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Friday, March 31, 2023

Turning Pointe Autism Foundation: Educational, real-life strategies


April seemed to plug along just a bit faster than March and we are all desperately waiting to get back to some sense of normalcy in May and June. It has been a grueling six weeks for all of us, but especially for our families with autism and other disabilities. Routines are broken, schedules fly out the window and anxiety skyrockets with the everyday unknown.

While going over a Covid social story with my son (it was formative, but basic) I realized; “How can he be expected to understand what is going on in the world if we can barely understand it ourselves?” We have to try to give them as much information as we can, however, to help ease anxiety. This is all unprecedented and I hope we will work together quickly to gain greater knowledge and better treatment, I won’t even mention the vaccine.

Please, while thinking of your at risk neighbors and friends, also be sure to check on the family’s with autism you know. They may just need a “hi,” or a “do you need anything from the store,” or “just a short break.” Trust me, they are all struggling right now, days are long and pressure is great, so please do what you can. It will make a world of difference to them.

One friend of mine’s son contracted the virus right before his residential living space closed down. He was very sick, and he did not understand what was happening. His parents could not be with him. Both were terrified. My friend was beside herself; just wanting to be a face of love and recognition for her son so he didn’t have to go through it alone. He kept pleading for “sock,” “shoe,” “mom’s” car,” “Home.” Heartbreaking. Thankfully he is recovering well, but still may have to stay quarantined until the Governor lifts the shelter-in-place orders. Our hearts go out to her and I know she is not alone in this type of situation. Stay strong, Diane, until you can give him a great big bear hug and see his precious smile.

In the meantime, “while Americans from coast to coast are practicing safe social distancing and staying home, the Autism Certification Center (ACC) and Autism Speaks are teaming up to make 30+ hours of online video learning resources available completely free of charge for members of the autism community.” To register to access the free courses, simply visit autismcertificationcenter.org/here-to-help between today and June 1, 2020.

Developed by the ACC, part of the Ohio Center for Autism and Low Incidence (OCALI).
“With so many recent disruptions in schedules and services, we’re thrilled to provide people with this meaningful learning opportunity,” said Val Paradiz, PHd and VP of services and supports at Autism Speaks.

“Together, our aim is for more people on the spectrum, their families and their communities to have access to evidence-based educational material,” said Shawn Henry, executive director, OCALI. “These courses were designed to provide real-life strategies that can be applied now and well into the future, and we’re glad to be able to share them with the autism community at no cost during these particularly challenging times.”

As always Turning Pointe families can access their new Google online learning program for assignments and activities for each day. Our teachers and staff are available for you daily via email as well. We’re all in this together. We hope everyone is staying safe so we can get back to class and see our favorite kiddos’ smiles.

Kim Wolf
Kim Wolf
Kim Wolf is co-founder of Turning Pointe Autism Foundation.