Back to School Resources for Parents and Children with ASD

It is back-to-school for most kids in Marin County, and here are some resources for special education, IEP and PTI development, and other programs aimed at children on the autism spectrum.

Support for Newly Diagnosed:

Early Support Program for Autism- Stanford Children’s Health

Special Education Resources for Students K-12:

Disability Rights and Education Defense Fund

Disability Rights and Education Defense Fund- Special Education and Free Workshop Info

Marin County Office of Education

National Center for Learning Disabilities

Advice for High School IEP Meeting

PTI and IEP Resources for Parents:

Matrix Parent Network- IEP Clinic

Map of CA Parent Training and Information Centers

The IEP Cycle- Disability Rights and Educational Defense Fund

IEP Development- Marin Autism Collaborative Resource

Transition Planning:

Parent Activity Transition Planning- Marin Autism Collaborative resource

Autism Speaks Transition Toolkit

CA Transition Alliance

Other Programs:

The Marin Humane Society- Jumping for Joy Program (A free program for children with Special Needs)

More Summer Camp Resources

Summer is well underway and parents may still be looking for summer activities/camps for their children on the autism spectrum. There are still summer camps available, depending on the session dates.

Here is a list of camps for autistic children in Northern California.

Camping Unlimited (Camp Krem) in the Santa Cruz county

VIA Services in Santa Clara

Camp Harmon in Santa Cruz

Autistry Studios in San Rafael

Camp Altitude in Los Gatos

Breaking Barriers Summer Camp in Orinda (East Bay)

Other Camp Directories (California and Nationwide)

Easter Seals Camp and Recreation Directory

My Summer Camps Directory

Summer Camp Resources for Children with Autism

Since school is out for the summer, parents may be looking for summer activities for their children. Here are some resources for summer camps catered to children on the autism spectrum.

If interested in a particular camp or program, please consult them for updated schedules and fees.

Directory of California Camps for Austistic Children and Teens:
http://www.mysummercamps.com/camps/california/autism

Easter Seals Camp Directory:
http://www.easterseals.com/our-programs/camping-recreation/camp-and-recreation-directory.html

Autistry Studios (Marin County):
http://www.autistrystudios.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/SummerCamp_flyer_final.pdf

Camp Altitude (Northern California):
http://camp-altitude.com/

Reminder: MAC Parent Support Group Exploratory Meeting

REMINDER: The exploratory meeting for a parent support group will be on Thursday, May 15, 2014 from 9:30am-11pm at the Marin County Office of Education.


The Marin Autism Collaborative invites you to join parents, grandparents, and guardians of children and young adults on the Autism Spectrum to share ideas on ways to support our community. Share your thoughts, topics of interest, and how we can better develop a parent support group.

If you are unable to attend the meeting on May 15, please feel free to email your topics of interest to Nancy La at nla@lifehouseagency.org.

When: Thursday, May 15, 2014
Where: The Marin Office of Education, Foundation Room
1111 Las Gallinas Drive, San Rafael, CA 94913
Time: 9:30-11:00am
For Questions: Contact Nancy La at Lifehouse Agency
nla@lifehouseagency.org
415-526-5331

Participants for Autism Research Project

A graduate student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is conducting a nation-wide study and IRB-approved research on identity for young adults with autism or Aspergers and is looking for young adults aged 18-25 to participate in the study.

This online research will study the experiences and attitudes of individuals on the autism spectrum and will examine how adults with ASD think about themselves and their experiences. Your participation will help advance the understanding of the perceptions and experiences of adults on the autism spectrum.

This nation-wide study will be conducted entirely online and will only take 15-20 minutes to complete.

For more information, please look at the brochure from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

If interested, follow the link on PDF file or click here.


Real Work Programs for Teens and Adults with ASD

On May 21, Laura Briggin, Master of Science in Special Education/BCBA, and the Director of Cypress School, will present a lecture as part of the Marin and North Bay Autism Lecture Series. Topics such as the Individualized Transition Plan, the Employment First Policy, the Student Assessment Plan for community employment, development of Community Jobs, and preparatory vocational training will be discussed.

Date: Wednesday, May 21, 2014
Place: Marin County Office of Education
1111 Las Gallinas, San Rafael, CA 94901
Time: 12pm-2pm
Fee: $20

For more information, please visit the Marin and North Bay Autism Lecture Series.

To register, please visit signup at the Marin County Office of Education or contact Karen Kaplan at karensupportsu@comcast.net to register. 

MAC Parent Support Group Exploratory Meeting

The MAC Annual Meeting was another successful event, bringing together parents, service providers, and young adults with ASD. The response from those who attended the event was positive. Among the topics of interest was parental interest in a support group for those raising children on the Autism Spectrum.

MAC Committee members discussed steps that should be taken in order to form a responsive parent support group. To better understand the needs and concerns of parents, MAC will hold an exploratory meeting to gauge interest levels and topics of interest. The meeting will hopefully provide a better picture on how MAC can move forward and form a support group for parents in Marin County. Please find below a description of the exploratory meeting, scheduled for Thursday, May 15, 2014 at the Marin Office of Education.


MAC Parent Support Group Exploratory Meeting

The Marin Autism Collaborative invites you to join parents, grandparents, and guardians of children and young adults on the Autism Spectrum to share ideas on ways to support our community. Share your thoughts, topics of interest, and how we can better develop a parent support group.

If you are unable to attend the meeting on May 15, please feel free to email your topics of interest to Nancy La at nla@lifehouseagency.org.

When: Thursday, May 15, 2014
Where: The Marin Office of Education, Foundation Room
1111 Las Gallinas Drive, San Rafael, CA 94913
Time: 9:30-11:00am
For Questions: Contact Nancy La at Lifehouse Agency
nla@lifehouseagency.org
415-526-5331

The Autism Partnership Upcoming Events and Services

The Autism Partnership is currently conducting a research study on advances in social skills development through a 16-week program. They are looking for children between the ages of 3-5 years old diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum with the ability to speak in full sentences to participate in the study. The groups will be held at the Autism Partnership in Seal Beach, CA. For more information, please visit the Autism Partnership’s Social Skills Group page.

The Autism Partnership also has some new services available. They are introducing new treatment programs to the Applied Behavioral Analysis services, with Specialized Treatments Programs now available to those who exhibit complex behavioral challenges. Other new services include the creation of a Sibling Connection Group, with goals of providing a comfortable environment for families. Please contact Autism Partnership for more information on these and other programs and services.

Marin Autism Collaborative Annual Meeting 2014

On Saturday March 8, the Marin Autism Collaborative held its annual meeting, where parents and service providers shared information and resources about transition planning for individuals with ASD.

Panel #1: Pathways to Transition Planning

Transitions are often difficult for individuals on the autism spectrum and their families. Matthew Tarver-Wahlquist, the Director of Residential Services at the Cedars of Marin, moderated the panel, which discussed resources, preparations, and advice for teenagers transitioning away from high school. Beth DeWitt, County Manager at GGRC, Diane McNamara, Program Manager at Marin Special Education Local Plan Area, and Anne Goodrich, Secondary Program Specialist at Novato Unified School District, discussed services available for transition planning for individuals with ASD. A plan can help ease the difficulty of transitioning and provide a reasonable framework for reaching goals. Typically, your teen’s IEP (Individualized Education Plan) should indicate whether or not the child is on a diploma track or a certificate path, as well as post-secondary goals. Parents Janet Miller and Janet Lawson (also the founder of Autistry) discussed their personal experience with transition planning for their ASD child. During transition years, parents and service providers stressed the importance of letting children explore interests and help them navigate choices as well as to encourage them to advocate for themselves.

Panel #2: Community Living Options: Live, Work, and Play

Moderated by Matthew Tarver-Wahlquist, the panel shared information on available services and resources in Marin County. Beth DeWitt, the County Manager of the GGRC, Linda Wohlrabe, the Executive Director of the Opportunity for Independence, and Nancy Dow Moody, the President & CEO of Lifehouse, talked about residential housing services, supportive living services, day programs, and recreation programs available to the ASD community.

LynnEl Powell and Janet Miller, who are both parents of children with ASD, shared their experiences on the availability of services for individuals with ASD. Parents also shared advice on accessing ASD services as adults. Some parents suggested that all school assessments and academic records be kept for proof when applying for ASD programs as adults.

Panel #3: Young Adults Share their Stories

This panel, which was moderated by Janet Lawson, the founder of Autistry Studios, starred members of Autistry Studios; Marin Xiques April Evans, Ross Jacobs, Steven Waite, and Josh Foley. These inspirational young adults with ASD shared their personal experiences and challenges on transitioning from high school to adulthood. Many of the panelists said that they do not disclose their ASD unless they feel comfortable. During transition years, the panelists also noted that parents sometimes need to step back and let kids make decisions.

Resources:

The MAC Annual Meeting 2014 covered transition planning and how to navigate life and access to services as adults with ASD. Please find below the resources that were provided at the meeting from various organizations in Marin County. The list of publications and local/national agencies was made possible by Stephanie Smith of the Parent Matrix Network.

Transition Planning Resources:

Example and Case Study of Transition Plans, SELPA

Parent Involvement Activities for Transition

Standards Based IEP Development

Matrix Parent and Resource Center Special Education Transition Plan

Cypress Vocational and Therapeutic Services Program Flyer

CA Department of Rehabilitation, Employment and Independence for Californians with Disabilities

Golden Gate Regional Center, Employment First Initiative Policy

List of Publications and Agencies (made by Stephanie Smith of the Matrix Parent Network), also available below.

Publications:

Autism Speaks Transition Tool Kit, comprehensive national autism organization

Creating a Path to Employment: Tips for Parents with Children with Disabilities, Office of Disability Employment Policy, US Dept of Labor

Essential Skills to Getting a Job: What Young People Need to Know, Office of Disability Employment Policy, US Dept of Labor

Going to College: A Resource for Teens with Disabilities, Going to College-national resource for teens

Guideposts for Success, national collaborative on Workforce and disability

Planning for Transition: It’s Never too Soon, PACER National Champions for Children with Disabilities

Transition Planning: The Basics (IEP), California Transition Alliance

Transition to Adult Living: An Information and Resource Guide, CalStat Project of California, Dept. of Education, Special Education

Local and National Agencies:

ASCEND (San Francisco), Education, Networking, Development and Support

Autism After 16 (national), online resources

Autistry Studios (San Rafael), Prevocational workshops, counseling

California Department of Rehabilitation (Novato), employment, independent living

Casa Allegra (San Rafael), living, employment, education

Cedars of Marin (Ross), comprehensive national autism organization

College Internship Program (Berkeley), college and career support, Asperger’s

College Living Experience- CLE (Monterey), support during college

College of Marin Disability Student Services (Marin County), support services during college

Cornerstone Community Homes (Novato), residential services

Cypress Vocational and Therapeutic Services, transitional programs, vocational

Family Works (San Rafael), independent living skills

Golden Gate Regional Center, services and funding for qualified individuals with special needs

Integrated Community Services (San Rafael), employment, housing, recreation, information

Life Works (Sonoma County), transition support, Asperger’s

Lifehouse (San Rafael), residential and support services for adults, supported living. Teen and adult recreation

Marin Ventures (San Rafael), Day Programs

Matrix Parent Network and Resource Center (Novato), parent training, resource and information for parents of children with special needs from birth to 26

Moving Forward Towards Independence (Napa), residential, supported living, vocational

National Center on Secondary Education and Transition (national), online resources

National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability (national), online resources

Opportunity for Independence (San Rafael), vocational, behavioral, recreational, supported living, day program, education

Regional Occupation Program (San Rafael), Marin County Office of Education

School to Career Partnership (Marin County), Marin County Office of Education

Sweetwater Spectrum (Sonoma County), housing

Think College! (national), college options for people with intellectual disabilities

TransCen, Inc, (San Francisco), Improving employment outcomes

Transition Coalition (national), online resources

WineBev (Napa), day programs and employment

Webinar Series on Autism

The Eden II Diagnostic and Outreach Center has a series of webinar programs for Spring 2014. These webinar programs contain a range of topics related to autism, such as Speech and Language, Applied Behavior Analysis, and communications for individuals with ASD. All webinars feature experts in the field, and is formatted to allow the audience to interact with the presenter. If interested, please visit the Eden II Diagnostic and Outreach Center to register.