A whole new way to engage autism

Welcome parents, caregivers, and professionals! Our new nonprofit invites your engagement in services that provide support, guidance, and education. We’re here to empower young families living with autism.

Your relationship with your child is so important to his social and emotional well being — now and throughout his lifetime. You spend the most time living with and loving your child. You have the greatest commitment to his development and lifelong happiness. But autism can make it hard to connect with your child. And because each child expresses autism in an individual way, it can be a confusing, frustrating, and time consuming process to find ways to support your child’s specific needs. We know. We’re there too.

We believe that parents are the key to lifelong success for children living with autism. It is, after all, a diagnosis that involves the whole family. Our volunteer board of directors, our writers and our presenters are all personally engaged with autism. It is this personal connection that fuels our passion for sharing, with you, what we know. We are dedicated to building bridges between research, practice and everyday life. It is at this center that engagement, true engagement, begins.

Here, families are the center. We offer education from experts,  how the latest research affects your family, and strategies that benefit your child. And we’re always looking for ways to grow. Explore with us the many possibilities of living with autism.

We’re here to help foster your child’s growth and development – and realize the joy of nurturing your child. Join our blog where we provide a place for everyone to learn and grow.

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Unity Day

Today is national Unity Day and thousands of people will be wearing orange to show that they stand united against bullying. For CEA, this is a big topic. Bullying disproportionately affects families living with autism, 63% to 88% report bullying at some point in their child’s life, compared to 20% in the general population. The affect this has on our kids who already struggle with social issues can be devastating. And too often parents feel powerless when looking into the face of such stark statistics. So I was happy to see my son’s school embracing this day big time. All staff are wearing orange Unity Day shirts, and they were handing out orange ribbons to all the kids that entered the building this morning.  It speaks directly to how addressing bullying depends completely on a climate and culture change that is global across the community.

We’ll be talking about this and practical things that parents living with autism can do to protect their child from bullying at any age with the community on Saturday, October 25. Join us!

Becoming Social

Last night at our Salon Series support group for parents, lots of information was shared about social development. A few resources stood out as ones that we wanted to share with the larger CEA community. The topic was social skills – focusing on things parents can do every day to support their young child’s social development.

TED Talk by Ami Klin: We’re as inspired as Ami by this research that allows scientists to detect autism in infancy. Remember when we speculated about where this research would lead? It’s a fascinating look at how young (first months of life) the divergence in children living with autism starts and how critical eye gaze is to our overall social development.

Jill Kuzma: Rarely can you have a discussion in Minnesota about social skills and not hear Jill’s name. Her web site is packed with incredibly useful tools to support social functioning, decrease anxiety and deconstruct the social rules we all take for granted.

Social Thinking: Using what we know about social deficits and brain functioning, Michelle Garcia Winner has developed comprehensive and accessible tools to teach these skills in a fun and practical way. Check out You are a Social Detective (early elementary), Incredible Flexible You (early childhood), and SuperFlex (mid elementary to junior high)!

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