Newsletter|

Dear Friends,
 
I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy during this COVID-19 pandemic. We sent out an email last week with several resources and I’m going to copy and paste most of that information into my letter here in case you missed it. If you’d like to view the email from last week, you can click here: COVID-19 Email
 

At this time, all of our offices (Tallahassee, Panama City, and Pensacola) are closed to the public. We have moved to working remotely using email, video conference, and phone to provide support. If you need to reach any of us, send an email to:  autism@med.fsu.eduIf you need to reach your consultant, email will be the fastest. Click here for a list of our Consultants’ Emails.

We are trying to share information and resources with all of our clients and families using social media and email blasts. Our  Facebook page  is constantly being updated with resources and information about upcoming online trainings.
 
Unfortunately , we had to cancel our 4th Annual Kickin’ It for Autism soccer clinic on April 5th and postpone our Life Stories Transition Summit due to COVID-19. April is typically filled with events celebrating Autism Awareness month, but will shift to sharing information about autism on our social media platforms.
 
We are in the process of scheduling several online forums for adult clients and caregivers of younger clients in the coming weeks. More information about the new online information sessions will be on our Facebook page, and on  http://fsucard.com.
 
We are continually gathering resources we find and adding them to one Google Document to have an easy way to keep track of the resources. Check out our Google Doc here: COVID-19 Resource List. We will continue to add resources to this list, so keep checking it. 
 
For parents who have children in preschool or early elementary school, FSU CARD is offering free access to the Autism Navigator® How-To Guide for Families. Please see the article below for information on how to get your FREE CODE.
 
We need your help to keep us connected to you during this time of social distancing and working remotely. Here’s how YOU can help us help you.
  • Update your contact information using our Annual Update Form located on our website. 
  • Add autism@med.fsu.edu to your address book to prevent messages going to your spam folder. Check your spam folder frequently for any missed messages.
  • Download the Zoom app on your phone, tablet or computer: www.zoom.us
  • Fill out the survey so we know what your greatest needs are at the moment.  Start Survey.
  • Join us for a one-hour Connecting with CARD Zoom meeting to learn more about how FSU CARD staff can help during this COVID-19 pandemic.
    • For Parents/Caregivers: Tuesday, March 31, 2020 from 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm EST/ 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm CSTClick here to register.
    • For Adult Clients: Wednesday, April 1, 2020 from 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm EST/ 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm CST. Click here to register.
Please be safe and stay well.
 
Sincerely,
 
Catherine Zenko, M.S., CCC-SLP
Director, FSU CARD
Our social media accounts are listed below. Please follow us on your preferred social media platform to get the most up-to-date information.

Features

27th Annual Statewide CARD Conference
27th Annual Statewide CARD Conference
FSU CARD staff traveled to Orlando from January 17th – 19th for another wonderful conference of the statewide CARD centers. T eachers who were selected t hrough the Partnership for Effective  Programs for Students with Autism (PEPSA) and will be collaborating on a year-long project with a consultant, came along as well. FSU CARD offered ten conference scholarships to clients, family members, and community partners in our catchment area.
 
Keynote speakers at the conference included Dr. Patrick Rydell, co-author of  The SCERTS® Model  (along with the FSU Autism Institute’s own Dr. Amy Wetherby), and the multi-talented James Durbin, a musician with Autism/Tourette Syndrome who was featured on  American Idol  in 2011. Durbin may be recognized by local CARD constituents from his series of public talks and performances in the Tallahassee area in conjunction with FSU CARD.
 
Second-year PEPSA partners Allison Leatzow (FSU CARD) and Taylor Whittle (Leon High School) did a presentation on how their project of creating an inclusive campus took shape in 2019 and will continue through 2020. Consultants Tammy Dasher and Crystal Grey-Hewitt presented breakout sessions on the topics of ESE teacher burnout, women with autism, and how the ASD population experiences trauma.
 
The 28 th  CARD conference will take place in January of 2021- stay tuned for information regarding registration and scholarship opportunities!

CARD Day at the Capitol
CARD Day at the Capitol
On February 4 th  at the Florida State Capitol, CARD centers from near and far gathered their staff and constituents on the hill for the purpose of bringing awareness to the legislators that determine our yearly monetary allocation. For the past five years, CARD has requested a funding increase to keep up with rising demand and rapidly growing caseloads. Constituents made appointments with the law-makers to share stories of how CARD has positively influenced their lives, while staff helped to facilitate and hosted an information table.
Jeri’s Midtown Café, an FSU CARD Autism-Friendly Business that has received staff training on best practices and also employs individuals on the spectrum, catered a delicious lunch. While enjoying food and fellowship, attendees listened to various speakers including CARD directors and adult clients from various centers. House Representative Chris Latvala, who has been a proponent of expanding the Gardiner Scholarship for special needs students to have options beyond the typical K-12 public school system, spoke about the importance of keeping CARD funded so that our mission and services can continue to benefit the ASD community.

FSU CARDIn the coming weeks, the final figures will be announced and determine center budgets for the coming fiscal year. As always, we appreciate those who are willing to advocate on behalf of CARD!
Life Stories Transition Summit – Sailing into the Future
FSU Center for Autism and Related Disabilities, FDLRS/Emerald Coast, Children’s Medical Services, APD Florida (Agency for Persons with Disabilities), the Empowerment Parent Resource Center, PEPSA, and Project 10 will reschedule this summit in the fall. This free summit will provide young adults and adults with disabilities, their families, and community members with resources and information about transition services and supports across the Panhandle Topics include: supported and independent living, vocational/career planning and support, general health and community supports, and post-secondary education and training. There will also be specific workshops for young adults/adults with disabilities focusing on career choices, dating and relationships, community safety and awareness, and budgeting.ong> Adults (16 and over) with disabilities, parents/caregivers, educators and related service providers, and community members.
WHERE: To be determined
WHEN: Fall 2020
For more information contact Dr. Chrissy Ogilvie at 850-324-6245 or Christine.ogilvie@med.fsu.edu
National Flight Academy
National Flight Academy

By: Christine Ogilvie

The National Flight Academy ,in conjunction with the FSU Center for Autism and Related Disabilities, is looking for scholarship applicants for the 2020 season!

This incredible, immersive experience is a must for teens interested in aviation, STEM technology, and more! We invite your teen to join us in a 1-day, 3-day, or 6-day experience with a staff that is specifically trained by FSU CARD staff on best practices on working with and including students with autism.

Scholarships will cover all costs directly associated with attending the National Flight Academy EXCEPT travel. The National Flight Academy is located in beautiful Pensacola, FL!

A parent of a past participant wrote: “Camp last year changed his life. He will be going to college next year and is studying aviation at Embry Riddle. He wants to be a pilot. He has also started flight lessons and is doing very well. Anyways just wanted you and your donors to know what a difference this program has made for him.” (shared with permission)

Enjoy this video from our past participants!  → HERE

Contact Dr. Chrissy Ogilvie at 850-324-6245 or christine.ogilvie@med.fsu.edu for more information.

Articles

The Larry Mitchell Interchange: Music for All

By: Allison Leatzow

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to perform with a Grammy-winning artist? Well, several musicians got that chance in February! Larry Mitchell, acclaimed Grammy winner performer, producer, and engineer, returned to Tallahassee to conduct multiple guitar clinics culminating in a grand public performance as part of FSU’s prestigious Opening Nights Series sponsored by Arts4All Florida, FSU Autism Institute/CARD, FSU University of Choice, The NEA, and South Art.


The Larry Mitchell Interchange: Music for AllLarry visited with several musically gifted clients of varying abilities from FSU CARD, Leon and Lincoln High Schools, and the FSU University of Choice. This talented ensemble was comprised of singers, string, percussion, and other instrumentalists. The stirring three-part finale of the concert came when Larry played a beautifully harmonized version of one of his original songs, “Tears of a Woman,” with the string and percussion musicians. This was followed by a stirring and emotive reading by Summer Hill Seven of his original poem, “Black Dog Café,” set to improvisational music played by Larry, the strings, and percussion along with the stirring beatbox vocal percussion of one of the performers.

The show concluded with the entire musical ensemble performing John Lennon’s celebrated song “Imagine.” The camaraderie established between the musicians was palpable amongst the audience members witnessing an accomplishment based solely on the collective abilities of everyone involved.

Client Corner

Free access to the Autism Navigator® How-To Guide for Families

FSU CARD is pleased to continue to offer free access to our CARD families with young children not yet old enough to enroll in kindergarten to the online Autism Navigator®  How-To Guide for Families course. This self-paced course will teach caregivers how to use strategies and supports in their everyday activities as well as provide them with access to a variety of “tools” to chart their child’s developmental growth and monitor meaningful outcomes.  This online course is full of video libraries to illustrate how to promote learning and development of their child with ASD.  For more information about the Autism Navigator®  How-To Guide for Families, please visit their  website .  If you are a parent of a young child with FSU CARD and would like to request a code to the How-To Guide for Families, please click this  link:  https://firstwords.fsu.edu/card_h2g/sign_up.php 

In addition to the online course, parents that enrolled in the How-To Guide for Families, will be invited to join a weekly meetup (a Guided Tour) where parents will have the opportunity interact with other families with similar issues from the convenience of their computer, phone or tablet.  We hope to start the next CARD facilitated How-To Guided Tour as soon as 10 to 12 families express an interest in getting one started.

Learn More >>

Autism Navigator
Free access to the Autism Navigator® How-To Guide for Families

FSU CARD is pleased to continue to offer free access to our CARD families with young children not yet old enough to enroll in kindergarten to the online Autism Navigator®  How-To Guide for Families course. This self-paced course will teach caregivers how to use strategies and supports in their everyday activities as well as provide them with access to a variety of “tools” to chart their child’s developmental growth and monitor meaningful outcomes.  This online course is full of video libraries to illustrate how to promote learning and development of their child with ASD.  For more information about the Autism Navigator®  How-To Guide for Families, please visit their  website .  If you are a parent of a young child with FSU CARD and would like to request a code to the How-To Guide for Families, please click this  link:  https://firstwords.fsu.edu/card_h2g/sign_up.php 

In addition to the online course, parents that enrolled in the How-To Guide for Families, will be invited to join a weekly meetup (a Guided Tour) where parents will have the opportunity interact with other families with similar issues from the convenience of their computer, phone or tablet.  We hope to start the next CARD facilitated How-To Guided Tour as soon as 10 to 12 families express an interest in getting one started.

Learn More >>

Baby Navigator
Baby Navigator Website

The Executive Director of FSU CARD and Director of the College of Medicine’s Autism Institute, Dr. Amy Wetherby, launched a new website, BabyNavigator.com, that walks parents through early childhood development and alerts them to early signs of autism.

Click on the article below for more information. HERE →

Share with CARD!

FSU CARD is continuously looking for clients who would like to share their art, writing pieces, or success stories in our quarterly newsletter. If you are interested in sharing for our next issue, please send a message and image electronically to Tammy Dasher (tammy.dasher@med.fsu.edu). All art or writing pieces should be titled. Select submissions will be chosen for each edition of the newsletter; artists and authors will be notified if their article is chosen.

Client Feature: Aaron Dixon
By: Tammy Dasher

Aaron Dixon You know as soon as you step inside Uncle Maddio’s Pizza Joint that you are about to indulge in a little slice (or two) of culinary perfection: with every pie “made right in front of you,” the air is thick with the smell of freshly-baked pizza.

Aaron Dixon is wrapping up his first year of employment at Uncle Maddio’s in Tallahassee. “It’s been great,” he stated in a recent interview. Dixon credits Stephen Tessel of The ARC Big Bend for assisting him in learning the interviewing skills that helped him land the job at the pizza restaurant. But being hired was just the first step; continuing to learn on the job and grow as an employee is a key point in maintaining employment. Without hesitation, Dixon says the best thing about the job is his co-workers. “The workers are so very nice to me, so supportive to me.”

When he’s not working at Uncle Maddio’s, Dixon enjoys expressing himself artistically. “I like to draw, paint, and sculpt [when] I see [things] that inspire me,” he commented. He also likes to play video games, and he is currently spending time learning about music and how to be a DJ.

Dixon gives this advice to other adults with autism: “If you want a job and if you are worried or fixated on your hypersensitivity, it is just a symptom. You can work with it or make it work and do your best. One day you are going to look back [on what you have accomplished] and say I did it!”

Dixon recently participated in Job-a-Palooza, an event held by The ARC Big Bend and sponsored by the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. Job-a-Palooza, held at Tallahassee’s Leon High School earlier in March, promotes employment for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Dixon was featured in a WCTV story highlighting the event. See him in action at Uncle Maddio’s in the clip below:

HERE →

Health & Nutrition

Don’t Eat Your Feelings!
By: Tammy Dasher
Health Food HeartSocial distancing is hard. There is increased worry about the coronavirus pandemic and how it will affect us physically, emotionally, and financially. More and more businesses are closed, and we are advised to “stay home to stay safe.” However, being home can lead to a lot of time on our hands, and that can sometimes lead us to overindulge in “comfort foods.”

Whether you are “eating your feelings” or “stress baking,” these tips from Rush University Medical Center and  Psychology Today can give you some ideas on how to stay nutritionally sound during this difficult time.

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