Thursday, March 26, 2009

Sign Petition for Ridge School in NYS

Advocates of the Ridge school in Dutchess County, NY are trying to get Regional approval with the state, which means education programs for our children with autism in their own community.

Please sign and forward The Respect and Justice for Ridge School Petition. Our children and loved ones will benefit from this program. You must live in New York State to sign the petition. Thanks!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Survey of Feeding and Digestive Problems in Autistic Children

We were asked to share this information with parents to complete A Survey of Feeding and Digestive Problems in Children with Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD): Comparison with non-ASD siblings by Richard Schwartz, MD, pediatrician and professor of pediatrics at Virginia Commonwealth University, Inova Fairfax Hospital for Children, Falls Church, VA.

Below is an introductory letter to parents. Please read it before completing the survey. This is done to fulfill a requirement to explain possible risks, benefits, and confidentiality to all survey participants.

Dear Parent:

The purpose of this survey is to study feeding and digestive problems among children with autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) and their siblings. By filling out this survey, you can help pediatricians and other health professionals learn more about this issue. The results of this study will beused to provide better care and counseling to the parents of autistic children.

Completion of the survey should take approximately 23 minutes.
For your reference, we provide answers to some of the common
questions parents ask about this survey.

What will happen if I take part in this research study?
If you agree to participate in this study, please complete the
attached survey. Your participation in this survey is entirely
voluntary. Once you begin this survey, you may end it or cancel
it at any time.

What risks or benefits can I expect from being in the study?
The only foreseeable risk to you is possible loss of confidentiality.
To minimize this risk, we made this survey anonymous and confidential.
This means that your name will not linked to the completed questionnaire,
and your individual responses will not be published or shared with any
party. For more information, please refer to the next question.
The potential benefit to you is that we can send you a copy of the
research results, if you are interested.

Will my medical information be kept private?
Efforts have been made to protect your identity. No identifying code
has been placed on the survey form nd no one outside of the research
team will have access to the individual completed surveys. Only group
data will be reported and responses will not be person-identifiable.
Efforts have been made to protect your identity. No identifying code
has been placed on the survey form and no one outside of the research
team will have acce Efforts have been made to protect your identity.
No identifying code has been placed on the survey form and no one outside
of the research team will have access to the individual completed surveys.

What other choices do I have if I do not take part in this study?
Taking part in this research study is voluntary. If you choose not to
participate, there will be no penalty or loss of benefits to which you
are otherwise entitled.

Who can answer my questions about the study?
If you have any questions regarding this research study, please
contact Vahe Badalyan, MD, at

Thank you for participating in this survey.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to
contact me at

Thank you for your time.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Some Behavior Problems May Be Reduced By Supportive Co-Parenting

Article Date: 04 Mar 2009

Researchers looked at changes in children's level of aggressive behavior and other forms of "acting out" as they went from 4 years old to 5 years old. The study found that supportive co-parenting helped children who have difficulty regulating their behavior and attention levels - what researchers call effortful control. Results showed children who had low levels of effortful control generally showed increases in negative behaviors over the year - unless their parents had a supportive co-parenting relationship.

"If you support your spouse in front of your child, show that you are a united front, it can help prevent some behavior problems in children who may be at risk," said Sarah Schoppe-Sullivan, lead author of the study.

"If you have a child who has trouble controlling his or her behavior, that's not a problem that often goes away," she said. "That's one reason why it is so significant that positive co-parenting can help manage the problem."

Read full article at:

For practical ways to help, plan and manage autism visit: Child-Autism-Parent-Cafe.Com.

Friday, February 06, 2009

NYS Proposal to Cut SSI Benefits

(E-mail excerpt from Autism Speaks)
Although there has been no increase in the state supplement
for 20 years, this year the New York Executive Budget is proposing
to cut the state supplement to Social Security Insurance (SSI) payments
for New Yorkers who are aged, blind or have a disability, such as autism.
The proposed legislation would cut benefits by over 25% for individuals
and couples living alone in the community and 45-70% for those living
with other and are scheduled to occur in June 2009. Now more than
ever we need to preserve the safety net for those with autism who
are SSI beneficiaries.

How You Can Help:

1. Contact Governor David Paterson and your state representatives today!

Tell them that individuals with autism depend on this income to provide for
their most basic needs, including housing and food. These proposed cuts will
result in more people with autism being forced into costly institutional
settings because they can't get the support they need to remain in their own

Governor David Paterson - (518) 474-8390

2. Forward this e-mail to everyone you know and ask them to take action too.

To learn more about Autism Votes, an initiative of Autism Speaks focused on
federal and state legislative advocacy, please visit

Novel Cartoon Aid Helps Children Recognize Emotions

A new study to be published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental
Disorders from Cambridge University has found that after watching The Transporters DVD for just 15 minutes a day for four weeks, most children with autism caught up with other children in their ability to recognize emotions. Parents who have used the DVD have reported noticeable improvements and stronger emotional bonds with their children. Professionals have noted children commenting on other people’s feelings, often for the first time.

For more information go to

Parents United Learning the Special Education System

Parents United Learning the Special Education System

The Ridge School, a private school for high functioning Asperger's students in
Hyde Park, has been denied state approval to serve students with disabilities.

According to the NYS Department of Education, a private school serving
Asperger's students in Dutchess County is not needed at this time.

Come To The: Ridge School Rally

Saturday, February 14th, 1 Pm

Goshen Inn, 40 Park Place, Goshen

Support this school in their quest to become an approved special education

For more information contact:

Kathy Silgailis (845) 987-8054 or