Month: March 2014

Parents And Caregivers: We Need Your Input!

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Dear Parents, Caregivers and readers of Beyond Autism Awareness, please take a very brief (5-10min) survey about your views regarding your child’s Autism diagnosis, how it has impacted you and some of the methods you employ to cope.  This is a blind survey but does include a demographic section; feel free to modify dates, etc as you wish.  Understanding the impact that Autism has on you as a parent or caregiver is valuable and needs to be quantified.  Thank you in advance -Ed


Scott Brown is in his senior year at SUNY Purchase studying Psychology. His area of interest is Autism and for his senior project he created a survey along with his faculty mentor (see description below). If you have a child diagnosed with Autism, Asperger’s, PDD-NOS, or another diagnosis on the Autism Spectrum, would you please take the time to fill out this survey.  Scott hopes to present his findings at a senior presentation in addition to graduating with his Bachelor’s degree on May 16!  Please forward to any other parents, guardians or caregivers you may know that would be willing to participate.   It is much appreciated.

The following link is for a research study investigating Coping Strategies and Advocacy in parents of children with Autism.  The survey will take about 10 minutes and it is our hope that the data will contribute to the research on Adaptive Coping Strategies for parents of children with Autism. Upon completion of the survey, please feel free to forward the link to any other parent who may be willing to fill out the survey.  Thank you for your participation.

Building A Dream, One Lego Brick At A Time

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Brynjar Karl is an 11-year-old Icelandic boy with autism who has two dreams — and they both involve Lego.

“It’s kind of tough being autistic … I’m learning every day to behave like other ‘normal’ kids. Whatever normal means,” he says in the video above. “I’m still trying to figure that one out. But also, I’m artistic … and creative.”

With the help of his mom, Brynjar used that creativity to make this charming video plea directed at the people at Lego. He enthusiastically expresses his passion for the building bricks, and asks for an invitation to Legoland in Denmark.

Brynjar also politely asks Lego to provide him with enough Lego bricks to build his dream masterpiece — the Titanic. The up-and-coming engineer and artistic master knows everything about how to recreate the ship, down to the very last measurement.

He concludes the cute video by saying, “Please be so kind to help me make this, my dream, come true.”

We’re rooting for you, Brynjar!

Huntsville Music Teacher Conducts Study, Sees Music Help Autism

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Right here in Huntsville, a music teacher thinks she’s made a major breakthrough in helping kids with autism. Denie Riggs started teaching them music in a special program a few years ago. Now she’s published a case study to show her results.

Music trickles through the rainbow adorned door at Perfect Praise Inc.

Inside Riggs plays the piano.  She teaches music among other lessons.

She says, “We want people to know that there is hope.”

She goes on to explain, “When a person plays the piano, the right hemisphere and the left hemisphere flow together and cross over.”

Riggs started teaching music to young kids for the intellectual benefits, but she found over time that students with autism benefitted even more than most.

She ran a study with just under two dozen students.  Out of seven non-verbal students, she says five had a breakthrough, either into vocabulary…

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