The Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board (CSB) has awarded eight mini-grants for youth-led projects that aim to reduce the stigma associated with mental health issues among teens. All projects will be implemented by September 30, 2017. Funding for the CSB’s mini-grant program for youth-led projects is provided as part of a regional suicide prevention grant from the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS).
The Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board (CSB) is now offering same day, in-person screening for mental health/and or substance use concerns to youth. The official launch date is February 1, 2017. Individuals of any age seeking help for a mental health and/or substance use concern, may walk in, without appointment, to the CSB’s Merrifield Center and speak with a staff member face-to-face, rather than initiating contact over the phone.
“For the growing number of individuals like Jon with significant special needs who are quickly aging out of the school system, the need for support and learning does not just end when they hit a magic birthday. Caudy and Heighten looked at communities around the country that support adults with special needs such as Bittersweet Farms in Ohio, First Place AZ in Phoenix, and Sweetwater Spectrum in California before creating 29 Acres with other families for a viable place in North Texas to do the same.”
Jonathan Andrews, a UK based award-winning campaigner, who also happens to be autistic “… was once advised to hide his autism from prospective employers. Instead, he is making his name by doing just the opposite.”
Please check out this awesome discussion of resources available to caregivers of ASD children who are very interested in numbers and/or letters. The response is written by psychologist Terry Katz, who works in the department of developmental pediatrics at Children’s Hospital Colorado and the University of Colorado School of Medicine.
Here is a remarkable post by Autism Speaks staffer Kerry Magro, a motivational speaker and best-selling author who’s on the autism spectrum. In this post, Kerry addresses a letter to her parents: “Because if you fight for me right now and never give up, not only will I be that speaker, but I’ll have the opportunity to write an Amazon Best Seller, consult for a major motion picture that makes 30 million dollars, and be someone who gives you love every single day. I will grow into an adult who embraces affection.”
“But living with a nonverbal brother with complex needs taught her something that changed her entire class of children without her saying a word: it doesn’t need words to help people. I still worry. But I know that in all she lives with she is somehow managing to turn ashes to beauty. And I could not be more proud of her.” Here is a beautiful story that you must read to brighten your day
Together We Bake’s mission is to provide a comprehensive workforce training and personal development program to help women gain self-confidence, transferable workforce skills, and invaluable hands-on experience which will allow them to find sustainable employment and move toward self-sufficiency. http://wtop.com/food/2016/05/virginia-bakery-gives-women-a-second-chance-at-life-and-career/slide/1/
A UK Christmas tradition, visiting “Santa’s Grotto” ( a popular version of the US Mall Santa), was recently made more accessible to children with autism. This news clip sheds light on one mother’s success with developing and popularizing an autism-friendly Santa Grotto: http://www.itv.com/news/meridian/update/2016-11-25/santas-special-gift-to-children-with-autism/
“Nonverbal doesn’t mean incapable. A pilot study of children with autism who have low or no verbal skills suggests that the right intelligence tests can reveal their hidden potential.” https://spectrumnews.org/opinion/standard-tests-underestimate-nonverbal-children-with-autism/
“The challenges of living independently, gaining employment, attaining postsecondary education and building social relationships are greater for adolescents and young adults with autism,” said Nancy Cheak-Zamora, assistant professor of health sciences in the MU School of Health Professions. “It is vital that professionals are prepared to assist with the transition, and that they have insight
“What does autism feel like? “It feels awful,” says Lori Sealy, who suffers from the disorder and writes about it. “Sight, sound, smell, taste and touch (the five senses that all of the experiences of life must pass through) can be absolutely harrowing and horrifying to a person with autism. Everything that enters the (Autism Spectrum Disorder) body is often accompanied by some semblance of pain or at least by some extremely uncomfortable sensation.”