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Welcome That’s when we broke out the ITouch. More on that in a moment... My oldest son, Brady, is now five years old and his development over the past year and a half has been nothing short of remarkable. My youngest, Tyler, just turned three. His therapy has ramped up over the past 6-8 months to the point where his eye contact and attention span are dramatically improving.   Autism has proven as confusing and, at times, heartbreaking, as i’d heard it would be when Brady was first diagnosed. However, the little victories are celebrated like National Championships! For example, when Brady started using the potty by himself I high-fived people (when he reads this as a teenager he’s going to hate me!).    Back to the ITouch.... when that moment came Christmas Day when the boys got bored of opening gifts and watching Backyardigans DVD’s,

This past Christmas I had my boys over at my parents house in West Virginia, and the ‘rents were a little nervous about how we were going to keep the wee men entertained throughout the day. You know how it is during the holidays, where most businesses are closed and your options are, well, extremely limited.

we went New School. I grabbed the ITouch and gave it to Brady. He was sitting with my dad in a recliner at the time. Brady opened a program called “Dot-To-Dot” and proceeded to trace outlines of clowns, animals and toys with his finger. The dots are in numerical order from 1 to 25 or so, and Brady with one act showed the ability to count, follow directions, identify objects and even say what the object he just traced turned out to be. My parents were absolutely stunned. And then Tyler, just two years old at the time, grabs the same device and starts using a matching game which challenges the user to put colors and shapes together. Tyler whipped through 9 different patterns in seconds. Technology is proving to be especially useful for our kids who need assistance with communication and my boys are are a shining example of its teaching potential. I’m not writing this as a free plug for Apple products, but this

generation of apps and touchscreens is benefitting our children in ways i’m not sure we’d ever thought possible. The only confusion is when the boys go up to my TV and wonder why when they “drag” an image on the TV it doesn’t go anywhere! (we’re working on that one...) When we began The Autism Puzzle project 3 years ago, the IPhone and ITouch were new, unproven devices. Now, they’re changing lives, and for some of our kids, giving them the tools they need to progress at a similar pace to their peers. It’s exciting to be a part of this generation, and for all of our kids, to give them the tools to succeed. In this case, being normal is... extraordinary! Thanks for reading the latest edition of The Autism Puzzle magazine! 

I Suspect My Child Has Autism:

A Four-Step Guide for Ohio Parents on What to Do Next



Step :

Step :

There are three types of evaluations. 1. Medical/Clinical Evaluations – from your doctor. 2. Education Evaluations – from your local school. 3. Evaluation for Additional Services – from local County Board of Developmental Disabilities or other public entity.

Each individual with autism is “uniquely autistic.” There is no “one-size-fits-all” treatment. The burden of determining what will work best, falls on the family and the professionals who work with them. See Chapter 4 of Ohio’s Parent Guide to Autism Spectrum Disorders for more information on types of interventions.

Ask for an Evaluation


Step :

Educate Yourself Get Ohio’s Parent Guide to Autism Spectrum Disorders at Contact the Autism Society of Ohio for information resources at

Research Getting Services


Step :

Record Management You will be gathering a lot of information that you will want to keep handy, so you will need to create a filing system that you can maintain. For the complete Next Steps guide, visit and click on the Parent’s Manual icon.



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You Have a Choice The Ohio Autism Scholarship Ohio leads the nation in offering meaningful options for parents who want to provide a better education for their children, including the Autism Scholarship for PK-12 students starting at age 3.

Empowering Parents for Their Child’s Education  


Â? Â? (614) 223-1555

April 2011 | Vol. 2, No. 1 Contributing Writers: Jerod Smalley Barbara C. Yavorcik Jessica Foster Jesse Owens Kaitlyn Ricke Simon Buehrer

Advertising Sales: Toi Vivo 614-261-4739

Interior Layout Design: Dianne T. Goh

The Autism Puzzle is published by The Dispatch Printing Company/ Columbus Parent. This publication is distributed free of charge in Ohio. This publication is copyright 2011 The Dispatch Printing Company. All editorial materials are fully protected, all rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part of any text, photograph or illustration without written permission from the publisher is prohibited.

The Autism Puzzle Magazine is published by The Dispatch Printing Company and in partnership with the Autism Society of Ohio. For more information about ASO, visit



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How Start a


From The Sphere: Ohio’s Quarterly Newsletter Focusing on Autism Spectrum Disorders and Low-Incidence Disabilities


Social Skills



ave you ever thought about starting a social skills group, but weren’t sure how to go about it? Here are some ideas to help you promote social interactions. While many children, teenagers, and adults seem to have an innate ability to understand social situations, some struggle with knowing how to interact and maintain relationships. Children, teens, and adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), nonverbal learning disability (NVLD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), or a learning disability may need support to develop social competence. Richard LaVoie, a well-known education- al consultant, describes social competence as “the smooth sequential use of social skills in an effort to establish an ongoing social interaction” (, retrieved 8/13/10). One support system that can help increase social competence is participation in a social skills group. A social skills group can be successful in a variety of settings with differing formats. Groups can be school based, agency based,

community based, or run by a parent or interested volunteer. The club can be recreational in nature, rooted in a common interest, or teach specific social skills, depending on the needs of the participants. Whatever structure the group uses, the activities and events need to be FUN! Since you already know that social interactions are difficult for the participants, making the experiences as enjoyable as possible will lessen anxiety and make the social parts a bit easier. Also, including the special interests of the group members can be key to keeping them motivated and involved. An initial step in starting a social skills group is to assess what the participants need to learn to increase their social competence. This can be done by observa- tion of the individual, interview of the individual, and through information gained from family, caregivers, and/or teachers. The assessment information can then

guide what activities and learning will best benefit the members of the group. Whether the group is recreational, based on a common interest, or concentrating on specific social skills, try to make it as natural as possible. Practicing social competence in actual social settings using the vernacular of same aged peers makes it more real and can help with generalizing the skills. Some children, teens, and adults need individualized supports to learn social skills. Examples of supports include a social narrative that is supplied prior to the event and explains what social behaviors are experienced; a visual reminder of social expectations using words or pictures; a video model of what will happen at the event; a written or picture schedule to show the order of activities; and communication pictures, words, or additions of vocabulary or phrases to a device needed to communicate at the event.

Since participants are already struggling with social interactions, group leaders need to consider what they already have in place that makes them successful in other environments and be sure those supports are available and tailored to the social skills group.

Here are some points to consider when starting a social skills group: • Identify children, teens, adults who could participate in the group (decide age range) •

Identify key persons who can help get the group started (could include possible group leaders, persons with access to a location, school personnel, parents/ caregivers)

• Conduct assessments/interviews to decide what activities would be helpful for most members

(continued on p. 22)


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AutismIssues in Ohio

From Barbara C. Yavorcik, Executive Director, Autism Society of Ohio

Here is a brief update on issues of interest at the state level: Legislative Day at the Statehouse During Autism Awareness Month This year, with all eyes focused on the budget, legislators are strongly interested in collaborative efforts and a unified voice around advocacy efforts related to the budget. The budget issues for the autism community are the same as those for the greater DD Community: Medicaid cuts, waivers, school funding, etc. We need to provide legislators with creative ideas that will reduce spending while maintaining or improving needed services. To do that, we need to meet with legislators in large numbers presenting a unified message around these important issues. Therefore, this year, the Autism Society of Ohio is partnering with the Ohio Developmental Disabilities Network on a Legislative Advocacy Day at the Statehouse on April 14, 2011 at 10:30am for Autism Awareness month. The event will include a brief program followed by appointments with legislators to discuss subjects of importance directly with those who can move these concerns and ideas forward.   Registration for the event is encouraged so that appointments with legislators can be scheduled for you, however there is no registration fee. This Legislative Advocacy Day is an opportunity to make a difference. The event will be held in the Atrium of the Statehouse for more information and to register, visit the Autism Society of Ohio website at

The Budget and Individuals with Autism A new budget for the state of Ohio needs to be passed by June 30, 2011. The State is currently facing a shortfall of $8 Billion, which means there are likely to be cuts in funding and services across the board. Governor Kasich gave his “state of the State” address on March 8 and introduced his budget on March 15. The budget bill is first debated and passed by the Ohio House and then moves to the Ohio Senate. Needless to say, between debating the budget bill and the collective bargaining reform bill (SB 5) the Ohio General Assembly will have little time or interest in any other legislation. The changes in the budget could have serious implications for individuals with autism depending on cuts in waiver services, subsidies to county boards of developmental disabilities, education and school funding, and Medicaid. The Autism Society of Ohio has been working with the different departments and advocating to preserve cost effective and innovative programs. This includes writing a letter to Governor Kasich! Please visit our website at for the latest information on developments related to the budget.

SELF Waiver on track for 2011 The Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities (ODODD) has submitted a new Flexible Supports Waiver – the Self Empowered Life Funding (SELF) Waiver - to the federal Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS). Originally called the “Futures Waiver” and intended for a limited number of children with intensive behavioral needs, the waiver has been expanded to include children and adults based on input and feedback from advocacy groups like the Autism Society of Ohio. The waiver is tentatively set to provide $25,000/per year for children and $40,000/per year for adults with 100 slots state funded for children with intensive behavior needs. Services under the waiver are to include service brokerage, psychosocial services, intensive behavioral services, community inclusion,

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respite and adult day services. ODODD is waiting for final approval from CMS and hopes to have the waiver available before the end of the year. For more details about the waiver, visit the ODODD website at and click on “Self Empowered Life Funding Waiver” under “News”.

Please Participate! Ohio’s Interagency Work Group on Autism Family Survey Ohio’s Interagency Work Group on Autism (IWGA) wants to hear from families! Across the nation, there are many different kinds of general interventions/therapies being researched and tried to help individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) grow, learn and pursue a high quality of life. To better understand what kinds of interventions/ therapies Ohio families are using for their family member with ASD of any age, the IWGA has created a quick 5 minute online survey at www.autism.ohio. gov. (Click on “Families: Tell Us What Works for You in this Quick Survey” near the top of the page.) The survey asks families about their experience with 8 different general intervention/therapy approaches. The information collected will help develop a picture of some of the kinds of intervention approaches Ohio families are using throughout the state. It will also help guide the work needed to assure that useful information about effective interventions/therapies gets into the hands of families and service providers statewide. Please spread the word about this survey opportunity to families who may be interested in sharing their experience! The survey will remain online through the month of April – National Autism Awareness Month! Thanks for participating!

New Autism Service Guidelines now Available! Ohio’s Service Guidelines for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder through the Lifespan are now available in a

downloadable format. These guidelines a revision of the original Autism Service Guidelines developed in 2001. The revision extends the focus of the Autism Service Guidelines for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Pervasive Developmental Disorder (ASD/PDD): Birth Through Twenty-One to include consideration for services for adults. In addition, all content, references, resources, and websites have been reviewed and updated with this revision. The guidelines are intended to serve as a tool that can be used to help families, educators, medical professionals, care providers and other service providers make informed decisions about children and young adults with ASD/PDD. They can be viewed as a map to the development of independence for the individual with ASD/PDD at the highest level possible in all life areas. The document was completed in collaboration with the Autism Society of Ohio with funding from the Ohio Department of Education’s Office for Exceptional Children.  To download a copy, visit and click on “Resources”, “Parent Resources”. For more information on these or any other topics related to autism, visit the Autism Society of Ohio website at or call us at 614-487-4726. Your input and feedback are extremely important as the Autism Society advocates at the state level on behalf of all affected by autism in Ohio so feel free to contact us!


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Autism Speaks

FAMILY SERVICES Autism Speaks Family Services offers resources, tool kits, and support to help families and others manage the day-to-day challenges of living with autism.


Directions Counseling Group’s experienced

• Social Skills Group

Spectrum Disorders and their parents,

• Sibling Support Counseling

counselors work with individuals with Autism siblings and caregivers through individual

and group counseling.

The Resource Guide is a nationwide database that provides individuals and families with local resources that service a variety of needs from early intervention through adult care. It is one of the largest databases of autism resources and service providers in the U.S., searchable by state or by zip code, resources are organized in over 35 categories.All resources are available online, at no charge at

• Parent Support Group

• Individual, Marital, and Family Counseling

OUTREACH Family Services Outreach projects spotlight important topics to promote awareness and information to the autism community. Community Connections, a monthly e-mail newsletter, offers practical tips on dealing with everyday situations, and up-to date information from experts and families who share their success stories.

TOOL KITS 100 Day Kit, available in English and Spanish, provides information for families whose child has recently been diagnosed with autism. School Community Tool Kit provides information and resources for general education and administrative school staff to support a positive school experience for children with autism. Talking to Parents about Autism: Action Kit contains tools to help initiate the critical conversation with parents if someone suspects their child may be exhibiting early signs of autism. The Autism Safety Project provides guidelines for communicating with individuals with autism during emergency or law-enforcement situations.

GIVING BACK TO THE COMMUNITY Family Services Community Grants serve to build the field of services for individuals with autism and expand the capacity to effectively serve the autism community. Other grant programs provide camper scholarships and support for financially disadvantaged families during natural disasters and other catastrophic events.



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Camp Arye Ages 5-22 Locations: Camp Ayre Ohavim, Camp Ayre Lomdim http://summercamps.columbusjcc. org/arye/ Contact Halle Schwartz, Director (614) 559-6279

Camp Can Do

Ages 6-21 Location: Gahanna YMCA camp-can-do-brochure.pdf Contact Kim Louks (614) 416-9622

Camp Can Do

Ages 6-21 Location: Grove City YMCA camp-can-do-brochure.pdf Contact Gretchen Carpenter (614) 871-9622


Ohio State School for the Blind Summer Camps Camp Recky

Ages 5+ Location:The Ohio State University summer-camp-recky-ages-5 Contact Ohio State Recreational Sports (614) 292-7671

Columbus Recreation and Parks Therapeutic Recreation Camps Ages 6+ Location: Columbus Contact May Beth Moore (614) 645-5648

Deaf Adventure Camp

Ages 8-18 Location:Columbus SummerCamps.php Contact Cynthia M. Johnson, Interim Superintendent (614) 752-1152

Owl’s Acre Riding Academy Location: Lancaster (740) 687-5570

Recreation Unlimited - PraderWilli Syndrome Summer Residential Camp, Epilepsy Foundation Camp Firebird (EFCO, & Autism

Camp Can Do

Ages 8-15 Location: Worthington Contact (866) 841-1991

Ages 6-21 Location: Hilliard YMCA camp-can-do-brochure.pdf Contact Rik Arnett (614) 334-9622

Easter Seals Camp Challenge

Ages 8-18 Location: Camp Hervida, Marietta site/PageServer?pagename=OHCS_ camping_recreation (730) 374-8876

Easter Seals Summer Day Camp

Kindergarten - 7th Grade Location: Lancaster Contact Sherri Miller or Jayne Powell (740) 654-0616 ext 244 or ext 243

Ages 6-21 Location: Liberty Twp./Powell YMCA camp-can-do-brochure.pdf Contact Randi Hopkins (614) 839-9622

18 months -14 years Location: Franklin County site/PageServer?pagename=OHCS_ camping_recreation (614) 228-5523

Location: Rio Grande Contact Julie Short (740) 645-3160

Ages 6-21 Location: Pickaway County YMCA camp-can-do-brochure.pdf Contact Hollie Queen (740) 477-1661

Ages 6+ Location: Upper Arlington docs/1291126936_385864.pdf (614) 583-5302

Camp Can Do

Camp Can Do

Northwest Kiwanis Special Needs Activity Camp for Kids (SNACK)

Ages 8-18 Location: Ashley Contact Chris Link (740) 548-7006

Robert K Fox Family YMCA Camp Discovery

S.T.A.R. (Sensory*Training*And *Relaxation)

Viking Village

Ages 10-21 Location: Columbus http://www.hauglandlearningcenter. com/locations/summercamp.php Contact Carol Jackson (614) 602-6473 Carol.Jackson@


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By Jerod Smalley, NBC4

The Autism Puzzle


Central Ohio stands firm in its devotion for two colors: Scarlet and Gray. But this winter, a color associated with evil became a color of choice. Blue. As thousands of basketball fans packed into Dublin Coffman’s gym January 14th, Joe Hackett did something unprecedented. “We hate Davidson (Hilliard) here and it was hard for me to find blue stuff to wear.” But he did, and so did 600 of his classmates and faculty members. Coffman hosted the inaugural Autism Puzzle Shootout game. Students wore light blue “1 in 110” t-shirts in recognition of the current autism diagnosis rate in the United State.  In all, Coffman students sold 600 of those shirts and took donations

from fans as they entered the gym. Coffman students raised more than $3,000 to be split between Autism Speaks and the Autism Society of Ohio. The Autism Puzzle Shootout program was a joint venture between NBC 4 and the two charities to spread autism awareness and to educate high school students about the autism epidemic. Fundraising was just one element of the night at Coffman. Down the hall from the gymnasium, students were playing musical chairs and corn hole and eating pizzas. The Coffman Connection student organization, which serves a peer mentoring group for children with special needs, hosted a tailgate party for autism students and their families.   “A lot of our peers like to support different students in the school of different abilities. They’re compassionate; they are anti-bullying and supportive.” said Karen Brothers, Coffman faculty member and advisor for Coffman Connection. Hackett, a junior football player at Coffman, is also a member of Coffman

Connection. “When you get to know them, they’re normal kids. It’s fun to bring them to events like this.” he said. Seven other schools followed by hosting their own Autism Awareness games.  Grove City, Gahanna, Olentangy Orange, New Albany, Hamilton Township, Lancaster and Westerville South each orchestrated their own “blue-out” games during January and February.  In all, the schools combined to raise $15,000 for autism education and research.     At Grove City, Head Football Coach Matt Jordan put his hair on the line to motivate students. He promised if GCHS students would raise more than Lancaster students that he would shave his head. And Jordan, with his wife’s permission, kept his promise. Jordan’s head was shaved just moments before tipoff in front of a sellout crowd at the school. “Our kids are so giving, if this helps them put up more money, lets do it.” Jordan said. The event also drew tremendous corporate support. Tansky Sawmill

Toyota pledged $5,000 to the cause. The fundraising serves as just one element of the potential for the basketball “blue-outs”. Hundreds of Central Ohio high school students learned first-hand about the growing impact of autism in their schools and society at-large.  Gahanna student Victoria Allen used the shootout series to create a marketing plan for Autism Society of Ohio. Hamilton Township teacher  Nathan Collins dressed in a suit with puzzle pieces painted on it and helped students to form a giant puzzle before the Rangers game with Hamilton Township. “I had kids everyday come up and share a personal story or asking me what it was all about.” he said. “I didn’t realize 1 in 110 children were diagnosed. This experience has changed my view of it.” said Jessica Sheets, a senior cheerleader at Grove City. The Autism Puzzle Shootout Series will continue in 2012 and if you’d like for your school to participate please contact or call 614-261-4413.  


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New Autism Society of Ohio Support Group in Richland County

May 19 and June 16, 2011, • 6:30pm The Autism Society of Ohio has partnered with folks in Richland County to start a new parent/family support group. 1st Church of God 3616 St Rte 39 S Shelby, OH Contact: Susan Vousden at or Autism Society of Ohio at 614.487.4726 or ask

The P.L.A.Y. Project 2-Day Workshop

May 20-21 • 8:30 - 4:30 pm Cost: $250 (includes instruction, materials and lunch) 470 Glenmont Ave. Columbus, OH 43214 Contact: Jennifer Pollina 614.410.9753

Autism Society of Central Ohio Support Group

May 31 and June 28, 2011 • 7:00-9:00 p.m Featured speakers provide information on topics of interest to individuals, families and professionals affected by autism. OCALI 470 Glenmont Ave. Columbus, OH Contact: Autism Society of Central Ohio at or 614.284.6323

42nd Autism Society National Conference and Exposition July 6-9 Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center Orlando, FL Contact: Sarah Mitchell 301.657.0881 ext. 9010

STACK Summer Program How to Access Funding and Services in Ohio June 3 • 1:30 pm Step By Step Academy, Inc. OSU/Harding Hospital Campus 445 E. Dublin-Granville Rd. Building G Worthington, OH 43085 Contact: Marla Root 614.565.5765

June 21-22 Cost: $200 Taylor Road Elementary School 8200 Taylor Rd. Reynoldsburg, OH 43068 Contact: Brooke Wright 614.542.4166

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NBC4 2nd Annual Autism Puzzle Bowl-A-Thon

July 10 Columbus Square Bowling Palace 5707 Forest Hills Blvd Columbus, Ohio 43231 Contact: Jerod Smalley 614.261.4413


Autism Society of Central Ohio Chapter Meeting – Back to School Issues and the IEP Tuesday, August 31 470 Glenmont Ave. Columbus, OH 43214 Contact: Dr. Angela Denny 614.284.6323

Autism Society of Central Ohio Chapter Meeting – New Approaches in OT All About Autism Car, Truck & Motorcycle Show, Columbus

Saturday, August 20, 2011, 11:00am This will be the 5th Annual Event... And the most fun ever!! Proceeds will benefit autism charities. Quaker Steak & Lube 8500 Lyra Dr. Columbus, OH 43240 Contact: Mike Hoover at or 614.580.7300

NATURAL FOOD MARKET •Largest in-store GLUTEN-FREE selection in the region featuring dedicated grocery and frozen food aisles •Kinnikinnick, Lundberg and most other Gluten-Free brands in stock •Casein-Free, vegan and vegetarian offerings •Gluten-Free vitamins & supplements •Books, magazines and information on Gluten-Free cooking & living •Knowledgeable and dedicated staff •Community education initiatives

2545 Schrock Road • Westerville (Corner of Cleveland Ave. & Schrock Rd.)


Corporate Sponsor for

Tuesday, September 28 470 Glenmont Ave. Columbus, OH 43214 Contact: Dr. Angela Denny 614.284.6323

2011 OCALI Conference

November 16-18, 2011 Greater Columbus Convention Center 400 N. High St. Columbus, OH 43215 Cost: $100 parent/family rate Contact: Simon Buehrer 614.410.0995


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Jessica Foster, MD, MPH

Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics Nationwide Children’s Hospital Nisonger Center The Ohio State University


Early Ohio! Baby Joey was born happy and healthy to his mother and father who were delighted to be first time parents. They watched him grow from a small infant who loved to eat, sleep and snuggle to a one year old boy who was taking his first steps and beginning to talk. His parents had read the handouts given to them by Joey’s pediatrician and they celebrated as he reached each milestone, babbling by 9 months and saying his first words, including “mama”, “dada”, “cracker”, “ball” and “juice” by one year. However, over the next few months, Joey seemed to change. He became less interactive with his parents and much more interested in playing on his own. He also gradually stopped saying any words. Unusual activities such as tracing lines on the walls with his eyes or spinning the wheels on a toy car seemed to occupy him much of the time. Joey’s parents decided to make an appointment with his pediatrician to talk about their concerns. Joey is one of the 1:110 children who the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)1 estimate will be diagnosed with autism. Autism is a developmental disorder that is characterized by difficulties in social interaction, communication and behaviors. Children who are identified early with autism or other related developmental disorders can participate in early intervention services which may ultimately improve their development.

State and national efforts are underway to assure that children like Joey are identified and receive services as early as possible, and Ohio is getting involved. The National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD) at the CDC; the Association of University Centers on Developmental Disabilities (AUCD); and the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) have partnered together to implement Regional Summits across the U.S. Their vision is to “Bring together key state leaders from the early intervention and early childhood community for the purpose of enhancing relationships and collaborations among these key stakeholders and providing a forum to share information and insights on the opportunities, challenges, and barriers for families and children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and related developmental disabilities in the identification, assessment, diagnosis and intervention areas.” The Act Early Regional Summit project is supported by the “Learn the Signs. Act Early.” campaign of the CDC and by the implementation of the Combating Autism Act. The Act Early Ohio state team met for the first time in Indianapolis, Indiana in September 2010 at the Region V Act Early Summit, where it was quickly determined that much could be accomplished by partnering together. Since the initial Summit, Act Early Ohio is continuing to work in collaboration with its twenty-one

current partners to build support and impact change around the key goals of early identification of developmental delays, improved access to services, collection of reliable data, helping families to be well-informed and building collaborative partnerships. Broad dissemination of the “Learn the Signs. Act Early.” campaign materials to parents and professionals is also a goal of the team. The Act Early Ohio team began as a collaboration between Ohio’s two LEND (Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities) programs: in Columbus, Ohio at the Nisonger Center, The Ohio State University; and at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and the University of Cincinnati UCEDD (University Center of Excellence on Developmental Disabilities). The Interagency Workgroup on Autism (IWGA), convened by the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities, has provided and continues to provide, critical state leadership to our Act Early Ohio Team. The Act Early Ohio Team will continue to work together to support efforts to ensure that children like Joey, who are growing up in our great state

of Ohio, will be identified early. If children are identified early, they can access intervention services as early as possible and have the best possible outcomes as they grow and thrive in their homes, schools and communities. If you have questions regarding how to “Learn the Signs. Act Early.”, you can access reliable information as well as printable and downloadable materials for families and professionals at: actearly

The Concerned About Development website, sponsored by the Ohio Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, has links for parents and professionals with information ranging from developmental milestones to an excellent online resource guide where you can access information regarding resources in your region of Ohio. The site can be accessed at: www.

If you would like more information, or if you would like to become involved with our Act Early Ohio team, you can log on to the IWGA website at www. and click on “Contact Us”.

Reference: 1) CDC. Prevalence of autism spectrum disorders – Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network, United States, 2006. In: Surveillance Summaries, December 18, 2009. MMWR 2009;58(SS10);1-20.


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Prepare today for their tomorrow— I can help. The Prudential Special Needs Solutions…For All AgesSM program developed by The Prudential Insurance Company of America, is dedicated to giving our licensed nancial professionals the tools and resources they need to assist families in providing quality of life, not just lifetime care, for their loved ones with special needs using insurance and nancial products. I can o er you information such as: How to maintain government bene t eligibility. Important legal and nancial considerations to discuss with your tax and legal advisors. The bene ts of establishing and funding a Special Needs Trust. To nd out more about Prudential’s Special Needs Solutions...For All AgesSM and to speak to Lynn Tramontano, Financial Service Associate: PLEASE CALL ME AT: OR EMAIL ME AT:


Life Insurance is issued by The Prudential Insurance Company of America and its affiliates. Prudential and its financial professionals do not provide tax or legal advice. Clients are reminded to obtain such advice from their tax and legal advisors. Prudential, Prudential Financial, the Rock logo, and the Rock Prudential logo are registered service marks of The Prudential Insurance Company of America and its affiliates. Copyright 2009 The Prudential Insurance Company of America, 751 Broad Street, Newark, NJ 07102-3777 0169205-00001-00 Ed 01/2010

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The Social Times, Volume 3! An Educational and Fun Supplement to Any Social Skills Program – Students Will Love It!

Volume 3 includes 9 issues, one for every month of the school year, each offering critical information on social skills applicable to the lives and concerns of today’s students: • Public vs. Private Behavior • Problem Solving • Special Interests • Perspective Taking • Friendships • Social Rhythm and Timing • Explosive Behavior • Bullying • Self-Regulation 2011-2012 subscription includes: • 9 issues, 10 student copies of each issue – only $5.10 per student; $.57 per issue • Opportunities for both you AND your students to submit ideas and receive feedback • Online teacher support materials geared to the specific topic of each issue – saving you time and ensuring you have relevant resources at your fingertips

877-277-8254 (toll-free) •

Order by June 10, 2011! Code: 9302 Price: $51.00



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When we all stand together,

autism stands alone.

Together, we can make a difference in the lives of children and families who turn to us for help. That’s why we’re proud to support The Autism Puzzle. As one of the few truly comprehensive autism programs in the country, the Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders at Nationwide Children’s Hospital is designed to substantially improve access to better quality care, treatment and education for all children challenged by autism. To learn more about our comprehensive approach to care, treatment and education, please visit:

Pu A zz nn Se le ua co Bo l A nd w ut l-A is -T m ho n

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Mark your calendars now for our second annual Autism Puzzle Bowl-A-Thon! We hope you can join us on Sunday, July 10th at Columbus Square Bowling Palace to raise awareness ~ some money ~ and to have fun! This year’s event will raise money for Autism Speaks and Helping Hands Center. Once again, we are pitting our lane sponsors against each other in a bowling tournament and encouraging our friends to raise money on their own and bring it to the Bowl-A-Thon ~ with prizes going to the top teams and bowlers. And, our HUGE silent auction will have goodies to entice everyone. We are also inviting children with an autism diagnosis to come and learn how to bowl... for free! We will have lanes set up that day with bumpers so our friends can learn the game (remember, bowling is among the most popular

sports in Special Olympics and can be played for a lifetime!). Last year, nearly 75 children enjoyed a day of bowling…many for the first time. Our space is limited, so please contact to register your child ASAP. All our bowlers receive special event T-shirts and a number of surprise goodies you will not want to miss. The Basement Doctor was the first on board this year to sponsor our event. We are very grateful to him as well as recent sponsor additions: Kroger, Value City Furniture, McDonald’s, MI Homes and Oakstone Academy. If you’d like to get your company or family involved, there’s still time. Get in touch with Jerod Smalley (614-261-4413) OR Toi Vivo (614-261-4739) they will get you more information.

Help us fill the Square this summer and make a unified stand for our friends with autism. Let’s be the next piece to help solve the puzzle!

Continuing & Extended Education


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Your child with Autism Spectrum Disorder can SUCCEED! HAUGLAND LEARNING CENTER serves the educational needs of over 150 children (pre-school through 12th grade) with Autism or Asperger Syndrome in the state of Ohio. We currently operate classroom-based programs in Columbus, Lancaster, Portsmouth, and Sandusky/Erie County. We also operate home-based programs throughout the state. We have specially-trained staff, modified facilities, and cutting-edge teaching methods for educating children with ASD. All educational costs at Haugland Learning Center are covered by the Ohio Autism Scholarship Program. What parents are saying about HLC: “I can NEVER thank you enough for giving me the little boy I have been waiting for the past 5 years. I am so looking forward to many more happy and wonderful years here at Haugland Learning Center!” “What my son has accomplished in one year both academically and socially is nothing short of a miracle.” “He has not been this happy about school since he was 5!!!”

w w w. H a u g l a n d L e a r n i n g C e n t e r. c o m Now enrolling for Summer Camp and the 2011-12 academic year at all locations. Call 614-602-6482 or visit us online for more info.


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Father's When I was first asked to give a perspective on being a father with a child on the spectrum I was thrilled but concerned about writing. I did not want to come across as venting, bragging, complaining, or any of the other emotions that I encounter in a typical week. I also am no expert on autism so I did not think it was my place to use this as a forum to dish out advice that is merely my opinion, so like any patriotic hard working American I intend to do a little of all of the above. Let me tell you a little about my introduction into the world of Autism and spectrum disorders. After a very challenging pregnancy my wife, son, and myself were thrilled beyond words when our second son Thomas Franklin was born on January 15, 2001. He was healthy and beautiful and none of us had believed that he would be carried to term. But after two years we were all faced with the realization that something was not quite right. We believed that because of complications with the pregnancy, which is a story unto itself, that Tommy was deaf. After a battery of tests the hearing coach told us he was not deaf but we may want to have further testing. We did and the result was autism. We were told by the testing doctor “not to expect too much from him, including emotions, and that he would probably never say more than five or six words. Here is some reading material, there’s not a whole lot we can do…good luck.” We were devastated and both my wife and I went first into shock and then into a deep grief. Not together, but in worlds of our own. Let me say here I get why the divorce rate is 80% for parents raising a child or children on the spectrum. It is hard when you are in a world of your own grief and your life partner is in a world of hers. Communication breaks down as your dreams become lost and unattainable. We looked everywhere for support groups and help but it was hard to find. Luckily I have a wonderful wife and as we would slip in and out of our grief, we were able to help each other and become stronger. Our oldest son, wise beyond his age of 6 at this time, was also a huge help with us and his long awaited baby brother.

We all have dreams. But in order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline, and effort. ~ Jesse Owens Slowly my wife found some support groups and that was great! But they were all more centered around women carrying for autistic children not men. (Please don’t write to me - I know men are in these groups too, it’s just that I had a hard time finding one that I related too.) So, why do we grieve when we get the diagnosis of autism? I believe it’s because our dream died. As a father we all have these dreams for our children when we find out our significant other is expecting - the little athelete, the little Einstein, or maybe the next Beethoven. What we have to come to terms with is that isn’t going to happen, but was it anyway? Now let me brag a little and dish a little advice. Dreams die all the time. I now realize I will never be the President of the USA. I also am pretty sure as I near my 41st birthday, that they aren’t going to

invite me on a space shuttle ride any time soon. Dreams die but new ones are born. My two year old boy who doctors said would never speak, has complete use of language and teases his younger brother ALL THE TIME - in fact he reminds me of my own older brother. Tommy was also mainstreamed into a typical classroom 80% of the time several years ago. The little kid that would never show any emotion is constantly worried about his brothers and is particularly close to my niece Jane. Will he ever be president? I doubt it, but not any more than I doubt his straight “A” older brother will be president, or than his hyperactive, good time Charlie, younger brother will be. Was it easy to get him to this point? No way! It was a lot of hard work and there is still a long road ahead of us. What I’m telling you is that kids are different. So your dream died…change it! Talk to your

friends and family about what’s going on internally with your thoughts and doubts. They are going to be your best support, even if they don’t exactly understand what you deal with daily and it will help you forge new dreams and direction for you as your child’s advocate. And lastly, allow yourself to grieve, its ok and it’s healthy. Just don’t allow it to spur you into inaction. If you can’t move past your grief get help, and if at all possible guys, hang on to your spouse. It’s a whole lot easier to go through it together than it is alone. Do not allow yourself to become a statistic. And if you dare to dream, be willing to put a little effort into it. Success most likely is not going to find you or your child on the spectrum - it’s something you’re going to have to advocate and work for…work very hard for!


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How Start a

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Social Skills


• Determine how often (weekly, biweekly, monthly) and how long (probably 30 to 90 minutes depending on age) the group will meet

• Schedule activities for the group • Decide on the structure and order of events for each scheduled meeting • Make sure the activities are FUN, but also consider initiating a group reinforcement system to help motivate all members to continue this challenging work • Create necessary supports such as social narratives, communication cards, or schedules

• Obtain parental/caregiver permission; also have emergency medical forms for all participants

details on bor­rowing items) has several books and DVDs available, including:

• Keep data/progress notes to help guide future activities and to share with individuals/parents/ caregivers

• Building Social Relationships: A Systematic Approach to Teaching Social Interaction Skills to Children and Adolescents, Scott Bellini

• Schedule meetings with group participants to discuss progress and challenges • Consider how to generalize the skills participants are learning, such as through practice assignments; self-recorded data sheets; sharing how a skill was used since the last meeting; wall or board of positive social experiences using words and/or pictures

Many published social skills group materials may also help with planning activities. The OCALI Lending Library (go to and click on the OCALI Lending Library button for

• Developing Leisure Time Skills for Persons with Autism: A Practical Approach for Home, School and Community, Phyllis Coyne, Colleen Nyberg, and Mary Lou Vandenburg • It's So Much Work to Be Your Friend: Helping the Child with Learning Disabilities Find Social Success, Richard LaVoie (Book and DVD) • Manners for the Real World: Basic Social Skills, Coulter Video (VHS andDVD) • Peer Play and the Autism Spectrum: The Art of Guiding Children's Socialization and Imagination, Pamela Wolfberg

• Social Thinking Across the Home and School Day: The !LAUGH Framework, Michelle Garcia Winner (DVD, Book, and Related Worksheets) • Super Skills: A Social Skills Group Program for Children with Asperger Syndrome, High- Functioning Autism, and Related Challenges, Judith Coucouvanis • Thinking About You, Thinking About Me: Philosophy and Strategies to Further Develop Perspective Taking and Communicative Abilities for Persons with Social Cognitive Deficits, Michelle Garcia Winner • Social Skills Picture Book, Jed E. Baker (Younger children and high school aged versions)




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Brandon, now 14, was 11 when he first began at SBSA and today 3 years later, he is a totally different changed child. The loud, impulsive, aggressive, unpredictable child of 9, 10, and 11 who bit, scratched, and head butted in response to any limits and who removed and hid or disposed of any number of things in his environment. Today, he is a happy 14 year old who responds favorably to instruction, who has household chores to do, and likes doing them, who has learned to communicate through sign language, who’s behavior, having been addressed with ABA based principles, is such that he is now able to learn academics and daily living skills as well as potential work skills. Melinda S.


Samantha has had great success while attending SBSA. She has learned things that she never would have had the opportunity to learn in the public school setting. Through the teaching style of ABA she has come a long way. Gail W.

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Jacob enrolled in May 2010. We have been extremely pleased with the staff here. Jacob is a handful! And can be very aggressive. They have dealt with these extremely well. And most important Jacob loves school. He comes home asking to go back! ~ Marla F.

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Other Services • Assessment & Diagnostic Clinic • In-Home Outreach Services • In-District Outreach Services • Transition Classrooms • Social Work Services • Occupational Therapy • Speech Therapy

Detailed info about new and expanded services: In-Home Outreach Services This state-wide service provides training to parents, family members, teachers and home therapists on principles and procedures of applied behavior analysis in the individual’s home. Our trainings focuses on the individual with autism and their needs. Families also have access to social work services to provide them with advocacy, counseling and case management support.

Group Therapy Intervention This service is designed to provide children who will be transitioning to a typical school setting in the near future a group environment that is closer to a school setting than a one on one service. Children are exposed to group activities, cafeteria style lunch and more academic based programs. The focus is on teaching students with autism skills that will help them be successful in a typical school environment.

Adolescent Educational & Vocational Program This program is designed to increase independence in home, school and community. Our teens have access to educational technology like smart phone applications, video modeling and software programs. Our program

builds on the students’ interests and abilities, while also teaching them marketable vocational skills to ease the transition from an educational setting to work and community living.

Current Research Projects • The Effects of Training with a Software Training Program on the Ability of Paraprofessionals to Learn Foundational Skills to Work With Individuals’ With AutismThis project is currently being developed in an autism center and a local school system. The goal of this study is to measure the effectiveness of a software training program in teaching paraprofessionals to work with children and teens with autism in an applied setting. Another goal is to assist in standardizing the training of paraprofessionals in the field of teaching children and teens with autism. • Increasing creative toy play using positive reinforcement and extinction- This study attempts to replicate and expand on the study conducted by Lalli, Zanolli and Wohn(1994). The goal of this study is to see if applying positive reinforcement and extinction increases novel toy play in children with autism.

• Children’s’ Likelihood of Engaging a Peer With Autism in Social Activities Before and After Acting as a Peer Leadership Model in a Community Mental Health SettingThe goals of this study are to evaluate the Peer Leadership Program® at Step By Step Academy’s ability to change typical peers’ attitudes toward children and teens with autism , to contribute to best practices for peer involvement in a community mental health setting and to assess how likely a typical peer is to engage a person with autism socially after participating in such a program. • The effects of Response Interruption and Redirection and Differential Reinforcement of Other Behaviors through a Token Economy System on Rates of Vocal Stereotypy- The goal of this study is to examine the effects of stopping the behavior of vocal selfstimulation by redirecting the behavior to more functional communication. Also, reinforcing the functional communication will be studied to see if it increases a child with autism’s use of functional communication.

• The Effects of Trial By Trial versus First Response Data Collection Methods on the Time to Acquisition of a Target Skill and Maintenance of that Skill- The goal of this study is to build on a previous study by Cummings and Carr (2009). The study will examine whether first response data collection or trailby-trial data collection is more accurate in recording the time it takes for a child with autism to master a novel skill and maintain that skill. Another goal is to contribute to best practices in data collection for programming involving children with autism. • Does participating in training about navigating Ohio’s funding and services increase parental knowledge and ability to access funding and services for their family member with a disability? The goal of this study is to examine whether participating in a training on funding and how to access services increases a parent or professional’s ability to obtain services and increases his or her knowledge about funding sources and services. This study will also examine the effectiveness of Step By Step’s advocacy program.


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The mission of the Autism Society of Ohio (ASO) is to improve the lives of all affected by autism in Ohio. The ASO includes persons with autism, parents and professionals working to improve services and support at the state level. The ASO acts as an information resource for persons with autism, their families, and the professionals who serve them in Ohio and neighboring states. A chapter of the Autism Society of America, the ASO makes information and ideas accessible to interested families and professionals. On a regional effort, the ASO links families throughout the network of 8 local Autism Society chapters in Ohio, including:









Central Ohio Dayton Area Greater Akron Greater Cleveland Greater Cincinnati Northwest Ohio Southeast Ohio Tri-County - Youngstown The ASO hosts a website where you will discover local, state and national news, medical information, local calendar of events, and other useful information. To learn more, log on, email or call. website email phone



The Voice for Autism in Ohio

The Autism Puzzle  
The Autism Puzzle  

NBC4's & Columbus Parent's Spring 2011 Autism Puzzle that provides resources for autism treatment and support