Catherine Zenko, M.S., CCC-SLP
Director, FSU CARD
3rd Annual Touch-A-Truck Event
Scholarships Available for 2020 CARD Conference
National Flight Academy
Transition Talk: Online Training Series
Coffee Talk: Strategies to help women with ASD crush their goals
Create Quality Classrooms for Students with ASD
Caring for the Caregiver: Keeping Your Pitcher Full – Parent Potluck
WHEN: Thursday, 10/17/19 – 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM (CST)
WHERE: FSU CARD – Pensacola Office, 4900 Bayou Blvd, Suite 200, Pensacola, FL 32503
Pre-registration required via email or phone by 10/14/19.
Please contact Dr. Chrissy Ogilvie at Christine.firstname.lastname@example.org or 850-324-6245.
College Survival 101
Please email Tammy Dasher at email@example.com to register.
FSU Opening Nights Presents: The Magic of Kevin Spencer
A Sensory-Friendly, Relaxed Family Performance
Join FSU Opening Nights on Halloween for a relaxed, sensory-friendly evening of family festivities designed for children of all ages and abilities.
The Magic of Kevin Spencer features the extraordinary magician in a fun-filled show that combines storytelling, stage magic and audience participation. The show is appropriate for children with autism or with other developmental or intellectual disabilities that create sensory sensitivities. Be entertained by baffling magic in a relaxed, judgment-free environment.
Kevin Spencer has earned accolades spanning an impressive 25-year career including 2009 International Magician of the Year, the 2015 Milbourne Christopher Award honoree for advancing the art of magic, and is a six-time recipient of Performing Arts Entertainer of the Year.
WHERE: Opperman Music Hall; Kuersteiner Music Bldg, 32301, 114 N Copeland St, Tallahassee, FL 32304
WHEN: Halloween Night, Thursday, 10/31/19 – 6:30 PM (EST)
COST: $10 per person
- Exercise provides a distraction.
- Exercise reduces muscle tension.
- Exercise builds brain resources-releasing the body’s natural “feel-good” hormones.
- Exercise teaches a different outcome-it mimics the feelings of an anxiety attack (elevated heart rate and shortness of breath) but allows those feelings to be associated with something positive rather than negative.
- Exercise reroutes circuits in the nervous system, sending information to the brain through a new pattern, breaking the trap of waiting and worrying.
- Exercise improves resilience-teaching the body that you CAN do something for yourself.
- Exercise sets you free. Those who suffer from anxiety tend to immobilize themselves and hide from the world. The opposite of that is getting outside and taking action.
By: Cathy Zenko
We are constantly updating the Research Opportunities section of our website as new studies are submitted and reviewed by our staff. Please take a moment to see the current research opportunities listed here: https://fsucard.com/resources/research-opportunities/.
Free access to the Autism Navigator® How-To Guide for Families
Share with CARD!“CARD is continuously looking for clients who would like to share their art or writing pieces in our quarterly newsletter. If you are interested in sharing your work for our next issue, please send an image electronically to Tammy Dasher (firstname.lastname@example.org) All pieces should be titled. Select pieces will be chosen for each edition of the newsletter; artists and authors will be notified if their piece is chosen.”
Client Feature: Michael Tribble
By: Allison Leatzow
I’m taking a little trip down memory lane back to 2007 and have this fond memory of Michael walking into my office for our first meeting. We started to talk right away about his recent Asperger’s diagnosis and all the signs that were present in his life that had either gone unnoticed or brushed aside. He recounts a story from when he was in elementary school where his teacher tells the class, “I need everyone to put on their thinking caps.” Michael thinks for a moment, gets up, and begins to walk over to his cubby. The teacher says, “Michael, sit down.” He sits down. “Now, Michael, put on your thinking cap.” Michael gets up again to head to his cubby and this routine with his teacher goes on a couple more times. His teacher asks him why he keeps getting up every time she tells him to sit back down and put on his thinking cap. He responded he had a baseball cap in his backpack and thought that must be the “thinking cap” the teacher kept referencing!
Fast forward many, many years later and Michael is an accomplished college graduate, successfully employed, a proud homeowner, happily married, and a new father. The statistics for those with an autism spectrum disorder will tell you that Michael was more than likely to not achieve any of these outcomes, let alone all five of them! “What’s his secret?” you may ask. Michael will tell you that he challenged himself to step outside his comfort zone. The more something seemed difficult or anxiety-inducing to him, the more he realized he needed to do it.
I posed several questions to Michael for this article. As usual, he didn’t disappoint in the responses he gave!
Tell me about your transformation after your diagnosis.
Michael: I learned where my significant weak points were in communication and social interaction, areas that had puzzled and eluded me for so long. It was time to make up for lost time and become the person that I always wanted to become. What followed were years of acquiring missing communication, social knowledge, breaking out of a lot of comfort zones, and doing activities that no one would ever expect an “Aspy” to be doing. I began learning ballroom dancing, read countless self-help communication and social technique books, and joined a public speaking organization. I even took a part-time job as a distributor/salesman for an energy drink company – that’s right, an Aspy working as a SALESMAN. I pushed myself further, broke out of more comfort zones, and mastered areas that I never imagined I could. The Michael many knew as the weirdo and the outcast is no more. In his placed has a emerged a reconstructed, new-and-improved, potential-filled individual. Now I’m ready to go out and become the person that I always wanted to be, because there’s nothing in this neurotypical dominated world that can stop me.
What do you like to do for fun and how has it benefitted you?
Michael: Maybe you play softball, maybe you go rollerblading, maybe you build model ships, or maybe you collect stamps (especially since the post office may not be around much longer anyway). Me? I have a hobby, I have a pastime, a recreational activity. It’s great exercise and it makes me feel alive. By day, I am a computer programmer; but by night (well most nights), I’m a ballroom dancer.
**MASTER OF THE KEYBOARD
**MASTER OF THE DANCE FLOOR!
**I…..AM A BALLROOM DANCER!
That’s right, I’m a computer programmer, and I ballroom dance – go figure. For the past several years now, I have been a ballroom dancer and I tell you it has completely changed my life ever since I went to my first-class years ago and got addicted to it. It’s not like I had a background in dance. Before that first class, I had never danced in my life. Except maybe during the senior prom, but I don’t think that really counts. Ballroom dancing has done so much for me. It’s given me confidence, poise, gracefulness. It’s improved my agility, flexibility, balance, and coordination. It’s done wonders for my social skills, my communication skills, and my attitude. My mom has told me that I’m like a completely different person when I dance (in a good way). Through dancing, I have pushed myself further, broken out of more comfort zones, and mastered areas that I never imagined I could. Ballroom dancing is something that I can’t recommend enough to anyone on the spectrum, especially guys. Guys, in case you aren’t already aware of this…WOMEN LOVE IT!! Women love ballroom dancing and they love a guy who knows how to dance – TRUST ME! Think about it, how many guys do you think can say that they can dance? How many neuro-typical men can say that? It’s amazing how quickly after you start learning how to dance that you get to a point where not only are you comfortable dancing but you can ask a woman to dance without even the slightest hesitation.
The fundamentals of each ballroom dance are very structured. No matter how advanced each dance gets, it always follows a basic pattern. That basic pattern works like the starting point or the foundation of a house. It’s like playing with Legos. Once you figure out how the pieces fit together, you can just let your creativity take over from there.
So, everyone, especially guys, what are you waiting for?
Break out of your comfort zone!
Step out on to that dance floor!
And show everyone what you’re made of!
Before you know it, you’ll see a side of you that you never even knew existed, and you’ll never want to go back!
Not only does Michael ballroom dance, but he joined Toastmasters to help him with his speech, communication, and socialization skills. He didn’t stop there. The next challenge was yoga! Being a technically-minded and structured thinker, yoga felt like a very foreign activity to him. All the more reason he decided he had to give it a try.
As fun and inspiring as all this has been, his greatest life changing accomplishment has been his beautiful family. He got married March of 2016 and he and his new wife settled into their home he had purchased the year before. He told me that when he and his wife first started dating, she didn’t know anything about Asperger’s. She quickly got a crash course from him and has never looked back. In fact, she has told him that if he magically became neurotypical, he’d probably be very boring. She fell in love with Michael and his autism and can’t have one without the other as it adds spice to their relationship.
Michael has been an inspiration to several CARD clients over the years. He has participated in many social skills groups, job readiness training, participated in our Artists and Autism Series, and other various CARD sponsored events. He has served as a mentor to several clients over the years and is interested in coming back to CARD in a mentor capacity.
Michael would love for you to take away from this that although you may have an autism diagnosis, you don’t have to be one of the statistics. Challenge yourself or, at the very least, dance!
Health & Nutrition
Autism and Nutrition
For a comprehensive guide to diet and nutrition for people on the Autism Spectrum read the article below from UnlockFood: