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You are here: Home >> ASO WEEKLY DIGEST >> ASO Weekly Digest >> April 28, 2008

Love Shopping? Love Crafts? Love Supporting a Good Cause?

Join us for our Annual Autism Mart for Autism benefiting the Autism Society of Ohio!

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The Autism Society of Ohio

April 28, 2008

Dear Friend of ASO:




Problems with ASO's Email Address

Our server has undergone some updates recently and there have been problems with the email address.  If you have sent an email request to us and it has not been answered, it may have been lost in cyberspace!  Please try to send your emails again.  So sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused.


Changes Pending in Medicaid - Get Information, Take Action

HR 5613, Protecting Medicaid Safety Net, was reported out of the House Committee on Energy & Commerce yesterday (4/22/08) and placed on the Union Calendar.  This bill extends until April 1, 2009, the moratorium on certain restrictions relating to Medicaid coverage or payment for rehabilitation services or school-based administration and school-based transportation.  Without this legislation, in June 2008 CMS will narrow the scope of rehabilitative services and it could impact day habilitation such as DD skills training and communication skills training.  Also it would prohibit all Medicaid payments for school-based administration and most transportation services, and it could impact OT, PT, ST and transportation in schools.  For more information or to take action visit the ARC Action Alert center - click here


NOW OPEN! – 2008 NATTAP Conference Registration
The Autism Society of America (ASA) and Ohio Center for Autism and Low Incidence (OCALI) present the 2nd annual international conference on autism training and technical assistance.  The objectives of the conference are to review current systems models for addressing the needs of individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), promote use of best practice in research and intervention and provide methods for capacity building – all of which contribute to the ultimate goal of improving outcomes for individuals ages 3-21. Join the estimated 1,500-2,000 attendees from across the national and around the globe.

NEW for 2008! Pre-Conference Sessions - November 18, 2008
Pre-Conference sessions are provided by leaders and recognized experts in the field and provide attendees with a valuable opportunity for in-depth discussion and learning.

What: 2008 NATTAP Conference
When: November 19-21, 2008
Where: Greater Columbus Convention Center | Columbus, OH
Early Bird Rate: $185
Parent/Family Member Rate: $100
Pre-Conference Session Rate: $100
Conference registration and information available at:


The Autism Society of Ohio has provided a grant to OCALI reducing the registration rate for parents from last year's $185 to $100 for all three days of the conference!  Register NOW!

2008 ASA National Conference
July 9-12, 2008
Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center
Orlando, Florida


2008 Keynoters:
Temple Grandin, Ph.D., Bob Hendren, D.O., & James Ball, Ph.D., BCBA

The Autism Society of America recognizes that families and individuals living with an autism spectrum disorder have a range of issues and needs. The National Conference of the Autism Society of America is the only conference that addresses the range of issues, including early intervention, education, employment, behavior, communication, social skills, biomedical interventions and others, across the entire lifespan. Bringing together the expertise and experiences of family members, professionals and individuals on the spectrum, attendees are able to learn how to more effectively advocate and obtain supports for the individual with ASD. The ultimate goal is to empower family members, individuals on the spectrum and professionals to make informed decisions.

Registration & Conference Schedule

Go to for the detailed 2008 ASA National Conference schedule. All session descriptions and speakers are now listed online, with over 200 speakers and 150 sessions. Be sure to register for the conference online by May 1, 2008, to take advantage of Early Bird Registration prices (Individuals on the Spectrum: $150 & Full Conference Attendees: $220).


Don't miss your opportunity to exhibit at the largest autism conference in the U.S. this year. Network with professionals, families, service providers and more. For more information, contact Meg Ellacott, 2008 ASA National Conference Exhibit Director, at or 302.260.9487. Be sure to secure your spot now.

Respite Child Care

Bring your entire family. Orlando is a great family vacation location. ASA is partnering with Quest, Inc., to provide respite care onsite. For more information, contact ASA at

Continuing Education Credits

BCBA, ASHA and CME credits are available.  For session information, contact Autism Society of America at The Autism Research Institute presents the Defeat Autism Now (DAN!) Clinician Seminar for professionals on Wednesday, July 9, 2008.

For information about the conference, contact Autism Society America Conference Department at or call 301.657.0881, ext. 10.



Upcoming Events, Resources, etc:


Central Ohio Autism Society April Meeting to feature Sean Barron, Columbus

- SE Ohio ASA and ARC Ohio: “Planning for your Son/Daughter’s Legal and Financial Future”, Athens

- Autism Society of Greater Cleveland presents "Financial Planning for the Special Needs Family"

- Effective Use of Behavioral Interventions for Individuals With Autism Spectrum Disorders, Kent State University 

- The Milestones Organization Autism/Asperger's Conference

- Upcoming Events, OAR Run, NE Ohio

- 7th Annual Autism Summit of NW Ohio, BGSU



    Autism Society of America and Foothill Autism Alliance Join Forces
MeadWestvaco and Autism Society of America Launch 2008 ASA Autism Awareness Cambridge

Department of Defense Project Will Help Care for Military Dependents with Autism
Medicaid Legislation on Fast Track in Congress
Children's Mental Health Coalition Introduces Bill of Rights for Families Living With Mental

Research Investigates Relation of Autism and Mitochondrial Disease
Scientists Research Neurofeedback as Autism Therapy
Online Course Can Build Advocacy Skills
Autism Teleseminar Provides Coping Strategies for Parents During National Autism Awareness

New Book for Individuals with Asperger Syndrome
    CEC and AAPC Join Forces to Create Valuable Resource for Educators and Related Services

AMDi Introduces Smart Series to Foster Communication

- Project I AM Fundraiser, Online

- BOOK: Two New Titles from AAPC

- Autism Summit, Cleveland

- OASISAUTISM Bike Ride/Walk-a-thon, Wooster

- "My Favorite Things", a social opportunity for children, Independence 

- Rich Autism center receives $421,505 federal grant

- ASPIES Adult Support Group, Medina

If you are interested in participating in research projects, ASO is now posting all research opportunities on our website. For information on available opportunities, visit our webpage, click on "Information" along the left side of the home page and then click on "Studies/Surveys". 

Have you purchased your Ohio Autism Awareness License Plate yet? To purchase yours, visit and click on "Specialty Plates" or visit our website at for more information.


The Autism Society of Ohio
701 S. Main St.
Akron, OH 44311
(330) 376-0211
fax: (330) 376-1226
Please note:  This is provided for information purposes only. The ASO does not endorse or recommend any providers, methodologies or services. Providing this information should not be construed as an endorsement by the ASO, either explicit or impiled.

Central Ohio Autism Society April Meeting to feature Sean Barron, Columbus


Our April meeting will be on Wednesday, April 30, at the Columbus Speech and Hearing Center at North Broadway and Indianola [map at ] in another partnership with the Ohio State University’s Nisonger Center and Aspirations.  Sean Barron will be coming to speak to young adults on the autism spectrum and their parents for the Aspirations Recap meeting.  He will have dinner with the young adults and then speak to everyone from 7:30 to 8:30.  Our chapter is helping to financially support his visit.  You are invited to hear his presentation to families.  Sean is an adult with ASD, an author, and a reporter for the Youngstown Vindicator.  Future Horizons  published the two the books he co-authored:  For more information visit:


Please RSVP at Nancy Beu at .

“Planning for your Son/Daughter’s Legal and Financial Future”
Please click the link below to register for the very important training on Saturday, May 10th in Athens, Ohio:
This training is FREE for families and individuals.
Professionals are $75. ODMR/DD CEU’s being offered.


Sponsored in part by the SE Ohio ASA Chapter.


Autism Society of Greater Cleveland presents "Financial Planning for the Special Needs Family"
Tuesday, May 6th
"Financial Planning for the Special Needs Family" on May 6th, at 6:30pm through the ASGC for their monthly meeting.  Joining me for the presentation will be Kerry M. Agins, Attorney at Law with Siegel and Agins.  Kerry will share her insights about Special Needs planning from a legal perspective, to include Protecting Assets and Benefit Eligibility.
If you are interested in attending, below please find a link to the ASGC website, and directions to the meeting. Also, so that we can plan accordingly, please email reply to me for headcount purposes.  If you are interested in the topic but can not attend, please let me know.  Please share this with others whom you think might benefit from attending.

The ASGC meets at 6:30 P.M. the first Tuesday of every month at the Cuyahoga Valley Career Center on 8001 Brecksville Rd. in Brecksville Ohio.   



2008 Topics in Child Development Conference:
June 26th and 27th - Kent State University

Topics in Child Development: Effective Use of Behavioral Interventions for Individuals With Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) present with a wide variety of strengths and needs.  Within the context of a behavioral approach to intervention, parents, educators, and other professionals can develop and enhance positive academic and behavioral skills while simultaneously addressing disruptive behaviors. The 2008 Topics in Child Development Conference will focus on behavioral approaches to intervention that can assist in enhancing existing skills and building new skills to promote success across multiple settings. For complete details, visit:

For information on the 2008 conference, please contact Kathy Brown at 330.672.0537 or

The Milestones Organization Autism/Asperger's Conference

Annual Conference


2008 Conference
The 6th Annual Milestones Organization Autism/Asperger's Conference
Life-Long Strategies for Success: School, Home, Community and Work

Keynote Speaker Dr. Jed Baker

Monday, June 16, 2008
8:30 a.m. - 4:45 p.m. (7:45 a.m. registration)
Executive Caterers at Landerhaven
6111 Landerhaven Drive, Mayfield Heights, Ohio 44124

This conference is for you if you are a . . .
special educator • inclusion teacher • classroom aide • speech therapist • occupational therapist • psychologist • social worker • nurse • music or art therapist • physical therapist • school counselor • parent or relative of individual with autism spectrum disorder • behavioral therapist



Monday, June 16, 2008
7:45 a.m. — Registration/Continental Breakfast
8:30 a.m. — Welcome

8:45 a.m. to 10:15 — Keynote

10:30 a.m. to 12:00 — Workshops A
12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. — Lunch/Exhibitors — Award Ceremony

1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. — Workshops B

3:15 to 4:45 p.m. — Workshops C


Registration Information



Professional Registration Fee (price includes CEUs, continental breakfast, lunch and binder)


Professional Group Discount per person (4 or more from same organization with single payment)




Family Member Registration Fee (price includes continental breakfast, lunch and binder)


Family Group Discount per person (4 or more from same organization with single payment)


Person with Autism Spectrum Disorder


Lunch without Conference Registration


Binder without Conference Registration




A limited amount of conference scholarship aid is available. To request a scholarship application, please email or call 216.371.4765. Download Scholarship Form


Cancellations will be accepted in writing until June 14, 2006, and refunds granted minus 30% of administrative costs. Substitutions for original registrants are acceptable.


Professional Development (CEU's) Offered
6.0 continuing education hours are pending for counselors, educators, nurses, psychologists, physical and occupational therapists and social workers. .6 CEUs for Speech Languague Pathologists on various levels: professional and related areas is pending through ASHA. Professional development credit is pending toward a BCBA. General certificates of attendance will also be available.

Workshop Selection
Over the course of the conference, there are three workshop time slots with multiple options per time slot. Please choose one topic for each workshop time slot.



Registration fees include a continental breakfast and a buffet lunch. The meals include vegetarian options. If you require a kosher meal, indicate your preference on the registration form. It will not be possible to arrange for special meals on-site.


Advertising/Exhibiting/Sponsorship Information
We invite you to promote your organization at the 2008 Conference Life-Long Stragegies for Success: School, Home, Community and Work. Opportunities are available to be a conference sponsor, exhibitor at the conference, and advertiser in the conference binder. Your message will reach 400 attendees. Download our advertising, sponsorship, and exhibiting participation letter and form. Contact for further information or to indicate your interest.


Conference Location and Directions
Executive Caterers at Landerhaven
6111 Landerhaven Drive,
Mayfield Heights, OH 44124

Questions/Special Assistance
Please call Milestones Organization at 216-371-4765 or email at


Events, OAR Run

visit for more events

May 4, Friendship Circle Festival, 2:00pm - 4:00 pm
Preston's Hope, Mandell JCC Campus, Beachwood
Contact Dassi Shtern at 216-377-3000 ext. 1004 or
Download Flyer

May 15 (Deadline), Helping Hand Program: Financial Aid for Autism Families

May 18, OAR Run for Autism (Organization for Autism Research )
Cleveland, OH. 
For questions, please contact the RUN Staff toll free at (866) 366-9710; e-mail:
Sign up now!

7th Annual Autism Summit of NW Ohio, BGSU
Topic: Autism, Social Thinking & Social Skills
"Thinking About YOU, Thinking About ME"
Keynote Speaker: Michelle Garcia Winner, MA, CCC
Saturday, June 7, 2008
Bowen-Thompson Student Union
Bowling Green State Univeristy
Summit Founded & Organized by:

      Dr. Ellen Williams, School of Intervention Services, BGSU
      Dr. Leslie Cochran, School of Intervention Services, BGSU
      Ann Light, Continuing & Extended Education, BGSU

Sponsored by:

      College of Education and Human Development
      Continuing & Extended Education
      Wood County Educational Service Center
      Robert and Nancy Williams

For more information and to register, click here


Honors were bestowed last evening on the Northeast Ohio Autism Group (NEOAG) from the City of Cleveland and presented by councilmen Kevin Conwell and Mike Polensek. The group received a resolution of recognition for their efforts and commitment to bringing awareness and funds to the city of Cleveland in support of those with autism.
The basis for last night’s award is NEOAG’s annual fundraising event, Rock The Puzzle, being held this Saturday the 26th at House of Blues Cleveland. 100% of proceeds from Rock The Puzzle stay local to help those with autism in our area. Council states that they "applaud the agency’s outstanding efforts in fostering solutions for children, adults and families in our communities throughout Northeast Ohio and further extends best wishes for a successful fundraiser and for much continued success in the future." Please go to  for more information on how you can help by being a part of this important event.
NEOAG is a local 501(c)(3) non-profit charity organization dedicating to helping children and adults with autism. Today, 1 in 150 births will be diagnosed with autism, making it more common that pediatric cancer, diabetes, and AIDS combined. Due to these dramatic statistics, there is a huge need for improved programs and services in our area. NEOAG’s mission is to provide financial assistance to schools, programs and services in the Northeast Ohio area that care for those with autism, as well as to local autism research programs. They also plan development of new programs to serve the changing needs of our autism community.

For more information on NEOAG, please visit  or call 440.488.3473.

Presented by the ARC of Ohio
Friday, June 13, 2008
Worthington Holiday Inn
7007 N. High St.
Worthington, OH 43085
8:30 – 9:30                               Registration & Refreshments
9:30 – 10:30                             Futures Committee Report:  Next Steps
                                                John Martin, Director ODMRDD
10:30 – 12:00                           Implementation Status of the Martin Settlement Agreement
Ginnie Whisman, Assistant Deputy Director, Division of Community Services, Developmental Centers, ODMRDD
                                                The Future of IO and Level 1 HCBS Waivers
                                                Patrick Stephan, Deputy Director, ODMRDD
12:00 – 1:00                             Lunch
1:00 – 3:00                               Medicaid Buy-In:  What Is It and How Does It Work?
                                                Bev Johnson & Janet Miller, Cerebral Palsy of Ohio, Inc.
You may register 3 ways:
ONLINE:  under “Event Calendar”
FAX:  1-614-487-4725
PHONE: 1-800-875-2723


Autism Society of America and Foothill Autism Alliance Join Forces
The Autism Society of America and Foothill Autism Alliance, Inc., (FAA) have formed a collaborative relationship to provide the very best autism-related resources to help parents, professionals and individuals on the autism spectrum. Our goal is to help people get connected to available services in their communities, and we're pooling our resources to ensure that the resources provided are reliable and contain the most accurate and up-to-date information. Read more:

MeadWestvaco and Autism Society of America Launch 2008 ASA Autism Awareness Cambridge Planner
ASA and MeadWestvaco Consumer & Office Products Group have partnered to design an autism-themed Cambridge Planner in honor of this April's National Autism Awareness Month. The planner is on sale now at 1,000 Wal-Mart stores nationwide. Find one near you:
Read more:

Department of Defense Project Will Help Care for Military Dependents with Autism
The Department of Defense (DoD) and TRICARE, the DoD's health entitlement program for more than 9.2 million beneficiaries, have announced a demonstration project to care for military dependents diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Read more:
Medicaid Legislation on Fast Track in Congress
As reported previously, the Administration has recently issued seven separate regulations that would significantly impact the Medicaid program.  While the intent of these regulations is to reduce fraud and abuse within the program, they could have significant negative impact on individuals with autism and their families. Specifically, these regulations would cut targeted case management services, coverage of rehabilitation services, and coverage of school-based health and transportation services. Read more:

Children's Mental Health Coalition Introduces Bill of Rights for Families Living With Mental Illnesses
In order to set the standard of what families living with mental illness should expect from treatment, the Children's Mental Health Coalition has created a Bill of Rights for Children with Mental Health Disorders and their Families. Read more:

Research Investigates Relation of Autism and Mitochondrial Disease
A small study recently found that "muscle weakness in a child with autism may point to an underlying genetic defect that's causing mitochondrial disease," according to a recent article in the Washington Post. Or, the study suggests, the opposite could be true, with mitochondrial disease possibly playing some role in the development of autism. Read more:

Scientists Research Neurofeedback as Autism Therapy
A new research project at the University of Missouri aims to use neurofeedback to help children with autism improve focus and concentration. In the study, children play a video game, using only brainpower to move rockets on a screen. The children's concentration is rewarded with visual and audio stimulation from the game; if they fail to pay attention, the movements and sounds on the screen fade until their focus returns. Scientists monitor their brainwave activity as they play. Read more:
Online Course Can Build Advocacy Skills
"Making Your Case" is a self-study course designed to help people with developmental disabilities and their families create positive change through advocacy. Read more:
Autism Teleseminar Provides Coping Strategies for Parents During National Autism Awareness Month
Your Autism Coach will conduct a national, interactive teleseminar for parents on Wednesday, April 30, from 8:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m. ET. Success Strategies: Living Your Life While Raising An Autistic or Special Needs Child is designed to give parents coping strategies and proven techniques to maintain a healthy, emotional outlook. The teleseminar fee is $20. Read more:
New Book for Individuals with Asperger Syndrome
For older adolescents and adults with Asperger Syndrome, setting goals and starting down a path to reach them can be particularly challenging due to some of the core characteristics of AS, including poor social skills, sensory issues and organizational challenges. In "Asperger Syndrome, An Owner's Manual 2 for Older Adolescents and Adults: What You, Your Parents and Friends, and Your Employer Need to Know," author Ellen Korin sets out a plan to help guide the transition to adulthood and independence, whether developed on one's own or with the help of a coach, therapist or advocate. An underlying theme is that everyone with Asperger Syndrome is unique and should have his or her unique plan to reach future goals. Read more:
CEC and AAPC Join Forces to Create Valuable Resource for Educators and Related Services Staff
The Autism Asperger Publishing Company (AAPC) is proud to announce a partnership with the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), the largest international professional organization dedicated to improving educational outcomes for individuals with exceptionalities, students with disabilities and/or the gifted. In particular, the two organizations will focus on publishing and disseminating resources for individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and other developmental disorders. Read more:
AMDi Introduces Smart Series to Foster Communication
For over 10 years, AMDi has designed, engineered and manufactured high-quality, durable and easy-to-use communication devices for special-needs individuals. They offer a variety of solutions to meet the vast communication needs of individuals with autism, from single-message speech-generating devices for those just learning cause and effect, to devices that allow for the freedom of conversation. Read more:

Project I AM Fundraiser
Project I AM, based in NW Ohio raises funds to support parents and families seeking treatment for their loved one with autism.  For more information on their mission, visit
Pampered Chef® Fundraiser Show benefiting the Project iAm Scholarship fund. The show will be online from April 20th-30th. The show will close on May 1st so that orders placed for Mother’s Day gifts should arrive on time. Your products should arrive within 7-10 days of closing. The products come from Chicago so the closer you are to Chicago the faster you will get them. If demand is high we will open another show on May 1st-18th, those orders would not arrive in time for Mother’s day because that show would close on May 19th with delivery approximately 7-10 days later.
We'll raise funds two ways: Donation of up to 15% of sales generated by the fundraiser. A $3 contribution for each future Show booking from the fundraiser. This is all being done online. Please follow the following instructions to make your purchase so that Project iAm will receive a donation from The Pampered Chef based on your product purchase amount.
1. Go to
2. Click on Our Products
3. Click on How To Purchase
4. Enter the Organization’s name: Project iAm
5. Click Search for Host
6. Click the words Project iAm Nicole Khoury, this will take you to the products
7. Begin Shopping (click on whatever category you are interested in or Search for a specific item)
8. All products will be shipped directly to you. When you checkout please select the option Ship to Customer.
If you have any questions please email me or Jennifer Menon, Independent Consultant with the Pampered Chef, at Thank you for your continued support!

BOOK: Two New Titles from AAPC
A “Stranger” Among Us: Hiring In-Home Support for a Child with Autism Spectrum Disorders or Other Neurological Differences
by Lisa Ackerson Lieberman, MSW, LCSW
Foreword by Cathy Pratt, Ph.D.
2005, ISBN 1-931-282-74-9
Hiring one-to-one providers to support your child is not work for the faint of heart, but finding the right person is worth every bit of effort involved. And A “Stranger” Among Us shows you how. Based on years of personal experience, research, and interviews with parents and providers, Lisa Lieberman has written a one-of-a-kind book that demystifies what could otherwise be an overwhelming task – finding the best one-to-one support for a child or young adult with disabilities.   For more information, click here
Asperger Download: A Guide to Help Teenage Males with Asperger Syndrome Trouble-Shoot Life's Challenges by Josie and Damian Santomauro
2007, ISBN 978-1-934575-02-4
Psst … What does that mean? A son and mom writing team has the answers for young men on the autism spectrum

The teenage years are simultaneously shared by teens and their parents. In Asperger Download: A Guide to Help Teenage Males with Asperger Syndrome Trouble-Shoot Life's Challenges, Damian Santomauro and his mother, Josie, share their dual experiences by defining major terms that teenage males encounter during their journey into manhood. Damian was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome at the age of five. Now he's in college and ready to share his experiences with teens who are experiencing what he lived through.

Asperger Download is a helpful resource for adolescents and young adults that takes defining terms like acne and zits to the next level. First Damien defines the term in a voice that other AS teens can relate to. Then Josie describes the term or concept from a parent's point of view.  For more info, click here

Autism Summit, Cleveland
Fri., 10-10 to Sun., 10-12, 2008

Autism Today, Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital, University Hospitals
The summit brings together world class speakers specializing in Autism and Asperger's Syndrome, who will provide information on a diverse subject range.
Who should attend?    
Parents, Educators, Professionals - Anyone interested in Autism/Asperger Syndrome
Summit Speakers
Jed Baker, Ph.D.
Andy Bondy. Ph.D.
Bill Davis, Parent, Advocate
Carol Gray, Director of the Gray Center
Cathy Pratt, Ph.D.
Barry M. Prizant, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
Stephen Shore, Ed.D.
Richard Solomon, MD
Diane Twachtman-Cullen, SLP
Keri Bowers - Filmmaker
Taylor Cross - ASD

Early Bird registration ends May 30th.
For more information or to register, see:

OASISAUTISM Bike Ride/Walk-a-thon
Autism. One Mission….One Team.

Take a quick peek at the photos of last years walk and bike ride for OASISAUTISM and come be part of the fun. For more information click OASISAUTISM BIKE RIDE/WALK A THON

If you cannot see the photos click on: OASISTALK

Date: June 21st
Time: 7:30am Bike Registration
8am Bike Ride Kick off
9:45am Walk-a-thon Registration
10:15am Walk-a-thon Kick off

Location: Wooster High School
515 Oldman Rd
Wooster, OH 44691

Whether you bike it or ride it…do it for the 1 in 150!

This email is a resource. OASIS does not endorse nor discourage any one physician, treatment, methodology, etc. Opinions expressed are solely the opinions of the author. Thank You.

Angel S. Thompson Co-Founder, Executive Dir./OASIS
OASIS is a 501(c)(3) non profit corp. registered with the state of Ohio, and is affiliated with AUTISM LINK

"My Favorite Things", a social opportunity for children with ASD

Greater Cleveland Asperger Support presents "My Favorite Things", a social opportunity for children with Asperger's Syndrome and other autistic spectrum disorders, Tuesday, May 20, 7 p.m., at the Independence Civic Center. Kids of any age are invited to set up a table showing off their hobbies or subjects of interests.  Siblings, parents and friends are encouraged to visit the tables and ask questions.  Examples of  hobbies or interests can be Lego block building, jewelery making, dinosaur habitats or Egyptian hieroglyphics. 

Siblings are welcome to help man the tables when affected children wish to walk around and look at other tables.  Parents are encouraged to coach their children ahead of time on appropriate questions and answers.  Also, parents and adult volunteers are needed to help facilitate conversations.  Kids with tables are encouraged to have a list available to collect e-mails and telephone numbers of other kids that share their interest.  To help ensure that all tables are visited, index cards will be distributed ahead of time to be punched at every table. 

The target age for this activity is elementary through junior high age, but all are welcome.  RSVP Theresa at before Friday, May 16 with total number of attendees, whether your child wishes to have a table and the hobby or interest being displayed.

Rich Autism center receives $421,505 federal grant
By JENNIFER KOVACS Tribune Chronicle
POSTED: April 22, 2008

YOUNGSTOWN — On Monday morning, one student made his way to the podium outside of The Rich Center for Autism, where he shouted out his thanks for grant money presented by U.S. Rep. Timothy J. Ryan.

‘‘This money will help us a lot,’’ the boy exclaimed to the crowd.

Ryan, D-Niles, was outside the center’s home at Fedor Hall on the Youngstown State University campus to present a check for $421,505 to be used for technology improvements, including the development of a distance learning program.

It was one of just five grants of its kind distributed this year in Ohio by the U.S. Department of Education.

The congressman said he was happy to be able to secure funding for the nationally acclaimed center.

‘‘We need a little bit of courage,’’ Ryan agreed. ‘‘We don’t have to look very far.’’

Philip Ginnetti, dean of the Beeghly College of Education, said the funding will allow the center to fill an educational need for parents and trained professionals in northeast Ohio as well as throughout the country.

Through the distance learning program, the center will be able to provide everything from video conferences to online lectures and mentoring.

‘‘For this great opportunity, we again want to thank the congressman,’’ Ginnetti said.

Jackie Marchiandi, a founding member of the Rich Center for Autism and mother of a 17-year-old son who has the brain development disorder, said the enhancement of the center through use of technology will offer families and educators more resources to address the growing number of children being diagnosed with autism each year.

‘‘We can only do so much here,’’ Marchiandi said.

She recalled years ago when her son was diagnosed, there was no Internet to use to get more information. So that ability alone, Marchiandi said, is a huge improvement to make parents feel less helpless.

‘‘It’s really, really important,’’ she said.

Phyllis Ricchiuti, who co-founded the center in memory of her son Anthony Rich and his wife, Paula, who were killed in a 1994 plane crash, said providing information on the disease via the Web will be just another avenue to help people learn about the disorder.

‘‘It’s going to explode,’’ Ricchiuti said.

ASPIES Adult Support Group
(Support group for those 18 years old and older with a diagnosis of Asperger Syndrome, High Functioning Autism, or PDD/NOS)
First meeting -
Thursday, May 1st
"Open" Meeting - family & friends invited
Come help us decide what services we should provide and how we can help you the best!
7:00-9:00 pm
All meetings will be held at the
William Considine Professional Building
(across from Akron Children’s Hospital Main Entrance)
Rooms 5 & 6
(2nd floor / Street level)
For further information, contact
Joy Spencer 330-745-5115
or email her at

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