Friday, November 29, 2013

4 Paws for DJ

Here is a message from friend in need (the following was taken from the 4 Paws for DJ Facebook Account):

"Here is our story, also I am a single mom who has a lot of health problems, lupus, arthritis, herniated discs in my back, and more. A service dog will help me also by helping my son! I will have the security of him not running off in public, be alerted for seizures and disrupt the self hurting behaviors that he does without it resulting in an argument with me! 
My family is raising money for 4 Paws for ability in order for my son DJ to receive an autism/seizure service dog. We need 13,000 points to qualify for my son’s service dog; each dollar donated equals one point.
My son has autism, sensory processing disorder, adhd, fine and gross motor delay, epilepsy, selective mustism, anxiety, speech delays, and some health problems. He is 7 years old and home schooled through a cyber-academy because he cannot handle being at school or anywhere where there are groups of children. A service dog will greatly improve his quality of life by providing love, behavior disruption (he pulls out his hair, bangs his head, bites his nails till they bleed), detect seizures, and he will be tethered to the dog while out in public because DJ is also a runner/wanderer when we are out in public.
It will cost 4 Paws $22,000 or more to raise and train a service dog for my son. The money we raise will go to 4 Paws for ability directly to help them help other families like us receive a service dog. Because of this we will not have a waiting list or have to pay to receive my son’s service dog. 4 Paws for abilities is a wonderful organization that helps many families, we are very excited to raise money so they can continue their amazing work in the community.
Any donations made should be made directly to, 4 Paws for ability 253 Dayton ave. Xenia OH 45385
Please make checks out to 4 Paws for ability and please make sure to write on your check memo line – In honor of Dennis Bowman- so that we receive the points from your donation. ALL donations made are tax deductible as 4 Paws for abilities is a nonprofit 501c3 organization. Any services or products donated for an event is also tax deductible!
Please make sure to fill out the enclosed donation sheet.
Thank you for your time and support"

To donate, visit the 4 Paws for DJ Facebook page or email DJ's mother directly:

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Animator with Autism Recognized for Achievements

A good friend of mine was recently recognized for her great accomplishments as an individual on the autism spectrum.  Dani Bowman was recently awarded the "Hero Goody Necklace" for teaching animation to over 250 children with autism.   Dani was also awarded the Next Level Artist award and the Temple Grandin Award.   All these awards were given during the Exceptional Ability Awards in Los Angeles.  A short animation film created by Dani also received some well deserved recognition at Comic-Con 2013.  "How Hannah Lost Her Smile," premiered for the Comic-Con audience.  Great job Dani!

For more information, click here:

Visit Dani's website:

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Decline in Infant Eye Contact Could Predict Autism

Studies have revealed that autism can be detected as early as six months through use of special equipment.  This is done through observing a decline of eye contact between 6 and 24 months, which would indicate autism.  The quicker the decline of eye contact, the more severe the diagnosis in autism.  Experts state that such observations cannot be observed by the naked eye to to the precision of eye  movement necessary to make an accurate diagnosis.

For more information, click here:

Monday, November 4, 2013

SENSE Program Uses Theatre to Help Kids with Autism

Those on the autism spectrum are often valued for the high level of creativity that we have to offer to the world around us.  Therefore, I think it is rational to assume that the use of creativity can help solve many behavioral issues that may arise.    Joey Travolta's Inclusion Film Camp is a great example of this.  Also, it has been proven that involvement in another creative pursuit, theatre, can help those on the autism spectrum to improve their behavior.

In the source article I used to derive this blog post, it was stated that those on the autism spectrum were paired with NT peers.  All participants were between the ages 8 and 17.  The camp, called SENSE, taught social skills while working toward the end result of a theatre performance.  

The only part of this article I disagree with is the way the title was used.  I feel that the writer implied that theatre is a one-size-fits-all solution.  Autism doesn't work in that way.  It's the creativity aspect of these programs which determines their success.  Whether it's theatre, or Film Camps, or even surfing.  Based on my experience as an individual on the autism spectrum and through all the people I have met by advocating for autism, I feel that creativity is the driving factor that enables those on the spectrum to display talents and abilities that were previously unobserved.

To read about the SENSE program, click here: