Sunday, January 25, 2015

Wrightslaw Training

Pat Howry gave us some good ideas that had many parents talking about what they could do to help their child and other children in the area. Several requested a return trip by the people of Wrightslaw! Thank you to Bayview Hospital for giving us space to hold the training, CBAA for being a sponsor and the many participants who attended.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

New ASRC Board Member

ASRC is excited to announce that Anthony Zoccolillo has joined the Board of the Autism Spectrum Resource Center. Please welcome Anthony to our Agency.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Coastal Bend Autism Advocacy has agreed to help sponsor our Wright's Law training. One way that is being passed on to parents is a discount for early registration for parents. There is now an option for a discounted rate of $30.00 if you register now! Register now before you lose the change for the discounted rate!! The Training will take place January 24, 2015. Bayview Hospital is allowing us to use their gym for the training.

Friday, November 21, 2014

ASRC staff member Monica Jimenez hugs Charity League member Adrienne Evans Williams after the Charity League donates $3005 from their Holiday Fundraiser!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Wrights Law From Emotion to Advocacy

In From Emotions to Advocacy training programs (one day, 6 hours), parent advocate Pat Howey teaches you how to take an active role in managing your child's special education, the gentle art of disagreeing, and how to maintain healthy working relationships with the school.

You will learn:

how to assess your child's strengths and needs
how to prepare a Parent Report for the IEP team
how to build healthy working relationships with school personnel
how to document information that may prevent or resolve disputes
how to participate as an equal member of your child's IEP team
Wrightslaw programs are designed to meet the needs of parents, educators, health care providers, advocates and attorneys who represent children with disabilities regarding special education. The program is not disability specific.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

ASRC Third Annual Talent Show

The third annual ASRC Talent Show was held on Saturday, August 2. Organized by ASRC Program Director Monica Jimenez Brown, the talent show gave individuals with autism, the opportunity to display their abilities. Some of the performances included dancing, singing, a magic show, skits about turtles, music instruments, and a martial arts demonstration. Participants received a certificate at the end of the showcase. The talent show continues to be one of the most asked about events at ASRC. Congratulations to all who participated!

July 2014 Highlights

The month of July concluded the ASRC Fun in the Sun summer activities. Families met on Tuesday mornings, to play games outside, at a local park. Kickball, kite flying, and frisbee tossing, were just some of the fun activities the children enjoyed, as parents conversed with each other.
The activities were also on Thursday evenings, to allow working parents and caregivers to bring their families, to participate in games such as balloon badminton, basketball, Nerf Tag, and ball toss.
The Fun in The Sun activities closed with a meal that was enjoyed by all. Thank you to all of the ASRC families who attended and participated.

The end of July brought another book fair. The ASRC book fair was held at Barnes & Noble, and featured community story time readers, parent volunteers, and superheroes from Texas Toyz. A local news station also stopped by to interview me, and take pictures of ASRC staff giving a thumbs up! The proceeds from the book fair go towards the ASRC library, a wonderful resource for classrooms, parents, educators, and individuals with autism, and their families.
Thank you to everyone who helped make this book fair a success!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


The following first appeared on this blog in July 2013. When a recent routine check up with my son's neurologist, I was dismayed to be told that several parents who's children receive special education services at public school, and are diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome, had their services eliminated from school. Sharing this post again, which explains the new changes to the DSM 5.

MONDAY, JULY 1, 2013
"New DSM-5 includes changes to autism criteria"
Copyright © 2013, The American Academy of Pediatrics
New DSM-5 includes changes to autism criteria
Susan L. Hyman, M.D., FAAP
The American Psychiatric Association has just published the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). The diagnostic criteria for autism spectrum disorder has been modified based on the research literature and clinical experience in the 19 years since the DSM-IV was published in 1994.
Changes include:
The diagnosis will be called Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and there no longer will be subdiagnoses (Autistic Disorder, Asperger Syndrome, Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified, Disintegrative Disorder).
In DSM-IV, symptoms were divided into three areas (social reciprocity, communicative intent, restricted and repetitive behaviors). The new diagnostic criteria have been rearranged into two areas: 1) social communication/interaction, and 2) restricted and repetitive behaviors. The diagnosis will be based on symptoms, currently or by history, in these two areas
Although symptoms must begin in early childhood, they may not be recognized fully until social demands exceed capacity. As in the DSM-IV, symptoms must cause functional impairment.
All of the following symptoms describing persistent deficits in social communication/interaction across contexts, not accounted for by general developmental delays, must be met:
Problems reciprocating social or emotional interaction, including difficulty establishing or maintaining back-and-forth conversations and interactions, inability to initiate an interaction, and problems with shared attention or sharing of emotions and interests with others.
Severe problems maintaining relationships — ranges from lack of interest in other people to difficulties in pretend play and engaging in age-appropriate social activities, and problems adjusting to different social expectations.
Nonverbal communication problems such as abnormal eye contact, posture, facial expressions, tone of voice and gestures, as well as an inability to understand these.
Two of the four symptoms related to restricted and repetitive behavior need to be present:
Stereotyped or repetitive speech, motor movements or use of objects.
Excessive adherence to routines, ritualized patters of verbal or nonverbal behavior, or excessive resistance to change.
Highly restricted interests that are abnormal in intensity or focus.
Hyper or hypo reactivity to sensory input or unusual interest in sensory aspects of the environment.
Symptoms must be present in early childhood but may not become fully manifest until social demands exceed capacities. Symptoms need to be functionally impairing and not better described by another DSM-5 diagnosis.
Symptom severity for each of the two areas of diagnostic criteria is now defined. It is based on the level of support required for those symptoms and reflects the impact of co-occurring specifiers such as intellectual disabilities, language impairment, medical diagnoses and other behavioral health diagnoses.
Rett syndrome is a discrete neurologic disorder and is not a subdiagnosis under ASD, although patients with Rett syndrome may have ASD.
Because almost all children with DSM-IV confirmed autistic disorder or Asperger syndrome also meet diagnostic criteria under DSM-5, re-diagnosis is not necessary. Referral for reassessment should be based on clinical concern. Children given a PDD-NOS diagnosis who had few DSM-IV symptoms of autism or who were given the diagnosis as a “placeholder” might be considered for more specific diagnostic evaluation.
Patients may wish to continue to self identify as having Asperger syndrome, although the DSM-5 diagnostic category will be ASD.
Clinicians should note that children with ASD also should be evaluated for a speech and language diagnosis in addition to the ASD to inform appropriate therapy.