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Autism: Our Future Is Bright

PrintWorld Autism Awareness Day is coming soon and I’m SUPER excited to partner with Autism Society Georgia for this amazing campaign.

If you live in Georgia, you can help us spread the message that the Future is Bright for everyone touched by Autism.Luminary 4

For a donation of just $40 you will receive 12 luminary kits (each kit = one container and an LED tea light candle).

On April 2nd, illuminate your streets, parks, schools, churches, businesses and neighborhoods throughout Georgia in celebration of World Autism Awareness Day!luminary 3

If you go to or text “SAFE” to 71777 to make your donation, 10% of the money we raise will go directly to the Spirit of Autism to help us continue to provide Autism training for our first responders and families. Let’s help keep everyone touched by Autism safe and sound and let all of Georgia know that The Future Is Bright!

Please LIKE and SHARE this post so we can light one luminary for every person in Georgia with Autism. For a PDF download to print, click here.

SOA Gifts of Autism

The Gifts of Autism

I was recently sent a tweet from Ryan McTavish, a brilliant and talented drummer who also happens to be Autistic. He asked me to watch his talent show performance video to raise positive awareness for Autism. Being a musician myself, I was beyond blown away by the gifts of this young man.

Before going any further with my thoughts and musings, here is the video he sent me:

Amazing, right?

This video made me think more about the gifts of Autism. Of course I see them in my son every day; I brag about him all the time!

He used to play online games, and then one day he was messing around and pulled up the code for the game. He changed some formulas and scripts and said, “Look, Mom! When I change this to <blah blah blah numbers and letters I don’t understand> the background of the game changes!”

This spawned a creative interest that resulted in him writing his own custom video games, filming his screen while showing custom “tips and tricks” and posting it all on his YouTube channel as a tutorial.

Gifts vs. Deficits

I currently train Emergency Responders and businesses how to recognize, respond to and best communicate with people with Autism. I love this career I’ve created for myself and am blessed to be doing something that truly makes a difference in people’s lives.

The part I don’t like as much is that I have to stay somewhat focused on the deficits and challenges faced every day by those on the Spectrum. I educate on Sensory Processing issues, communication struggles, missed social cues, muscle development issues, and more.

It’s great that I’m bringing awareness and action into businesses and public safety. But what they don’t get to see are all the gifts I experience on a daily basis from raising my son.  They don’t know how kind and good-natured he is, or how innocently he views the world. He marches to his own beat and knows what is in his best alignment.

He sings and hums all day long. He gets on Skype and teaches new friends how to play and build in Minecraft. He hugs the dogs and tells them they’re beautiful. He always kills spiders for his terrified older sister, no matter how much she teased him or yelled at him minutes earlier. He offers the last cookie before taking it. He delights in taking walks and gets excited about Nutella sandwiches.

He sees the world so differently than I do, and I am grateful that I get to go into his world and catch glimpses of his perspective as often as I do.

Yes, I want to help him with his challenges. Yes, I want to help him be more independent. Yes, I want to support and teach him about making it in the world. And I do all of these things. But most of all, I am the one learning from him. And that’s the greatest gift of all.

What gifts of Autism are you most thankful for? Share by commenting below or posting to the SOA Facebook page or on Twitter using #GiftsOfAutism!

autism oz

Finally! An Autism Magazine FOR Parents BY Parents – autism Oz

I’m so proud to be a part of this fantastic new resource, a monthly digital autism support magazine known as autism Oz.

It was given the name because the magazine is produced in Australia (Oz) but aimed at the global autism community.

They have a fantastic team of contributors (including me *wink*) who are highly respected scientists, therapists, nutritionists and parents living autism’s day-to-day experiences. These contributors bring the latest and most innovative news, views and tried and tested advice from across the autism spectrum.

autism Oz uses the Internet’s interactive ability to create magazines that come alive and serve the community. In addition to written content, videos can be played straight from the pages of the publication.

What drew me to this project was that families are be able to connect from all over the world and share their own stories and video of struggle and success. Much like Spirit of Autism, the messages are REAL, uplifting and authentic.

I was introduced to the Editor, Iain Croft through LinkedIn. He’s a former journalist with the BBC in London, where he worked for 23 years. He was Assistant Editor at Hardtalk on World TV, Planning Editor at World Service Radio News Programmes, and Assistant Editor at the BBC’s most influential news and current affairs program called “The Today Programme”.

Now living in Perth Australia, Iain is a parent of three wonderful children Riley (sadly deceased), Isabella who is six and Rafael, five.

It is because of what happened to his son that he has now put his energy into child welfare and helping parents assist children reach their full potential. This was his inspiration for birthing this major project aimed at people with autism and their carers.

I’m honored to be a contributor to autism Oz iMagazine. You can find my article on why I train Emergency Responders and Autism Safety at home in the April issue. Once I got to know Iain and his driving force to help the community, I immediately volunteered to create and manage the magazine’s website.

autism Oz is more than a project, it is a global movement. It goes beyond autism awareness; it is autism in action. Whether you are just starting out on your autism journey or if you are a seasoned professional, autism Oz is with you every step of the way.

Come to Six Flags Autism Awareness Day!

Calling all fellow Atlantans! I am very proud to be a part of this project!!

I humbly invite you to

Six Flags National Autism Awareness Day

Saturday, August 21, 2010

We invite you to our AUTISM AWARENESS DAY on Saturday, August 21, 2010. Enjoy a day of water fun with family and friends!



Step 1: Go to

Step 2: Pick a park – Six Flags White Water

Step 3: Go to PromoCode Box in upper right hand corner

Step 4: Enter the promo code WWAUTISM and purchase your tickets today!