Friday, January 30, 2009

ASA event: Movie Change at Sensory-Friendly Showing at AMC Theaters

AMC Entertainment (AMC) and ASA have teamed up to bring families affected by autism and other disabilities a special opportunity to enjoy their favorite films in a safe and accepting environment on a monthly basis with the "Sensory Friendly Films" program. Click HERE for more details. The New York movie is NOT Hotel for Dogs, it is Paul Blart: Mall Cop.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

NAA NY Radio Interview: Early Signs of Autism and Early Intervention

A few members of NAA-NYC were recently interviewed for a radio program We were asked about early signs of autism. Some early signs of autism are:

-no declarative pointing (which indicates shared attention--"look at" etc.)
-any verbal or non verbal regression (loss of language or previously acquired skills)
-preoccupation with objects especially: fans and spinning objects, shiny objects (keys etc.)
-lining things up
-no mama/dada
-no language by sixteen months
-not smiling by six months of age
-not babbling, pointing or using other gestures by 12 months
-not answering or responding to their name when called repeatedly almost as if they are deaf yet being super sensitive to other sounds like the firetruck
-poor eye contact

According to a doctor I saw, autism is a puzzle and many typical kids and adults might have a few pieces of the puzzle. For example, many boys might be obsessed with vacuums, but in the presence of a bunch of the other symptoms, this typical interest might suggest the child needs to be evaluated by Early Intervention. So if the child is obsessed with vacuums AND has no language by 16 months AND doesn't respond to their name AND has poor eye contact AND has no declarative pointing, then they might be at risk for having an autism spectrum disorder.

If your child has many of these signs, then you might want to get an evaluation done by Early Intervention (EI) or speak to one of our NAAvigators. According to Medscape: "caregivers rarely express concern that their baby is in a "world of his own" unless something is wrong developmentally" so if you have concerns and your child is exhibiting many of the signs, you should contact EI for an evaluation. Every state has an early intervention program so if you have a child who is under the age of 3 years old who has a delay, you can receive a FREE EVALUATION by the state. You can download New York City Early Intervention Referral Form HERE. Anyone can make a referral--including parents.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Dad's Night

We had our first Dad's Night this past Tuesday evening. There were about 20 men who came to the event. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive. Many of the dads have expressed an interest in having us hold the event again, possibly even a few times a year. We are extremely happy that it was such a huge success and we were able to connect a group of men to each other that normally might not meet.