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Training Everyone to Deal With Autism

Posted Aug 01 2012 12:00am

Dropper fire By Anne Dachel

August 2, 2012 Pasco, WA CBS 19 Mom: Autistic son denied haircut at Kennewick JC Penney HERE

A Richland mom tells KEPR her son was denied a free haircut at the JC Penney salon because he has Autism.

She had seen an ad for free kids haircuts at the store all through the month of August.

So, she was absolutely shocked when nanny Sarah Buchkoski took the 10-year old to the Kennewick store, only to be quickly turned away.

“He likes to cover his ears,” says Buchkoski, “and the stylist asked what he was doing. I explained he has Autism, and she said I can’t cut his hair. I don’t cut hair for kids with special needs.”

To get all sides of the story, Action News spoke to a salon supervisor, and one of the store managers. The did not want to go on camera, but insist that JC Penney does not discriminate in any way.

KEPR learned the store fully intends to resolve the incident and offered to come to Krista’s home to do the haircut for free, or to open the store early for her convenience so her son could be the only customer in the salon. JC Penney explained that it plans to take corrective action once the specific stylist is identified.

The Kennewick store cut hair for more than 300 kids Wednesday. This is the first year for this promotion.

But for Krista, there won’t be a future. At least not at JC Penney.

She claims her repeated calls to the store manager and the salon manager have yet to be returned. All she wants is an apology.

This seems to be the rage right now—-train people who deal with children about autism.

Why? Well, because we have so many of these kids and they can be really different from anything you’ve ever dealt with before.

Why are they like this? We don’t really know, but there are so many of them that everyone needs to learn about what autism is like.

That’s the future, folks–we live in a world that has to deal with a disorder that’s overwhelming a generation of children and that paralyzes health officials.

Hair dressers are just one group that needs to be educated about autism. There are endless stories in the news currently. A couple of the stories I included mention the rate for autism—but there’s no explanation for why there’s a need for training or for the numbers. This is all anyone has to offer when it comes to autism.

Danville, VA Teachers get lesson on autism awareness HERE

As autism awareness increases, questions regarding the disorder are changing — especially for teachers.

Cherie Arnn, director of autism services for the Madeline Center on West Main Street in Danville, taught certification courses this summer at the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research to help teachers work with autistic students.

The first course focused on what to expect from the student and the second was on behavior modification.

Most of the teachers are local, but some come from outside the area just because the certification is often highly sought out.

Arnn has taught the classes for several years now.

“They keep asking me back because of the interest,” said Arnn.

When Averett was preparing for the resource center, they surveyed teachers in the region and 100 percent said they had an autistic student in their classroom at one time.

Arnn hopes by having these courses every year, more people will not only be aware of autism but help to understand it.

Chambersburg PA: Autism training set for Aug. 14 HERE

“Essentially, we’re opening it up to the entire community,” said Zima. “The hope is that we’ll really be able to work together and develop a collaboration between what we’re doing in school vs. what’s going on at home vs. what’s going on with their alternative services such as BHRS.”

Zima was hired by the district in June.

“Lauren is coming aboard because these students have not only special educational needs but also special behavioral needs,” said Assistant Superintendent Eric Michael. “She gives us that expertise, strategies and coaching to help teachers in dealing with their students on a daily basis within their school.

Montgomery County MD Montgomery schools expand autism services HERE


Montgomery County schools will expand autism services this fall, bringing new resources to high school students as the school system works to increase the range of programs available to an exceedingly diverse and fast-growing part of the special-education population.

The number of students diagnosed with autism in the county has risen dramatically in the past decade, from about 400 in the 2001-02 school year to just more than 1,900 by June 2012.Montgomery County and other school systems across the country have had to race to keep up with new diagnoses and wide-ranging needs.

School officials said they are training staff in the high schools this summer about appropriate social and behavioral support for autism. In the past year, they also trained hundreds of bus drivers and psychologists across the county to help them assess autism and respond safely and effectively to students with autism.

Springfield, IL: Ball-Chatham teachers learn to work with autistic students HERE

While some of their classmates probably were spending the summer day at a real beach, these three were at school Thursday to help Ball-Chatham School District teachers and staff members put into practice the skills they had been learning during a week’s worth of lessons on working with students with autism.

The district serves 70 students with autism spectrum disorders. These developmental brain disorders can affect students’ social interactions, communication and behavior, and they vary widely in severity.

“Autism is somewhat of an enigma,” special education director Jennifer Barham said. “Every child is different, and everyone falls at a different place on the spectrum, so it’s not that we can come out with one strategy or one methodology that will work for everyone. There isn’t that quick fix.”

D’Iberville, MS Conference breaks down communication barriers for autistic children HERE

Children with autism often lack communication and social skills, and those behavioral challenges can prevent them from learning at home and at school. This week, parents and educators are picking-up some alternative teaching techniques at an Autistic Conference in D’Iberville.

“A lot of times it’s a screaming match. It’s head butting. He can become very distraught very easily. So then, of course, the other children don’t want to play with him because they don’t understand,” said Ervin. Thirty-five parents, family members, friends, and teachers are learning how to break down the communication and education barriers when working with autistic children. For instance, they can use pictures, sign language, and stories that focus on social interaction.

“We wanted to bring together parents and education personnel so they would both hear the same techniques, so parents would understand what teachers are going to be doing in their classrooms, and also how they can follow up at home,” said June Burr, Director of Center Operations.

Springfield, IL Firefighters to get autism awareness training HERE

Illinois firefighters and paramedics will begin getting special training to help people with autism and related disorders.

The new program will help them recognize the disorders and understand techniques to communicate.

The online training will be free for first responders.

State Fire Marshal Larry Matkaitis said the training is important for first responders to understand how someone with autism may respond in high stress situations like a fire.

Beloit WI Catch the Wave offers special needs instruction HERE

At a swim club convention in Houston early this year,

‎Billings MT Autism conference set at MSU Billings downtown HERE

A two-day autism conference will offer help to families navigating major transitions.

“Autism: Life Transitions from Pre-School to Adult Life” will be Aug. 2 and 3 at the Montana State University Billings downtown conference center at the corner of Third Avenue North and Broadway.

Sponsored by MSU Billings and Easter Seals, the conference is designed for families and teachers of autistic children.

Austin TX Law enforcement trainer teaching class on responding to people with autism HERE

Debbaudt didn’t fault the shopper for alerting security, but the experience, which occurred years ago, piqued his interested in how law enforcement interacts with people who have autism. Now Debbaudt, an author and trainer of law enforcement officers, said he focuses on helping them learn how best to respond to people with autism.

‎ The goal is to improve first responders’ understanding of the disorder, she said, and the agency has been canvassing communities statewide to find out if they’re interested in hosting such a training for law enforcement professionals and the community.

Autism affects 1 in 88 children, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Classes have so far been scheduled for San Antonio, Denton and Harlingen, Cavuto said, while Austin hosted similar training sessions in June.

Quincy IL Quincy teachers receive Autism training HERE

The first day of school is less than a month away in Quincy and teachers are getting ready.

Local special education teachers got some extra pointers Tuesday as an Autism Spectrum workshop brought in special education and para-educators from around the area.

The workshop prepares teachers how to better work with children who have Autism Spectrum disorders.

“This training is to go over interventions that will be used in Autism and other special ed classrooms. We’re focusing on physical structure, we’re focusing on behavior and communication,” Lori Miles, Special Education teacher at Baldwin Intermediate School, said.

The skills taught in the workshop can be used immediately once school starts in August.

San Diego CA New program trains parents of children with autism HERE

A new program provides group behavioral training to San Diego parents together with their children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Vista Hill, a San Diego center for the treatment and support of mental and developmental disabilities, is offering the FIT (Family Intensive Training) program. The workshop has parents working together with other parents and the support of a personal behavioral coach to teach their children social skills and provide help in managing behaviors that may isolate families and limit their ability to enjoy social activities. Star Specialties, a service of Vista Hill, is providing the group behavioral training.

Cartersville, GA Putting together the puzzle: Officers receive training on autism HERE

‎ Hill and his mother, Brenda Smith, spoke Friday morning during “Law Enforcement: Your Piece to the Autism Puzzle,” a training class for representatives of the Bartow County Sheriff’s Office on dealing with those affected by autism.

Brenda Smith commended the group on providing education to employees about autism spectrum disorders.

“I think the biggest concern with having a child with autism is the wandering part. They don’t know they’re lost. In their mind, they’re not lost but you are because you can’t find them,” Smith said, adding that Hill has made tremendous progress after intensive therapy.

“The other thing I would mention to you is that he thinks of you as his equal. So, that’s an issue we deal with, too. Like, he thinks he’s an adult sometimes and that he can communicate with me like an adult, so he’s not intimidated by you even if you have on a uniform,” she said.

“Autism, according to the CDC, now affects one in 88 children and one in 54 boys. That translates to we have 2 million children now in America affected by autism. That’s roughly a 17 percent increase yearly, which means, translated to you, that you are seven times more likely this year than you were last year to respond to a call where a child is affected by autism,” Marcus said.

“I think the importance in getting this training out to you today is that our system, the infrastructure of our society, will soon be hit with a tidal wave of these children becoming adults. And, once they become adults, for whatever reason — there’s some controversy there, if it’s hormonal or what happens — they become very aggressive,” Marcus said.

“That’s the reason why autism is such a puzzle,” Hackett-Hayes said. “We treat it and we treat it the best we can, but we don’t know the specific cause or where it comes from.”

Denton, TX Autism class geared for first responders HERE

But Carmichael, a former professional basketball player who has organized autism conferences and championed other causes for people with autism, knew what to do. He put together a partnership to bring respected trainer Dennis Debbaudt to North Texas to offer a free class for first responders, health care workers and other professionals.

When Debbaudt wrote his first autism bulletin for the FBI in 2001, he found research showing that people with developmental disabilities are seven times more likely to have contact with law enforcement than a member of the general community.

Since then, autism rates have continued to increase. This spring, a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention put the current rate of autism at one in 88 births.

When Debbaudt first began training sessions in the 1990s, a few hands would go up after he’d asked a room with 100 people whether they had heard the word “autism.”

Today, he says he couldn’t ask that question with any credibility. Instead, he asks whose life has been touched by autism, and 30 or 40 hands go up. Then he asks who has a family member with autism.

“Still, about 20 hands go up,” Debbaudt said.

The training spends a little bit of time explaining autism and how a first responder is going to know, in the field, whether a person might have it. No one expects first responders to do a field diagnosis but, he said, there will be clues — a puzzle piece magnet on the car or a neighbor coming out to share information.

Excuse me. There’s a serious problem here. Something is wrong when teachers, hair dressers, parents and police officers need to be trained to deal with a specific population of children. When is someone going to tell us where all these kids are coming from?

The reason I included so many is because THESE STORIES ARE EVERYWHERE.

This begs the question: What if our children were victims of some terrible health problem and doctors and health officials just ignored it?

I guess we’d just have to deal with it the best we could on our own.

Anne Dachel is Media Editor for Age of Autism. You can subscribe to her website at

Posted by Age of Autism at August 07, 2012 at 5:46 AM in Anne Dachel Permalink

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