Sunday, December 13, 2009

Breakfast Cookies

OK - I made the GFCF Breakfast Cookies out of Special Diets for Special Kids. They are not bad. Had to order several ingredients mail order - but now I am stocked up. My NT daughter loved them!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Conway, AR Asperger Support Group

The Conway Asperger support group has a new website that Shayna wanted to share with you. Check back for blog updates, community event announcements, resources and more! The information featured on the site is not just for those who live in Conway- it can help anyone living with Asperger’s Syndrome.


Shayna Fendley, Director

Autism Resource Center of AR

32 Rahling Circle

Little Rock, AR 72212



Friday, December 4, 2009

DAN! Doctor coming to Little Rock

January 16, 2010 9:00 AM

Easter Seals of Arkansas
3920 Woodland Heights Road
Little Rock , AR 72212

Dr. Callghan from Great Plains Laboratories will be presenting his seminar entitled "There Is Hope for Autism." It will cover how biochemistry, immune system issues and toxins affect our kids, and steps we can take to optimize their health. Cost of attending this seminar is $25 (if parents attend together they only have to pay once). We need a minimum of 25 paid registrants to cover Dr. Callaghan's travel fees and expenses. Dr. Callaghan will be returning sometime in February to conduct an outreach DAN (Defeat Autism Now) clinic for families that are interested. Details will be available at the seminar. Some of us spend a lot of money traveling out-of-state to consult with DAN physicians, so this outreach clinic that will be held right here in town is really a great opportunity for families. Contact the outreach clinic directly to register at (859) 261-4503.

Happenings in the Cochran Household

We are starting the road to GFCF in the Cochran Household. We are phasing out casein and gluten as we speak. I will be cooking like a mad woman this weekend - trying GF buns, meatballs, etc. My first attempt at GFCF bread came out reasonably well. Kroger has several flours on sale today so I stocked up. The Applegate GFCF Nitrate Free hot dogs can be had from the Vitamin Shoppe here in Russellville. And I found all the needed ingredients for cashew cheese at the Country Cupboard Natural Foods. I did have to order my bun pad from Amazon and I'm about to stock my pantry ordering from Bob's Red Mill. Will update on our progress soon!

Friday, August 28, 2009

DHS 2009 Autism Grants

Go to for detailed information about grants of up to $5000 currently available.

One Day Autism Conference

There is an Autism conference at Geyer Springs First Baptist Church (Little Rock) on Saturday, September 19
from 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. There is no fee for this conference and lunch will be provided. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions. This conference is sponsored by the Arkansas Baptist State Convention and features Karan Burnette from Arkansas Children's Hospital.

Bekka Middleton
Director - Special G.I.F.T.S Ministry
Geyer Springs First Baptist Church
(501) 351-2232

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

ARMEA Autism Training in Harrison in October

Arkansas Mental Health in Education Association (ARMEA)

Practical Strategies for Working with Students with Asperger’s
Syndrome and High-Functioning Autism (Grades K-12)
Speaker: Kathy Morris

Participants can expect to learn the following information from the training:

Practical strategies to promote positive social and emotional
behaviors, learning styles and triggers in the environment, and
develop/encourage empathy in professionals as parents/families go
through denial and the grieving process when a child is diagnosed with
Autism or Asperger’s Syndrome.

Schedule for October 9th, 2009
8-8:30 am Registration
8:30 am Kathy Morris
10-10:15am Break
10:15-11:45am Kathy Morris
11:45-1pm Lunch (on your own)
1:00-2:30pm Kathy Morris
2:30-2:45pm Break (cookies)
2:45-4:15pm Kathy Morris

Conference Location: The Durand Center at North AR College in Harrison, AR.

Conference Fees: $125.00 per professional
$30.00 for students/family members

Six (6) hours of CEU hours are available for the conference. The
conference fee includes one annual ARMEA Membership at no extra
charge. Please make conference payment out to ARMEA. Mail this
registration form and payment to:
ATTN: Tony Boaz
620 West Third, Suite 303
Little Rock, AR 72201

Name: ______________________________________


School District or Agency Name: ____________________________________________

Email Address: __________________________________________________

Speaker Information:
For more information on the speaker, Kathy Morris, feel free to go to
the following website:

Travel information:
Harrison is on Hwy 65 in Northern Arkansas. We are 30 minutes south
of Branson, MO.
The Durand Conference Center at North Arkansas College is located at
303 Main Street in Harrison, Arkansas.

For those that plan on staying overnight, here is a list of convenient hotels:
The Hotel Seville is a historic hotel recently
renovated and restored, which is right across the street from The
Durand Conference Center.
Holiday Inn Express 870-741-3636,
Hampton Inn 870-365-0505
Comfort Inn 870-741-7676

ARMEA Information:

Arkansas Mental Health in Education Association (ARMEA) is a nonprofit
organization with the following mission statement:
To promote comprehensive SBMH programs throughout Arkansas
To ensure quality, accountability and professionalism
To foster partnerships among educators, mental health professionals
and the community &
To enhance the wellbeing of all Arkansas students

Visit our website for more information .

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Postively Autism Newsletter

Positively Autism
Alternatives to Punishment and Restraint
Volume 4, Issue 4 ~ July/August, 2009

Thank you to our issue sponsor, Autism Data Systems! Please visit the
website at

This issue contains...

"One Really Can Make a Difference" - An Interview with Michael and
Lisa Carey of The Jonathan Carey Foundation

"Alternatives to using Physical Restraint in Public Schools" by Emily
Cain, M.S.Ed & Niki Thurkow, Ph.D, BCBA-D of Positive Behavioral

Restraint Research

Positive Autism News

A Brief Review of Behavior Analytic Methodology and Research on
Restraint by Lorien Quirk, M.Ed., BCBA

Restraint Links

New Resources on Positively Autism

Thank You/Future Issue Contents

To read this issue please visit

Please remember to visit the main page of Positively Autism at for links to our how-to articles, videos,
issue archive, and advertising information.

Don't forget to forward this newsletter to teachers, relatives, online
support groups, and friends! Thank you for your support.

Have a wonderful week,

Nicole Caldwell, M.Ed.
Editor, Positively Autism

Autism-Awareness Family Fun Day at Playtime Pizza

What: Come & enjoy an Autism-Awareness Family Fun Day at Playtime
Pizza. You are not alone! Meet & socialize with other families in the
area who are also dealing with the stress of autism. In addition to a
100ft unlimited buffet (included in the price of admission), Playtime
Pizza has plenty of exciting games & attractions (go karts, bumper
cars, mini-golf, laser tag, bowling, a climbing wall, arcade games,
etc.) for kids of all ages. Admission for adults (12yrs+) is $8.99.
Children ages 4-11 are $6.99 and children under 4 are free. We have a
limited number of $3 child admission tickets available.
Please call and let us know how many you'll need. Hope to see you there!

When: Sunday, August 9, 2009 (1-5pm)

Where: Playtime Pizza
600 Colonel Glenn Plaza Loop
Little Rock, AR 72210
(501) 227-7529
(behind The Rave theater)

For more information about this event and to purchase your discounted
child admission tickets, (actually good until 12/31/09) please contact
Cindy Fong at or (501)952-6508

Friday, July 3, 2009

Another Arkansas Autism Blog

Please visit Marjorie Greenberg's new public site on autism in Arkansas, The site will focus on state autism issues and news. If you have any comments, criticisms, or submissions she would love to hear from you.

AR Chapter, National Autism Association Meeting Jul. 12

NAA Arkansas Chapter - Speaker Meeting
"Advocacy and IEP's:
Creating a Program for Learning & Growing"

When: Sunday, July 12, 2009 from 2-4pm

Where: Main Library (East Room, 1st Floor)
100 Rock Street, Little Rock, AR 72201
(501) 918-3000
*Parking at the library is 50 cents/hr with a validated parking receipt. Alternatively, you can park under the overpass for free if you don't mind walking a few blocks to get to the library.

Meeting Agenda:

•Chapter Business: We will briefly discuss our recent and upcoming Arkansas NAA events and opportunities for involvement. Please bring and share any ideas you have for future speakers, events and meetings.

•Speaker: Rebecca Riggs, a parent of two children with special needs, including an adult daughter on the autism spectrum, will present for us some strategies on being a strong advocate for your child's needs. She will share ideas for working constructively with schools, teachers and therapists, and provide suggestions for developing an effective Individualized Education Plan (IEP). Rebecca is a longtime advocate for individuals and families with special needs in Arkansas. She has accompanied many parents to IEP meetings over the years, volunteering her time and providing guidance, mentoring and support. We are looking forward to learning from her wisdom and experience!

•Social: Time for socializing and support will be available after the speaker. Refreshments and door prizes will be provided. Childcare not provided, but children are welcome to attend meeting with parents.

For more information about the meeting, please contact our current Arkansas NAA president, Cindy Fong,, 803-0166 (home) or 952-6508 (cell)

Meeting in Russellville

“A Dialog about Safety and Children with Disabilities”

July 28th

Arkansas River Valley Arts Center
1001 E B Street, Russellville AR 72801
At 5:30 p.m.

Sponsored by:
Children’s Medical Services
Partners for Inclusive Communities
Ozark Rape Crisis
The Arkansas River Valley Arts Center

Overview and Purpose
The purpose of this meeting is to dialog with parents of children with
disabilities, and interested others about safety. This will include
information on healthy relationships and boundaries. Please join us
for this valuable cross-training opportunity.

Facilitated by:
Roberta Sick, Safety and Sexual Violence Prevention Project Director,
Partners for Inclusive Communities, NLR, AR

Registration: There is no charge for this workshop.

Question’s Please contact
Becky Taylor, CMS Pope County Representative
Phone - 479 622 1367

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

ANTS Training in Fort Smith in July - Free


proudly presents Peter Leidy whose musical talent is known nationwide. Peter is from Wisconsin and is on the most powerful advocates for individuals with disabilities and their families that Arkansas has seen!

Doing Our Best Work: 10 Ingredients of Quality Support & Creating Quality Support through Individual and Family Driven Supports and Services

Featuring: Peter Leidy, Syed Ali, PhD. & Shawn Ali Erik Riggs & Rebecca Riggs, Christian Smith and Debra Smith, Vickie Oxford, Jessica Ladd & Sue Beckford, as well as other advocates and family members.


-Believing in positive possibilities and supporting community membership

-Listening, working as a team, embracing curiosity

-Language, attitudes and supporting people through relationships with them

-Our roles as allies and ethical dilemmas

-Remembering why we do this work

-Personal stories from individuals, their families and their support staff


Need to Know

Friday, July 24, 2009

Registration & Snacks 3:30pm

Training Begins 4:00pm

Training Ends 8:00pm


Elvin & Sally Frick

Community Center:

5812 Remington Circle

Ft. Smith, AR 72903



Rebecca Riggs 501-960-0333


Brain Gym 101 in Clinton, AR - July 15-17

Brain Gym 101

*Research proven to improve test scores and behavior

July 15, 16, 17 2009

Topic: Brain Gym ® 101 Time: 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Location: First Service Community Room, 486 Hwy 65 N,
Clinton, Arkansas 72031

Fee: $300 if received by 7/1/09 / $350 late registration

Reviewers Only Fee: ½ price early or late registration fee

Instructors: Your licensed Brain Gym instructors, Debbie Smith and Brenda Wood, are educators at Shirley (AR) Elementary School.

Special Notes: Dress is casual and comfortable. We will experience all 26 Brain Gym ® activities. Bring a pillow, exercise mat or beach towel for floor activities and bring your favorite sports drink container or bottled water.

To register: Send Registration and Tuition or Purchase Order to Debbie Smith, 244 Douglas Lane, Clinton, AR
72031; Home: 501-745-4529 Cell: 501-592-1271

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Attended Autism Resource Meeting Saturday

Yesterday I attended the the Autism Resource Center of Arkansas’ June meeting at New Life Church in Conway. Childcare was provided - so I was able to attend. It was a small meeting, but lots of great discussion. Community Connections has several great programs coming online soon. I encourage you to check out their webpage One thing not listed on the webpage that we heard is starting soon is Flag Football. They have great speakers lined up for the next few months so I expect to see a large turnout in July!

Contact information:
Courtney Leach
Executive Director, Community Connections
Pediatrics Plus Therapy Services
2740 College Avenue
Conway, AR 72034
Cell: 501.733.1627
Fax: 501.325.1378

Thursday, June 25, 2009

SCERTS training in Arkansas

*SCERTS Model-Barry Prizant-a two day implementation training, Sept 24-25 at the Airport Holiday Inn in Little Rock, $360 per person, lunch included, registration closes on Sept. 18. This training is designed to provide information and skills that allow for implementation of the SCERTS Model for children with ASD and related disabilities. SCERTS is a new innovative approach that offers a framework of specific goals and procedures for assessment and
educational programming. The Social Communication, Emotional Regulation and Transactional Support domains of the model directly address the core challenges faced by children with ASD and related disabilities. SCERTS is not exclusive of other approaches. It is flexible enough to incorporate practices from approaches and teaching strategies that have been proven effective with children with ASD. It is comprehensive and integrated, representing a new generation of
educational approaches and evidence based practice. SCERTS is applicable for children from early stages of communication through conversational abilities and from early intervention through the elementary years and beyond. It is a team model designed to encourage
professionals from different disciplines to collaborate with families. Families are included as partners in assessment and education efforts that cut across school, home and community settings. Progress is measured in everyday functional activities with a variety of partners,
recognizing the absolute necessity for supporting communication and social-emotional development in everyday activities and routines. For hotel reservations, call 501-490-1000 and ask for the AR LEARN rate of $88. Email questions to To
register, use the AR LEARN form under "helpful resources" on this page ( and FAX to Stephanie Eddy at 870-246-5892.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Family Leadership Project Accepting Application

Family Services

The DD Council is concerned with the well being of individuals with disabilities and their families a helping hand. From it’s new Family Resource Guide to its cooperation with other state agencies and organizations, the Council is actively engaged in helping families navigate an often complex system as they search for the resources necessary to meet the needs of the family and the child.

A major component in DDC’s family services is the Family Leadership Project (FLP). Conducted annually, the project’s primary objective is to assist its graduates in effectively participating in the development of policies, programs and services that directly impact their lives and the lives of family members with disabilities. FLP’s goals include providing participants with increased information about services and supports for individuals with developmental disabilities; assisting participants in better understanding the strategies needed to affect systemic change, and techniques on how participants to work more effectively with state and local service agencies.

The Council accepts Family Leadership Program applications for its annual training cycle through December 31 of each year. Classes are conducted six times beginning in January and ending in June. To get more information about the DDC’s family services and supports programs, publications and activities, including the Family Leadership Project, contact Family Services Coordinator Brenda Mercer at

Monday, June 15, 2009

NWA Celiac Awareness & Education Day

Northwest Arkansas Celiac Awareness & Education Day

The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness invites you to join area
physicians, dieticians, restaurants, chefs, food industry leaders and families
affected by celiac disease and gluten intolerance at the Northwest Arkansas
Celiac Awareness & Education Day.

Friday, July 10th, 2009 9:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Holiday Inn Conference Center 500 S. 48th Street Springdale, AR

Tickets can also be purchased online through the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness website

Questions? Need help with your order? Want to pay via credit card? please call NFCA Director of Operations, Nancy Ginter.
(215) 325-1306 x.101
Orders MUST be received prior to Friday, July 3rd 2009

All Day Adult $40 each
All Day Student $35 each
Half Day Adult $25 each
Half Day Student $20 each
Lunch and Vendor Fair Adult $15 each
Lunch and Vendor Fair Student/Child $10 each

If purchasing a Half Day Ticket, Please indicate the educational session which you plan to attend:
9:30 a.m.- 1:30 p.m.
Hot Topic: The Gluten-Free Industry
12:00p.m- 1:30p.m.
Hot Topic: Advancing Awareness & Driving Diagnosis

Recommend Healing Thresholds

This is a website with a weekly newsletter about the scientific efforts surrounding autism research. I have found it a very fair and open source of timely information. Thought I would share.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Little Rock Autism Families Meetup

If you go to the website, look for Little Rock Autism Families meetup. It is listed under the Autism and Asperger's Syndrome topics. Here is the description for the group.

We are all about social activities, playdates, and parent-only gatherings for families with autistic children. If you and your autistic child are feeling isolated, please join and connect with other families for fun and social activities.

Several representatives of local autism groups are posting their activities, lectures, and fundraisers on the meetup group calendar. We hope that you do participate in their activities as well as our social events.

Please understand that the group is not providing professional behavioral support or medical advice. We will do our best to help you and your family have a great time. Through your connections on the meetup group we hope you can find solutions to vexing problems.

What a great way to join with other families in the Little Rock area and have some fun!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

This is your brain on Autism

This is Your Brain on Autism

A new and easy to understand perspective on autism

Easter Seals Arkansas, Little Rock—Friday, June 12th, 2009

Arkansas Tech University, RussellvilleFriday, July 10th, 2009

Presented by Phillip Pengelly, CTRS

Arkansas Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health

Call (501)766-1247 or email for registration. Cost of the workshop is $60 and includes lunch.

The workshop utilizes the latest in autism research to explain in easy to understand terms why therapies work and why our typical way of instruction that we all learned as children, doesn’t.

Although I have worked with hundred’s of individuals on the spectrum over the past 30 years of my life, I could never really explain autism, until I began my initial research on this subject matter.

I have had so many “ah hah” moments as I research further and believe that those who attend this workshop, regardless of experience will too.

This workshop is not about a new kind of therapy or treatment. It is about finally understanding the world of autism as they see it and how we can easily understand how to utilize what we are already doing and making it better; much, much better.

Monday, June 8, 2009

HBOT topic at Little Rock Morning Coffee Out

Morning Coffee Out!

Join us for a support group for Parents and Caregivers of Children with Autism and all Special Needs. A place where we can share stories, give advice, get advice, talk, and meet new friends that Walk the Same Road with different turns.

Friday, June 19, 2009
Coffee Beanery
17200 Chenal Parkway
Little Rock, AR 72223

For more information, contact Dawn Itzkowitz at 501-951-0115 or or Misty Gaston at 501-912-8220 or

This is a reminder about the next Morning Coffee Out meeting on June 19th. Dr. Gary Villines with The HBO Clinic will be speaking about their clinic that does work with hyperbaric oxygen chambers.

Dr. Gary Villines
The HBO Clinic, PLLC
106 S. Rodney Parham Rd.
Little Rock, AR 72205
(501) 353-2130

NAA Free Magic Springs Day

The National Autism Association - Arkansas Chapter is hosting a "FREE" Fun Day at Magic Springs/Crystal Falls. If you reserve your spot with the NAA, you and your family's admission is free ($46 value). It even includes a "FREE" hot dog lunch.

This all takes place on Tuesday, June 23rd from 11 am to 8 pm at Magic Springs in Hot Springs, AR.

For more information and to reserve a space, please contact Arkansas NAA president, Cindy Fong ASAP! Her e-mail address is (home: 501-803-0166 / cell: 501-952-6508).

Monday, June 1, 2009

Great Article by Dr. Sears

Author of one of my favorite books - just had to share this article.

I have found Dr. Sears to be a fair minded and reasonable source in this debate.


Conway Activities

APPLICATIONS ARE DUE this week! The Be a STAR performing arts camp is coming up July 17-22nd at Central Baptist College in Conway. Be a STAR provides a creative, unique, integrated performing arts summer camp for children of varying abilities ages 7-17. The focus will be on each child’s individual strengths, allowing them to excel in the areas of performing arts including dance, instrumentals and vocals, drama, video, and set design. The cost is $100 for the 5 day camp and applications are available on our website or by clicking

2. The Kids Helping Kids Trike-a-thon is THIS SATURDAY, June 6, at 10 a.m. at New Life Church in Conway! This will be a bike and tricycle race for kids ages 2-9 to help raise awareness and support for the programs Community Connections offers children with special needs. There will be food, inflatables, and fun for the whole family. We’d love for you/your children to come out and either race OR cheer the children on! Entry forms are available at

Friday, May 29, 2009

Services available in Arkansas

I've talked to several people lately about the lack of services in Arkansas. Couple of things come to mine. First, ABA is hard to find in Arkansas. There are a few consultants in Little Rock and some school districts in NW Arkansas that use it - but not much anywhere else. Equestrian therapy is available in Little Rock, Sherwood, and Russellville - that I know of. Aqua therapy is in Little Rock only - at this time. Services in general seem to be focused in Little Rock mainly, some in Jonesboro, some in NW Arkansas, Conway, and a smaller pocket in Russellville. The further south and southeast you go in the state, the fewer things are available. There are also about 1000 people on the Waiver waiting list. I strongly recommend parents applying for a slot to participate in the Arkansas Govenor's DD Council. Here is the web site.

This training provides a great introduction to the services that are available in the state and also how to get them!

NAA Chapter Meeting

Sunday, May 31, 2009 from 2-4pm

Where: Partners for Inclusive Communities
2001 Pershing Circle, Suite 300
North Little Rock, AR 72114

Meeting Agenda:

* Chapter Business: We will discuss briefly our short and long-term goals for the group and provide information on opportunities for you to become more involved. Please bring and share any ideas you have for future speakers, events and meeting dates/times.

* Speaker: Jodi Eaton, a certified occupational therapist from Easter Seals, will present on the topic of sensory integration. She will provide a theoretical background on suspected causes of sensory integration dysfunction, therapeutic interventions used to treat the disorder, and practical activities that parents can use to help their child at home.

* Social: Time for socializing and support will be available after the speaker. Refreshments and door prizes (including a season pass to Wild River Country!) will be provided. Childcare not provided, but children are welcome to attend meeting with parents.

For more information about the meeting, please contact our current Arkansas NAA president, Cindy Fong,, 803-0166 (home) or 952-6508 (cell).

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Special Needs Parents in Pope County

If you have a special needs child, here is the meeting for you. On June 2, from 6 to 8 pm, Rodney Farley will be facilitating a meeting with speakers from local agencies about ARKids, TEFRA, and Waiver. This meeting is critical for parents that have children with a disability that are in need of services. The Arkansas Parent Advisory Council is sponsoring the meeting and it will be held at the MiChild Enrichment Center in Russellville. If you are a parent of a child under the age of 18 with a disability, this is the meeting for you! If you have questions, please call Rodney Farley at 1-800-482-5850 X 22277 or Kristi Bartlett at 479-264-5616.

This is your Brain on Autism

Good news! An interesting workshop from the field of Therapeutic Recreation is coming to Little Rock and Russellville. On June 12th (at Easter Seals Arkansas in Little Rock) and on July 10th (at Arkansas Tech), Phillip Pengelly, CTRS will be presenting "This is your Brain on Autism". This workshop is "a new and easy to understand perspective on autism" and is hosted by the Arkansas Federation of Families for Children's Mental Health. The workshop utilizes the latest in autism research to explain why therapties work and why our typical way of instruction that we all learned as children, doesn't. This workshop is not about a new kind of therapy or treatment. It is about finally understanding the world of Autism as they see it and how we can easily understand how to utilize what we are already doing and making it much better. If you are interested in attending, please e-mail or call 501-766-1247.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Lawmakers Disappointed In Autism Coverage

Wednesday, May 6, 2009 @04:44am CST

(Springdale, AR) -- Arkansas state lawmakers encountered a roadblock for autism insurance coverage. Lawmakers and insurance companies were unable to agree on a state mandate to force companies offer insurance companies to offer coverage for children with autism.

Insurance Industry members believe government health mandates would be ineffective in solving the autism problem.

Legislators stated mandatory coverage could reduce autism expenses to $3.6 billion instead of the $7 billion it is currently at. Lawmakers plan to bring the discussion up again during the 2010 regular session.

(Copyright 2009 Newsroom Solutions, LLC)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

From NWA Online...

Lawmakers Question Autism Coverage

Last updated Tuesday, May 5, 2009 1:47 PM CDT in News


SPRINGDALE — Failure to require health insurance to cover autism was a major disappointment of the last legislative session, lawmakers participating in a forum said Tuesday.

Insurance industry witnesses at the legislative session were very good, "but their testimony is heartless. That is a strong word, but I really mean it," Rep. Uvalde Lindsey, D-Fayetteville, told at least 80 people attending the Arkansas Kids Count Coalition post-legislative conference.

Failure to pass the autism bill was the session's biggest disappointment for him, said Rep. Les Carnine, R-Rogers. Rep. Lindsley Smith, D-Fayetteville, said she believes there could be a legal case made against lack of coverage on the issue. Smith is an attorney.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Lost at School

Having survived several tough days at school, my 7 year old and I are at a loss. Neither understands each other. On that note, I went back through my library and am giving Dr. Ross Greene's book, The Explosive Child another read. I may have forgotten a few things about dealing with my child. In addition, I have just ordered Lost at School: Why Our Kids with Behavioral Challenges are Falling Through the Cracks and How We Can Help Them - Dr. Green's latest edition. Actually, I ordered two - I am giving one to the new principal at my son's school. Dr. Greene has a significant amount of insight about kids on the spectrum and his checklist assessment of lagging skills and unsolved problems really makes me think. You can find this on the website for the Center for Collaborative Problem Solving.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

MSNBC Autism Videos

is the link for a series of NBC Today show videos highlighting great topics on Autism!

Happy watching!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

2nd Annual All Out for Autism!

Well, I completed the 2 mile fun walk in the drizzle today. It was for a great cause - the 2nd annual All Out for Autism walk/run in Murray Park in Little Rock. For everyone that was there - impressive! If you missed it, you really missed out! I got a great t-shirt, caught up with old friends, and shared stories about our terrific kids. Mike Francis was there to capture it on camera and everyone had a blast. I can't wait to see what else AAROC has in store for 2009. is the website for AAROC. Just in case you are wondering, Autism Speaks is having a community meeting on May 14th at 6:30 pm at Camp Aldersgate - so come out and see what the organization has planned.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Walking for Autism on April 18th is the website to register or find more information about Saturday's All out for Autism 5K and fun walk. I plan to get there around 8:30 am so that I can park before the race starts. The fun walk - my speed - is at 10 am.


Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Regional DAN Conference to be held in OK June 13-14

NORMAN, Okla., April 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Aaron's Bridge presents Autism Research Institute's Defeat Autism Now!(R) Regional Conference June 13-14, 2009, at The Embassy Suites Hotel and Convention Center at 2501 Conference Drive in Norman. The conference will feature seminars devoted to educating doctors, parents and professionals. Presenters including Elizabeth Mumper, MD; Bryan Jepson, MD; Dan Rossignol, MD; and Doreen Granpeesheh, PhD, will discuss topics such as behavioral and biomedical strategies, dietary interventions, what parents can do now and hands-on workshops for implementing treatment strategies.

On June 14, a Clinician Introductory Workshop with CME Credits will cover topics such as case histories, medical treatment strategies for gut disease and autism, integration of science and biomedical interventions for autism. A complimentary lunch will be provided by Aaron's Bridge.

"Autism is a challenge for pediatricians, their patients and families. By working together, we stand the best chance of helping these children to realize their full potential," American Academy of Pediatrics President Renee R. Jenkins, MD, FAAP said this past April. "The Academy is committed to working with researchers and treatment groups like Defeat Autism Now!(R) to get closer to finding answers to the multiple causes of autism and determining effective therapies."

Defeat Autism Now!(R) is distinguished by its commitment to invite only the most credible, accredited and forward-thinking researchers and clinicians as speakers.

The conference is sponsored by Aaron's Bridge. Keith and Joni Geary established Aaron's Bridge foundation because of their personal experience with autism. Their son, Aaron, was diagnosed with autism at age 3, and the family began to see promising improvements in his condition when he began biomedical treatments with Dr. Bryan Jepson at The Thoughtful House Center for Children in Austin, Texas.

Aaron's Bridge was created to facilitate access to more treatment options in Oklahoma for children with developmental disabilities, including autism spectrum disorder.

"We formed the foundation to build a bridge of hope, connecting Oklahoma families to effective solutions and treatment options, such as biomedical interventions," Joni Geary said. "This conference will provide families, particularly Oklahoma families, with up-to-date information regarding effective treatments for autism and most importantly, hope."

For a complete schedule and to register, go to

Monday, April 13, 2009

Post Legislative Conference - Kids Count!

Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families
Registration is now open for the
Arkansas Kids Count Coalition’s
Post-Legislative Conferences!

May 5 in Springdale

9 a.m. to noon
Jones Center
922 E. Emma Ave.
  • Informative presentation to open the day’s events.

  • A de-briefing of the policy activity from the 2009 legislative session.

  • Our popular break-out sessions on the health, education, juvenile justice, and child welfare of Arkansas’s children and families.

  • Especially highlighted during this conference will be the complexities of the economic stimulus package and how it will affect Arkansas families.

  • Registration is free! Click here to register.

May 14 in Little Rock

8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
St. John's Catholic Center
2500 North Tyler Street
Little Rock
  • Informative presentation to open the day’s events.

  • A de-briefing of the policy activity from the 2009 legislative session.

  • Our popular break-out sessions on the health, education, juvenile justice, and child welfare of Arkansas’s children and families.

  • Especially highlighted during this conference will be the complexities of the economic stimulus package and how it will affect Arkansas families.

  • A luncheon complete with some inspiring speeches and the awards ceremony to recognize the nominees and winner of the Sister Joan Pytlik Award and demonstrate our appreciation for the Legislative Champions of the 2009 session.

  • Cost for the entire day, including lunch, is $10 for members of the Kids Count Coalition and $25 for non-members. Click here to register.
Register today! Space is limited at the Little Rock conference.
For more information, contact Paul Kelly: 501-371-9678, Ext. 102 or

ABA & TEACCH - no preference

The Use of Concurrent Operants Preference Assessment to Evaluate Choice of Interventions for Children Diagnosed with Autism



International Journal of Behavioral Consultation and Therapy, Volume 4, Issue 3, p.270-278 (2008)

Layperson Summary:

Children with autism do not seem to prefer applied behavior analysis (ABA) over Treatment and Education of Autistic and Communication Handicapped Children (TEACCH).

Two of the most common techniques for teaching children with autism are ABA and TEACCH. While ABA tries to make a child with autism the same as his peers, TEACCH tries to respect the culture of autism. Therapists tend to be loyal to one approach or the other. This study looks to see if children with autism would choose one technique over the other. The authors call on further research to look at choices that people with autism make with regards to intervention, leisure, and other issues that affect quality of life.

From Healing Thresholds

I recommend that you subscribe to their weekly e-brief.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Irlen Lenses Screening coming to Arkansas

Do you know anyone who: has trouble reading words? is sensitive to light? gets a headache from reading?

Irlen May Be The Solution! [More about Irlen lenses can be found in the Autism 101 Manual]
Who: Individuals who may be affected by Scotopic Sensitivity Irlen Syndrome
What: Irlen Screenings or Lens Testing Appts.
Where: La Quinta Inn & Suites Downtown 617 S. Broadway Little Rock, AR 72201
When: April 22 from 1pm to April 23rd all day By appointment
Please contact Mrs. Catherine Barnes at 1-859-489-7773to make appointments or if you have any questions.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

AR autism bill fails to get out of committee

Bill to provide insurance coverage for autism dies in committee

By John Lyon
Arkansas News Bureau

LITTLE ROCK — A bill that would require insurers to provide health coverage for the diagnosis and treatment of autism failed to get out of a House committee today, the last full day of the legislative session.

Sen. Mary Ann Salmon, D-North Little Rock, the sponsor of Senate Bill 913, tearfully told the House Insurance and Commerce Committee she would refer the bill for interim study because she lacked enough support to win the committee’s endorsement.

The committee previously rejected the bill last week, two days after the Senate passed it 35-0.

Last week and again at a committee meeting Tuesday, representatives of the insurance industry testified in opposition to the bill, which was expected to raise health insurance premiums by an average of $1.48 per month.

Salmon said society pays a higher cost for not providing coverage for autism. The cost to the state to care for one autistic child is $120,000 a year, she said.

“Yesterday we heard the sky is falling. The sky fell on these people when they got a diagnosis of autism,” she said.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Defeat Autism Now! OKC Conference June 2009

Regional Defeat Autism Now! Conference
Saturday, June 13, 2009 7:00 am -
Sunday, June 14, 2009 5:00 pm

Embassy Suites
2501 Conference Drive
Norman, OK 73069

Defeat Autism Now!® is known worldwide as the premier conference at which parents and clinicians join together and pool their understanding to uncover the causes, focus on effective treatments, and share our happiness at the recovery of some children. We do not claim to have all the answers; in fact, knowing we don’t is what keeps us moving forward. But thanks to the insights and tenacity of the parents, and the determination, professionalism, and open-mindedness of our researchers and clinicians, we can say unequivocally at every Defeat Autism Now!® Conference: Autism is Treatable. Recovery is Possible!

Join Us:

  • Explore the latest research and treatment findings
  • Experience hands-on support for taking a biomedical approach home
  • Network with parents and clinicians using the Defeat Autism Now! approach
  • Earn CME credits attending our Clinician Workshop (licensed medical providers)

Autism Research Institute
Defeat Autism Now! OKC

Check by Mail
Complete your registration & print your confirmation and mail with your check, payable to Autism Research Institute to:

Defeat Autism Now! OKC Conference
c/o Denise Fulton, ARI Asst.
5417 Park Place Lp. SE
Lacey, WA 98503

Make checks payable to: Autism Research Institute

Monday, April 6, 2009

Help raise funds for Equestrian Zone


This is a fundraiser for the equestrian therapy group that does my
son's HIPPO therapy (PT on a horse). I couldn't ask for a better
group of folks. If you are available May 30th, please consider
purchasing a ticket and coming out to visit the facility. Donations
are welcome *in any amount* if you are unable to join us for the




May 30, 2009
5:00-8:00 PM
4800 South Frankfort * Russellville, AR
Tickets: $35 per person

Ticket Price Includes:
Scheduled Live Entertainment Featuring: Nik & Sam
ChuckWagon Dinner
Evening at the Races
Rider Stories

Cargill & UACCM

FUNDRAISING GOAL: $15,000 to purchase tickets.

SB 913 AR House Commttee Meets Tuesday afternoon

SB 913 (the bill to provide health insurance coverage for autism spectrum disorders) is taking another run at the Arkansas House tomorrow. It has been placed on the agenda for the House Committee on Insurance and Commerce for the Tuesday committee meeting that begins at 3 or 4 pm (after session adjourns). Now is a good time to e-mail the committee members for support. The committee members are as follows (* voted No or Not Present for last vote):

(Vilonia) Rep. Eddie Hawkins, Chair
* (LR Central) Rep. Fred Allen, Vice Chair
(Mena) Rep. Bill Abernathy
* (Prairie Grove) Rep. Mark Martin
* (Monticello) Rep. Allen Maxwell
* (Magnolia) Rep. Bruce Maloch
* (Melbourne) Rep. Eddie Cooper
* (Van Buren) Rep. Rick Green
* (Camden) Rep. Willie Hardy
(LR Central) Rep. Wilhelmina Lewellen
(Dumas) Rep. David Rainey
* (Paris) Rep. John Paul Wells
(Forrest City) Rep. David Dunn
* (Fort Smith) Rep. Frank Glidewell
(Perryville) Rep. Johnny Hoyt
* (Springdale) Rep. Jon Woods
* (Marked Tree) Rep. Buddy Lovell
(NLR) Rep. Barry Hyde
(Manila-Blythville) Rep. Charolette Wagner
(West Memphis) Rep. Keith Ingram
(Speaker - ex officio) Rep. Robbie Wills

Switchboard number at Statehouse 501-682-6211
Fax number at Statehouse 501-682-2917

Folks - we need two more votes. E-mail, call, fax these representatives and be heard on this legislation!


Loretta Cochran
PO Box 138
Pottsville, AR 72858

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Contact Senators Lincoln and Pryor!

Comprehensive Autism Legislation Introduced in U.S. Congress

Autism Society of America Applauds Inclusion of Lifespan Services and Supports

Today, Senators Richard Durbin (D-IL), Robert Casey (D-PA) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ) introduced the Autism Treatment and Acceleration Act of 2009 (ATAA). The Autism Society of America applauds this comprehensive autism legislation focused around enhancing the quality of life for individuals on the autism spectrum and their families. Originally drafted by President Obama as a Senator, the bill includes aspects of legislation introduced in previous sessions of Congress, including the Expanding the Promise of Individuals with Autism Act, sponsored by then-Senator Hillary Clinton.

ASA especially applauds the inclusion of support services for adults on the autism spectrum in this bill. Currently, the federal government provides for educational services until age 21; however, autism is a lifelong disorder, and when the school bus stops coming, individuals and families are often left to fend for themselves. ATAA would create a demonstration project to provide an array of services to adults with autism spectrum disorders, including: postsecondary education; vocational and self-advocacy skills; employment; residential services, supports and housing; nutrition, health and wellness; recreational and social activities; and transportation and personal safety.

The legislation also would provide for the establishment of a national network to strengthen linkages between research and service initiatives at the federal, regional, state and local levels, and facilitate the translation of research on autism into services and treatments that will improve the quality of life for individuals with autism and their families. A national data repository would be created to share emerging data, findings and treatment models.

Other key aspects of the bill include:

  • the establishment of a national training initiative on autism and a technical assistance center to develop and expand interdisciplinary training and continuing education on autism spectrum disorders; and
  • a requirement that health insurers cover the diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorders, including Applied Behavior Analysis therapy, assistive communication devices and other effective treatments.

ASA needs your help in order to help pass this critical legislation. Please contact both of your U.S. Senators and ask them to co-sponsor the bill. We’ve composed an e-mail describing all the vital aspects of this bill but it will be especially effective if you add your own story describing how ATAA would help you and your family.

The time to act is now. Please support this important issue today, and urge your friends to take action as well. Together, we can improve the quality of live for individuals with autism across the lifespan.

AR Legislative Call to Action

There is a bill, SB 913, pending in the House Insurance and Commerce Committee that has significant potential to change the face of Autism in Arkansas. If you want to do something about Autism Insurance Coverage, contact the following Representatives and ask them to vote yes for SB 913.


I created this blog to help bring awareness to autism in Arkansas. I also hope to provide information about resources in the state for families with a child on the Autism Spectrum of Disorders.