Sunday, May 20, 2018

Autism on the Seas Foundation Offers Vacation Grants for Families That Are Affected By Autism


The Autism on the Seas Foundation provides two types of financial assistance for families that are affected by autism to participate in a cruise vacation. 

The foundation's Vacation of Assistance Program awards varying amounts of assistance to people who have autism and their immediate family members to participate in specially staffed cruises.

The foundation also offers Vacation Grants that are sponsored by donations from individuals, families, and businesses through its “Sponsor a Family” Program.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Free Personalized Songs for Children and Teens Who Have Autism


The Songs of Love Foundation creates free personalized original songs for children and teens who are facing medical, physical or emotional challenges. The songs are professionally produced with lyrics containing the child’s name and reference to his or her favorite activities, things, people, and pets. Songs are available in the language and musical style of the child’s choice. Children and teens who have autism are eligible to request a song.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Children Who Have Autism Can Receive A Free Custom Made Weighted Blanket



Ben’s Blankets makes custom-made weighted blankets for children who have disabilities. Each blanket is lovingly crafted from high quality materials and made to measure according to the recipient’s height and weight. The recipient’s name is embroidered on the blanket, which can be personalized with their favorite color, pattern or sports team. Scholarship blankets are available at no charge to children whose family income is less than $50,000 per year. Discounted and retail priced blankets are available to children whose family income exceeds that amount. Children who have autism are eligible to request a blanket.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Grant Helps Pay for Portrait of Families That Are Affected By Autism


Special Kids Photography of America (SKPA) provides families of children who have special needs with funds to help pay for photography sessions and one print through its Smiles for Katie Family Photo Grant program. Families that are affected by autism are eligible to apply for a grant.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Deliver the Dream Offers Free Retreats for Families That Are Affected By Autism



Deliver the Dream hosts free monthly retreats throughout Florida for up to 15 families at a time that are coping with an illness, crisis or disability. Deliver the Dream hosts retreats specifically for families that are affected by autism. The camp-like retreat weekends provide families with an opportunity to relax, enjoy time together, make new friends, and form support networks with other families that are experiencing similar challenges. For more information, contact Deliver the Dream.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Wings Initiative Prepares Children with Autism to Fly



The Arc’s Wings for Autism/Wings for everyone program prepares people with autism to fly on airplanes by giving them an opportunity to participate in a dress rehearsal for the experience.

The program allows families affected by autism or intellectual/developmental disabilities to practice entering the airport, obtaining boarding passes, going through security and boarding a plane.

Airport, airline and Transportation Security Administration (TSA) participate in the program, which helps alleviate stress, fear and anxiety for participating families.

This video gives a glimpse of the program in action.




For more information about the program, contact The Arc.

Here are some additional resources for families affected by autism and other disabilities:

http://www.foxnews.com/travel/2015/05/11/what-parents-children-with-disabilities-should-know-before-traveling.html


Monday, May 14, 2018

Bright Steps Forward, Inc. Provides Grants to Florida Children Who Have Autism and Other Disabilities


Bright Steps Forward, Inc. provides financial assistance to children with neurological or developmental disabilities who reside in the Florida counties of Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach. The grants could be used to pay for special education services and therapeutic interventions. Children who have autism are eligible to apply for funding.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Books Especially for Moms of Children Who Have Autism and Other Special Needs

This page contains affiliate links. All books listed on this page were selected because AARI believes our readers will find them interesting, meaningful and useful. AARI recommends helpful books and other products regardless of whether they are part of an affiliate program the blog participates in. For more information, read our Editorial Policy.


Happy Mother's Day to all of the moms and moms-to-be out there, and an Extra Special Happy Mother's Day to every mom who has a child with autism or other special needs!

Here are some books that provide encouragement, insight and inspiration to moms who have children with autism and other disabilities.























People Who Have Autism Can Apply for a Therapeutic Horseback Riding Scholarship from Special Spirit Inc.




Photo by dee at Morguefiledotcom.


Special Spirit Inc. is an inclusive therapeutic equine center, based in Shadow Hills, CA, that offers therapeutic horseback riding lessons, inclusive camps and equine-assisted psychotherapy and learning programs (EAP/EAL). Special Spirit Inc. offers scholarships for therapeutic horseback riding lessons through its Jenny Ginway Mistrano Scholarship Fund. Individuals who have autism are eligible to apply for scholarships from the organization.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Anna's Celebration of Life Foundation Provides Funding to Enhance the Lives of Children and Adults With Special Needs


Anna’s Celebration of Life Foundation provides funding to purchase necessary, life enhancing gifts for children and young adults with special needs. Young people who have autism are eligible to apply for assistance from the foundation. Applications must be under age 18 (22 if they are still enrolled in high school) and must either reside in or receive medical treatment in Indiana. The foundation funds requests for items, devices or services that enhance the life of a child, including therapeutic tools, devices and technology.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

My Gym Challenged America Provides Grants to Children With Disabilities


My Gym Challenged America (MCCA) awards grants of up to $500 to children under age 18 with physical, cognitive and developmental disabilities. Children with autism are eligible to apply. Grants could be used for a variety of purposes, including rehabilitative therapy, assistive devices, medical equipment and sensory items.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018


ACTION FOR AUTISM (AFA) Academy provides scholarships for families who need financial assistance in order for their child who has autism to participate in AFA Academy programs. AFA Academy operates in the St. Louis area.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Andrew's Gift Provides Grants to Improve the Lives of People Who Have Autism


Andrew’s Gift provides grants to individuals who are affected by autism who live in Dauphin, Cumberland or Perry counties in Pennsylvania. The grants can be used to pay for therapies, summer camps, horseback riding lessons, safety equipment, and other products, services or programs that directly improve the life of an individual who has autism.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

The Founders Center Offers Autism Grant


The Autism Grant provides tuition scholarships for individuals enrolled in or pursuing enrollment in programs at the Founders Center.  The Founders Center operates programs in Virginia. Contact the Founders Center for more information about scholarship opportunities available to the program.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

KOTM Provides Free Respite Care to Utah Families Affected by Autism and Other Disabilities


Kids On The Move (KOTM) provides free respite care to Utah families who have a child with a physical or behavioral disability. Families affected by autism qualify for respite care services. Eligible families will have a child age birth to 12 who does not use 100% oxygen, who is not excessively medically fragile, and who has no history of sexually inappropriate or aggressive behavior. The program gives caregivers a 3.5 break on weekend nights.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Grottoes of North America Humanitarian Foundation Provides Dental Care Assistance to Children with Special Needs


The Grottoes of North America Humanitarian Foundation provides assistance with dental care expenses to children with disabilities through its Dental Care for Children with Special Needs program. Through the program, children under 18 who have cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy and intellectual disabilities are able to receive assistance with dental treatment costs. Some children who have autism may be eligible for assistance through the program. The program provides assistance to both insured and uninsured patients. If you have questions or would like additional information, contact the foundation.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Giving Angels Foundation Provides Grants to Children With Special Needs


The Giving Angels Foundation provides grants for essential therapies, life-changing equipment, essential family bills and specialized camps for children under age 21 who have a physical disability or illness. Some children who have autism may be eligible for grants. Grants are usually limited to $500. Applicants with a household income of up to $50,000 will be considered for grant awards.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Children Who Have Autism May Qualify for Financial Assistance from The Arya Foundation to Help Pay for Medical Equipment


The Arya Foundation provides financial assistance to help families purchase medical equipment and supplies for children with special needs. To qualify for a grant of up to $1000, children up to age 18 who live in the St. Louis area must be referred by a social worker or case manager. Children who have autism are eligible to apply. Grants from the foundation could be used to purchase a variety of supports, including communication devices. For further information, contact the foundation.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Families Affected By Autism May Qualify for Financial Assistance from Friends of Man


Friends of Man provides assistance to people with disabilities in need. Within Colorado, Friends of Man provides assistance with a wide variety of needs, including food, clothing, eyeglasses, prescriptions, therapy and daycare. Outside Colorado, assistance is limited to prostheses, medical equipment and mobility equipment. Families affected by autism may qualify for assistance from Friends of Man. To be considered for assistance, ask a church or agency to submit an application on your behalf.

Monday, April 30, 2018

CaptureProof System Could Help Families Monitor the Health of Nonverbal Children with Autism



CaptureProof is a free visual symptom tracker that allows you to track your health and monitor medical conditions by securely capturing, comparing and sharing medical photos, videos and documents with your physicians.

CaptureProof could be especially helpful for parents and caregivers of children who have both autism and epilepsy, or who are either nonverbal or minimally verbal. This link shows you how the system could benefit patients who have autism, epilepsy or other neurological conditions.

The video below explains how the system works.





Both the CaptureProof app and account are free to patients.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

PAUSE4Kids Scholarships Pay for Services for Children with Autism and Other Special Needs


PAUSE4Kids offers scholarships of up to $500 to children with special needs who live in the area served by Ventura County SELPA (Special Education Local Plan Area). Children with autism are eligible for assistance through the program. Families with limited financial resources or compelling special circumstances will receive funding priority. The scholarships must be used for services that are not covered by the applicant’s insurance.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Partnership for Patient Assistance (PPA) Could Help Families Affected By Autism Obtain Free Prescriptions and Medical Care


The Partnership for Patient Assistance (PPA) is a free service connects consumers with over 475 public and private prescription assistance programs and free and low cost clinics. The service could be of great benefit to families affected by autism who are uninsured or underinsured, as well as those who have other comorbidities, such as epilepsy, that may require costly medications and treatments.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Parker's Purpose Foundation Provides Grants to Families Affected by Autism and Other Disabilities


The Parker’s Purpose Foundation provides grants of up to $1000 to families who have a child 18 years old or younger who has a life-altering illness or disability and that have an immediate financial need due to an unforeseen medical expenses. Families that reside in Ohio receive priority consideration. Families of children who have autism are eligible to apply for financial assistance.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Individuals Who Have Autism and Epilepsy Can Seek Assistance from the Danny Did Foundation


The Danny Did Foundation offers financial assistance to help qualified individuals purchase devices to help reduce the possibility of SUDEP in people who have epilepsy. People who have both autism and epilepsy can apply for assistance through the program. For more information about the Danny Did Grant Program, contact the foundation.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

C.A.R.E. Grants Provide Financial Assistance to Families Affected by Autism


The California Autism Resources & Evaluation (C.A.R.E.) Foundationprovides grants to families affected by autism. The C.A.R.E. Grant Program helps families affected by autism pay for medications, supplements, evaluations, therapies (e.g., speech, OT and ABA) and autism summer camps.

C.A.R.E. Grants are open to families that have a child who has been diagnosed with autism, live in the United States and have an annual household income of less than $75,000.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

The Dream Factory Could Make Dreams Come True for Children with Autism


The Dream Factory Inc. grants dreams to children ages 3-18 who are critically or chronically ill. The organization strives to instill hope and happiness in children with serious illnesses by making their dreams come true. Children with a chronic or critical illness that is documented and affirmed by a treating physician are eligible for consideration. Because autism is considered a chronic illness, children with autism are eligible for referral. 


To qualify for dream fulfillment, children must live in a community that is served by a Dream Factory chapter, and they must be able to communicate their dream to a representative of the organization. The Dream Factory accepts referrals from children, parents, legal guardians and treating physicians. Click on the link to find a local chapter.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Fund it Forward Provides Funding for People with Autism and Other Disabilities to Obtain Adaptive Equipment

Fund it Forward accepts applications for life enhancing medical devices or equipment from people with a diagnosed disability or medical condition. People who have autism are eligible to apply.

Fund it Forward will provide medical and adaptive equipment, including augmentative communication devices, bath chairs, feeding chairs, enclosed beds and sensory equipment. Recipients are expected to engage in fundraising activities as part of the application process.  Contact the organization for additional information.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Aidan's Red Envelope Foundation Provides Grants for Children with Autism and Other Disabilities

Image of a red envelope
Aidan’s Red Envelope Foundation provides grants of up to $5,000 to families of disabled children in the Southern California area. The grant can be used to pay for therapy, equipment or other approved items, services or activities that enrich the lives of disabled children. Families of children with autism are eligible to apply for grants from Aidan's Red Envelope Foundation. For more information, contact the foundation.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Give A Voice Program Provides Communication Devices to Nonverbal and Minimally Verbal People Who Have Autism


The National Autism Association (NAA) provides communication devices to individuals with autism who are nonverbal or minimally verbal through its Give A Voice Program.

The program equips recipients with an augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) device, software, a carrying case and a protection plan. Applications are currently being accepted.

Friday, April 20, 2018

The Foundation for Autism Resources (FAR) Provides Funding for ABA Therapy


The Foundation for Autism Resources (FAR) provides financial assistance to help Indiana families fund ABA therapy by helping them access providers and obtain insurance coverage, and by providing supplemental funding to bridge the gap between the cost of therapy and what insurance will cover.

To qualify for assistance from FAR, children must be ages 2-12, enrolled in Indiana Children’s Special Health Care Services and have a diagnosis of autism, Asperger’s syndrome, PDD-NOS, childhood disintegrative disorder or Rett syndrome. In addition, families must make a commitment to receive 30-40 hours of weekly ABA therapy.

Contact FAR for additional information about applying for financial assistance for ABA therapy.


Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Chelsea Hutchison Foundation Grants Could Help People Who Have Both Autism and Epilepsy


According to a recent study published in Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment, approximately 20% of people who have autism will eventually develop epilepsy. A study published in the Journal of Child Neurology in 2011 confirmed that people with both autism and epilepsy have a higher mortality rate. Some of those deaths are due to sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP).

The Chelsea Hutchison Foundation provides grants for seizure-response dogs and movement monitors that can help alert parents that their child is having a seizure and reduce the likelihood of SUDEP occurring. Seizure-response dogs can alert others and summon help during a seizure, secure a safe space for a person experiencing a seizure, help an unconscious individual regain consciousness and transport vital information and medication. The dogs can even detect the warning signs of a seizure and alert others before a potentially life-threatening situation arises. Epilepsy movement monitors can alert patients and caregivers in the event of a seizure so they can act quickly when a seizure-related emergency arises. These resources would be particularly helpful for people who have both autism and epilepsy who are nonverbal or minimally verbal. 

Contact the Chelsea Hutchison Foundation for information on obtaining a seizure-response dog or movement monitor.

To learn more about SUDEP, visit the following links:



Visit the link below to access a list of resources for people with both autism and epilepsy that has been compiled by Autism Speaks:

SuperSchade’s Foundation Provides Summer Camp Grants for Individuals with Special Needs


Children and adults with autism and other special needs can apply for a summer camp grant from the SuperSchade’s Foundation. Applicants ages 22 and younger who meet the foundation’s income criteria are eligible to apply

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Lawyers Autism Awareness Foundation Provides Therapy Grants to Families Affected by Autism


The Lawyers Autism Awareness Foundation (LAFF) provides need-based grants of up to $1,000 to assist families of children with autism in paying for speech, occupational, physical and ABA therapies.

Applicants must have a primary diagnosis of an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and be residents of Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco and Hernando counties in Florida.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Different Needz Foundation Provides Grants to Individuals with Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities


The Different Needz Foundation helps individual with autism and other developmental disabilities obtain the equipment and medical services necessary for them to improve their quality of life.

Grants can be used for services and equipment, including physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, medical equipment, wheelchairs, lifts, adaptive equipment and specialized summer camps. Applications are available in January. Funds are awarded in May.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Aubrey's Warriors Foundation Provides Funding Assistance to Families of Children With Special Needs


Aubrey’s Warriors Foundation assists families of children with special by funding medical treatment, therapies, rehabilitative equipment and other supports. The foundation takes special interest in providing assistance to families in Walton County, Georgia.
Contact the foundation for information on applying for assistance.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Building Blocks For Kids Provides Grants for Children with Autism and Other Disabilities


Building Blocks For Kids (BB4K) provides grants for children with autism and other disabilities. BB4K grants can be used to fund a number of services and supports to improve the quality of life for children with special needs, including speech therapy, occupational therapy, aqua therapy, specialized intensive therapy, home modifications, communication devices, medical equipment, transportation assistance and adaptive clothing.

To qualify for a grant, children need to be under age 18 and either live in or have strong ties to the Cincinnati area. In addition, the cost of the treatment or support they need must be significant, not covered by insurance and unable to be funded by resources available to the child’s parents.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Gardiner Scholarship Program Provides Therapy Funding for Children with Autism and Other Disabilities


The Gardiner Scholarship Program provides funding for Florida students with autism and other disabilities to design a customized education program through the purchase of approved products and services. Scholarships can be used for a variety of supports, including speech and occupational therapies, instructional materials and tuition at an eligible private school.
State residents with qualifying disabilities and an IEP who are eligible to enroll in grades K-12 or who will be age 3 or 4 before September 1 can apply for scholarships of up to $10,000. Contact one of the following Scholarship Funding Organizations (SFO) for application instructions and deadlines:
A.A.A. Scholarship Foundation
Phone: 888-707-2465
info@aaascholarships.org

Step Up for Students
Phone: 877-735-7837
info@stepupforstudents.org

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Jacob’s Touch Foundation Provides Autism Treatment Funding


Jacob’s Touch Foundation provides autism treatment grants of up to $5,000 to families residing in the Tampa Bay area.

Grants may be used to pay for speech therapy, occupational therapy, applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy, medical costs directly associated a child’s diagnosis of an  or educational costs directly associated with a child’s ASD diagnosis. To qualify for the grant, children must have a documented diagnosis of an autism spectrum disorder, demonstrate financial need and live in Hillsborough, Pinellas or Pasco counties. Parental commitment and involvement in their child’s treatment is given consideration during the grant selection process.

The deadline for submitting applications is May 15, 2018.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Midwest Council for Children with Disabilities (MCCD) Provides Treatment Funding


The Midwest Council for Children with Disabilities (MCCD) helps families of kids with disabilities obtain funding for medical treatments and therapies not covered by insurance. The organization works with families in Illinois, Ohio and Wisconsin.

Families applying for assistance in Illinois and Wisconsin are requested to commit to a fundraising campaign that would generate funds back to MCCD equaling a minimum of 20% of the amount of their 12 month grant. Families applying for assistance in Ohio are encouraged to commit to between 4 and 15 hours of time (or the equivalent in sales and donations), depending on the amount of grant assistance they receive.

Contact MCCD to ask questions or request additional information.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Resources to Help Prevent Wandering-Related Tragedies Among Individuals with Autism

     
Photo of a small girl walking down a deserted road alone
Wandering behavior is common among children with autism. Photo by hotblack at Morguefile.com.


Elopement behavior in children with autism is both immensely common and extremely stressful for their families, caregivers and teachers According to Pediatrics, 49 percent of parents surveyed reported that their child with an ASD had attempted to elope at least once. Some 26% reported that their child with autism had gone missing long enough to cause concern. A staggering 65% of those children had been in danger of traffic injury during an elopement incident; 24% had been in danger of drowning.

Fortunately, there are plenty of excellent resources available to help families, caregivers, educators and first responders take steps to children with autism from eloping and recover them quickly if they should happen to wander off.

The National Autism Association (NAA) offers both digital and tangible tools to keep kids who wander safe. The NAA Be REDY booklet contains a caregiver checklist, a Family Wandering Emergency Plan, a first responder profile form, a wandering-prevention brochure, a sample IEP letter, a student profile form, emotion identification cards and wandering quick tips.

NAA offers a free Big Red Safety Box to families affected by autism. The Big Red Safety Box includes a copy of the Be REDy booklet, two GE Wireless door/window alarms equipped with batteries, one MedicAlert bracelet or pendant, one shoe tag, five adhesive stop sign visual prompts for doors and windows, two Safety Alert window clings for doors and windows, one red Safety Alert wristband, and one Child ID Kit from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

NAA offers a Big Red Safety Teacher Toolkit to school administrators, teachers or aides who work with students who have autism. The Big Red Safety Teacher Toolkit includes a Be REDy booklet for teachers, four window/door alarms with batteries and five laminated adhesive stop sign visual prompts for doors and windows. 

NAA also publishes a Be REDy booklet for first responders. The toolkit contains resources to help first responders prepare for wandering incidents in the communities they serve.

The NAA has a dedicated safety page where you can learn about wandering and elopement, ways to prevent children from engaging in the behaviors and what to do when an incident arises. 

The Autism Wandering Awareness Alerts Response and Education (AWAARE) Collaboration is a working group comprised of national non-profit organizations whose mission is to prevent wandering and deaths in the autism community. The member organizations are NAA, the Autism Society of America, AutismOne, Autism Speaks, the Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism, the HollyRod Foundation, and Talk About Curing Autism (TACA).

The AWAARE Collaboration provides safety tips, safety resources and recommendations for tracking technology. AWAARE also educates stakeholders about wandering and works on wandering-related policy issues.

Autism Speaks has a page dedicated to wandering, which includes tips for preventing wandering and wandering-related tragedies, steps for preventing wandering at your child's school, and links to wandering-prevention resources for parents and first responders.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) provides information for first responders, as well as tips and resources for parents and community members.

Families Affected by Autism Are Eligible to Apply for Assistance from the Maggie Welby Foundation

Families affected by autism are eligible to apply for grants and scholarships from the Maggie Welby Foundation.

The foundation offers grants for children and families that have a financial need for a particular purpose. Grants may be used to help families pay bills and medical expenses. They may also be utilized to help a child access athletic or other opportunities they would not otherwise be able to participate in. Grants are awarded in July and December.

The Maggie Welby Foundation also offers scholarships for children in grades K-12. Children with autism and other special needs are eligible to apply for scholarships from the foundation. Scholarships are awarded in July and December.

Contactthe foundation for more information.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Smart911 Could Help Families Affected By Autism Save Time and Lives During An Emergency


Smart911 is a free service that allows families to provide detailed information about their households to their local 9-1-1 center and first responders. Smart911 Safety Profiles can provide as much or as little information as a family is comfortable disclosing. 

The following clip from Good Morning America illustrates why every city, town and village in America should be using the system, as well as how every family could benefit from it. 





For families that have a loved one with autism or other disabilities, the service is a real asset that can save time and lives in the event of an emergency. Imagine if your child eloped or went missing. You could save precious minutes that could lead to your child being swiftly located by having a photograph and description of your child already on file with first responders.

The following audio of a 9-1-1 call from a mom whose missing  5 year old daughter was found unharmed because first responders were able to act quickly because she had submitted a Smart911 Safety Profile.




Many families affected by autism wisely teach their children with autism how to call 9-1-1 as part of their emergency preparation plans. But what if your child was nonverbal or minimally verbally, or verbal but unable to speak clearly because of fear, anxiety or panic in an emergency situation?


The following audio shares how having a Smart911 Safety Profile on file helped first responders save a stranded woman even though the 9-1-1 operator she’d could not hear her speaking over the telephone.




I strongly encourage families affected by autism to create a Smart911 Safety Profile, especially if your child wanders, elopes, behaves aggressively or has other complicating conditions such as mental illness, anxiety, epilepsy or aggressive behavior. Some of the helpful information you could include with your profile are maps of your property, floor plans, photographs and lists of words or phrases your child finds comforting or calming.

Student Scholarships Available for the National Autism Conference


The National Autism Conference will take place from August 6-9, 2018, at the Penn Stater Hotel and Conference Center in State College, Pennsylvania.

The Pennsylvania Department of Education Bureau of Special Education is offering conference scholarships to Pennsylvania college and university students and recent graduates who wish to pursue a career working autism spectrum disorders.

Scholarships include complimentary conference registration and reimbursement for qualifying lodging, mileage, tolls and meal expenses. Students and recent graduates with a major in special education or a related field are eligible to apply. The application deadline is May 30, 2018.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Spectrum of Hope Foundation Provides Grants for Families Affected by Autism


The Spectrum of Hope of Hope Foundation Advocacy Grant Program provides grants of up to $1,000 to families of young children with autism.

To qualify, families must have a child under the age of 7 with a diagnosis of autism, an income of $70,000 or less and proof of California residency for at least one year. In addition, they must demonstrate financial hardship and have exhausted other sources available to them.

Grant funds can be used to pay for independent evaluations/assessments, special education advocacy (including fees for attorneys/advocates or expert witnesses), ABA or speech therapies, and parent training.

For additional information, contact thefoundation.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

AARTS Autism Center Hosts Workshop on Transitioning to Adulthood for Individuals with Autism


The Autism Assessment, Research,Treatment and Services (AARTS) Center at Rush University Medical Center is partnering with Options for College Success and Autism Spectrum Therapies to host a “Transitioning to Adulthood” Workshop from 12:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m. on April 16, 2018.
The workshop will provide valuable information and resources for teens and young adults with autism, as well as their parents and caregivers. The course location is Rush Armour Academic Center, Room 960, 600 South Paulina Street, Chicago, IL 60612.
Register for the free course by April, 13, 2018. For more information, call (312) 942-6238.

AARTS Autism Center Class Will Teach Parents Strategies for Preventing Their Children from Wandering


The Autism Assessment, Research,Treatment and Services (AARTS) Center at Rush University Medical Center is presenting “Safety and Wandering,” a parent education class designed for parents of young children and older children with limited communication from 5:30 p.m.-7:00 p.m. on April 19, 2018. Snacks will be provided.
The course location is the AARTS Autism Center in Room 603 of the Rush University Medical Center Westgate Building, 1645 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, IL 60612.
Pre-registration is required for the class, which costs $15. Scholarships are available. Contact the course coordinator for more information.

Anchor of Hope Foundation Offers Financial Assistance to Families Affected by Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities


The Anchor of Hope Foundation Supplemental Care Scholarship provides up to $250 to pay for therapy, education, equipment and other direct needs of a person with a diagnosed developmental disability that are not covered by insurance or Medicaid. Scholarships are open to residents of Georgia.

For more information, contact the foundation’s program director.

Friday, April 6, 2018

Kiddos’ Clubhouse Foundation Provides Therapy Scholarships for Children with Autism and Other Special Needs


The Kiddos’ Clubhouse Foundation provides scholarships to helps families of children with autism and other special needs pay for critical therapies.

Scholarships of up to $2,500 are awarded for to pay for therapeutic services or equipment. To qualify, families of disabled children under the age of 21 need to demonstrate financial need due to a lack of insurance, a lack of insurance coverage or a lack of other financial resources.

Applications are accepted on a quarterly basis. The next application deadline is June 30, 2018.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Autism Treatment Assistance Program (ATAP) Helps Nevada Families Affected by Autism


The Autism Treatment Assistance Program (ATAP) assists parents and caregivers of children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) by providing funding for autism treatments.

ATAP provides funding to pay for autism treatments for Nevada residents ages 19 and under who have been diagnosed with an ASD by a physician, psychologist, child/adolescent psychiatrist, pediatric neurologist or other qualified professional. Funding levels can vary based on a child’s age, family income and treatment plan.

ATAP provides funding for research-supported, evidence-based treatments, including Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), Verbal Behavior (VB) and Pivotal Response Training (PRT). Covered treatment-related services and supports include program training, development, daily intervention hours, and essential materials. ATAP may also fund speech, occupational and physical therapies when there are no other resources to cover them.

For more information, contact the Nevada Aging andDisability Services Division.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Joey's Fund Family Grant Assists Families Affected by Autism That Need Financial Assistance


Joey’s Fund Family Grant, a program of the Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism, awards grants of up to $2,000 ($3,000 if there is more than one family member with autism) to families affected by autism in New England (Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine) who need financial assistance.

Grants can be used for one service or item that directly improves the life of an individual with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Some examples of items that could be covered by the grant include respite care, recreational programs, horseback riding lessons, educational consulting, educational evaluation, art classes, books, educational videos, computer software, therapies, advocacy fees, camp tuition, safety fencing, service dogs, social skills training, music therapy and musical instruments.

Applications are available on the program Website in early February and are due by early March. Required documentation includes most recent tax information, confirmation of diagnosis and a letter of reference.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Parent Scholarships Available for the National Autism Conference


The National Autism Conference will take place from August 6-9, 2018, at the Penn Stater Hotel and Conference Center in State College, Pennsylvania.

Parent scholarships are available to Pennsylvania residents who are parents or legal guardians of a child with autism. The scholarship is open to first-time conference attendees. Parents of children who receive Early Intervention services are also eligible to apply for scholarships, regardless of previous conference attendance.
  
The scholarships, which are valued at up to $1,000 per family, cover complimentary conference registration for up to two parents/guardians, lodging reimbursement during the conference for attendees that live at least 30 miles from the conference location, reimbursement for mileage and tolls, and a per diem meal allotment for travel periods that are not provided as part of the National Autism Conference activities. The deadline for scholarship applications is April 27, 2018.

Scholarship recipients will receive priority consideration for their children ages 6 weeks to 21 years old to participate in the Children’s Institute. The Children’s Institute will offer an on-site, structured and fun environment for children and youth with autism and their siblings with supervision from trained professionals and support staff. Applicants who would like for the children to be considered for selection to the Children’s Institute need to complete the registration process between May 7, 2018, and June 15, 2018.

Funding for the scholarships is provided by the Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network (PaTTAN), the Pennsylvania Department of Education, and the Pennsylvania Bureau of Special Education.

Resources for Making Attending Church with Your Child Who Has Autism Enjoyable and Enriching




Photo of church interior



Attending church can be both challenging and stressful when you are accompanied by a child or young adult with autism who may be anxious, fidgety or have maladaptive behaviors. Neither you nor your child with autism should have to avoid going to religious services because of a fear of not being accepted. Although you will, no doubt, experience some challenges (after all, every parent who has ever attended a religious service with a child  has had at least a few cringe-able moments), you should not let that deter you from attending worship services and  participating in a community of faith.

These resources can help you make going to a place of worship with your child who has autism an enjoyable aspect of practicing your faith.

Autism Speaks has compiled resources for parents to help their children with autism participate in religious services, as well as resources to help religious leaders make places of worship more accessible to people who have autism

https://www.premierchristianity.com/Blog/17-ways-to-make-your-church-autism-friendly
These tips for making churches autism-friendly are from a woman who has autism.


McLean Bible Church, which is ahead of the curve on creating a welcoming church environment for people with disabilities, has published a guide for including people with autism in the church community as part of its Access ministry for people with disabilities. The church also has an impressive list of special needs resources on a variety of relevant topics, including how to start a special needs ministry and ways to calm a child down.

Monday, April 2, 2018

A Special Wish for World Autism Awareness Day

Happy World Autism Awareness Day and Autism Awareness Month!

Today, in honor of World Autism Day and Autism Awareness Month, I am sharing a video that I hope you will find as inspiring and encouraging as I do. It is a brief clip of a young man with autism singing our national anthem at Fenway Park. When he came down with a severe case of the giggles while he was still singing, the entire crowd came to the rescue.









It is one of my favorite videos because it shows what is possible when a community embraces inclusion and makes it their business to value, welcome, accept and support people with disabilities. Every time I watch it, it brings tears to my eyes.

My sincere hope is that every person with a disability could experience this type of kindness every day of their lives.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Resources for Helping Families Affected by Autism Celebrate Easter

Photo of children participating in an Easter egg hunt
Photo of kid participating in an Easter egg hunt by Steven L. Shepard.



Easter is an exciting holiday filled with traditions, rituals and special meaning for those who celebrate it. When you consider all of the special days and events that build up to Easter Sunday—including Lent, Shrove Tuesday, Ash Wednesday, Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Week—it is easy to understand why Easter season is so important to families. Children usually look forward to enjoying treat-filled baskets, taking pictures with the Easter Bunny and dressing up to attend church on Easter Sunday.

Parents of children with autism and other disabilities want to enjoy the festivities with their children just like other families do. The following resources will help you plan and prepare for an Easter holiday that will be both fun for everyone in your family.

Sensory Friendly Easter Bunny Experiences

Noerr Programs and its partners present private, sensory-friendly bunny photo experiences that support the sensory, physical and development needs of children with autism and other disabilities through its Bunny Cares, Caring Bunny and Sensitive Bunny programs.

Autism Friendly Easter Baskets

All kids love Easter baskets! Make your child’s Easter basket extra special by including items that address their unique individual needs such as sensory toys, calming objects, books that can be used to develop social stories and other gifts that are of special interest to your child.

Check out this compilation of autism and sensory friendly Easter basket toys by a mom who has a son with autism. Then, take a look at this video about making your own sensory- friendly Easter basket by the dad of a girl who has autism.


Religious Observations

This article is helpful for preparing children with autism for what to expect at an Easter church service and teaching social skills for attending church. These tips help families prepare their children with autism for Easter and Passover celebrations.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Resources for Women and Girls Affected by Autism

Photo of a white outline of a female shape on a blue background.
Resources for women and girls with autism.

With a prevalence rate of 1 in 189 versus 1 in 42, girls are nearly five times less likely to be diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) than boys. In celebration of Women’s History Month, here are some resources that address the unique experiences and needs of women on the spectrum.



“Pink on the Spectrum” by Jennifer Cook O’Toole that originally appeared in the Autism Asperger’s Network Magazine. The article includes a helpful handout for recognizing how ASD may manifest in girls.


The Autism Women’s Network strives to support autistic girls and women through community, advocacy and resources. Learn more about them by reading their informative Autistic Women Welcome Packet.


The Autistic Women’s Collective is an online social network for autistic women and mothers of autistic girls.



The Aspiengirl Be Your Own Superhero Project invites females on the autism spectrum of all ages to showcase their talents, abilities, gifts and superpowers. To participate, send your name, country of residence, a description of your superpowers and contact information to the project coordinator.



GRASP Chicago-Downtown Women’s Group is a peer-run support group for girls and women ages 16 and older who are on the autism spectrum. Contact Jamie Specht for more information.

AutismOne Conference Scholarships Are Available


The 2018 AutismOne Conference will be take place May 23-27, 2018 at the Westin Lombard Yorktown Center in Lombard, IL.

Scholarships are available for individuals experiencing severe financial hardships who are otherwise unable to afford the registration fee. To request assistance, contact Laura Rowley, AutismOne scholarship coordinator.

Friday, March 30, 2018

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Inclusion Films Trains People with Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities to Become Filmmakers


Founded by Hollywood filmmaker and former special education teacher Joey Travolta, Inclusion Films trains children, teens and adults with developmental disabilities to become filmmakers through its short film camps and vocational film workshops.
Teens and young adults with high-functioning autism and Asperger’s Syndrome acquire both professional filmmaking and practical life skills in two-week-long short film camps. Participants work together in small groups to write, perform and shoot their film with professional support and equipment in an environment that encourages confidence, communication and collaboration. Upcoming camps will be hosted by Futures Explored Inc., MarbleJam Kids and the Arts for Autism Foundation of Pittsburgh in California, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, respectively. Click on the link for dates and contact information.
Vocational film workshops use a collaborative, hands-on curriculum to teach adults with developmental disabilities all aspects of film production. Each semester, students work together to develop and shoot smaller video projects and a longer thesis film. The objective of the workshops is to train students in the skills needed for a career in the film and media production while helping students to develop transferable independent living skills. The workshops are presented in partnership with Futures Explored Inc. and Employment and Community Options (E&CO) and will take place at five locations throughout California. For more information and contact information, click on the link.
To see some of the films created by workshop participants, check out the Inclusion Short Films series on Yurview.

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