Tuesday, October 26, 2010

What if Autism Society of America - Larimer County earned a donation every time you searched the Internet? Or how about if a percentage of every purchase you made online went to support our cause? Well, now it can!
GoodSearch.com is a new Yahoo-powered search engine that donates half its advertising revenue, about a penny per search, to the charities its users designate. Use it just as you would any search engine, get quality search results from Yahoo, and watch the donations add up!
GoodShop.com is a new online shopping mall which donates up to 30 percent of each purchase to your favorite cause! Hundreds of great stores including Amazon, Target, Gap, Best Buy, eBay, Macy's and Barnes & Noble have teamed up with GoodShop and every time you place an order, you'll be supporting your favorite cause.
And if you download the GoodSearch – Autism Society of America - Larimer County toolbar, our cause will earn money every time you shop and search online - even if you forget to go to GoodShop or GoodSearch first! Add the Autism Society of America - Larimer County toolbar at http://www.goodsearch.com/toolbar/autism-society-of-america-larimer-county


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and Teaching Verbal Behavior 101

The Integrated Services Department is excited to offer the following educational opportunities for parents in our district.  Our goal is to provide parents/families with information and training relevant to their children's educational needs.  Please take a look at the classes being offered this fall and sign-up today by calling 490-3225 or emailing earensme@psdschools.org


 September 30


Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and Teaching Verbal Behavior 101

Mr. Thomas Caffrey specializes in teaching functional communication skills and helping parents and teachers implement strategies to manage problem behaviors in the classroom and at home. He is an internationally recognized speaker that has given over 200 national and international conference presentations and workshops.


Where:  Harmony Library Community Room

When:  6-8:30 pm


Target Audience:  Parents/families of students with social, communication or behavioral needs, more specifically autism or multiple disabilities.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Have you ever been in a crowded place and suddenly you feel you just can't take it anymore? Have you had to wear clothes that are too tight, too scratchy or uncomfortable? How about having to endure an outing somewhere that has a terrible smell? Have you switched off your car radio because the song that's playing feels like noise in your brain?
What if you couldn't get relief from these things? How long do you think you would be able to hold it together? How long do you think a child would be able to hold it together?
It's common to mistake sensory challenges for bad behavior. But how do you know the difference? Is a child behaving poorly or overwhelmed with sensory stimuli?
When people read this list, they typically say "Hey, I have that too." But usually they don't. We ALL have sensory preferences. But that does NOT qualify as Sensory Integration Disorder. The sensory challenges need to be severe enough to impede a child's ability to function in everyday life.
The following is a checklist of some common symptoms of sensory integration disorder. If your child exhibits many of these symptoms to a large degree, it's a great idea to contact a good Occupational Therapist who will create a sensory diet for your child.
Hypersensitivity (Tactile Defensiveness)
Does not like to be held or cuddled
Does not like to be touched lightly
Hates having hair brushed
Overreacts to small cuts or scrapes
Avoids touching certain textures
Prefers loose clothing and resists jeans, collars, seams in socks etc.
Aversive to messy play such as glue and finger painting
Doesn't like cutting nails or brushing teeth
Likes to walk on toes or barefoot
Hyposensitivity (Not Responsive Enough)
Craves touch and touches everything and everyone
Mouths inedible objects
Unaware of strength and might hurt children or pets while playing
Shows no distress if cut or bruised
Loves messy play and doesn't mind being dirty
Prefers spicy, sweet or sour foods to bland food
Poor tactile Perception
Has difficulty doing crafts such as cutting or tracing
Poor fine motor skills such as zipping clothes and unscrewing tops from jars
Might not be able to identify which part of their body was touched if they are not looking
Unable to identify items by feeling the shape

Hypersensitivity to Movement
Terrified of heights
Afraid of falling
Feels wobbly walking up or down stairs
Hates slides, swings and spinning playground equipment
Comes across as insecure as this child often clings to his parent
Hyposensitivity to Movement
Overactive and can't sit still
Loves spinning
A dare devil at amusement parks
Loves swinging fast and high
Loves jumping – on everything
Fidgety when sitting – taps foot, raps knuckles or bounces in chair
Poor muscle tone and coordination
Poor gross motor skills like jumping and climbing
Difficulty opening and closing jars, windows, doors etc.
Appears floppy and often thought of as lazy
Gets tired easily
Poor in coordinating movements
Appears to have no strength
Sensory seeking behaviors (What parents and teachers often notice first)
Chews on everything – clothes and objects
Falls down intentionally
Crashes into things on purpose
Pushes and bumps other children
Spins in circles
Enjoys banging objects
Loves bear hugs and being tucked tightly into bed
Jumps up and down
Kicks feet while seated
Flaps hands
Hypersensitivity to sounds
Afraid of hair dryers and vacuum cleaners
Covers ears with loud sounds
Cries or acts out in noisy places like a mall
Dislikes people because of their voice
Hears everything from a ticking watch to a car turning a corner at the top of their street

Oral and Olfactory Sensitivity
Very picky eater and will only eat certain foods because of the smell, taste or texture
Will only eat certain textures and might not mix foods on the same plate
Dislikes or gags with toothpaste
Chews or mouths inedible objects
Either craves sweet and spicy foods or only eats bland food
If a recipe varies even slightly, it will be tasted and the food discarded
Refuses to enter a place because of the way it smells
Self Regulation
Doesn't calm down easily if upset
Needs help falling asleep such as rocking or car rides
Wakes easily and has trouble falling back asleep
Frequent mood swings
Can't tell when hungry or thirsty. Eats or drinks too little or too much
One of the best things about sensory integration disorder is that there are so many fun activities to help. Thank you to all the Occupational Therapists who help our children conquer these challenges.
Don't forget to check out these two links for some great sensory items.
Sensory Equipment
Sensory Toys
FOR MORE GREAT RESOURCES VISIT http://www.nlconcepts.com
By Jené Aviram
This article is property of and copyright © 2003-2010 Jené Aviram of Natural Learning Concepts. Reference of this article may only be included in your documentation provided that reference is made to the owner - Jené Aviram and a reference to this site http://www.nlconcepts.com
Jené is an accomplished author and developer of education materials for children with autism and special needs. She is a co-founder of Natural Learning Concepts, a leading manufacturer for special education materials and autism products. Visit the Natural Learning Concepts website at http://www.nlconcepts.com or call (800) 823-3430

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

  • Do you have a ASD child turning 18 in a few years and questions about guardianship?
  • Do you have questions about IDEA, section 504 or IEP meetings?  Would you like to to learn non-adversarial ways to work WITH the school?
  • Have you considered filing complaints as a last resort?


  • Are you concerned about your ASD teen/adult and their interaction with the police?


If you answered yes to any of these questions then this presentation is for you! Dr. Jacque Phillips, Esq. will speak on these legal topics and field questions. 


Date:  Monday - August 2, 2010
Time: 6:30 pm
Location: 6203 S Lemay Ave, Fort Collins
Space is limited! Please RSVP at telephone 970-377-9640 or by email to aslc@autismlarimer.org

Childcare is no longer available for this month's meeting.


Sunday, June 20, 2010



The Longest Day of Golf is tomorrow, June 21st!

Come on by the Collindale golf course and order a meal from C&B Pott's family friendly menu and check on the progress of the golfers.

C&B Pott's serves great food for breakfast, lunch & dinner and our "Four Friends for Autism" team will be starting around 5 am & will cont...inue for 16 hours until around 9:00 pm. You can also shop for boutique quality merchandise from the MaXarT ~ "autism is beautiful" display. In addition, chair massages by Meta-Morphose Touch, massage therapy will be available for purchase starting at 5:30 pm

Come mornning, noon and or  early evening and show your support.

Can't make it? Donate online at www.autismlarimer. org via pay pal.

For more information on the event please go to www.autismlarimer. org or call 970-377-9640






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    Saturday, May 22, 2010

    Your event reminder - Help Beat Autism


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    When: Sunday, May 23, 2010 3:00 PM
    Where: Avogadro's Number
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    Sunday, May 2, 2010

    Pump It Up: Moms Night Off

    National Mom's Nite Out at Pump It Up!
    Special event!

    Mom's Nite Out logo

    Pump It Up is excited to participate in National Mom's Nite Out, the first nationally organized celebration of motherhood. National Mom's Nite Out is designed to give mom a nite off so she can enjoy some time to herself. Pump It Up is proud to offer an inflatably fun time for the rest of her family, join us on National Mom's Nite Out and bounce the night away.

    Date: Friday, May 7, 2010.                       Time: 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm
    Cost: $10 per person Inlcudes: Pizza & beverage, Mother's Days craft, face painting for the little ones, and even a bag of goodies to take home to Mom!!

     Reservations are recommended.  Space is limited so CALL NOW!

    Or visit our website for more information.


         Mom's Nite Out          Give her the nite off!

    Friday, May 7, 2010
    5:00 pm - 8:00 pm
    (970) 472-1122
    Pump It Up of Fort Collins,
    1420 Riverside Ave., #114
    Fort Collins, Co. 80524

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    Monday, April 19, 2010

    Demystifying Autism: An Inside-Out Perspective

    Demystifying Autism:
    An Inside-Out Perspective

    Live Video Webcast Wednesday, April 28, 2010
    Featuring: William Stillman

    High-Functioning Autistic, National Expert,
    Best-Selling Author, Speaker and Advocate
    Register now
    9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (EST) Break from 11:50 a.m. until 1 p.m.

    Join nationally-known autism spectrum speaker and author William Stillman for a powerful and inspiring "inside-out" approach to understanding autism. As a person with Asperger's Syndrome, Stillman passionately advances a humanistic exploration of the autism spectrum from the perspective of those who experience it:
    • What is it like to experience autism?
    • What are "severe behaviors" communicating?
    • What is considered best practice in supporting others' communication, sensory sensitivities, learning and movement differences?
    Stillman shatters myths, decodes misinterpretations, and illuminates many unique insights supported by anecdotes from people with autism as well as his own experiences. More importantly perhaps, Stillman shows us how we are all more alike than different, and participants will leave the day having experienced their own "autisms."
    Autism in Brief
    • Clinical stuff
    • DSM definitions
    • What drives extreme "autistic behaviors"?
    • Non-clinical, humanistic stuff
    • What the DSM doesn't reveal (includes film and simulation)
    • The importance of presuming intellect
    Understanding Autism
    • Communication differences
    • Exploring alternatives to speech
    • Understanding the secret social code of language and eye contact
    • Learning differences
    • Appreciating the "art of self-teaching"
    • How people with autism best think, learn, process and retain information
    • Movement differences
    • Rethinking "idiosyncratic" movement
    • Rationales for perseveration and "stimming"
    • Sensory Differences
    • Explaining the impact of sensory sensitivities
    • Understanding prevention versus intervention (includes simulation)
    Additional Information and Wrap-Up
    • Commonly experienced forms of pain and discomfort
    • Why pain may go unreported
    • Commonly experienced forms of mental health issues
    • How to delineate from autism
    • Common neurological disconnects we all endure
    • Speaker disclosure and autobiographic anecdotes
    • List the symptoms and sensory sensitivities associated with autism.
    • Define the procedures to presume intellect and enhance relationships.
    • Explain how persons with autism think and learn.
    • Review best practice approaches including adaptations and accommodations.
    • Interpret and apply such best practices in an individualized, person-centered approach.
    • Identify individual passions (not obsessions) to successfully develop them.
    • Discuss clinical myths versus humanistic interpretations of autism.
    William Stillman is a nationally-known autism spectrum speaker and author with Asperger's Syndrome, and has over 20 years of experience advising parents and support teams on positive, proactive approaches. His books include Demystifying the Autistic Experience, The Everything Parent's Guide to Children with Asperger's Syndrome, When Your Child has Asperger's Syndrome, The Everything Parent's Guide to Children with Bipolar Disorder, The Soul of Autism, Empowered Autism Parenting, and Autism and the God Connection. He also hosts a column in the national publication, The Autism Perspective magazine. Stillman has a B.S. in Education. William provides highly-acclaimed seminars and private consultation nationwide. He served as a point person for the state of Pennsylvania on children with intellectual impairment, mental health issues and autism.

    How to register:
    Please have your credit card available.
    Mailing address:

    PO Box 1000
    Eau Claire, WI 54702
    One CE certificate included. $19.99 per CE certificate for each additional participant.
    What is a Live Video Webcast?

    Just like a live seminar, you attend a webcast at a scheduled time, only you do it from a web page on your computer. Webcasts include video and audio of the speakers, slides, and seminar handout materials — all on your computer!
    Top 3 reasons to participate in the live video webcast:
    • Earn CE right from your desk
    • Train multiple staff for one low price
    • Get the most-up-to-date, cutting-edge information
    Information and registration information

    Credit Information

    Full Credit Info
    Credits listed for this event have been approved for this program. If interested in credit availability for professions not listed, please contact cepesi@pesi.com or 800-844-8260 prior to the event. Per board regulations, additional credit inquires submitted after the date of the event cannot be honored. For all other inquiries, please contact info@pesi.com.

    Register now

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    Monday, March 29, 2010

    You are invited to join us

    First Friday April 2nd for


    a night of great art and community education


    Time: 6:00 pm - 10:00 pm

    Location: The Gallery Underground

    Street: 109 Linden Street, Fort Collins


    In honor of Autism Awareness month the Autism Society of Larimer County and the Gallery Underground presents Art on the Spectrum.


    Art on the Spectrum will feature guest artists including local autistic professor Dr. Temple Grandin (recently documented in the HBO film with Claire Danes) as well as 15 local creative children who fall on the Autistic spectrum. We initially received over 50 entries and we had the tough job of choosing our favorites from these. Their art will be for sale on the guest wall and proceeds will be donated to the Autism Society of Larimer County. The show is designed primarily as an awareness event with hopes  of raising funds for to assist families and individuals with autism in Larimer County.

    Sponsored by our great friends at New Belgium Brewery
    We lock the doors at 10pm, be sure to be here by then!


    Art on the Spectrum Featured Artists

    Kenzie Anderson

    Cameron Cotton

    Johnathan Evans

    Dr. Temple Grandin

    Tavian Gipson

    Besa H.

    Jiu Lee

    Nathan Molineaux
    Kaylee Noble
    Luke Scafidi

    Brody Stevens

    Max Timm

    Keith Tuttle  

    Matthew W.  
    Anthony Zimmerman  



    Coming Mid April

    All art submitted to the Art on the Spectrum will be on display at the

     Front Range Village in Fort Collins.

    Stay posted for dates


    Monday, March 15, 2010

    Court Says Thimerosal Did Not Cause Autism

          By Randolph E. Schmid, AP. is.gd/aF3IM

          The vaccine additive thimerosal is not to blame for autism, a special federal court ruled Friday in a long-running battle by parents convinced
    there is a connection.
          While expressing sympathy for the parents involved in the emotionally charged cases, the court concluded they had failed to show a connection between the mercury-containing preservative and autism.
          "Such families must cope every day with tremendous challenges in caring for their autistic children, and all are deserving of sympathy and admiration," special master George Hastings Jr. wrote.
          But, he added, Congress designed the victim compensation program only for families whose injuries or deaths can be shown to be linked to a vaccine and that has not been done in this case.
          The ruling came in the so-called vaccine court, a special branch of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims established to handle claims of injury from vaccines. It can be appealed in federal court.
          The parents presented expert witnesses who argued mercury can have a variety of effects on the brain, but the ruling said none of them offered opinions on the cause of autism in the three specific cases argued. They testified that mercury can affect a number of biological processes, including abnormal metabolism in children.
          Special master Denise K. Vowell noted that in order to succeed in their action, the parents would have to show "the exquisitely small amounts of mercury" that reach the brain from vaccines can produce devastating effects that far larger amounts ... from other sources do not. The ruling said the parents were arguing that the effects from mercury in vaccines differ from mercury's known effects on the brain. Vowell concluded that the parents had failed to establish that their child's condition was caused or aggravated by mercury from vaccines.
          Friday's decision that autism is not caused by thimerosal alone follows a parallel ruling in 2009 that autism is not caused by the combination of vaccines with thimerosal and other vaccines.
          The cases had been divided into three theories about a vaccine-autism relationship for the court to consider. The 2009 ruling rejected a theory that thimerasol can cause autism when combined with the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine. After that, a theory that certain vaccines alone cause autism was dropped. Friday's decision covers the last of the three theories, that thimerosal-containing vaccines alone can cause autism.
          The ruling doesn't necessarily mean an end to the dispute, however, with appeals to other courts available.
          The new ruling was welcomed by Dr. Paul Offit of Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, who said the autism theory had "already had its day in science court and failed to hold up."
          But the controversy has cast a pall over vaccines, causing some parents to avoid them, he noted, "it's very hard to unscare people after you have scared them."
          On the other side of the issue, a group backing the parents' theory charged that the vaccine court was more interested in government policy than protecting children.
          "The deck is stacked against families in vaccine court. Government attorneys defend a government program, using government-funded science, before government judges," Rebecca Estepp, of the Coalition for Vaccine Safety said in a statement.
          SafeMinds, another group supporting the parents, expressed disappointment at the new ruling.
          "The denial of reasonable compensation to families was based on inadequate vaccine safety science and poorly designed and highly controversial epidemiology," the goup said.
          The advocacy group Autism Speaks said "the proven benefits of vaccinating a child to protect them against serious diseases far outweigh the hypothesized risk that vaccinations might cause autism. Thus, we strongly encourage parents to vaccinate their children to protect them from serious childhood diseases."
          However, while research has found no overall connection between autism and vaccines, the group said it would back research to determine if some individuals might be at increased risk because of genetic or medical conditions.
          Meanwhile, in reaction to the concerns of parents, thimerosal has been removed from most vaccines in the United States.
          In Friday's action the court ruled in three different cases, each concluding that the preservative has no connection to autism.
          The trio of rulings can offer reassurance to parents scared about vaccinating their babies because of a small but vocal anti-vaccine movement. Some vaccine-preventable diseases, including measles, are on the rise.
          The U.S. Court of Claims is different from many other courts: The families involved didn't have to prove the inoculations definitely caused the complex neurological disorder, just that they probably did.
          More than 5,500 claims have been filed by families seeking compensation through the government's Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, and the rulings dealt with test cases to settle which if any claims had merit.
          Autism is best known for impairing a child's ability to communicate and interact. Recent data suggest a 10-fold increase in autism rates over the past decade, although it's unclear how much of the surge reflects better diagnosis.
          Worry about a vaccine link first arose in 1998 when a British physician, Dr. Andrew Wakefield, published a medical journal article linking a particular type of autism and bowel disease to the measles vaccine. The study was later discredited.


    Wednesday, March 10, 2010

    Russell and Robalee Bruesewitz sit with their 18-year-old daughter Hannah, center, at their home on Lebanon Avenue in Mt. Lebanon on Monday. The U.S. Supreme Court will hear a case brought by the Bruesewitzs on Hannah's behalf.

    The Supreme Court will decide whether drug makers can be sued by parents who claim their children suffered serious health problems from vaccines.
    The justices on Monday agreed to hear an appeal from parents in Pittsburgh who want to sue Wyeth over the serious side effects their daughter, six months old at the time, allegedly suffered as a result of the company's diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis vaccine.
    The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia ruled against Robalee and Russell Bruesewitz, saying a 1986 federal law bars their claims.
    That law set up a special vaccine court to handle disputes as part of its aim of insuring a stable vaccine supply by shielding companies from most lawsuits.
    Wyeth, now owned by Pfizer, Inc., prevailed at the appeals court but also joined in asking the court to hear the case, saying it presents an important and recurring legal issue that should be resolved.
    The Obama administration joined the parties in calling for high court review, although the government takes the side of the manufacturers.
    Only one state appeals court, the Georgia Supreme Court, has ruled that families can sue in a vaccine case. The vaccine industry has fiercely opposed the Georgia ruling in the case of Marcelo and Carolyn Ferrari. They claim their son suffered neurological damage after receiving vaccine booster shots made by pharmaceutical companies Wyeth and GlaxoSmithKline that contained the preservative thimerosal.
    The family has since withdrawn its lawsuit, possibly in an effort to avoid an unfavorable Supreme Court ruling, although the Georgia court's opinion allowing similar lawsuits remains in force.
    The court did not act on the companies' appeal Monday, but the decision in the other case almost certainly will apply to the Georgia case.
    According to the lawsuit, Hannah Bruesewitz was a healthy infant until she received the vaccine in April 1992. Within hours of getting the DPT shot, the third in a series of five, the baby suffered a series of debilitating seizures. Now a teenager, Hannah suffers from residual seizure disorder, the suit says.
    The vaccine court earlier rejected the family's claims.
    Wyeth lost another high court fight last year over whether federal law barred lawsuits against drug makers. That case, involving a botched injection, asked whether federal law included an implicit prohibition on the lawsuits. The court said it did not.
    In this appeal, however, Congress clearly laid out how claims over vaccines were to be made, and the court has repeatedly ruled against plaintiffs when Congress has explicitly sought to bar lawsuits.
    Other than the Georgia court, state and federal courts have uniformly invoked a provision of the 1986 federal law, which seems to bar most lawsuits against vaccine makers.
    The idea behind the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act was to ensure a stable supply of childhood vaccines by shielding drug makers from most lawsuits, and setting up a federal vaccine court to handle disputes. The law would serve to block state laws that otherwise would give families the ability to sue the manufacturers.
    In recent years, the legal fight has frequently come from families of autistic children claiming that mercury-based thimerosal is linked to autism. Numerous studies have addressed vaccines and autism and found no link, including with the preservative.
    Thimerosal has been removed in recent years from standard childhood vaccines, except flu vaccines that are not packaged in single doses.
    Last year, special masters appointed by the vaccine court concluded that vaccines aren't to blame for autism, disappointing thousands of families hoping to win compensation and others who remain convinced of a connection.
    But the vaccine court still must rule on additional cases that argue that vaccines with thimerosal are to blame, if the mercury reached and damaged brain cells.
    The case, to be argued in the fall, is Bruesewitz v. Wyeth, 09-152.


    Thursday, February 25, 2010

    Don't Miss this FREE Behavior Presentation


    Does your child or student display any of these behaviors?  Are they sometime inconsistant or random in occurance?  Are they are times almost impossible to understand or cope with? Take a look at the list of below. 

      hitting pushing, yelling fighting with peers, difficulty changing from one activity to another sleeping problems, excessive energy levels, being unable to sit still and focus, refusal to partake in normal childhood experiences or play picky eaters, frequent tantrums, extreme sensitivities and excessive fears

    grinding teeth,rocking back and forth lunging head banging, scratching or biting self spinning or mouthing objects constant humming or making noises finger flicking jumping or shaking extremities spinning self or excessive smelling and sniffing
    If you find yourself answering yes to several of these there is Good news!  Your frustration and confusion maybe is almost over!

    Finally!... A thorough explanation and a name for the behaviors and developmental concerns that exist -
    Join Eileen Getches, MEd, OTR and Catherine Bladow, MS.CCC-SLP, BCBA as they present ways for parents, teachers and therapist to take a closer look at sensory processing issues and managing behaviors.  Participants will learn how to proactively plan environments and activities to support behaviors.

    Date: March 1, 2010
    Time:  6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
    Location: Respite Care Inc., 6203 S. Lemay Avenue, Fort Collins.
    Phone: 970-377-9640

    Saturday, February 20, 2010

    January 28, 2010