Autism Is Nothing Like Going to Holland

“Welcome to Holland” is a lovely poem, and so is Holland. While the piece offers comforting thoughts for parents of an autistic child, it is not always a realistic portrayal. A jungle is at times more accurate – wild, untamed, seemingly chaotic… but still beautiful.

Not an Autism Mom

There’s a very famous poem called “Welcome to Holland,” written by Emily Perl Kingsley.  It’s a beautiful poem, if you haven’t read it.

To summarize, Kingsley describes what it feels like to raise a child with special needs. She says that planning for a child is like planning an exciting trip to Italy. But when your child has a disability, your plane winds up in Holland instead.

holland

Holland isn’t as flashy or exciting as Italy. But it’s pretty, slower paced, and has windmills. And even though you really wanted that trip to Italy, you appreciate Holland for all of its beauty and serenity.

I used to love that poem. I would post it on my Facebook page and tag moms I thought would appreciate the gesture. I’ve even been sent that poem from time to time by well-meaning loved ones. And I appreciated the gesture. I still do.

But the…

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Our Bimonthly Collection of the Most Notable and Our Favorite Disability Articles – Ending October 15, 2017

FDR's presidential aircraft, fitted out with a custom elevator, represents the idea of accessiblity now exemplified by National Disabilities Employment Month NDEAM.

Even among former presidential aircraft, this machine is special. Named Sacred Cow, Franklin Delano Roosevelt had the airplane modified with a special elevator to lift the president in his wheelchair up into the cabin. It’s an ingenious example of accessibility, one to bear in mind during the National Month of Disability Employment.

 

At Advancing Opportunities, we excel in providing residential and respite services to people of with all disabilities, along with advocacy and education services for parents and guardians and assistive technology support. As a leader in the field, we are pleased to share our experience, knowledge, and expertise with the disability community through our social media outlets: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Pinterest. In our bimonthly column, we will select the best of what we found and shared and present them. Please click on the titles with embedded links to find the full article.

 

In addition, we are specialists in the area of assistive technology and offer a huge array of services; the Assistive Technology Center is New Jersey’s premier source of information and equipment.

 

 

Advancing Opportunities Job of the Fortnight

We have openings for full- and part-time Direct Support Professionals in residential care programs all around the state. Candidates will be providing excellent direct care to men and women with disabilities in residential support programs in group homes. We will be holding an open house:

Thursday, October 19, 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.: Family Resource Network, 322 US Hwy. 46 W., Ste. 290, Parsippany, NJ 07054

 

 

Advancing Opportunities News

Advancing Opportunities is pleased to announce the opening of the Jackson group home and the opportunity to serve more people with disabilities in New Jersey and advance their independence.

 

 

Disability in the News (Mostly in New Jersey, the Population We Serve)

With nowhere else to go, increasing numbers of autistic children, teens, and young adults end up staying in hospitals. This story has appeared in several newspapers.

 

On Friday, October 6, New Jersey Gov. Christie mandated twice-yearly group home checks after the death of a resident.

 

 

Special Education

Video games… helping (not hindering) children with ADHD? Here is a very notable exception.

 

 

Assistive Technology

Dragon NaturallySpeaking, which we profiled earlier, earns NDIS approval.

 

Virtual-reality apps help people with anxiety, PTSD, and other emotional and mental health conditions overcome their fear and ill feelings.

 

 

Advocacy and Self-advocacy

A young woman has created a pageant to help girls with disabilities shine.

 

 

College for Students with a Disability

The Autistic Self Advcoacy Network announces 2018 scholarships for students with autism.

 

 

Disability Rights, Accessibility
Opinion: “Protecting the rights of people with disabilities is not optional.”

 

Article from the New York Times: For the Disabled, New York’s Sidewalks Are an Obstacle Course

 

Assistive technology and accessibility: Google sets out to commit its resources and the people who contribute data to mapping the accessibility of public areas.

 

 

Employment for People with Disabilities

Haben Girma, a deaf-blind attorney and advocate for people with disabilities often “drive innovation.”

 

 

Informative, Positive, Noteworthy (or All Three!)

The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation has updated its informative guide on living with paralysis.

 

When his flight was delayed, a passenger with autism had a panic attack. Fortunately, a kind stranger was able to offer him the comfort and understanding he sought and desperately needed.

 

 

The Arts and People with Disabilities

An exhibition about blindness engages all the senses.

 

 

People with a Disability in the Community (Disability Rights and Acceptance; Inclusion)

“We need to have more honest conversations about dating and disability. Here’s my truth.

 

 

Disability Awareness and Appreciation
A high-quality British news outlet, The Guardian, reaches out, offering a hands-on means of fostering autism awareness and appreciation in a virtual-reality production, “The Party: A Virtual Experience of Autism.”

 

If you missed the recent POV broadcast of Swim Team, there’s still very good news! This highly acclaimed documentary about autistic New Jersey teens who find excellence in competitive swimming is available on the PBS website, for free.

 

“Autism in Reel Life”: Exploring the progress in portraying autistic people on television and the challenges remaining.

 

 

Medical News—Research

Anxiety can assume unusual forms in people with autism—turning uncertainty, or even a striped couch, into a constant worry. New tools may help identify these hidden fears.

 

 

Beauty, Glamour, and Fashion: the Inclusion of People with Disabilities

Award-winning stars call on this fashion designer with Down syndrome.

 

A unique nonprofit organization incubated in a famous school is dedicated to developing clothing for people of all abilities.

 

“Defying the odds,” an autistic teen in Ghana becomes a celebrated model.

We Are All Here for Cerebral Palsy

WCPD_Logo_English_Oct_6_preview

“I am here.… We are here… and we want to the world to know!” That is the message of advocacy and self-advocacy that people with cerebral palsy and those who work with them want to convey on Friday, October 6, World Cerebral Palsy Day 2017. This campaign involves six key issues:

 

Public awareness and putting an end to stigma and stereotype. When people know what cerebral palsy is and is not, they are more likely to know the best way to interact with those who have the condition. For example, impaired or labored speech may lead outsiders to accidentally believe the person with CP has a cognitive disability when, in fact, he or she does not. Moreover, otherwise well-intentioned people will interact with those with CP by talking in a childlike way or look upon them with pity.

 

Civil rights at all levels: national, state, and local. People with cerebral palsy have the right to accessibility in public buildings, transportation, and walkways. They have the right to vote and advocate for themselves and their peers. They have the right to information and jobs.

 

Medical and therapeutic knowledge and information. The three primary medical and therapeutic issues are addressing the cause (though, at present, this is not entirely known), early diagnosis to ensure proper care during the critical first years of life, and effective treatment that include physical and occupational therapy, speech therapy, and cognitive interaction. Recently, physicians and researchers worldwide have pledged to work together to create clinical practice guidelines for diagnosis and early intervention of cerebral palsy.

 

Quality of life beyond mere survival. Beyond medical and other therapies, the overall well-being of people with cerebral palsy is of paramount concern, that is, that providing access to family and residential support services that enable them to participate in all aspects of community living with the greatest degree of independence and fulfillment possible, both in their home and the community. It also involves offering respite services to families.

 

Education for people with cerebral palsy and those who teach them. Children with CP have the right to a “full and appropriate public education.” Inclusion involves more than placing the student in a corner and ignoring him or her. These children deserve full interaction according to their intellectual ability, as well as well-trained educators to teach them. Education is the key to an independent and fulfilling life; with advocacy and assistive technology, college can be a possibility, not just a dream.

 

Making a contribution to the community and society, economically, socially, artistically, and politically. A fulfilling life is one that enables a person to contribute to society, through employment, social opportunities, artistic expression, and political involvement, including exercising the right to vote.

 

Cooking with Karen 01Cerebral palsy is the most common physical disability and childhood birth defects. The condition affects physical movement, but people with CP may have any one or a combination of learning, intellectual, visual, or hearing disabilities. Worldwide, more than 17 million people living with CP, and some 350 million family, friends, and professionals support and care for and about them.

 

Before we were Advancing Opportunities, our agency was known as Cerebral Palsy of New Jersey. Although our name change reflects the fact that we serve people with all disabilities in New Jersey, cerebral palsy is still a significant part of what we do.

 

Our Most Notable and Favorite Disability Articles – For the Week Ending September 22, 2017

Oldwick - Colorful Machine

Old farm machinery makes for popular decor at private residences and farms throughout New Jersey. This mower, seen at a farm stand in Oldwick (Hunterdon County), has received a special Technicolor treatment!

 

At Advancing Opportunities, we excel in providing residential and respite services to people of with all disabilities, along with advocacy and education services for parents and guardians and assistive technology support. As a leader in the field, we are pleased to share our experience, knowledge, and expertise with the disability community through our social media outlets: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Pinterest. In our Disability and Ability Highlights of the Week column, we will select the best of what we found and shared and present them. Please click on the titles with embedded links to find the full article.

 

In addition, we are specialists in the area of assistive technology and offer a huge array of services; the Assistive Technology Center is New Jersey’s premier source of information and equipment.

 

 

Advancing Opportunities Job Announcement of the Week

Advancing Opportunities is seeking an individual for the position of Human Resources Generalist. He or she will be responsible for assisting in all aspects of providing Human Resources support to our growing agency. In addition, the Human Resources Generalist performs other duties from time to time, as deemed appropriate. He or she routinely deals with highly sensitive and confidential matters.

 

 

Disability in the News (mostly in New Jersey, the population we serve)

The Ford Foundation named Judy Heumann, a long-time disability rights advocate, as a senior fellow.

 

 

Special Education

A report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services urges the federal government to strengthen transition programs for students with autism.

 

 

Assistive Technology

An assistive technology thought leader offers eight reasons home-assistant devices make excellent AT.

 

Middle school students create a custom pencil grip for a fourth grade peer.

 

A brilliant student with a severe physical disability was not able to attend the defense of her PhD dissertation in person. So she invented assistive tech to be there for her… for peers with disabilities like hers.

 

 

Disability Rights, Accessibility

A disability advocate presents maps of the metros of major cities, as seen from the perspective of accessibility (or lack of).

 

Beauty, Glamour, and Fashion: The Inclusion of People with Disabilities

Award-winning stars call on this fashion designer with Down syndrome.

Our Most Notable and Favorite Disability Articles: Week Ending September 15, 2017

Morris County 9-11 Memorial at Dawn

Morris County 9/11 Memorial at Dawn: The floodlights and mist lend an otherworldly feeling to an otherworldly place. On a clear day, the monument overlooks the new Manhattan skyline. Photo: Daniel L. Berek

 

At Advancing Opportunities, we excel in providing residential and respite services to people of with all disabilities, along with advocacy and education services for parents and guardians and assistive technology support. As a leader in the field, we are pleased to share our experience, knowledge, and expertise with the disability community through our social media outlets: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Pinterest. In our Disability and Ability Highlights of the Week column, we will select the best of what we found and shared and present them. Please click on the titles with embedded links to find the full article.

 

In addition, we are specialists in the area of assistive technology and offer a huge array of services; the Assistive Technology Center is New Jersey’s premier source of information and equipment.

 

 

Advancing Opportunities Job Announcement of the Week

Advancing Opportunities is seeking an individual for the position of Human Resources Generalist. He or she will be responsible for assisting in all aspects of providing Human Resources support to the agency. In addition, the Human Resources Generalist performs other duties from time to time, as deemed appropriate. He or she routinely deals with highly sensitive and confidential matters. For more information, please visit us online.

 

 

Advancing Opportunities News

Advancing Opportunities CEO Jack Mudge presented the Champion of Inclusion Award to David Kovacs of Allegra, a printing company in Mercer County, NJ.

Allegra Champions of Inclusion

 

 

Disability in the News (mostly in New Jersey, the population we serve)

From The Atlantic: If parents of a son or daughter with a disability are deported, what happens to these children?

 

 

For Parents of a Child with a Disability (Parenting)

This article has links to information on how children with ADHD react to (and can sometimes cope with) a disaster or other extreme event.

 

A blogger discusses explaining autism to siblings and provides free printable conversation prompts.
 

 

Assistive Technology

Say It Again: Sure, Amazon Echo will play your favorite music, turn on the lights, announce weather forecasts, and call for an Uber ride. She can even order a pizza with your favorite toppings. Echo can fill the room with rich sound. Spotify, Pandora, Prime Music, and TuneIn. What’s more, Alexa, the friendly voice behind Echo can even tell a joke. Just ask her. Without doubt, the Amazon Echo can do many fun and useful things, making the device a highly popular addition at many homes. Less well known is that for people with a variety of disabilities, Amazon Echo can be very useful piece of assistive technology. Find out more here!

  

CTD Institute has published a new glossary of assistive technology. Our Technology Lending Center has many of these devices.

 

 

Advocacy and Self-advocacy

Honoring the passing of disability advocate Lorraine Gradwell. She was a tireless campaigner for accessibility and other disability rights issues. Gradwell also was behind the concept of the “social model” of disability. She was 64. Her legacy will live on.

 
 

 

Informative, Positive, Noteworthy (or all three!)

Fine piece in the New York Times: Looking into the future for a child with autism

 

 

People with a Disability in the Community (Disability Rights and Acceptance; Inclusion)

Alyssa Patrias, 20, is the first woman with Down syndrome to compete in the Michigan state beauty pageant. And she did everything the other contestants did.

 

 

Disability Awareness and Appreciation

These photos of a woman’s life with muscular dystrophy are not meant to inspire.

  

“My autism hasn’t stopped me connecting with my sister.” 

 

 

Medical News—Research

A recent study found that a region of the brain that processes emotions, the amygdala, is usually smaller in children who have both autism and anxiety than in those who have autism alone.

 

New findings on brain functional connectivity may lend insights into mental disorders.

 

A Fellow Blogger Writes on Explaining Autism to Siblings

Do you need help explaining autism to siblings? Parents of children with autism often have difficulty explaining autism to their other children. You are not alone. This post is written in collaboration with The Innovation Press. All opinions are my own. Explaining autism to siblings can be tricky. I suggest you break down the…

via Explaining autism to siblings (+ free printable conversation prompts) — Special Learning House

 

Our Most Notable and Favorite Disability Articles – For the Period Ending September 4, 2017

New Jersey culture and services

This wagon is one of the displays at Alstede Farms, Chester, NJ (Morris County), This farm has become a major tourist destination for people to enjoy a taste of rural life now largely a thing of the past. Photo: Daniel L. Berek

At Advancing Opportunities, we excel in providing residential and respite services to people of with all disabilities, along with advocacy and education services for parents and guardians and assistive technology support. As a leader in the field, we are pleased to share our experience, knowledge, and expertise with the disability community through our social media outlets: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Pinterest. In our Disability and Ability Highlights of the Week column, we will select the best of what we found and shared and present them. Please click on the titles with embedded links to find the full article.
In addition, we are specialists in the area of assistive technology and offer a huge array of services; the Assistive Technology Center is New Jersey’s premier source of information and equipment.

 

 

Advancing Opportunities Job Announcement of the Week

As a growing agency, we have openings for part-time Direct-Support and Family-Support Professionals in residential care programs throughout New Jersey. Come meet us at one of our August open houses between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. in various regions of New Jersey:

  • Wednesday, September 6, Parsippany. Family Resource Network, 322 U.S. Hwy. 46 W., Ste. 290, Parsippany, NJ (Eastern Morris County)
  • Wednesday, September 30, Neptune. Neptune Public Library, 25 Neptune Blvd, Neptune City, NJ 07753 (Monmouth County)

Candidates will be providing direct care to men and women with developmental disabilities in residential support programs and group home settings. If you are unable to make it to one of the job fair open houses, you can also visit us online, at: http://advopps.org/job/direct-support-professional-part-time/

 

 

Disability in the News (mostly in New Jersey, the population we serve)

Employment for people with disabilities in New Jersey and the rest of the nation are cautiously optimistic.
http://bit.ly/2iYFhPO

 

 

For Parents of a Child with a Disability (Parenting)

“As autism parents, it’s so important to take care of ourselves and here’s why.”

 

 

Special Education

An actually autistic man and highly respected author speaks out how much of education in the U.S. fails students with autism.

 

 

Employment for People with Disabilities

A writer discusses why more tech companies should hire people with disabilities.

 

 

Informative, Positive, Noteworthy (or all three!)

Positive articles like this one are always welcome! A 27-year-old filmmaker is helping people with disabilities own their narratives.

Here’s a blog piece on ten highly recommended bipolar disorder blogs, written either by people with this disability themselves or mental-health professionals.

 

 

The Arts and People with Disabilities

A 17-year-old autistic artist inspires children with autism and other special needs to paint.

 

 

People with a Disability in the Community (Disability Rights and Acceptance; Inclusion)

A New Jersey teen with autism offers autistic men haircuts.

Opinion: “My son has autism. Discrimination almost cost him his life.”

 

 

Medical News—Research

Researchers found that altered mitochondria may be associated with increased autism risk.