Monday, October 8, 2012

5 Things Every Parent Of A Child With Autism Should Know

Jennifer Cerbasi
Jennifer is an educational consultant who works with families and educators to establish healthy and productive routines in the home and school. Adapting behavior management techniques she implemented for years as a special educator, she helps parents and teachers adopt these tools to fit their unique needs and priorities. In addition to her one-on-one consulting work, Jennifer speaks to parent and education groups on current topics in education and children's health. For more information, go to

1) A diagnosis does not define your child.

Don't listen to anyone who limits your child because of his diagnosis. The diagnosis is helpful in that it assists in getting your child the services he needs but when discussing his progress, clearly defined goals are what makes the difference. It is important to look realistically at what skills your child is struggling with and address them systematically. 

2) You are part of your child's educational team. Speak up.
Your participation in your child's education is not limited to helping with homework. You have the right- and the power- to ask questions of your child's teacher, case manager, and the school district. Meet with your child's teacher. Attend Board of Education meetings. Get involved in the Parent Teacher Organization. Make sure the school knows who you are and that you are an active part of your child's educational team.

3) Find reliable information. Don't rely on word-of-mouth recommendations.
Both federal and state's Department of Education websites have information regarding the laws, statistics, and grants that are available. Another good resource for information is Wrightslaw, a special education advocacy website. Find practical tips for maximizing your child's educational experience.

4) The teaching assistant assigned to your child has the most impact on your child's education. 
Though the teacher and therapists create and monitor IEP goals, the teaching assistant or shadow working directly with your child spends the most time with her. Since most teaching assistants are not required to hold a teaching certification, ask an administrator what training and support they provide for these important team members throughout the year. Invite the teaching assistant to the IEP meeting so she can contribute to the planning and reporting of goals.

5) Siblings of children with autism are greatly affected by the disorder.
You do your best to balance your attention between all your children but no matter how hard you try, autism will change your family dynamic. Make sure your typically-developing children have an opportunity to express themselves and find support, whether it's talking to you, a counselor, or a support group. The sibling of a child with autism feels a great many things, ranging from frustration to disappointment to even pride in his sibling, and it's important to make sure he feels he has an outlet for all of those emotions.
Lee este articulo en español aquí. 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Wordless Wednesday ~ My favorite soccer player

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Wordless Wednesday ~ enjoying the summer

Monday, July 16, 2012

School district and talented teachers

Today I learn that my son's teacher was let go from our school district. I am referring to a very special person and a excellent teacher. This exceptional person was my daughter's teacher for 4 years as well as my son’s teacher for 2 years. She taught my daughter how to read; and so many others skills that have changed my daughter's life forever. This Teacher saw my daughter's potential and constantly push her forward. I know this person have touch my kids life in such a positive way.
As happy as we were when we learned that my daughter was taken in to our district along with her teacher; nowwe sadly learned that this teacher is not longer working with our kids.  
This is sad because we though she would be my son's teacher next school season. Sadly, this kind of situations are happening very often where districts waist theses talented teachers. Those teachers that intent to push the districts to give the best for the student and use existent resources to the fullest they find themselves without job, Just likethey were doing something wrong when the funding are there.
This king of situations show one more time how districts instead of use this talent to improve the education of our children toward a higher level they get rid of them as a stone in their shoes.
ask to myself what we can do as a parent regarding this issue. Which are our options? After all these kind of decisions affects the life of our kids directly. Aren't we the taxpayers? Who is going to tell me this is the best decision toward the education of my child or that the new teacher is better than the one that is living?
Not only these teacher is good teaching the kids but also training others teachers in her lunch time, trying to get her colleagues to understand better students with special needs. This is also a huge gap on the education system.
I know there are more teachers like her with little or not support from superiors, and unfortunately often timessome districts suck their good energy out of them leaving them exhausted.
Ultimately, I personally do not want to sound negative. I want to push all the parents to advocate for our children.To consider being part of the Child Study Team and participating in our children's I.E.P. When we get active in our school, supporting the education of our children not only we are helping them, but we are also helping thewhole district get better. All parties can benefit from participating and helping.
Aqui si quieres leer este artículo en español.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Wordless Wednesday-Space Needle Seattle

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


Finally I can said I am done with my four I.E.P. (individual education plan) for this year! For different reason 4 of my kids have a I.E.P.
In spring and beginning of summer is I.E.P. season because the Child Study Team (C.S.T.) needs to plan  for the next school year.
For me this time of the year is a little bit overwhelming due to the pressure that I have to assure the best for everyone of my kids.
I have to confess that is a little bit intimidating too because every time is a new child study team member or a issue that I have to address. My voice in the meeting is my kids voice and the better the I.E.P. more chances that the student have to succeed.
Every year The Child Study Team formulate a new I.E.P. base on the old I.E.P goals that have not meet or new goals that are appropriate for each child and his individual situation. Let say an appropriate goal is to learn to tied shoes for a 6 o 7 years old kid is normal, but if the student have a motor skill delay probably is not a realistic goal.
Every year there are different situation too like in my family one of my kids was sick a lot so he miss a lot of school days and could not meet all the goal, other of my kids was in a new school so the  I.E.P. was base in her adaptation to the new environment.
For so many reason the goal have to be a realistic as possible and most important as individual as possible.
For each I.E.P. meeting I tray to prepare myself the best I can. For me this meeting are very important because they defind the next year.
I recommend:
  1. Try to rest well the night before not only we look better but also we can be more concentrate and focus better
  2. Make a list with the needs of our child, it can be academics or not academics,learn to cross the street, need one on one ratio teacher etc.
  3. make a list with the strength and talents of our child, "peter enjoy music",is very good in sports, etc.
  4. Be Positive and stay positive during the meeting, stay open to their recommendations.
I consider very important to let the C.S.T. any special situation for the next year like a moving, important trip or surgery, any important event  that we are planing in that way they can help our child in the process.
Avoid to make this mistake : I want this or that for my child, or I have the right to....The correct way to speak would be I think my child need or My child right is...The reason I mention is because we have to remanning ourself that the district have the obligation to provide free and quality education for the child not to the parents.
I have done that mistake too we get emotional and that is not the best way to advocate for our kids.
Best of all relax! the I.E.P. are review once a year or as needed.
The best you can do is inform yourself I recommend S.P.A.N. thy provide trying and support for parents and educators.
This are only recommendation base on my own experience.Inform yourself before to take an important decision. Contact me with any question.
Count with me!
If you want to read this post in spanish click here.

Friday, May 18, 2012

8th Annual Beach Bash

Autism Family Services of New Jersey present the 8th Annual Beach Bash.This is my favorite event of the year. We go every year the activities are so well organize and everybody have fun. The food is delicious and there are tons of freebies and food tastings.The registration is open now! click here to register today.
Contact Autism Families Services of New Jersey for any question
(877) 237 4477 or (609) 392 4900
See you there!!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Day for Children with Autism at Sesame Place

Sesame Place is having a day exclusive for   children with autism and their families  on Saturday 21st 20012 from 10 am. to 4pm.
Families are require to  register prior event click here for more information.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Wordless Wednesday~Vacation

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Wordless Wednesday~ STOP SOPA & PIPA

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Wordless Wednesday ~ At the doctor

Monday, January 2, 2012

Let's start a Healthy 2012!

Happy 2012! I am so enthusiastic this year I have many protects I want to accomplish. The first thing is I want to improve my diet. I started last Year ( not last month), eating more fruit, seeds, and row vegetables and a few days I stared to see some changes in my body specially my skin improves a lot Right a way. Mind wile my kids star to see different meals on the table, more colors, other textures and they started to try, (yeiiii!) and putting their own hands in the kitchen until they start they own recipes.  Lala (5) love to makes fruit smoothies. I guess it fun for them to combine the fruits or see how they blend together in the blender. I like this specially because she is not using milk or yogurt or sugar, she using the richness of banana to make it thicker .This smoothie is simple, sweet and Delicious we all like it! I hop you try it too.

In this recipe:

 Banana: Good source of of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin C, Potassium and Manganese, and a very good source of Vitamin B6
 Apple: contains Niacin, Calcium and Potassium, and a very good source of Vitamin A and Vitamin C.
Orange: contains Thiamin, Folate and Potassium, and a very good source of Vitamin C.