Autism Empowerment Radio
Summary: Autism Empowerment is your source for Acceptance, Enrichment, Inspiration and Empowerment within the Autism and Asperger communities. Our non-profit organization supports individuals with AS & ASDs of all ages, all abilities. Visit AutismEmpowerment.org today! Autism Empowerment Radio depends on public support to provide our free programs and services. Listen in and let your light shine!
Is it possible to Unite the Autism Community? Can Autistic and Aspie adults, teens and children respectfully come together with parents, educators, service professionals and nonprofit autism organizations to discuss challenges and work toward the common good? If so, what would that look like? Who would be seated at the table? Who would facilitate the conversation? How do we calm the chaos, reduce the infighting and begin to work together for a stronger, more united, autism community that focuses on acceptance, empowerment, optimal outcomes and positive life trajectories? How do we provide individuals and families with support, opportunity and connection? Join Autism Empowerment Radio as Karen Krejcha discusses these challenges. Diagnosed with Asperger syndrome in her 40s, Karen is mom to two sons (8 and 15) also diagnosed on the autism spectrum. As Executive Director and co-founder of the nonprofit, Autism Empowerment, Karen regularly engages in conversation with autistic teens and adults as well as parents and other family members. She sees and hears the frustration from those on the spectrum who want to be respected and accepted and not seen as a burden upon society. She sees and hears from parents who want to do the best for their children but struggle navigating convoluted and conflicting systems of service that sometimes hurt more than they help. Is it possible to strengthen the Autism Community? We think so! Let's talk about it.
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Arguably the biggest celebrity in the llama world isRojo the Llama, a charming therapy animal from Mtn Peaks Therapy Llamas & Alpacas that has completed over 800 therapy visits throughout the Portland, OR and Vancouver, WA area since being certified 7 years ago. Attendees of Autism Empowerment's Easter Egg Hunt for Acceptance of All Abilities in April 2014 lined up for the chance to share kisses, carrots and hugs. According to Rojo's Facebook page, "I've always been a little weird because I LOVE being around people! That's why my owners decided to get me certified in 2007 through the DoveLewis Animal-Assisted Therapy Program in Portland, OR. My roommate, Smokey also passed his certification with flying colors, and now we also have a rescued llama named Beni, and three very sweet alpacas named Napoleon, Andre, and Jean-Pierre at our place that also do therapy visitation. We leave the farm at least 3 - 5 times every week to visit kids with special needs and old folks in retirement homes. We also get to do lots of fun parties and PR events throughout the year down in the "big city" of Portland - I love it when everybody freaks out when they see us walking around downtown!" Although Rojo has figured out how to express himself in llama talk and through Facebook, he hasn't quite mastered the art of the radio interview. Today we are delighted to welcome Lori Gregory, President of Mtn Peaks Therapy Llamas & Alpacas to share the history behind their nonprofit organization, anecdotes about their activities and insight regarding what makes therapy animals like Rojo, Smokey, Napoleon and friends so appealing to children and senior citizens. RojoTheLlama.com and facebook.com/rojothellama
Join us today as we chat with Elissa Bosley, SpecialCare Program Manager from MassMutual Oregon. We'll be talking with Elissa about the fantastic work MassMutual has been doing regionally providing free support, workshops, sensory events and support services to the autism and cross-disability community in Oregon and Southwest Washington. We'll also be talking about MassMutual's SpecialCare Program, a program that is also offered at various MassMutual offices throughout the country. SpecialCare is a program from MassMutual that provides access to information – from what you need to know in order to provide the best care to your loved one, to how to manage the needs of yourself and other family members. If you are caring for a person with a disability or other special needs – a spouse, a child, sibling, dependent parent, other relative or friend, the SpecialCare program is an innovative outreach initiative that provides access to information, specialists, and financial products and services that can help improve the quality of life for people with disabilities and other special needs and their families and caregivers. For example, you’ll learn why accepting a generous financial gift from a loving grandparent may not be in their best interest – and why disinheriting your special needs child might be the right thing to do. For more information on the SpecialCare Program and Special Needs Financial Information, please visit: http://oregon.massmutual.com/individuals-and-families/specialcaresm
EarthLink is committed to offering our time, talent and resources to build strong, connected, thriving communities. We believe that the biggest impact is made when all of us come together in a variety of ways to make a difference, providing a HALO effect for our communities and our customers. Today Autism Empowerment Radio welcomes two Earthlinkers: Pam O'Connor, Senior Manager of Corporate Communications and Brian Tashima, Pricing Analyst and Autism Empowerment Board Member. We will learn more about EarthLink's Corporate Giving HALO (Helps, Acts, Links and Outreach) and listen to examples of how EarthLink has recently been serving in communities throughout the United States. EarthLink was a Featured Event sponsor for Autism Empowerment's 3rd Annual Easter Egg Hunt for Acceptance of All Abilities on April 19th, 2014. This Acceptance Event which included an egg hunt, family entertainment and cross-disability resource fair served over 1,300 in the Southwest Washington and Portland metro area, including 40 cross-disability agencies and service providers, 180+ volunteers, 5 politicians, 5 service animals. EarthLink volunteers played a special part in the day's event. Brian Tashima will share with us what it was like to participate in the Ceremonial First Egg Roll. Earthlink's motto is Anytime, anywhere: EarthLink keeps customers connected and businesses empowered. Our leading-edge managed IT, network and communications services deliver the superior and secure experience our customers value and trust. To learn more, visit: www.earthlink.net/about/community/ and www.earthlink.net
As April comes to a close and we end Autism Acceptance month for 2014, how as individuals, family members and community members do we continue to facilitate positive change beyond Autism Awareness? What steps should we take to promote a meaningful call to action for Acceptance both within the Autism and Asperger community and our world at large? How can we tame some of the infighting among organizations and individuals within the autism community and work together toward a common goal of providing meaningful services, support and resources to help youth and adults on the autism spectrum and their families? We welcome you to join Autism Empowerment Radio as Autism Empowerment co-founders Karen and John Krejcha share about the activities that Autism Empowerment has been involved with in April and how those activities are sparking meaningful change locally and throughout the nation. You will learn about our Autism Serves Volunteerism program. You will learn about Ambassadors for Acceptance of All Abilities. You will be called to positive action. We all have gifts to give. We all have positive ways we can serve in changing the world for the better and in the process, improving our own life trajectory as well. http://www.AutismEmpowerment.org Autism Empowerment at Facebook @AutismEmpowermt at Twitter
The Portland Autism Moms (PAM) is a group that respects Neurodiversity and provides support, understanding and connection to our community of MOMS with autistic children who live in the Portland and Vancouver metro areas. They have an active private Facebook group and also host get-togethers for moms who want to get together in person to meet, have lunch, dinner and build friendships with other moms who understand what it is like being an Autism Mom. Today Autism Empowerment Radio welcomes two Autism Moms from the current PAM Leadership Team: Jenny Schoonbee, Chair and Angela Green Wright, Co-Chair, Sponsorship Facilitator and visionary of the "New to Diagnosis" Mentorship Program. If you are living in the area and want to be added to the group, request to join and send an email with a brief intro to: PortlandAutismMoms@gmail.com Whether or not you live in the Portland, OR / Southwest Washington area, please listen to this show because the positive model that PAM uses can be replicated in other regions. PAM currently has 6 Autism Moms on their Leadership Team, Jenny Schoonbee, Lorri Ranslam, Angela Green Wright, Erin Olander, Cheryl DuPreez and Belinda Hanson. They all 100% believe in acceptance, first and foremost. PAM celebrates our children and all their accomplishments. PAM's online group currently has 405 members, amazing moms, all with kids from as young as 2 all the way to moms with adult children. Adult mom autistics are welcomed and included. The support network and positive energy is infectious. For more information, please contact PortlandAutismMoms@gmail.com or visit: https://www.facebook.com/groups/WAMmoms/
The first World Autism Awareness Day was in 1989. In 2007, the UN voted to approve World Autism Awareness day officially being designated as April 2nd annually and it has been so since 2008. Over the years, World Autism Awareness Day has taken on many forms. The message conveyed to the community is often as varied as the autism spectrum itself. Sometimes it is a message of Acceptance, Respect and Empowerment. Sometimes it is a message of Epidemic, Fear and Negativity. In 2011, Paula Durbin Westby, an Autistic Disability Rights Activist tired of hearing negative messages began promoting an Autism Acceptance Day and Month. Pro-neurodiversity, pro-supports and services, against "cures," AAD was started to counter April "awareness" stunts that demean autistics. Many organizations followed suit. Today, April 2nd, 2014, Karen Krejcha with Autism Empowerment Radio talks about World Autism Acceptance. What does it mean? What is the difference between Awareness and Acceptance? How can each of us make realistic positive strides to be Ambassadors for Acceptance of All Abilities within our community? What organizations are promoting Acceptance? How can you plug into meaningful, enriching resources and programs that empower and improve your lives? Ever wonder what is it like for youth and adults living with autism during Autism Awareness / Acceptance month? We'll talk about this as well as how we think the latest CDC statistics of 1 in 68 are going to impact this month's messages. Autism Empowerment believes in promoting Acceptance, Enrichment, Inspiration and Empowerment within the Autism and Asperger community and worldwide. www.AutismEmpowerment.org
Today Autism Empowerment Radio welcomes Dr. Michael Brooke to talk with us about helping youth, teens and adults improve their social skills and conversation through a game that he developed called Chime In: The Conversation Game. Chime In: The Conversation Game is an easy-to-learn, life-changing game for getting anyone who struggles socially on the path to fitting in and making friends. Players learn how to follow the give-and-take of social conversation and have fun in the process. It was designed to be appropriate for individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, developmental delay, non-verbal learning disability, attention deficit disorder (ADHD) or social phobia. Other groups that struggle with social skills such as individuals with oppositional defiant disorder, conduct disorder, traumatic brain injury, or dementia may also benefit from Chime In. Dr. Brooke is a licensed psychologist in the states of Washington and Oregon and grew up in the Big Sky Country of Montana where he enjoyed rafting, camping fishing, piano, gymnastics and Dungeons and Dragons. He graduated magna cum laude from University of Oregon and received his doctorate at Rutgers University. Dr. Brooke regularly works with children and adults on the spectrum, ages 12 to adult and shares a practice in Portland, OR and Vancouver, WA with his wife, Karlaina. New Social Skills Groups in the Portland metro area are starting in Spring 2014. There are separate groups for middle school, high school and adults. For more information about groups or Chime In, please visit: http://www.brookepsychologists.com/
Dreams really do come true! On February 15, 2006, an autistic high school student stunned the world when he entered a basketball game in the dying minutes and proceeded to shoot the lights out. Major news outlets around the world picked up the story, the YouTube video got millions of hits and the world was fascinated with everything to do with Jason McElwain (J-Mac). But the story began long before he took the court that night at Greece Athena High School In Rochester, New York. Join us today as Autism Empowerment Radio welcomes Coach Jim Johnson to share with our listeners about the inspirational tale of the incredible relationship between a high school student and his basketball coach. Coach Jim Johnson's sense of compassion led him to give an autistic and learning disabled team manager a once-in-a-lifetime chance and how Jason seized the opportunity in such a stupendous way that will not be forgotten any time soon. Coach Johnson will also be talking about his book, A Coach and A Miracle, Life Lessons from A Man who Believed in an Autistic Boy. Coach Jim Johnson has served since 1996 as the varsity boys' basketball coach at Greece Athena High School near Rochester, NY where he also teaches physical education. He belongs to several coaching and professional speaking organizations, has developed a motivational DVD and gives workshops on leadership and personal development. www.coachjimjohnson.com
Nikki Zimmerman, founder of Out of Step joins Autism Empowerment Radio to talk about their organization which provides a platform for entrepreneurs with disabilities to create greater financial independence. Many adults on the autism spectrum find it difficult to work within a traditional workspace. Out of Step helps people with disabilities create better economic success. It is a free and innovative online marketplace and platform where people with disabilities can make money and promote a business by selling goods and services. Through Out of Step, consumers can find all sorts of great things, from books to industrial tools and dating services to computer help… all by people who happen to have a disability. The idea for Out of Step originated from Nikki Zimmerman's own life. As the mother to a daughter with a disability, Nikki saw the need for a tool to empower each individual's strengths rather than focus on the disability. Nikki and her team launched Out of Step because they believe people with disabilities can and do want to work. They're proudly out of step with the notion that people with disabilities must continue to experience a 70% unemployment rate. Out of Step motivates individuals to move forward and believe in possibilities again…or in some cases for the first time. It changes the way people with disabilities are seen by all. Visit them at: www.outofstep.com
Today we welcome Dr. Amy Donaldson to Autism Empowerment Radio to talk about the SocialsibS project, a Social Communication Intervention offered through the Portland State University Autism and Child Language Disorders Research Lab and the Speech & Language Clinic. The SocialsibS project is funded by a Treatment Grant from Autism Speaks. Social and communicative competence is central to success in school and fundamental to development of peer relationships. Social communication deficits are well documented in children with ASD. Improving these skills is often a key focus of intervention, but generalization can be challenging. Two social communication intervention methods that have been found effective in recent years include: * Training peers, or in this case, siblings, to use strategies to facilitate the social communication of children with ASD (sibling-mediated intervention) * Use of video-modeling to directly teach social communication skills to the child with ASD. To increase generalization of skills, the SocialsibS project combines both of these methods in one intervention. The program is currently inviting children with autism spectrum disorder (ages 4 - 7) and their sibling (ages 5 - 10) for participation in the SocialsibS project at PSU. Contact Amy: (503) 725-3224 or email: email@example.com Amy L. Donaldson, Ph.D., CCC-SLP is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Speech & Hearing Sciences at Portland State University (PSU) and Director of PSU Autism and Child Language Disorders Laboratory. Her research focuses on the assessment and intervention of social communication skills in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) within the natural environment, as well as intervention efficacy.
Autism Empowerment Radio is delighted to welcome Julie Borghello on air to share about their exciting and accepting Salmon Creek TOPSoccer program located in Southwest Washington. Julie and Brandi Dyment are co-coordinators for Salmon Creek TOPSoccer. The primary goal of their organization is to enable children with disabilities to develop their physical fitness, self-esteem and friendships through the joy and excitement of playing soccer. In addition to talking about the program, Julie will also be announcing their Winter season schedule so that you can get involved! They are currently recruiting volunteer coaches, player buddies and of course, children who would like to play soccer! This particular program is affiliated with the Southwest Youth Soccer Association. There are also TOPSoccer organizations located throughout the United States. The Outreach Program for Soccer (TOPSoccer) enables people 4 years of age and up with physical and/or cognitive disabilities to be able to enjoy and play the World's Game. If you are interested in soccer for your child on the autism spectrum or with other disabilities and you are outside SW Washington, still listen in! We will also be talking about the program in general and let you know how you can connect or form a group in your local area. To connect with Julie, call (360) 326-3898 or email: salmoncreekTOPsoccer@gmail.com http://www.swysa.net/topsoccer - Salmon Creek TOPSoccer http://www.usyouthsoccer.org/programs/topsoccer/ - US
We have a traditional day for giving thanks. We have three for getting deals. This year, Autism Empowerment invites those within and supporting the autism and Asperger community to come together for good! We invite you to take part in a heartwarming and empowering tradition, Giving Tuesday. #GivingTuesday is a day to promote positive change. Autism Empowerment is dedicated to making life more meaningful for children, teens, adults and families within the Autism Community worldwide. Based out of Vancouver, WA, our proactive and positive organization is the calling of a Mom on the spectrum parenting two sons with autism and Asperger syndrome. Together with her husband, Autism Empowerment formed as a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization in June 2011 and has been doing amazing work ever since. All our work has an accepting, enriching, inspiring and empowering theme. Programs like Autism and Scouting reach thousands worldwide. Special events, trainings and support groups for kids and adults serve families in Washington and nearby Portland metro.. No gloom and doom. Just a vision of hope, acceptance and friendship to those who need it. Mentoring. Volunteering. Compassion for the Greater Good. On Tuesday December 3, 2013 or whenever you see this, please support Autism Empowerment with a gift. Thanks! http://www.autismempowerment.org
What do Joel Suzuki, teenage musician protagonist from Secret of the Songshell and Jonathan Murphy, professional actor and voiceover artist from the San Francisco Bay Area have in common? They are both are on the autism spectrum, diagnosed with Asperger syndrome. It seemed only natural when Brian Tashima, sci-fi fantasy fiction author was looking for someone to record the audiobook for his first novel in the Spectraland Saga series that Jonathan would be the perfect choice. Today, Autism Empowerment Radio welcomes Brian Tashima and Jonathan Murphy on air to talk about the process behind creating the audiobook and The Secret of the Songshell story. There will also be a live reading sample for our audience! Both are previous guests with AE Radio but this is their first time appearing together. Brian Tashima was born and raised in Hawaii and is a resident of Vancouver, WA. He is also a singer, songwriter and guitarist who has won a Hoku award (Hawaii's version of the Grammys) and has had his music featured in short films. His book was a 2012 Finalist in the USA Best Book Awards for fantasy fiction. TheSpectralandSaga.com Jonathan Murphy is comfortable with a wide range of voiceover challenges, from Shakespeare to cartoon characters. He's a director's dream and doesn't let Asperger's hold him back. You can listen in to his great talent at California's Great America, JonInCharacter.com and Geek Club Books.