The shortened legislative calendar is affecting a number of important bills that impact people with disabilities, including the RAISE Act. Now more than ever, advocates must act to ensure families receive the requisite resources required to be effective caregivers for aging loved ones and those with disabilities. If passed, the RAISE Act would establish essential supports that will help to reduce the burden of family caregiving. Act now! Contact your congressional representative today and urge them to pass the RAISE Act.
The Autism Society needs your help to get H.R. 4919 to the floor for a full House vote! Kevin and Avonte's Law would equip law enforcement, first responders, nonprofits, and community organizations with vital training and resources to eliminate wandering incidents involving individuals on the autism spectrum and other disabilities. The bipartisan bill currently has 73 cosponsors but continues to languish in committee. Without a vote, wandering incidents will continue to impact families and advocates will have to restart the entire legislative process in the next Congressional session. Let your voice be heard - help make this critical piece of legislation a reality for families and communities. Tell Congress to say yes to Kevin and Avonte’s Law.
At a press conference on Tuesday, Autism Society of Central Texas Executive Director Suzanne Potts said their new Autism training video will be offered to first responders all across the country to use free of charge.
Arlington Police have already signed on.
"They've required all of their department and staff...anyone to take the video, watch it and sign off that they saw the video," Potts said.
Potts explained the need for the video.
"49% of kids with Autism wander. And 91 % of kids that drown in the United States are kids with Autism. So we are seeing shocking statistics nationally about kids within our community that are injured and adults that are getting arrested or detained," Potts said.
As addressed in the video, many times first responders mistake Autism for drug use. The video teaches first responders to communicate in a different way when dealing with Autism.
"A lot of times they say 'look me in the eye' or 'look at me' and some of our Autism community have a hard time with eye contact. And so that may not be an indicator of drug use, it may be that they have Autism and they need some extra time," Potts said.
"Part of that training, a big part of that training is for us to understand when to back off and how to use different techniques and approaches on properly assessing our patient," said Captain John Collins with the Round Rock Fire Dept.
Collins has a special needs daughter so he helped with the video and he's been working with Williamson County on their training as well.
"I don't go to work and I don't go on a call to go help myself. I'm going to help other people. Part of me going to help that other person, I need to know as much as I possibly can about any type of person whether it's heart conditions, stuff with the lungs, anything like that and this is another component that will help every first responder do their job a little bit better," Collins said.
The Autism Society says the next step is to launch the video nationally. It will be available free of charge for first responders. The Autism Society is hoping to produce more training videos as well.
Anticipating the beginning of the school year can create anxiety for both family members and for their sons/daughters on the autism spectrum. Concerns surround whether your son/daughter will be successful in school and whether the new staff will have a solid understanding of autism spectrum disorders and of your son/daughter. At times, you may know the staff and have a good working relationship with them. At other times, staff is unknown and expectations for your son/daughter are unclear. Below are a few tips to help you become a proactive and positive advocate for your son/daughter. Read More
The Autism Society is thrilled to share with you the release of a new book entitled A Boy Named Penguin by Aaron LaPedis. 40% of the proceeds from book sales will be donated back to The Autism Society. The book follows the story of Logan who is an epic kid with an epic imagination, and an amazing imaginary secret identity. When trouble arises at the local zoo, Logan makes a startling change...and as Super Penguin, he soars in and saves the day! Join Logan and his sidekick Giraffey in their very first adventure! More info HERE
Tell Congress to say yes to Kevin and Avonte's Law (H.R. 4919)! Each year, countless families experience sheer horror when a loved one with disabilities wanders from home or a safe community setting. While many of these individuals are eventually located, not every situation ends with a positive result. Kevin and Avonte's Law seeks to address the growing number of wandering occurrences nationwide by providing education and training to law enforcement, first responders, and the public at large. With wandering behaviors impacting 49 percent of children with autism across America, the Autism Society and representatives from the Autism Safety Coalition are working together to urge House members to join their Senate colleagues in passing Kevin and Avonte's Law. Learn more and encourage your legislator to say Yes to Kevin and Avonte's Law.
The Autism Awareness puzzles created by Sport Squares® are now available in the Sport Squares® Mobile Phone App. The mobile app is free and includes one “demo” game. The Autism Awareness puzzles are purchased as a set of 2 (beginner & pro) for $4.99. For each purchase of the Autism Awareness puzzles on the mobile app, 25% will be donated to the Autism Society. Pick up the app today on iTunes and Google Play.
Also, don’t forget to check out the original (non-mobile) version of the Sport Squares® Autism Awareness puzzle here.