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Zoo Walk April 24

June 2016

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Lanier Weed Presents at Autism Conference in Chicago

Lining up to start the Zoo Walk
Lanier Weed presenting at the 2016 Autism One Conference
Lanier Weed recently made a presentation to Autism One Conference in Chicago, showing parents and professionals how she communicates via iPad using the "Facilitated Communication" technique. At age 16, Facilitated Communication, was introduced to Lanier, and she immediately responded. Her first words typed were "Thank you for releasing my voice." Over the next 18 months, Lanier revealed through her typing that she has a high intelligence; her style of typing and metaphoric use of words are not only stunning, but gripping. Although she can communicate, Lanier's disabilities are such that she requires a caretaker with her 24/7.
 
Lanier and her facilitator Morgan Tyner joined Matthew Hayes (who will be featured in a PBS documentary) on stage to type about their autism and answer questions from the audience. Their iPads were projected on screens so the audience could witness the painstaking task to type out each word. The goal of the presentation was relaying the importance of presuming competence for persons with profound disabilities. Lanier and Mathew shared their experience of finding their voice, overcoming prejudice, and their efforts in advocacy.
 
Parents, therapists and medical personnel attending the conference watched as these two teens shared their message of hope.

Watch a video of Lanier & friends typing and answering questions.
 
Watch the Autism One presentation.
 
Learn more about Facilitated Communication and Syracuse University, which trained Leslie Weed and Morgan.
 
Many thanks to Bobby Weed, Lori Kerch, and Josh Rotta for making this presentation possible. 

The Great Ponte Vedra Paddle
Presented by One Call Care Management

Save the Date! Monday, September 5, Labor Day Fun For Everyone

Registration is open for The Great Ponte Vedra Paddle presented by One Call Care Management. Join us Labor Day – Monday, September 5 at 8:00 AM at Mickler's Landing in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL.
 
This stand up paddleboard, or SUP, event includes a 1-mile sprint, 3-mile race, 5 mile-distance race, or The Great Sand & Sea Obstacle Course for kids 12 and under! Prizes will be awarded to the top three male and female competitors in the SUP races, teen competitors in the 1- and 3-mile races, and fastest team and individual, and the best costumes in The Great Sand and Sea Obstacle Course.
 
Register Now!

HEAL board member Dana Current recruited 18 founding members to create, organize and execute the Great Ponte Vedra Paddle. The group integrated the stand up paddle competition into a family fun Labor Day event to benefit HEAL. Last year’s Great Ponte Vedra Paddle was the largest SUP board race of its kind, attracting 225 competitors and 500+ family and friends on the beach cheering the participants on!
 
The fun begins at 7:30 AM for registration on Labor Day Monday, September 5 at the Mickler's Landing beach access at the intersection of A1A and Ponte Vedra Boulevard in Ponte Vedra Beach. Register now to avoid the lines!
 
Click here to volunteer for this event.
 
Watch our video.
2016 Sponsor Information

Tracking Children With Autism

By Bob Culliton


Global positioning systems (GPS) are now a part of our everyday lives. They provide us driving directions, make sure we don't get lost on hikes, navigate to that elusive fishing hole, and help us achieve our personal fitness goals. GPS has become indispensable.

Recently, a new type of GPS product has come to the market: small GPS trackers. Via a cellular connection, a GPS tracker provides its location information in near real time to a website or mobile app. These very small devices can provide the whereabouts of our loved ones, including children, teenage drivers, and even the family dog.

To help prevent our loved ones from wandering too far, most products on the market include alerts that can trigger a notification when the tracker leaves a predefined area. Some trackers include speed information and a history of the tracker’s location. One company has added an innovative new feature which marries the tracker location and your phone’s camera to show the tracker's location and distance when the phone is pointed in its direction.

With recent advances in capabilities, size and battery life, these devices have become terrific way help keep track of our elderly parents and our special needs children, who are most at risk for wandering off.

Because these devices use a cellular connection, all manufacturers require a cellular plan to be purchased. GPS trackers require power, and come with a connection to a power source or a rechargeable battery.
 

Bob Culliton, HEAL dad and director of the Rising Stars Baseball Program, is working with the leading GPS tracker company, Wonder Technology Solutions. Their new product, Trax Play, is the smallest, most feature-rich and least expensive GPS tracker on the market. Bob has worked with Wonder Technology Solutions to offer HEAL families a special discount on the product. Until July 31, HEAL families will receive a 20% savings on the $99 tracker.

To purchase, visit traxfamily.com and click the “Buy Now” button. Then select “Buy Now” for the device. Choose the device and service option (if desired) and add to cart. Click on the “Go to checkout” button. On the checkout page, click the “+” next to “Discount Codes”. In the “Enter your coupon code” space enter: HEAL2016. There is no shipping charge.
 
Many law enforcement agencies offer resources regarding elopement issues — contact your local law community affairs office to see what is available in your area.

Learn more about wandering in children with Autism.

Summer's Here!

By Jennifer Nunes M.Ed.


The end of the school year can be both a relief and a stressor because of changes in routines. Both parents and children look forward to no homework, free time, and a more flexible schedule in the summer. But for some families, these changes can create stress for children who benefit from structure. Because children with Autism often rely on established and predictable routines, the flexible days of summer can be confusing, especially for children who have limited receptive and expressive language deficits.

One way parents can ensure a successful and relaxing summer break is to use some of the classroom supports and strategies that your child’s teacher uses during the school year!

1. Predictable Schedules — Use your iPad!
Using a daily, weekly or monthly calendar with picture supports can help your child understand what they are doing daily, when they are going on vacation, or when they are visiting family and friends. Using a calendar can decrease anxiety in your child, and is a great language building activity!

2. Positive Behavior Rewards — Use your iPad!
Use classdojo.com to reward your child daily. This website is a free resource that parents and teachers can use to pay attention to positive choices and behaviors. By using this website, your child can see the points they are earning, watch motivational videos that are animated, and feel successful throughout their day!

3. “If you... Then you...” — Use this approach for all ages and abilities! Use an “If you... Then you...” approach all summer long! This approach reinforces the real world expectation of having to work first, then play that your child experiences during the school year. The difficulty of the task does not have to be significant for this approach to work! The true learning provided by this approach is in the waiting for what they want to do. For example, “If you clean up your toys, you can earn 30 minutes iPad free time.” This approach can make a big impact on your child’s ability to learn to delay gratification, and work towards a goal!
 
Using the simple strategies above will provide your child with an understanding of their summer schedule, more attention for their positive behavior choices, and practice in working towards a simple goal. Your child will build confidence, feel successful and have an easier transition back to school!

Upcoming Events in Northeast Florida

 
DATE EVENT
May 29 - June 25 Arc Life Experience 2016 - Participants aged 18 and up obtain a sneak preview and crash course on living independently. Individuals will work on social emotional skills, leisure skills and daily living tasks. Accepting applications now – Session is $3,900 for a four-week session. CDC/MedWaiver accepted. For more information and applications, contact 904-620-3890 or Arcjacksonville.org.
May 31 - Aug. 5 Dramaworks Summer Camp with Healthy U Now - This is an improvisational inclusion program for children through young adults who are on the mild to moderate end of the spectrum. Individuals with related disorders are also welcome. Camp begins at 9:00 AM and is held at Christ Episcopal Church, 400 San Juan Drive in Ponte Vedra. Contact Healthy U Now for more information at 904-834-2938 or contact@healthyunow.org.
June 6 - Aug. 4 LEAP into Summer - Beaches Speech Therapy and Occuplay are holding week long camps all summer long! For children ages 2-5, this camp will emphasize language enrichment, play and social engagement. Registered therapists and interns will facilitate small, fun groups. For more information contact beachesspeechtherapy@outlook.com or nancy@occuplayinc.com.
June 20-21 Riding the Wave of Autism Surf Camp with City of Jacksonville Beach! - Two days of ocean fun for kids 8 and up! Must be comfortable in the water and have a parent or guardian on the beach. Email info@healautismnow.org for an application. Priority will be given to Jacksonville residents.
June 20 - 29 Summer Camp at Keystone - Preschoolers from 18 months through kindergarten. Designed to develop positive social skills. Contact Keystone at 904-619-6071 or at info@keystonebehavioral.com.
June 28 - Aug. 2 Support Group for Autism Siblings - Back by popular demand is a 6-week support group designed just for the unique needs of Autism siblings. Weekly session is divided by age group and led by Erin Porter, LMHC, NCC. Contact Puzzle Peace Counseling by visiting their website at puzzlepeacecounseling.com.
June 29 Surfers for Autism Registration opens for 7th Annual First Coast Beach Festival in Flagler Beach. SFA will spend a day teaching individuals with Autism to surf and have fun in the water on August 20. This great event fills up fast so register your child or young adult to participate now, or sign up to volunteer for this fun day! Visit SurfersforAutism.org for more information.
July 1 Gentry Groshell Gallery Opening - 6:00 to 9:00 PM at the Grand Bohemian Gallery, 49 King Street, St. Augustine. Some of her originals and exclusive prints are for sale through the Gallery. Gentry was diagnosed with Autism at the age of 2. Click here for more information about this talented artist.
July 3 - 30 Arc Life Experience 2016 - Participants aged 18 and up obtain a sneak preview and crash course on living independently. Individuals will work on social emotional skills, leisure skills and daily living tasks. Accepting applications now – Session is $3,900 for a four-week session. CDC/MedWaiver accepted. For more information and applications, contact 904-620-3890 or Arcjacksonville.org.
July 5 - 29 Camp Possible at Henderson Haven - This summer’s weekly themes include Petting Zoo, Dr. Seuss, Winter Wonderland and Wacky Water Week with a Water Slide! Contact Henderson Haven to find out if this camp is right for your child at 904-264-2522 or by emailing info@hendersonhaven.org.
July 9 Sensory Friendly Films: The Secret Life of Pets - AMC & ASA are bringing families an opportunity to go to the movies in a safe accepting environment on a monthly basis. Lights are brought up, sound is turned down, and families may bring their own snacks. Movies are shown at the AMC Regency 24 at the Regency Center Square. All viewings are held at 10:00 AM or 7:00 PM. Click here for more information.
July 9 Special Olympics Duval Summer Bowling Begins! - Three locations: Batt Family Fun Center, Jax Lanes and Bowl America. Mark your calendar for your local Special Olympics programs. Email them for more information on their events through the summer at karen@specialolympicsduval.org.
July 12 Sensory Friendly Films: The BFG - AMC & ASA are bringing families an opportunity to go to the movies in a safe accepting environment on a monthly basis. Lights are brought up, sound is turned down, and families may bring their own snacks. Movies are shown at the AMC Regency 24 at the Regency Center Square. All viewings are held at 10:00 AM or 7:00 PM. Click here for more information.
July 17 Special Needs Introduction to Yoga Workshop - Sign up now for this workshop offered to those with Special Needs and their families. Flip Dog Yoga and Angelica O’Shea will hold the workshop at Big Fish Power Yoga Studio, 3852 South Third Street, Jacksonville Beach, at the South Beach Regional Shopping Center (also home to Home Depot and Trader Joe’s). This workshop includes a presentation detailing the benefits of yoga, a Q & A session, and a yoga demonstration and practice. Enrollment is limited to 30 participants. This workshop will be followed by a six-week series, arranged by age, starting on Sunday, July 24. Email flipdogyogallc@gmail.com for a registration form.
July 26 Sensory Friendly Films: Ghostbusters - AMC & ASA are bringing families an opportunity to go to the movies in a safe accepting environment on a monthly basis. Lights are brought up, sound is turned down, and families may bring their own snacks. Movies are shown at the AMC Regency 24 at the Regency Center Square. All viewings are held at 10:00 AM or 7:00 PM. Click here for more information.
July 30 Special Olympics – Area 5 Surfing at Big Talbott Island - Mark your calendar for your local Special Olympics programs. Email them for more information on their events through the summer at karen@specialolympicsduval.org.
Aug. 9 Sensory Friendly Films: Suicide Squad - AMC & ASA are bringing families an opportunity to go to the movies in a safe accepting environment on a monthly basis. Lights are brought up, sound is turned down, and families may bring their own snacks. Movies are shown at the AMC Regency 24 at the Regency Center Square. All viewings are held at 10:00 AM or 7:00 PM. Click here for more information.
Aug. 10 Surfers for Autism Registration opens for 7th Annual North Coast Beach Festival in Jacksonville Beach. SFA will spend a day teaching individuals with Autism to surf and have fun in the water on September 24. This great event fills up fast so register your child or young adult to participate now, or sign up to volunteer for this fun day! Visit SurfersforAutism.org for more information.
Aug. 13 Sensory Friendly Films: Pete's Dragon - AMC & ASA are bringing families an opportunity to go to the movies in a safe accepting environment on a monthly basis. Lights are brought up, sound is turned down, and families may bring their own snacks. Movies are shown at the AMC Regency 24 at the Regency Center Square. All viewings are held at 10:00 AM or 7:00 PM. Click here for more information.
Aug. 20 7th Annual First Coast Beach Festival with Surfers for Autism in Flagler Beach. Register in advance for this family day of fun with a great Florida non-profit. They will be at Flagler Beach Pier from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Visit SurfersforAutism.org for more information or to register in advance.
Aug. 23 Sensory Friendly Films: War Dogs - AMC & ASA are bringing families an opportunity to go to the movies in a safe accepting environment on a monthly basis. Lights are brought up, sound is turned down, and families may bring their own snacks. Movies are shown at the AMC Regency 24 at the Regency Center Square. All viewings are held at 10:00 AM or 7:00 PM. Click here for more information.
Sept. 5 The Great Ponte Vedra Paddle Benefiting HEAL at Mickler's Landing. Save the date and start your Stand Up Paddleboard training now! This outing is fun for the whole family. Join us for 3 Paddle races, the new Great Sea and Sand Challenge for kids 12 and under, music, and fun at the beach. Email events@healautismnow.org for information on sponsorships and tents. Registration opens soon.
Sept. 6 iHEAL and HEAL Grant applications for fall will be accepted from September 6 to September 30. Grants must be postmarked in September. Visit our website for information and to download the forms.
Sep. 24 7th Annual North Coast Beach Festival with Surfers for Autism in Jacksonville Beach. Register in advance for this family day of fun with a great Florida non-profit. They will be in Jax Beach at 1515 First St. N from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Visit SurfersforAutism.org for more information or to register in advance.
Feb. 23 - 24, 2017 The HEAL Valley of Dreams & Charity Golf Classic - You don’t want to miss the 10 year anniversary of the Valley of Dreams, the event that transformed HEAL and Northeast Florida’s Autism Community. Thursday night cocktails and Friday golf at TPC Sawgrass! More information coming soon!
Apr. 30, 2017 HEAL Zoo Walk for Autism 2017 - This annual walk is a great way to see the Zoo, catch up with old friends, and make new ones! Plan to join HEAL and take a “Walk on the Wild Side” at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens! Don’t miss the Afterparty with Patty Crosby, face painting, bouncy houses and more!
Copyright © 2016 HEAL Foundation, All rights reserved.


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