AARC Tip of the Month | March 2019 | View as Webpage
Navigating Supports for Military Families in Alaska
Alaska is a state with multiple military installations, employing over 19,000 personnel and their families. Nationally, over 20,000 military dependents experience autism. Because of the nature of military life, it can be overwhelming for families to figure out what supports are available for their family members with autism when it is time to move.

The AARC receives many requests from military families for resources throughout the state. While this is a limited list, families can use this checklist when moving to Alaska to connect to supports in their new home:

  • Download the Guide for Military Families and explore the Operation Autism Companion Website by the Organization for Autism Research. There are some great resources to guide military families in supporting their exceptional family member.
  • Contact the Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) for your military installation. They can help guide you through the process of transitioning to a new location and help connect you to resources.
  • If your child is 3 years or older, contact the school districts in the area where you will be stationed. Discuss the transition of your child’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP) services to their new school and what changing schools may look like with the special education director. Discuss needs and how you can work together to support your child in the transition process.
Installation:

Joint-Base Elmendorf Richardson

Ft. Wainwright
Eielson Air Force Base

Fort Greely


USCG Kodiak

USCG Sitka

USCG Juneau
  • If your child is under 3 years of age, contact the Infant Learning Program in your area to complete this process.
  • Explore Community-Based Resources for your child. The AARC has a searchable provider database with information for both statewide and local resources. If you are not finding what you are looking for, please contact us.
  • If your child uses ABA services, research certified behavior analysts in the area you will be living. Search the BCBA database.
  • Check out Statewide Resources:
  • Alaska Autism Resource Center - Connects families with resources throughout the state, provides training, hosts autism awareness and community outreach events.
  • Special Education Service Agency Library - Lending library with information on autism and other low incidence disabilities, including curriculum, materials to try out, DVDs, books, etc. Materials can be shipped to patrons outside of the Anchorage area.
  • Autism Society of Alaska - Community resources, programs and enrichment, digital-community support groups. 
  • Stone Soup Group - family resources and supports, parent navigator peer support, trainings, community events, family rights. 
  • Governor’s Council on Disabilities & Special Education - Information on current legislation, initiatives and resources for families. Pathway to Transition Handbook for transition-age youth.

There is a vast distance between communities in Alaska and a variety of individualized resources. If you are looking for a specific resource (i.e. assistive technology, vocational rehabilitation, any resource not listed), please contact us and speak with one of our autism resource specialists to find resources in your community. 
Upcoming Community Events
Stone Soup Group's Annual Parent Conference
3/22/19 & 3/23/19 | Anchorage
"A training designed to meet the needs of parents, educators, healthcare providers, and advocates. This year Stone Soup Group will explore challenging behavior, and ways to transform it into meaningful relationships." More information at StoneSoupGroup.org

*Family Bowling Night
3/27/19, 6-9 PM | Anchorage
Join us for a fun, FREE evening of bowling;  More details here

Sensory Friendly Movie Night
3/29/19, 6 PM | Fairbanks
"Join the Autism Society of Alaska for a sensory friendly showing of Ralph Breaks the Internet on March 29th at 6:00pm at the Autism Society of Alaska office 1024 Barnette Street in Fairbanks. There will be crafts to do, toys to play with, and FRESH popcorn to eat! [They] will also be handing out safety kits. Look below for full details!" More details on their Facebook page .

*Autism Awareness Barnes & Noble Bookfair
3/30/19, 11-6 PM | Anchorage
Join us for a day of fun at Barnes & Noble!  More details on our website .

Hoop Camp
3/30/19 & 3/31/19, 9 AM - 1 PM | Anchorage
"Hoop Camp is a 'unified' & inclusive basketball camp catering to ALL adults & children with disabilities (the full spectrum of autism, down syndrome, cognitive and mental delays, and all kinds of disabilities) from 6-70+ years of age! Our camp is “unified” so children, friends and family without disabilities are also encouraged to attend. ALL are invited. Everyone plays together with campers of their own age, ability, and skill level." Check out the flyer . Learn more on their website .

*Autism Awareness Barnes & Noble Bookfair
4/6/19, 11 AM-6 PM | Fairbanks
Join us for a day of fun at Barnes & Noble!  More details on our website .

*Anchorage Walks for Autism - 80s Theme!
4/13/19, 12-2 PM | Anchorage
An inclusive event to help raise autism awareness!  More details on our website .

Anchorage Museum Sensory Friendly Access Morning
4/14, 10:30 AM - 12 PM | Anchorage
"Self-directed, drop-in sessions are...opportunities for families and adults who experience a range of developmental and physical disabilities and those on the autism spectrum to visit a specific museum gallery when the museum is closed to the general public. " More details on their website.

*AARC sponsored events
Resources of the Month
The resources of the month are available in the Special Education Service Agency (SESA) Library. Search for items on the   SESA website , or contact the librarian, Anne Freitag, at   afreitag@sesa.org   or 907-334-1301 

Electronic books may be accessed from anywhere in the state. If you've used our ebooks before,   go to the login  page here.  If you haven't, please contact Anne so she can set up a username and password for you.   Learn more about ebooks here .
Books:
Deployment : one of our pieces is missing
By: Julia Cook, illustrated by Tamara Campeau
National Center for Youth Issues, 2018, ISBN:
Currently on order
Description: "... covers: health risks such as seizures and depression; treatments, therapies, and teaching strategies; teaching skills to cope with puberty, self-care, and social skills; teenage emotions, sexuality, appropriate relationships, and dating; middle school, high school, and developing an Individual Educational Program; preparing for life after high school." Publisher's website .
My New School: A workbook to help students transition to a new school
By: Melissa L. Trautman, foreword by Brenda Smith Myles
Autism Asperger Pub. Co., 2010. ISBN: 9781934575659
Description: "For many students with autism spectrum disorder, even relatively minor changes to daily routines and schedules are overwhelming; imagine how traumatic moving to a new school would be! This interactive book is addressed directly to the student and takes a practical approach to this anxiety-provoking subject by acknowledging the difficulties transferring to a new school can bring and engaging the students in a series of proactive activities designed to lessen fears by resulting in tangible steps to take, to-do lists, checklists, etc. This book is sure to make the transition smoother." Publisher's website.
Raising Children in the Military
By: Cheryl Lawhorne-Scott, Don Philpott, & Jeff Scott.
Rowman & Littlefield, 2014, ISBN: 9781442227484
Description: Military families with children face many of the everyday challenges that those families not in the military face, but they also face other challenges that the rest of us don't. This book looks at the special issues and concerns of military families raising children and provides support and resources for those families.
mister rogers parenting book
Autism Spectrum Disorders in Adolescents and Adults: Evidence-based and promising interventions
Edited by: Matt Tincani & Andy Bondy
The Guilford Press, 2016. ISBN: 9781462526154
Description: "...describes ways to support adolescents and adults in succeeding in higher education and work, living independently, enjoying leisure activities, navigating meaningful personal relationships, and more." - Publisher's website
Alaska Autism Resource Center | 866-301-7372 | aarc@sesa.org | www.AlaskaARC.org