Gaming Environments That Allow Kids To Lead Their Own Learning And Build Confidence

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written by Sara Winter on June 30, 2013 -

Liam O’Donnell runs GamingEdus  – a secure server where kids (and their parents!) can explore virtual worlds. We interviewed him about the benefits for many students on and off the autism spectrum and how the game Minecraft allows them to be creative, lead their own learning, and build confidence: What is Minecraft? Minecraft is open-ended [...]

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Doodle Artist Frank Allen

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written by Sara Winter on June 25, 2013 -

Frank loves to doodle and you can find his creations on walls, guitars, and many other mediums. He lives in the UK and his exciting work can also be found at Frank’s Daily Doodle.

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Meet Annie Hussey

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written by Sara Winter on June 12, 2013 -

Annie Hussey is a passionate young self-advocate from Barrie, Ontario who is primarily known for her public speaking endeavors. She is committed to creating opportunities for people on the autism spectrum post high school and encouraging confidence and emerging strengths and talents. We’re excited to interview her here on  our blog: Please tell us about [...]

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Amrit Khurana

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written by Sara Winter on June 11, 2013 -

Amrit Khurana is a young woman from India who uses her art to help her communicate. Her work comes to us from our friends at The Art Of Autism and more information can be found on her blog.

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Mathew de la Tour: Life After Life

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written by Sara Winter on May 25, 2013 -

Mathew de la Tour has been creating art since he was a child. His technique involves applying molten glue (from a hot glue gun, for instance) to a surface, painting the surface, and peeling off the glue to reveal a work of art that he calls an ‘autistic expression’.

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Michael McManmoon

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written by Sara Winter on May 25, 2013 -

Michael McManmon is founder of the College Internship Program and Good Purpose Gallery. Michael was diagnosed by his staff with Aspergers and later validated that diagnosis professionally. The diagnosis made in his 50′s came as a liberating experience for him. This breathtaking piece is entitled Purple Water and comes to us from The Art Of [...]

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Grace Goad

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written by Sara Winter on May 21, 2013 -

Grace Goad a young woman from Tennessee, has limited verbal ability, but uses a communicaton device. She is in high school on a transition track which will help her live independently with supports. She has art on display from coast to coast in the United States. This piece is entitled Yellow & Green and comes to [...]

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Jayln Bishop Weston

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written by Sara Winter on May 16, 2013 -

Jalyn Bishop Weston is a 10-year-old artist from Sweetwater, Tennessee who began drawing as a toddler. He loves dinosaurs. He has art on display with the Art of Autism at the Kennedy Vanderbilt Center in Nashville, TN. This painting is entitled Pere Marquette a Study.

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Molly Brutsman

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written by Sara Winter on May 14, 2013 -

Molly Brutsman is a twelve-year old artist who resides in Santa Monica. She is displaying her work for the first time in Santa Barbara at the Faulkner Gallery. Molly loves horses and drumming. This piece is called Tulips and comes to us from The Art Of Autism.

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Meet Artist And Visionary Jeremy Sicile-Kira

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written by Sara Winter on May 7, 2013 -

Jeremy Sicile-Kira dreams of people’s color. He recently did a series of paintings that describes how he sees them. This piece describes how he sees his friend, Ted. Jeremy types: “The painting was very green. It had some dark red from his fear of flying. It was green in a very peaceful manner. Luckily the [...]

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How Mentorship From Autistic Adults Is Making An Impact On Young Kids Growing Up With Autism

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written by Sara Winter on May 7, 2013 -

This is the second part of an interview series we did with Lauri Hunt, founder of Ollibean, and mother of thirteen year-old Henry Frost of I Stand With Henry. It’s been an amazing experience to be friends with Lauri as she’s watched her son’s self-advocacy emerge. When we first met her, it was because Henry [...]

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Relaxation For Kids

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written by Sara Winter on May 6, 2013 -

Andrew Johnson, has a background in clinical hypnotherapy, stress management techniques and meditation. He’s worked with thousands of people to teach them relaxation and coping techniques. Now he’s released a children’s series that has us really excited. My son absolutely loves it. It was such an amazing experience to go through the series with him [...]

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Our Kind Of Education Model: Academic + Emotional + Community Support (Now There’s An Idea!)

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written by Sara Winter on April 25, 2013 -

Just last week, we interviewed the spectacular Don Adams, Head Of School at Toronto’s YMCA Academy and learned how they integrate the student voice into every part of their school culture. In part-two of this series, we go deeper into their core values: What’s so evident to me (and seems to set you guys apart) [...]

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A Year Of Art, Autism, And Inspiration

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written by Sara Winter on April 17, 2013 -

It was around this time last year when I first discovered the Art Of Autism Project. It’s curated by the spectacular Debra Hosseini, with whom I’ve had many great conversations. If you haven’t seen their book, you must – it’s goal is to “challenge the reader to ponder the wonder and diversity of human potential, [...]

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Giving Students A Voice In Their Education

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written by Sara Winter on April 12, 2013 -

The YMCA Academy is a high school in Toronto for students who learn differently.  Small class sizes, individualized education plans, academic support and financial subsidy all make it an innovative and ground breaking education model. But what stood out to me, as soon as I walked into their beautiful, sun- drenched downtown space, was the [...]

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April Dawn Griffin

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written by Sara Winter on March 25, 2013 -

April Dawn Griffin is an autistic artist living in Saskatchewan, Canada. She paints beautiful scenery from her native landscape. This piece is entitled Torch Tree River and is represented by The Art Of Autism collective in Carpinteria, California.

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Supercool Technologies Created By Families Living With Autism

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written by Sara Winter on February 25, 2013 -

Squag was born of our family’s experience with my nephew who is on the autism spectrum. Loving (and leraning from) him has changed the way we think, act, and relate with one another. We decided there should be a piece of technology that reflected everything he’s taught us (and continues to teach us!) every single [...]

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Sometimes The Best Way To Communicate With Your Kids Is To Not Say Anything At All

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written by Sara Winter on January 30, 2013 -

Our oldest son has always struggled during the winter months. It’s dark and cold up here in Canada and there’s a long stretch of school between the holidays and his break in April. His self talk can be pretty negative. He’s so hard on himself, gets frustrated and often it can spiral into a lot [...]

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Max From The Planet Of Cool

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written by Sara Winter on January 9, 2013 -

Max is a ten year-old Squagger from Washington. He and his mom, McNall are co-authors of Max From The Planet Of Cool and two other children’s books that they sell online to raise money for charities. We interviewed them about art, autism, and their experiences in Squagland. Max: We love your book Max From The [...]

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The Three Kings By Grant Manier

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written by Sara Winter on December 20, 2012 -

Grant Manier is known as “the eco artist.” He uses recycled paper, puzzle pieces, cardboard, magazines, and posters to make his colorful creations. In the Three Kings he uses recycled Christmas wrapping paper. In 2011, Grant won the “Houston’s Mayor Award” for his volunteer service in the community. Grant shares the values of recycling and [...]

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Introducing Dylan

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written by Sara Winter on December 15, 2012 -

13 year-old Dylan is our featured Squagger Of The Month. He likes pizza (with no sauce) and America’s Funniest Home videos. He enjoys helping people. learning about marine biology and hanging out with his two Labrodoodles, Bella and Baxter. We interviewed him about his art and his autism: How you use art to express yourself? [...]

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It’s The Little Things

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written by Sara Winter on December 4, 2012 -

Lots of organizations use surveys to help understand how to better serve their users. But we hate surveys. So how do we make your voices heard? If you have a real, honest-to-goodness moment between you and your child (no matter how small) because of something that was sparked inside the Squagpad, we’d love to hear [...]

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The Art Of Noah Erenberg

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written by Sara Winter on November 28, 2012 -

“Noah Erenberg is actively building a vocabulary to express the world around him in his own terms.  Built up with curious, startling and subtle color combinations and a range of gestural marks, Erenberg re-creates the sights and sounds of Isla Vista, California with an affecting freedom from convention.”  ~ Michael Darling, Chief Curator of the [...]

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Art, Autism & Self-Discovery

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written by Sara Winter on November 27, 2012 -

Do you ever wonder how your child will find their ‘thing’? The thing that fills them up and allows them to express who they are? Hayley, a ten year-old Squagger from Virginia Beach, and her mom Jenn, have found their thing through art and through each other! We asked them about their experiences with art, [...]

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We’re Hiring!

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written by Sara Winter on November 12, 2012 -

Thanks to social media, we have access to the incredible insight and enormous talent of the autistic self-advocate community. If you are an artist, writer, poet, songwriter or filmmaker with autism and you have work to share, please email us at info@squag.com.We will pay you to contribute to our blog and purchase your work to [...]

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Really (Really!) Like Me

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written by Sara Winter on November 12, 2012 -

One of the beautiful things about social media is having access to the talent and insight of autistic self-advocates who share their experience and perspective. Gretchen Leary is a published author and poet whose work we love! We are  excited to interview her about her upcoming children’s book and hear more about how important it [...]

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Maire Shortt

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written by Sara Winter on November 6, 2012 -

Maire Shortt is an artist and photographer who lives in the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island, Canada. Her art work is deep, moving and reflects a strong sense of spirituality. This piece is done in oil pastels and is titled: The Joy Of Solitude. Maire is a a proud participant of The Art Of Autism.

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Luna The Moon Girl

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written by Sara Winter on October 29, 2012 -

Beatrice LeProust, professionally known as Luna TMG is a self-taught photographer from Dijon, France.  She is fascinated by reflections and all of her photographs are scenes actually found, not montages: “Most of the time in my pictures I am trying to combine two universes in one, an attempt to create a kind of bridge between [...]

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Helping Kids Find Their Inner Warrior

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written by Sara Winter on October 15, 2012 -

Kung Fu empowers students by teaching them body awareness and precision, focus and respect. Upon seeing the change in my son’s confidence after just a few weeks (it seems he has finally found his thing!), I had to find out more, so I interviewed Sifu Shellie Siadatan, one of his teachers and co-owners of Wu [...]

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Differientiating Between Screen Time And Stim Time

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written by Sara Winter on October 12, 2012 -

Stimming is necessary. We all do it. Some days more than others. We’ve had some great insight this past month by self-advocate Anabelle Listic about how to redefine what stimming is for all of us and how best to support our kids’ need to do it. But as parents, we seems to associate screen time [...]

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We’re On A Mission

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written by Sara Winter on October 4, 2012 -

So many kids we know spend their day being asked to respond; to people, to stimuli, to events. Prompt, respond, prompt, respond – Some days are harder than others. It was really important to us to create something for kids on the spectrum (and their siblings!) that would give them an opportunity to find a [...]

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Helping Kids Understand (and love!) How The Brain Works

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written by Sara Winter on September 25, 2012 -

Dr. Erica Warp is a neuroscientist and the CEO of an interactive media company in California whose mission is to make the biology of the brain accessible for elementary age children and entertaining for adults. She has the deep passion of an artist and the deep understanding of a scientist. We were thrilled to learn [...]

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Kimberly Gerry Tucker

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written by Sara Winter on September 24, 2012 -

Kimberly Gerry-Tucker is an artist, poet, and published author. She recently wrote a book about her life titled Under the Banana Moon: A True Story of Living, Loving, Loss and Asperger’s. She lives in Connecticut. This piece is entitled Dusky Trees. Kimberly’s work comes to us from our friends at The Art Of Autism. In [...]

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Introducing Flummox And Friends

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written by Sara Winter on September 23, 2012 -

What is Flummox and Friends and how did it come to be? Flummox and Friends is a live-action comedy for quirky kids. It gives families and classrooms a fun way to learn about the social and emotional world. We’ve just released a pilot episode that anyone can watch for free online. The main characters are [...]

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Rohan Sonalkar

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written by Sara Winter on September 21, 2012 -

Rohan Sonalkar, was from Pune, India.  During his life he produced many vivid and beautiful art pieces. Rohan garnered international acclaim for his art, and through it all, he remained his natural autistic self, “unmoved by compliments, courtesy and content.” His artistic discipline and yoga were his hallmarks. He died in 2007 at the age [...]

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Gilbert Dawson

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written by Sara Winter on September 18, 2012 -

Gilbert Dawson has created a style of art he calls Elefunctionism – electrical functioning subconscious breath properties applied to art. Gilbert lives in Wyoming and also writes.  He is a proud participant of The Art Of Autism. This piece is entitled Italiano Bage1.

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How One Boy Used His Squagpad To Open Up About Bullying

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written by Sara Winter on September 13, 2012 -

A while back, we got an email from the mom of a ten year-old boy on the spectrum. Her son (we’ll call him Andrew) has encountered bullying at different times in his life and he, like many other kids we know, tends to take it on as his own failure. He’s an amazing kid. Bright, [...]

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Jessica Parks

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written by Sara Winter on September 11, 2012 -

Jessica Parks is a nationally recognized self-taught artist from Williamstown, Massachussetts. She is passionate about astronomy, Victorian architecture and urban skylines. In 2008, Jessica’s book, Exploring Nirvana: The Art of Jessica Parks was published. This piece is entitled Flatiron Building  and is courtesy of Pure Vision Arts in New York. Jessica is a proud participant [...]

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One Deep Breath And Back To School

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written by Sara Winter on September 3, 2012 -

I have a lot of respect for parents and educators who do everything they can to set their child up for success at school. Many spend countless hours modifying curricula, gathering materials and building documentation that will structure their child’s learning. Let me be really clear that I am in no way underestimating the value [...]

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The Nature Of Autism

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written by Sara Winter on August 22, 2012 -

My parents have a cottage on a remote lake deep in the woods. We’re lucky enough to go with my sister and her kids each summer. One of my favorite happenings in nature is to encounter a deer unexpectedly in my path. There’s something about seeing deer in the wild that is so connective; they [...]

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Dani Bowman

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written by Sara Winter on August 8, 2012 -

Dani Bowman founded Powerlight Studios (at age eleven!) and has been working professionally since age fourteen. She is partnered with Joey Travolta. Now, at age 17 she employs other people with autism and is a proud participant of The Art Of Autism project. This piece is entitled Fleen Planet.

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Michael Sachs

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written by Sara Winter on August 8, 2012 -

When Michael Sachs lost the ability to communicate with words, he began communicating with pictures. He loves color and texture. He is a proud participant of The Art Of Autism project.

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Christian Early

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written by Sara Winter on August 8, 2012 -

Christian Early sees the world as funny and comical; his unique sense of humor is expressed through his art and his laughter is contagious. This piece is entitled Crazy Lady In Yellow. Christian is a proud participant of The Art Of Autism project.

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Creative Growth For Everybody

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written by Sara Winter on July 24, 2012 -

Please tell us about your clothing line and how it began. CG4E: Creative Growth Art Center in Oakland, CA, is the world’s oldest and largest non-profit visual art center for adult artists with disabilities. The Art Center is a meeting ground, a community, and a support system for artists with disabilities who have found their [...]

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A New Direction For Autism

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written by Sara Winter on July 20, 2012 -

Social media has been a game changer for artists, bloggers, poets, whiz kids and film makers in the ASD community. Leaders like Carly Fleischmann, Paul Siebenthal, and Kerry Magro have found their voice and it’s given them ability to reach so many parents, kids, educators and professionals living and working with awesome kids on the [...]

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Doctor Mad Science

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written by Sara Winter on July 12, 2012 -

Introducing 10 year-old Jordan (aka DoctorMadScience). We’re thrilled to welcome Jordan as a regular contributor, bringing his perspective to our blog and his fab science experiments to our Squagpads: Hi my name is Jordan. I am 10 year old. I am almost in grade 5. In my family I have my mom, dad, sister, and [...]

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Guy McDonnell

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written by Sara Winter on July 11, 2012 -

Guy McDonnell was diagnosed with autism at age 3 and recovered from a bnrain stroke at age 12. In the summer of 2008 at the age of 19 he started painting abstract art. He is a proud participant of the Art Of Autism Project. This piece is entitled Love In Action.  

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Her Mother Purple

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written by Sara Winter on July 9, 2012 -

Susan Brown was born in 1957 and lives in New York. She started drawing spirals, women and cars at age five. She is a participant of The Art Of Autism Project. This piece is entitled Her Mother Purple.  

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Seth Chwast

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written by Sara Winter on July 9, 2012 -

Seth Chwast was born in 1983 and lives in Cleveland. He took his first art class at age 20. His art has been displayed internationally in museums and exhibits. This piece, Mythic Creatures Mural (Panel 1) was selected by the United Nations for 2012 Autism Awareness Stamp. Seth is a proud participant of The Art Of [...]

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Anabelle Listic

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written by Sara Winter on July 6, 2012 -

Anabelle Listic is a 27 year-old artist living is Seattle. She is foremost a film and digital photographer. Anabelle has autism and is profoundly visual. We’re thrilled to feature her work in our Squagpads and to have her as a regular contributor to the Squag blog: How old were you when you discovered your talent [...]

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Music Express

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written by Sara Winter on July 6, 2012 -

Noreen Donnell, holds a Master’s degree in Music Therapy and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Music Therapy from Wilfrid Laurier University. She has over 20 years of experience working clinically with a variety of populations at a number of private facilities that cater to children and adults with developmental and physical disabilities, [...]

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Maja Nilsson

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written by Sara Winter on July 3, 2012 -

Maja Nilsson is a fifteen year-old Swedish singer/songwriter, music producer and musician. She is currently working on her debut album Moments . She blogs about her music and her experiences as an Aspie. The song she’s working on now, Am I Different? is specifically about Asperger’s and has a very cool and ethereal vibe. We [...]

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Cat In Space

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written by Sara Winter on June 20, 2012 -

Natalie Totire lives in Chicago. She is a proud participant of the Art Of Autism Project.  As a child she drew only flowers. Later she would draw animals. Now she loves to create puppets. This piece is entitled, Cat In Space.  

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A Middle Schooler Spreads His Wings

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written by Sara Winter on June 20, 2012 -

I am sitting in the dark and crying. Please don’t get the wrong idea – these are tears of joy. I’m at the back of the gym at my nephew’s school. The kids are rehearsing their end-of-the-year play. I’ve worked as his aide at this particular school for the better part of a decade. The [...]

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Food Allergy Or Sensitivity?

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written by Sara Winter on June 15, 2012 -

The most common difference between food allergy and food sensitivity (or intolerance) is how the immune system is involved. With food sensitivities, the digestive system is responding, unable to properly digest or breakdown a certain food protein. A food allergy will occur when a certain food protein triggers an immune reaction. Symptoms can be mild [...]

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DJ Svoboda

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written by Sara Winter on June 11, 2012 -

Daniel John Svoboda resides in South Carolina. He created Imagiville as a place where people are always kind and never cruel. “Every day the Imagifriends are always having fun and keeping busy all in one.  They are filled with powerful determination to make this an even better world for those with autism and disabilities and [...]

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Architecture For Kids

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written by Sara Winter on June 9, 2012 -

Please tell us about Amag. Jorge Raedo: Amag an architecture magazine for children 5-10 years old. It is a free Open Educational Resource. The idea germinated in Helsinki. Architects Carlos and Anabel Maushaus are the editors. They make the website and graphic design and I am the director. The issue “2012″ is made by twelve articles [...]

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Lunchbox Love

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written by Sara Winter on June 4, 2012 -

Love the mission of Say Please Inc. “to improve the quality of everyday life through the sharing of kind words.” Their product is Lunchbox Love for Kids™  – a set of small cards that parents can put in their kids’ lunches each day. It’s super similar to what we’re doing inside our Squagpads; positive messages [...]

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Solitude: An Interview With Dr. Tony Attwood

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written by Sara Winter on June 4, 2012 -

A few months ago, I was lucky enough to attend Dr. Tony Attwood’s seminar: “Making Friends and Managing Feelings in ASD” in Toronto. He is a laugh-out-loud, brilliant speaker, but what struck me immediately about him that day in July was Dr. Attwood’s relentless compassion and respect for those living with Asperger’s Syndrome. He has [...]

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Qazi Fazli Azeem

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written by Sara Winter on June 1, 2012 -

Qazi Fazli Azeem is South Asia’s first self-advocate for autism. He has led autism awareness campaigns in Pakistan since 2008 for the United Nations. He is a participant in the Art of Autism Project, and this piece is entitled Citrus Evolution.

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Maximus Oberto

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written by Sara Winter on May 28, 2012 -

Maximus Oberto is eleven years old and resides in Ventura, California. He is a proud participant of the Art Of Autism project and this piece is entitled Starry Starry Night With Spiderman.

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Gretchen Leary – Poet

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written by Sara Winter on May 25, 2012 -

  Gretchen is a 26 year-old poet from the Boston area. She is the author of two poetry books, Monochrome and Welcome To My Yesterday and is working on a children’s book about the sensory issue that often come along with having ASD. Gretchen’s writing is often created out of music and she uses her [...]

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True Friendships And Strong Voices Emerging In Social Media

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written by Sara Winter on April 29, 2012 -

Twitter isn’t just for Justin Bieber anymore; it’s actually a great support system (anonymous or otherwise) in real time. You can follow people with the same interests and experiences almost immediately by using a simple hashtag. I’ve been on it for a while now. Shockingly, I love it! I’m inspired every day by incredible people [...]

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Spectrum Martial Arts

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written by Sara Winter on April 13, 2012 -

One of the best parts of building Squag has been meeting people like Jen & Paul Cluff. Like many parents who have a child on the spectrum, they’ve been forever changed by loving their son and so, created something out of their experience. We talked to them about their work as martial artists and how [...]

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A Spa For All Kids

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written by Sara Winter on April 9, 2012 -

Recently I took a road trip to Enza Day Spa. Relax, Recharge & Be Who You Are are the common themes that run through this wellness centre – a spa that welcomes parents and their kids with diverse needs and exceptionalities. Founder Judith Elaine’s vision is evident in every detail. Kids are transported to an [...]

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Acoustic For Autism

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written by Sara Winter on April 9, 2012 -

Louis Gendron is the father of a child with autism, a self-professed ‘music junkie’ and an independent producer and filmmaker. A few years ago, Louis and his childhood friend, Michael Cusanelli, co-founded Acoustic For Autism. Through the power of music, their goal is to educate people about ASD, promote tolerance and understanding, and raise funds [...]

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Well-Served Tennis

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written by Sara Winter on April 4, 2012 -

  As one of the founders of The Oxygen Mask Project, Shannon Knall is committed to supporting parents as they make sure the diverse needs of their kids are met. But she has another mission that’s near and dear to her heart: to create sports & recreational opportunities for kids on the autism spectrum. She [...]

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MyVoice And Finding Yours

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written by Sara Winter on April 4, 2012 -

With so many apps out there, how do we sift through the noise to find what will work for our child and their specific needs? Social media makes it easy to do it the old fashioned way; through people and their personal stories. We’ve met so many good people creating cool technology based on their [...]

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Stage Lights

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written by Sara Winter on March 23, 2012 -

  “I regard the theatre as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being. “    ~ Oscar Wilde One of my all-time favorite TED talks is Approaching Autism Theatrically in which (the totally [...]

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Kid Chess

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written by Sara Winter on March 19, 2012 -

Joshua is a 7 yr-old chess champion from England who is ranked top 3 in both the Unites States and in the UK. He’s a street artist, lover of the New York City subway and a Kidrobot collector. We’re beyond excited to interview KidChess and to learn how his unique interests make him feel: Hi [...]

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RDI & The Masgutova Method

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written by Sara Winter on March 18, 2012 -

Amy Lukos is a Certified RDI consultant to families in Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin. She was one of a few consultants who co-authored My Baby Can Dance, with Dr. Steven Gutstein. We wanted to learn more about RDI & Masgutova Method and how the two work programs weave well together to support families living life [...]

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The Oxygen Mask Project

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written by Sara Winter on March 13, 2012 -

“Once upon a time, a group of special needs moms started talking about their lives. They talked about being devoted to their children and about making sure that their kids’ needs are met. But somewhere along the way, they had forgotten to take care of themselves. Shannon and Alysia started The Oxygen Mask Project for [...]

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Therapeutic Horseback Riding

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written by Sara Winter on March 12, 2012 -

GallopNYC has a mission: “to improve the lives of New Yorkers facing developmental, emotional, social, and physical challenges through therapeutic horseback riding.” They offer lessons to a core constituency of people with diverse needs. Close to half of them have autism, and other riders include children with cerebral palsy, Down’s syndrome, multiple sclerosis, and polio. [...]

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Wired Differently

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written by Sara Winter on February 29, 2012 -

Paul Siebenthal is one of our favorite writers online. His blog, Wired Differently, about his life with Asperger’s and dyslexia, inspires and mentors its readers by celebrating creativity and outside-of-the-boxiness. Both his day job and his online work are committed to a conversation about diverse mental health issues and to letting others know that they [...]

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Children Will Listen

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written by Sara Winter on February 18, 2012 -

How many of us send messages to our children without even realizing it? Too often, the language we use to describe them (and often in front of them) has the potential to negatively impact their sense of self. And we’re their parents. What about at school? Our kids are constantly at the mercy of other [...]

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Recognizing (And Respecting) The First Signs Of Independence

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written by Sara Winter on February 6, 2012 -

I have always been the resident photographer of our little family; I am forever posing my family members, constructing the backdrop and poking my lens into people’s faces. For six years, my nephew was the only grandchild in our family, so you can only imagine how often I had my camera in his face. But [...]

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Sharing Screen Time

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written by Sara Winter on January 21, 2012 -

We all need to decompress in front of our screen of choice – Whether it’s texting on our phones or cheering on our favorite football team we all need to detach for a moment (or longer) in order to decompress. For many kids, screen time is almost always associated with stimming, gaming, or therapy – [...]

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Do You Ever Feel Stuck?

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written by Sara Winter on January 16, 2012 -

From time to time I will be doing technology reviews on this blog. Not because I’m an expert, but rather quite the contrary – I am possibly the least tech-savvy mom out there. I’m intimidated by technology and drawn to things that are accessible enough to assuage my feelings of inferiority. Which brings me to [...]

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Human Body Detectives

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written by Sara Winter on January 5, 2012 -

The burning question we’re always asking around here is: What are the smallest most manageable changes we can make that will have the biggest impact? Dr. Heather Manley created Human Body Detectives (HBD) to inspire children to be proactive and confident in striving for their own optimal health. Dr. Heather is a parent and a [...]

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Regulation, Regulation, Regulation

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written by Sara Winter on December 17, 2011 -

I have an eleven year-old nephew on the autism spectrum. I’ve been lucky enough to be his therapist at home and at school these past nine years. Watching him navigate his daily life has been the most impactful experience in my life to date. He is the strongest and most open-hearted person I know. One [...]

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Opening Up A Conversation About Neurodiversity In Your Child’s Classroom

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written by Sara Winter on November 21, 2011 -

Now that school has started, many families are approaching me as to how best talk to their child’s classmates about their diverse needs. As an aide and an auntie to a spectacular middle-schooler on the autism spectrum, I’ve done it a few different times and at different ages, and a few main themes seem to [...]

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Getting A H.A.N.D.L.E On Sensitive Systems: Autism, ADHD, SPD and More

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written by Sara Winter on November 21, 2011 -

H.A.N.D.L.E is an acronym for Holistic Approach to NeuroDevelopment and Learning Efficiency.  It was created by Dr. Judith Bluestone, who developed it based on her own experiences with autism. It’s sensory integration therapy and it’s changed the way I look at everything. It’s taught me to read physiology and to see behavior as communication. It’s [...]

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The Recess Problem

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written by Sara Winter on November 2, 2011 -

For years, recess was a sensory nightmare for my nephew. Vast open space and unstructured time; the glare of the sun bouncing off the snow; groups of rowdy kids yelling and screaming and playing sports in undefined space, arguing over subjective rules at lightening speed. So much to process bell to bell. As my nephew’s [...]

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