Monday, April 1, 2013

Beacon in the Night

Pervasive Parenting
By Kodey Toney
Beacon in the Night
Had a fellow “Partner” send me a link to a website that I hadn’t seen before. I decided to check it out and am glad I did. This site has some great stuff for anyone interested in learning more about autism. Parents of a child who has recently been diagnosed or a veteran to the autism world will find something they need on this site. is well organized and features a ton of information for people looking for help from either end of the spectrum.
On the left-hand side of the site there are user-friendly buttons to help navigate the pages. They include everything from Advocacy & Awareness, autism basics, Career Development for Educators, Therapists & Other Autism Professionals, Communication, Diet & Supplements, Employment & Vocational Support, Learning Materials, Sexuality & Relationships, Toileting & Feminine Care, and Technology. These are only a few. If there is something in particular you are looking for chances are you can find it here. Each has sub-headings to help find exactly what you’re looking for in the category of choice.
I thought I would share some things that I found most interesting.
There’s a section called Animal & Autism which includes some great articles on animals and their relation to the disorder. There are articles on service dogs and common pets, but the one I found most fascinating was the article on teachers using guinea pigs in the classroom. According to the article: “Children who played with guinea pigs rather than toys were more talkative, made more eye contact and displayed a more positive attitude, according to a study.” Pretty cool information.
There is a very educational section on bullying. This one deals with the growing effects of bullying on those with autism. It includes tips, laws, and recent stories about dealing with harassment.
The section Autism & the Arts seemed right up my alley. This included stories on plays about autism, acting classes helping children with autism and their social skills, art classes offered for children with autism, and others. My favorite of course was the many links to how music affects those on the spectrum. There is a particular link to the “7 Autistic Singers Who Will Blow You Away”. There are some very talented singers, some famous but most not, who are featured. All of these are inspirational and worth the watch.
Another motivating section is the one on Celebrities & Autism. This includes people who have overcome the obstacles of autism to become famous, or famous parents with children on the spectrum.
The section called Kudos includes success stories and videos. One particular is a child on the spectrum who recently joined Katy Perry on stage at the “Night of Too Many Stars” to sing Firework. There are also articles on people advocating for children with special needs and charity events.
I’ve only hit on a few of the great links and stories included on this page. This is a wonderful tool for anyone wanting to know more about autism. Please check it out.
Disclaimer: I am in no way claiming to be an expert. I’m just a father who is trying to learn as much about Autism as I can to help my child. I hope that you all can learn from me, and I from you. I ask anyone who has questions or comments about something I have written, or autism, please contact me at I will try to answer questions as I have time, and if I find it interesting enough I may touch on it in my column.

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