Sunday, December 9, 2012

December MAKS Lunches - 2 dates - 2 places....

Tuesday - Dec 18th

11:30, Rock Creek Pizza, 1300 E. 10255 S., bring a white elephant for $5 or under if you want to participate, or just come!!!  You know the true white elephant is something weird, or used, or crazy, you don't buy it.

OR - 

Wednesday - Dec 19
11:30  Mimi's Cafe
874 W. ANTELOPE DR., LAYTON, Utah 84041

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Changes in Diagnostics for Autism and Asperger's

How many of you are wondering how the new changes in the DSM-V set to be released in May of 2013 will affect your child's services?
Some articles are making you think that children diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome will no longer get any services simply because the name Asperger Syndrome will no longer be used in the DSM-V. Have no fear, your child may still receive services. Just get use to calling it Autism instead of Asperger's Syndrome. There will be some changes to the diagnostic criteria to help clearly diagnose individuals on the spectrum. The name change won't determine their level of functional ability, and they will still the the same loving and adorable child as they were before.
To better understand basics about the Autism Spectrum Disorder you can find simplified answers in this book, Autism: Understanding The Puzzle...
Autism: Understanding the Puzzle

Here are a couple articles you can read if you are interested...
Asperger's dropped from revised diagnosis manual
By By LINDSEY TANNERAssociated Press
Dec. 01, 2012 3:53PM PST
"CHICAGO (AP) — The now familiar term "Asperger's disorder" is being dropped. And abnormally bad and frequent temper tantrums will be given a scientific-sounding diagnosis called DMDD. But "dyslexia" and other learning disorders remain.
The revisions come in the first major rewrite in nearly 20 years of the diagnostic guide used by the nation's psychiatrists. Changes were approved Saturday.
Full details of all the revisions will come next May when the American Psychiatric Association's new diagnostic manual is published, but the impact will be huge, affecting millions of children and adults worldwide. The manual also is important for the insurance industry in deciding what treatment to pay for, and it helps schools decide how to allot special education.
This diagnostic guide "defines what constellations of symptoms" doctors recognize as mental disorders, said Dr. Mark Olfson, a Columbia University psychiatry professor. More important, he said, it "shapes who will receive what treatment. Even seemingly subtle changes to the criteria can have substantial effects on patterns of care.""
Read More -

News Release from the American Psychiatric Association
January 20, 2012
Release No. 12-03

For Information Contact:      
Eve Herold, 703-907-8640        
Erin Connors, 703-907-8562

DSM-5 Proposed Criteria for Autism Spectrum Disorder Designed 
to Provide More Accurate Diagnosis and Treatment
ARLINGTON, Va. (Jan. 20, 2012)—The American Psychiatric Association (APA) has proposed new diagnostic criteria for the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) for autism. While final decisions are still months away, the recommendations reflect the work of dozens of the nation’s top scientific and research minds and are supported by more than a decade of intensive study and analysis. The proposal by the DSM-5 
Neurodevelopmental Work Group recommends a new category called autism spectrum disorder which would 
incorporate several previously separate diagnoses, including autistic disorder, Asperger’s disorder, childhood 
disintegrative disorder and pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified.  
The proposal asserts that symptoms of these four disorders represent a continuum from mild to severe, rather than a simple yes or no diagnosis to a specific disorder. The proposed diagnostic criteria for autism spectrum disorder specify a range of severity as well as describe the individual’s overall developmental status--in social communication and other relevant cognitive and motor behaviors.  

Read More -

Upcoming SAARC Events in Arizona

Southwest Autism Research & Resource CenterFind us on Facebook

 Education & Training                                            November, 2012

Featured Presentation

Lunch & Learn: How to Access School Services- Know Your Educational Rights Under the Law

Parents and professionals are all welcome to attend.  Content is applicable for individuals through early adulthood. Certificate of attendance for professional development hours.

Date: Monday, December 10, 2012    
Time: 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.

300 N. 18th Street
Phoenix AZ 85006

Upcoming Trainings
puzzle pieces

For a complete description of these upcoming  trainings and registration
information, please click on the links below.

¿Le gustaría saber como ayudar a sus niños a comer y dormir mejor?
December 8, 2012
8:30 a.m.- 12:30 p.m.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012
4:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013
4:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

February 22, 2013
9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Applied Behavior Analyis (ABA) Training Series:
Monday, March 3, 2013
9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Tuesday, March 4, 2013
9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Autism & Bullying
Coming in April ! 2-day Conference
Look for More Information!

A certificate of attendance for professional development and
continuing education hours is provided.    
Select the option to view all events for workshops and trainings
To register, click under the desired class or training.
 To pay by phone, contact Sheri S. Dollin, M.Ed. at (480) 603-3284. 
Vocational & Life Skills Academy
Classes, Training Programs and Social Events
Online Registration Now Available!
SARRC's Vocational & Life Skills Academy located at 2225 N. 16th St., provides services for adolescents and adults with an autism spectrum disorder. 

Visit our online calendar for VLSA Classes, Garden & Landscape Training Program and Social Events here.  From the "Select A Category" drop down menu select "Vocational & Life Skills Academy Events".  Here you will find a brief description of each class, training program or social event along with the ability to register online!

You may also use these links to review dates, times, and other important information.  Please note these are informational only and do not provide
you with the online registration option.

Join Our Mailing List
Established in 1997, the Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center's (SARRC) mission is to
advance research and provide a lifetime of support for individuals with autism and their families.
For more information, visit or call (602) 340-8717.

Keep The Holidays Manageable for your Special Needs Child


The hustle and bustle of the holidays can be overwhelming for children with special needs, but there are steps you can take to make it easier on them.

Holidays provide your family with a break from the ordinary, time spent with extended family and friends, and also a chance to reinforce traditions. However, jammed schedules and unpredictable routines, mixed with the sights and sounds of the holidays can add up to a season full of stress for your child with special needs.
“The change in routine is the biggest difficulty we have during the holidays,” says Sharla Jordan, mother of six boys (four with special needs) and author of Autism: Understanding the Puzzle (, 2011). “The unfamiliarity and excitement can lead to some difficult moments so we try to prepare our boys as best we can.” The following tips can help make your holiday season run a little smoother.

Read More -

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Utah Medicaid Autism Waiver Program

A couple weeks ago, before Thanksgiving, I got an exciting phone call. We were fortunate to have our youngest son selected to participate in the Utah Medicaid Autism Waiver Program until June of 2014. WooHoo! I will journal the journey to see what benefits come from it and in what ways it influences out son's development.
I am really grateful that I listened to a friend who encouraged me to register our son for the drawing in October. Honestly, I didn't think he would be selected, it is hard to get your hopes up for something like this that you know would be a huge help, especially when it is a drawing.
First of all I have to give a BIG THANK YOU to the many individuals who spent the long hours getting this bill HB-272 passed by the legislation. I appreciate your dedication to helping children with autism. I know some of your own children don't qualify for this program because of age, and yet you still worked so hard for all the other children and their families who will enjoy the benefits.
A few fyi's about the program there are only 200 children in the state of Utah, between the ages of 2-5, who will be participating in this ongoing program. Several counties all over Utah are participating; Davis, Salt Lake, Utah, and Weber counties have the most slots but the remaining slots for the program are in outling counties as well. As part of the program each child will recieve respite care, ABA therapy, OT therapy and medicaid services.
Utah Department of Health
I have finished filling out the paper work and getting the medical release form sign and sent into the Utah Department of Health that is over this waiver program in Salt Lake City.  -  BTW, if you are new parent of a child diagnosed with autism/Asperger's get use to filling out paper work. I strongly encourage you to keep all you child's documents filled, keep ever IEP, evaluation, diagnostics, and journal anything that is important such as behaviors, health concerns, sleep patterns... you will need these documents when your child is older to show what functional abilities or limitations they may have. - Now we wait to hear from our sons coordinator to have a planning meeting.
We have been able to choose our own respite provider and a good nieghbor how works with children in school who have sppecial needs is hopefully going tobe able to be his ABA therapist.

A little history about our son -
Our youngest, David, was diagnosed with high functioning autism at age 2. We pursued having an evaluation done after we noticed his limited speech, sensory challenges, limited interactions with others, digestive issues, and repetitive behaviors. Had we been unfamiliar with the signs of autism we would not have noticed the symptoms at such a young age. I guess you could see this as a blessing for having multiple children on the spectrum.
Some of the first resources we have and are utilizing for David are early childhood intervention and preschool with the local school district. He has had speech services, occupational therapy, and social skills training. His doctor reccommended having him get sensory therapy, so we took him to Primary Children's Rehab Center in Odgen and developed a great sensory diet that is really helping him with his sensory issues. We also had him begin horse therapy, at Hoofbeats to Healing two years ago, where we have seen significant improvements in his speech, interactions with others, and less frequent stemming. We are still addressing his digestive issues (although they have improved as well).
We are grateful for all of David's improvements and realize there is still some catching up to do before he is at an age approriate developmental level. we have hope for his future and look forward to seeing what happens over the course of this waiver program and how it effects his functinoal abilities and developmental skills.

If you want to know more about the program, here is a link -

Other Interesting facts about the Wavier Program from the website

During the 2012 Legislative session, an autism services pilot program bill was passed (HB-272). The bill requires services to be provided to children with autism spectrum disorders through three different pilot programs:

  1. A Public Employees Health Plan (PEHP) Pilot – this is a pilot program for a limited number of state employees’ children with autism spectrum disorders;
  2. Autism Treatment Account – the bill amended this previously existing account and appropriated one-time funding for use in a two year pilot program; and
  3. Medicaid Autism Waiver - requires the Utah Department of Health to apply for a new Medicaid waiver program to provide services to children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD.) This discussion will focus on the design Medicaid’s two year, pilot program (the Waiver.)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Free Concert for Children with Special Needs and Their Families

SARRC - Movie, Rise of the Guardians

Southwest Autism Research & Resource CenterLike us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter
Free Matinee Showing of
"Rise of the Guardians"
on Saturday, December 1!
Dear Friends,
Studio Movie Grill would like to invite SARRC families to a special screening of "Rise of the Guardians" at 11 a.m. on Saturday, December 1. This event will be FREE of charge for children on the spectrum and their siblings. All others will be admitted at the standard matinee price of $5. Studio Movie Grill is located at 15515 North Hayden Road, Scottsdale, 85260.
Please remember that seating is limited to the first 200 registrants!
If you wish to attend, you must:
1) Email your name and the number of people in your party to
2) When you arrive on Saturday, simply mention to the box office staff that your family is part of the SARRC promotional screening.
We hope to see you there!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Big MAK's lunch for November 2013

Nov 13 - Lunch at Pepperbelly's

Join us for a MAKs lunch on Tuesday 
Nov 13
Pepperbelly's in Kaysville

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Bouncin' Off the Walls

Mark the 2nd Monday night of each month for
Bouncin' Off the Walls 
9400 So 350 W. Sandy 
From 6 - 8 pm, for fun in a giant bouncy room
that only has one door in/out.
$5 a kid and lots of cool people to hang out with! 
Bring everyone!!

Autism Event for Utah County

You are all invited to the Bridges Autism Panel Next Wednesday, November 7th at Kids on the Move, 475 North 260 West, Orem from 6:30-8:30pm. 

We have several teens and adults with autism talking about their experience living with autism. 

This has been remarkable in the past. You can call ahead until this Friday for child-care at             801-221-9930      . Let me know if you have questions!  Karen Fairchild

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

MAKS lunch in SLC for October


It's time for the Big MAK October Witch's outing. 
Since Gardner Village is so festive this time of year,
we will meet at Archibald's on October 23rd, at 11:30.
They don't take reservations, so try to be there by 11:15. 
YAYAY zoom your broom!!  Cool hats are encouraged!

Apps for Autism

Here is a list of 75 Apps for the iPad, check them out!

Arizona Helps from SARRC

Friday, September 21, 2012

Bad Parenting?

Why do others see me as a bad parent when my child misbehaves?

I know as a parent we are responsible for teaching our children what is acceptable behavior and correct them when they make a poor choice. I completely agree. I just wish others had understanding for the fact that parents of special needs children have to continually reteach their child  how to behave appropriately. It will take the child longer to implement these correct behaviors and a lot of practice to gain control of their actions.
Being a special needs mother I know what to expect, how to contain the situation, and help my son(s) calm down. I am not a parent who give excuses or allowances just because my children have special needs. We are sure to have our sons own up to their actions/choices and make restitution for it, to the best of their ability. But just because you got hit, scratched, bit, punched, or screamed at doesn't make me a bad parent, nor does it make my son a bad child. It means that something triggered his behavior, and there was nothing I could do to stop it in that moment. Should I have to be the one to apologies for my child every time an incident happens?" I wish I could say, "It's not my fault." but I can't. So, I apologize and hope for the best. Very likely they may say something rude and avoid us in the future, but I can't blame them in their ignorance. If they could only see how far my child has come to improve his behavior they would be more understanding. If I could send one message out to the world on this topic I would say.

Behavior Plan at Camp from Real Look Autism

IEP Workshop with the Utah Parents Center

UPC Banner
Parents as Partners in the IEP Process Workshop
in Davis School District
Davis Professional Development Center 
East Side
70 East 100 North 
(2nd Floor of Kendell Building)
Farmington, UT 84025

Tuesday September 25, 2012 from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM MDT

Register Now!
I can't make it
The Utah Parent Center in partnership with Davis School District Special Education invites you to attend the 
'Parents as Partners in the IEP Process' Workshop being held on Tuesday, September 25, 2012 from 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Why should you attend this workshop?

Have you ever asked yourself:
  • What are my rights and my responsibilities?  
  • Where can I go for help with my child's IEP?
  • What should be included on my child's IEP?
  • Can I make suggestions to the school about my child's program?
  • What can I do if I think changes need to be considered?
  • Where do I go from here? 
Parents are important members of the IEP team.  They can and want to be effective partners with other members of the team in developing and delivering special education programs for their student with disabilities.  However, they often lack information.  This workshop will help parents understand their role, rights and responsibilities in the IEP process.  They will learn how to effectively prepare for, participate in and follow-up on IEP meetings held on behalf of their student.  Information will be presented by trainers who are parents of children with disabilities.

Registration for this event is appreciated.  Please click the 'Register Now' link to the left to register. 

If you have questions about this training or need an individual consultation about your child's special education program please contact Roz Welch, Utah Parent Center Parent Consultant serving Davis School District at 801.402.5120 or by email 
Thank you and we look forward seeing you at this workshop.
Roz Welch
If you are unable to attend this event you have several options:
  • This workshop will be held again on
    Tuesday, February 12, 2013. 
  • Call Roz Welch at the number listed above for individual assistance. 
  • View the online IEP training available on the Utah Parent Center's website