Watch the Autism Society of Texas on Spectrum News Austin here to see tips on celebrating July 4th and see our suggestions below!
Preparing for July 4th!
1.Plan something that will work for your loved one with autism! Consider what you think your child or teen can handle & pick your activity accordingly. Take into consideration bedtime, crowds, loud noises, and think about what your options are. A family picnic or neighborhood parade might be more enjoyable than fireworks. Also consider watching fireworks from a distance if your child is noise-sensitive!
2. Prepare for the activity! Set your loved one up for success! Whether it’s a parade or fireworks (or both!) discuss it, but more importantly, make a simple story about the activity that explains the who/what/when/where of your activity, and how that will impact the child or teen and what they can do in the situation. The story should have simple descriptions and pictures. Include any fun parts of the day as well as potential scary things and what the individual can do if they feel scared or overwhelmed. How can they take a break? Do they know how to communicate that? You can google pictures from past events if it’s an annual activity like a local fireworks display or a parade. If there’s any videos from past years, show the video too!
3. Bring items to help with sensory issues. Noise reducing or noise canceling headphones can be a life-saver. Try them at home first and make sure your loved one knows they can wear them if needed. Older children, teens and adults may be fine wearing ear plugs. Include this in your story! If light-sensitivity is an issue, offer sunglasses.
4. Bring electronic devices, toys & snacks! Bring things to do and warn about the wait if there will be one! Bring snacks, toys, and activities to do while waiting! Include this in your story! Make sure electronic devices are charged, and if the person uses one for communication, practice how they will let you know if they need a break or need to leave.
5. Have an escape route & pick your location wisely! If you’re doing something that has the potential to be overwhelming, discuss in advance (with other adults attending) how you’re going to remove your child from the situation if things don’t go well. Decide in advance who will leave with the child. You may also want to sit somewhere that is easy to exit from. For kids who are really high energy pick somewhere your child can run or jump around while waiting for the activity.
6. Don’t be afraid to try new things! With preparation and practice, you can accomplish more & more! Over time your loved one with autism may become more comfortable with events and celebrations. When you provide sensory accommodations, breaks, and an exit strategy, it will make your loved one feel less anxious about trying the activity so they can enjoy the fun along with everyone else!
The Autism CARES Act (CARES stands for Collaboration, Accountability, Research, Education, and Support) provides critical funding for support, research, and education. It will expire on September 30, 2019 if not reauthorized before that date.
This law does the following:
•Increases the federal government’s response to the increasing numbers of individuals diagnosed with autism
•Expands & coordinates existing federal efforts including:
- Research being conducted within the National Institutes of Health (NIH)
- Surveillance and awareness activities at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- Professional development and research into evidence-based interventions at the Health, Resources, and Services Administration (HRSA)
- Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) ensures all federal agencies are coordinating their efforts, sharing information, and obtaining input from people on the autism spectrum and family members as well as other outside experts
You can read more here on Autism Society of America’s website, and TAKE ACTION by emailing our Texas U.S. Senators and Representatives at the link below!
Please help to make a difference! Get the Autism CARES Act reauthorized before September 30th! Thank you!
The Hunter Hinze Fund is accepting applications from May 1st-May 31, 2019. The Hunter Hinze Fund helps autistic adults live their dreams and maximize their potential as they transition throughout adulthood. The fund was launched by Dr. J.D. and Kathy Hinze, in conjunction with the Autism Society of Texas to honor the memory of their son, Hunter.
It is their wish that these funds be used for:
•services and supports that would provide autonomy, skill development; or
•a sense of purpose that promotes self-sufficiency and fosters independence.
Grants are available for individuals 18 years and older who have a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder and live Texas. You can read more about the fund here and find the applications here:
Thank you to the Hinze family and so many of you that generously donated to the fund. You have made this possible. The fund takes donations on an ongoing basis.
If you’d like to make a gift to the Hunter Hinze Fund to help adults in transition, you may give a donation online using the “Donate” button at the top right of the screen and in honor/memory of -please include For Hunter Hinze Fund. Or a check can be mailed to Autism Society of Texas, 300 E.Highland Mall Blvd., #205, Austin, TX 78752. Please put Hunter Hinze Fund in memo line. Thank you! Questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
Texas House Appropriations Committee:
Rep. John Zerwas, (512) 463-0657
Rep. Sarah Davis, (512) 463-0389
Rep. Oscar Longoria, (512) 463-0645
Rep. Armando Walle, (512) 463-0924
Rep. Greg Bonnen, (512) 463-0729
Texas Senate Finance Committee:
Senator Jane Nelson, (512) 463-0112
Senator Joan Huffman, (512) 463-0117
Senator Lois Kolkhurst, (512) 463-0118
Senator Larry Taylor, (512) 463-0111
Senator Robert Nichols, (512) 463-0103
April may be over, but as usual, we’ll be spreading acceptance and awareness year-round! Check out our May newsletter! The Hunter Hinze Fund is accepting applications, we have multiple events this month including First Responder Community Day, The Possibility of Disability Art Show, and our Texas Autism Bike Ride and Fun Run makeup event this Sunday!
Read the May newsletter here: https://tinyurl.com/ASTMay19