What's Happening Update 25 February 2013

What’s Happening ~ Update re Survey ‘Would You Like a Loving Community Space in Muskoka for Your Exceptional Child?’ 

So far 14 parents and teachers have responded  to the 10 questions.

Q1.  89% responded Yes they are interested in having a place like this in Muskoka

Q2.  14% are willing to travel up to one hour to get to this community space; 29% are willing to travel up to 45 minutes and 57% are willing to travel no more than 30 minutes

Q3 & Q4.  75% would prefer it to be located West of the Town of Huntsville; 12.5% East of Huntsville;  12.5% would prefer north of Rosseau village and

37 % had a variety of other suggestions based on proximity to their community.

Q5.  50% preferred it to be located on a small lake; 16.6% with streams and a pond; 16.6% wanted no waterfront of any kind.  One commented “Water is nice, land is also nice, as long as there’s a healthy nature element.”

Q6.  What would parents like to do after they drop off their child?  25% meet with other parents for support; 25% have a bite to eat; 12.5% receive a massage or Reiki; 25% go for a walk or a swim;  25%  go into town to go shopping;  25% rest in a quiet reading room

62.5% chose all of the above

Q7.  65% are interested in volunteering in their area of passion

Q8.  50% said Classes September till June;  33% May long weekend until Thanksgiving; 16% all year long; 0% summer only

Q9.  57% preferred classes on Saturdays; 42% after school and 15% during school hours

Q10.  One of the mother’s Comments was, “I really like where this is going.  I think it would be really special to have something of this nature available to exceptional kids!”

Would You Like a Loving Community Space in Muskoka for Your Exceptional Child?

We are currently conducting a survey. Would You Like a Loving Community Space in Muskoka for Your Exceptional Child?

Would you want a place available in Muskoka, Ontario, to bring your exceptional child on the autism spectrum where they feel accepted and inspired to learn?

The Purpose of this Survey is to learn:

1.  If you would be interested in bringing your exceptional child or student to this community space.

2.  Where exactly in Muskoka you would like this community space to be built.

We value your feedback, and would appreciate if you took a few moments to respond to 10 questions AND write down any specific concerns or questions.

Here is the link to the survey on Surveymonkey.com


Making Learning Fun for Teaching Children with Autism is Key

Caroline’s Commentary:

Here is some great practical advice from a father of a girl with Autism, Henry Bee.

1.  Set up a safe learning space or ‘Therapy Room’

2.  Enter their world

3.  One on one learning sessions

4.  Interactive Computer based aids

5.  Do things children love doing with them

How do you make learning fun for your child or student?  Please share or comment below.


The Five Best Teaching Aids for Children With Autism and Special Needs by Henry Bee

We have had over ten years experience with tutoring and teaching our daughter with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. Below is some of the Teaching Aids we used that we think were the most successful in her development and learning. These methods can be used with any child with or without an Autism Spectrum Disorder, Pervasive Development Disorder or Special Needs.

Teaching Aid 1 – Setting up a Therapy Room
In the beginning what got us going was the SON RISE program. Liz went to America to the Option Institute and did a two week course on how to cope with a child with Autism, methods for working with and tutoring a child with Autism and how to set up a therapy room for a tutoring a child with Autism and or Special Needs.

The course is not just for Parents of children with Autism, but also for children with Learning Difficulties, Pervasive Development Disorder (PDD) and children with Special Needs in general. The course also focusses a great deal on how to deal on an emotional level with the fact that your child has an intellectual disability, and there is ongoing support if you so wish.

So on Liz’s arrival back home we set up a therapy room. We used a spare bedroom and painted it in bright colours. We set it up with shelves and storage drawers, play equipment, a computer and printer, a suitable child’s height table and chairs for table top work and a sturdy floor covering. The basic idea was to have a room the child can identify with as a learning and fun area only, somewhere that they will in time know that when they are in there it is time to learn. Continue reading “Making Learning Fun for Teaching Children with Autism is Key”

Horse Boy Method Intro with Rupert Isaacson

Caroline’s Commentary:

If you enjoy horses and horseback riding both you and your child will benefit from the healing power of horses.  As a parent or teacher spending time with a reliable horse will help to relieve stress and recharge.  Some children on the autism spectrum really connect with horses and you may want to explore this more with them.  Here is a video about the Horse Boy Method designed for autistic children as well as their parents, teachers and caregivers.


'The Horse Boy Story & Method' by Jenny Lockwood

Caroline’s Commentary:

Here is an overview of The Horse Boy Story and Method by Rowan’s  teacher,  Jenny Lockwood.  I highly recommend both the documentary film and the book ‘The Horse Boy’ as well as the Horse Boy Method of teaching academics which will be posted next month, mid December.  Even if you do not have access to horses, the Horse Boy Method can be utilized for teaching children on the autism spectrum.  It is even possible for an autistic child to draw or paint on a horse!

Rupert Isaacson, a lifelong horse fanatic, was devastated when his 2 year old son Rowan was diagnosed with autism. Gone were his dreams of one day sharing his passion of horses with his son…or so he thought. Rowan seemed unreachable, however, whenever his dad took him into the woods behind their house, his tantrums and stimmings seemed to calm down. One day, Rowan ran away from his dad and got through the fence into their neighbor’s property and in amongst his horse herd. Rupert had been keeping his son away from horses – thinking him unsafe around them. However, that day he witnessed something extraordinary. Instead of trampling this squirming, babbling little child lying on his back among their hooves, the horses backed off gently. Then the boss of the herd, a mare called Betsy, came over and began to lower her head in front of Rowan, to lick and chew with her lips. This is the sign of equine submission. Rupert, Rowan’s dad, had never seen a horse voluntarily make this submission gesture to a human being before. Clearly something was passing between the horse and the little boy so Isaacson talked to his neighbor Stafford, who owned Besty, and got the key to his saddle room.

For three years father and son rode every day through the woods and fields of Central Texas and – first through Betsy, then spontaneously, Rowan began to talk, to engage with his environment and other people. In 2007 Rowan, his dad, and mother – Kristin Neff, a psychology professor at the University of Texas – took a journey across Mongolia on horseback, going from traditional healer to traditional healer, shaman to shaman, looking for healing. They went out with a child still tantrumming, still un-toilet trained, and cut off from other children. They came back with a child no longer tantruming, toilet trained and able to make friends. Rupert wrote a book about his family’s adventure, and also produced a film which documented the trip. Both are titled ‘The Horse Boy’

After returning from Mongolia, the Isaacson family started the Horse Boy Foundation to help make horses and nature available to other children, autistic or not, who might not otherwise have access to them. Over approximately seven years of working with autistic children and horses Rupert stumbled upon a number of techniques that seemed to bring about better verbal communication with his son. Soon after Rowan’s success Rupert began working with other local children on the spectrum to see if what had worked with Rowan and Betsy would also work for them. After a couple more years Rupert realized that he had a system of techniques in place that targeted different types of autism spectrum challenges. Since 2009 he has been working internationally with the Horse Boy Method™ at camps and centers in North America and Europe.

Continue reading “'The Horse Boy Story & Method' by Jenny Lockwood”

Sensory Overload experienced by Autistic Children by Caroline F. Butson/TEACHING CHILDREN with AUTISM

Because these children have a highly sensitive metabolism they may have a tendency to become overwhelmed by large groups of people, large classrooms, noise, and emotion. When they are feeling overwhelmed or overstimulated they can either withdraw further within themselves and from the outer world or become hyperactive, out of control or have an emotional meltdown.
Hugging or holding them can feel uncomfortable or even painful for them if they are highly sensitive to touch or energy.

Here is a video that simulates sensory overload.


Temple Grandin, Conversation with

Here is a wonderful interview packed with knowledge – I love what Temple is saying about her own experience and her work with animals.


Autism and Social Skills by Angela Williamson


January 16th, 2011

Individuals with autism often lack the necessary skills to socialize  within the norm. Multitudes of  parents use alternative medicine, educational methods, and support services, such as occupational therapy to help their children. These  methods have helped this population significantly. Many were able to live independently but  still lack social skills.

Teaching individuals with autism social skills is hugely debated among parents and professionals alike. Is it possible for individuals with autism across the spectrum to obtain social skills? Multitudes of professionals say no. They claim only high functioning individuals with autism can be taught social skills.  This excludes  the ones who are labeled as low functioning.  They also theorize that individuals with autism cannot learn after a certain age, which is untrue. You can teach individuals with autism social skills  at any age. If they are alive and well, they can learn. Many of these techniques discussed in this blog are based from the Son-Rise program.

SEE VIDEO BY CLICKING THIS LINK   –> Principles of the Son-Rise Program

Here are some important things you must realize and use before you begin teaching people with autism social skills. It is important to change your mindset. Think about these questions and answer them. Are you openly inviting? Do you easily get displease and start to scream, because of behavioral difficulties or for not being compliant? How is your body language around the individual with autism?

It is important for you to have a nonjudgmental and loving attitude when working among individuals with autism.  If it is difficult for you to change your mindset,  then you must start by loving yourself. You must love and accept yourself  first by going within. This will allow you to remove any blocks that prevents you from changing your mindset.

How do you approach your child with autism? Are you controlling  and demanding? If you say yes,  you must change your method now. Approach the child with energy, excitement, and enthusiasm.  Your child  will be  more receptive in learning how to socialize with you. Seek training in the Son-Rise program.  Once you learn the program well, get others to volunteer their time to help you (See resources below).

Prepare a room for you to teach the child or individual with autism  social skills. This room should not have  any pictures. There should be plenty of room to move around. Place appropriate and interesting  items that will capture the child’s interest. This makes learning fun. The room should also have some of the following items: a trampoline, therapy ball, chewy tube, flash cards, writing utensils, paper, etc.


Take the time to teach social skills for several hours or more during the week. This can be done by joining in with the child. For example, if the child spins dishes,  then you spin the dishes. Place yourself  nearby where the child can see you. When the child stops and looks at you, celebrate for giving you good eye contact. Go into your child’s world and gently bring him or her into your world.

You should install a two-way mirror or video camera inside the room, if applicable. This will allow you to see your volunteers while they are  interacting with your child. You will be able to provide feedback, which is very crucial in helping your child progress.  Create data sheets to record what is effective or ineffective . Brainstorm with your volunteers on how to improve the individual with autism social skills and learning. Utilize these suggestions with your child.

How do you respond to your child’s needs or wants? Do you give the child what he or she wants when having a tantrum or crying? Think about this for a moment and answer the question. If you say yes, then you are teaching the child how to communicate this way. Delay giving them anything if they are crying  or throwing a tantrum. Let them understand that you do not know what he or she wants by crying or throwing a tantrum. Calm them down. Establish eye contact, say the word calmly and patiently. Praise the child if he or she makes an attempt to speak and for establishing eye contact. Pointing is okay and can be worked up to  verbal language. If the child has some form of verbal communication,  then extend  it by connecting  unknown words to his or her vocabulary. For example, if the child says ” juice”, teach the child the word cup. Make a connection when the juice is pouring inside the cup and a create sentence.

Mostly importantly, pay attention to how you are speaking  and your body language to  individuals with autism. This makes a big difference in reaching them or not.

For more info on the Son-Rise program go to http://www.autismtreatmentcenter.org

Here are some books or Cd’s you want to read  or heard such as

  • COMING SOON!  Effective Treatments and Solutions for the Autistic Population by Angela Williamson, PRE-ORDER  NOW on Amazon.com click on this link http://amzn.to/ias48l
  • Breakthrough Strategies for Autism Spectrum Disorders by Raun K. Kaufman.
  • Son Rise: The Miracle Continues by Barry Neil Kaufman
  • Special Children/Special Solutions CD by Samahria Lyte Kaufman
  • Happiness is a Choice by Barry Neil Kaufman
  • Autism Can be Cured  CD by Barry Neil Kaufman

Using Art to Break Down the Barriers by Marilyn Rogers

The following article by Marilyn Rogers recommends Teaching Autistic Children through Art as a form of therapy.  I would like to add that you do not have to be a professional artist or art therapist yourself.  Anyone can do this. Simply setting up a creative space in your home or classroom and providing the creative tools one at a time.  Designate one area as a creative space.  It does not have to be a lot of space.  Keep the art supplies stored away in a cupboard or shelf and pull out one at a time.

For example one day let the child play with clay.  You can sit down with them and get them started by kneeding a small ball of clay into different shapes.  The natural clay has a calming effect and it is easy to find at most art supply stores – get low firing clay which is inexpensive and natural.  You can keep re using it if you want.  Children of all ages love modelling with clay.  Don’t worry about making something.  You may need to warm and soften it up first with your hands…  You can get more helpful tools in my new eGuide ‘How to Have Fun Teaching Children with Autism’ only $1 you can easily download and read more about the Tree of Life teaching method.

Try this and let me know how it goes.


It seems there is a new angle to teaching autistic children. The idea comes from autistic children themselves. The parents of autistic children only want the best and any latest findings that may work for them; they should be made aware of it.

For those children with Autism Spectrum Disorder there is a new safe and intelligent way to give them a voice which has been silent. It gives them a bridge to the outside world and lets them speak. Teaching Autistic Children through Art actually invites you into their world. Their need to draw to visualize their non verbal expressions gives them that voice.

Many autistic children from the ages 12 and up have come forward and given an inspirational testimonial which is amazing in itself. But the autistic community is actually listening like never before. And there is something to listen to, and consider because it is actually working.

By Teaching Autistic Children through Art, it demonstrates its effectiveness by changing your child’s behavior. This therapy is a clinically-sound and safe treatment option with so many benefits, such as an increase in self awareness, developing problem solving strategies, the feeling of a safe environment and the accomplishment of their own creative thinking and self accomplishment. The development of social skill in a group or with parents is good feeling for all that participate.

Teaching Autistic Children through Art is a therapy that both parents and therapists can have a goal as they both want the child to succeed. In groups the therapists can offer many social skills and interaction with others through art techniques for certain autistic needs. The self accomplishment to create an art product would be a safe forum for emotion and self-expression. For non verbal autistic children this way of communicating is an awareness to express so many feelings which otherwise you would not “hear”.

The art visual activity provides the social skills with group integration giving a strong feeling of peer support and can be a lot of fun. Of course the social skills benefit, as they are related with recreation and leisure which are developed through the interaction.

Of course safety is an absolute when working with any art supplies. Depending on the age and comprehension of the child, the use of pencil, clay, paint, collage or even glue should be closely watched. With the building of trust you can reap great rewards and encourage communication which in the long run makes for a happier child. There may be many goals reached, so depending on the age of the child and what they are interested in see what rewards you can gather.

If you have a child with autism then you no doubt realize there are many challenges facing you as the child grows up. One of these such challenges facing parents and care givers alike is teaching autistic children.

Our site is dedicated to providing you with the information that will help you face these challenges now and in the future. Visit our site at http://www.all-about-autism.com to find out more.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Marilyn_Rogers

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/3743453