciate that the 2010 NFL Superbowl World Champions are giving back to their community.  This Saints project will also benefit individuals with disabilities who live in the New Orleans metropolitan area along the Gulf Coast.

Gulf Coast area residents, schools, business owners and disability rights/advocacy and resource organizations are still recovering from the 2005 Hurricane Katrina.  Leaving in the aftermath of this disaster has been challenging.  With this oil rig explosion, now many seafood industry partners are in distress.  This includes individuals with disabilities who depend on this vital revenue earning tourism market.

 So, let's support our Happy VALUE Day! New Orleans Saints Gulf Coast Superbowl Ring Raffle!  A version of this ring can be viewed and purchased at Tiffany & Co., the NFL Superbowl Championship Ring world-renowned designer and producer.  Yes, Tiffany & Co. designed and produced the NFL Superbowl Champions sterling silver Vince Lombardi trophy, too!

Go to for a fabulous New Orleans Saints Superbowl Champions Collection by Tiffany & Co.!



New Orleans Saints Super Bowl ring raffle extended - New ...

New Orleans Saints - Metairie, LAThe entry deadline for the New Orleans Saints Super Bowl ring raffle has been extended to 6 p.m. Sept. 20, when the team plays at the San Francisco 49ers, the Gulf ...

Saints Super Bowl Ring Raffle Winner Announced

Posted Sep 20, 2010. By New Orleans –  Proceeds to be distributed through Gulf Renewal Fund - "The New Orleans Saints have announced the winner of the raffle for an official Super Bowl XLIV Championship Ring identical to the one that was awarded to the ownership, players, coaches and administrative staff that was custom designed by Tiffany and Co. to benefit those affected directly by the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Christopher S. Lynn of Hattiesburg, Mississippi is the winner of the ring. The Saints Gulf Coast Renewal Fund raised nearly $1.4 million through the raffle. To date the New Orleans Saints Gulf Coast Renewal Fund has already allocated $500,000 to local charities that are responding to the recent oil spill disaster."
"The raffle of the Super Bowl ring presented what is believed to be a never before offered opportunity for a football fan to win a piece of NFL history and to assist those most affected by the oil spill."

"The winner of the raffle, which was organized in partnership with the Celebrities for Charity Foundation and’s using their patented fundraising concepts and technologies, was selected through a random drawing conducted at 7:00 p.m. (CDT) and announced during ESPN’s Monday Night Football contest between the Saints and the San Francisco 49ers."

...,said New Orleans Saints Owner Tom Benson.  "We sincerely thank all of the people who graciously donated their hard-earned money to the Saints Gulf Coast Renewal Fund and we, as an organization, take an immense amount of pride in helping to assist the people in the region that are directly impacted and need the support.”


Enhanced by Zemanta

Friday, September 10, 2010

Enjoying Who Dat! Family time!

We are still excited about the NFL Season KickOff Game that was celebrated in New Orleans!  

Enjoying a football is a fun!

Our son has enjoyed sports as a baby, toddler and now as a 5 year old.  

We have enjoyed a winning '09 season and the continuous celebration as the NFL Superbowl 44 Champions.

Likewise, we enjoyed the 2010 Pre-Season games, our First Lady Michelle Obama coming to New Orleans to support the NFL Play 60 program to keep our youth healthy and all of the Saints Pep Rallies.

Our son's elementary school - where he enjoys his FAPE in an inclusive and LRE - got in on the excitement and let the students wear their favorite Saints shirts with their uniform attire.

After an exciting day at the office, volunteering with a disability nonprofit and school, we set up our cajun, southern, creole delectables and turned on all the tvs, computers and a radio to enjoy the gameday festivities.

Beginning with a 'Back to Games' Parade rolling throughout the Central Buisness District, we enjoyed watching the numerous concerts from the French Quarters Jacskon Square to owner Tom Bensons 60,000 sq.ft. Champions Square tailgaters to the unveiling of the NFL  Superbowl 44 Champions banner and the well-deserved NFL Hall of Fame halftime honors for Reggie Jackson, a Saints icon!

Our son enjoys watching the games because he likes to read the stat profiles and call out the numbers he sees for each team!

Our son also enjoys watching the constant altering of the active graphics!

Our son enjoys just watching all of the people and the football being thrown, punted and ran down the numbered field.

Well, because of his sensory issues, our son usually enjoys watching his hometeam Saints playing with the volume turned to down to 5,4,3,2,1,0 level.  This is when 'closed caption' comes in handy.

How do you find ways to overcome being on the autism spectrum?
How do you adapt, modify and and inclusive lifestyle?

Although we could not enjoy shouting the Who Dat Chant! from the Superdome, Quarterback Drew Brees, we chanted loudly from home!

Who Dat!
Deux Dat!
Repeat Dat!
Dos Dat!
Geaux Saints Geaux!

Our New Orleans Saints - 2010 SUPERBOWL 44 CHAMPIONS - defeated the NFC  Minnnesota Vikings AGAIN  14-9 at the New Orleans Louisiana Superdome on September 9, 2010!

1-0 who's next to face the Who Dat Nation
San Francisco away problem!

Bless You Boys!  Keep holding the Vince Lombardi trophy high!

We are want to help our son stay healthy and happy.

Enjoying football is  great family fun and a good way to highlight our son's strengths and enthusiasm for life! 

Well, we did not win the Drew Brees Sports Illustrated package.  But, everybody still has time to buy a bunch of $2.oo tickets to win an authentic NFL Saints Superbowl 44 Champions Ring - to help the Gulf Coast victims of the BP oil disaster.


Louisiana Superdome by nightImage via Wikipedia

Enhanced by Zemanta