In This Issue:

5 New Year's Resolutions for an Autism Mom

Are Your Dreams for Your Autistic Child Serving You or Them?
Listen to Your Child's Dreams for Himself

Autism Special Needs Checklist: Big Kids (ages 6-12)

Ham Biscuit Sandwiches With Apricot Mustard Recipe

January Family Fun Activities



From Your NBN Group Family!
 


Is looking for a  Full Time BCBA

As a member of our team at New Behavioral Network your responsibilities include: 


In home cases
Supervise team members
Create training for field team members
Help run autism camp for three weeks in August 

Conduct Functional Behavior Assessments
Create Behavior Plans
Oversee the implementation of Behavior Plans

Email  Megan for more information 
or call our recruiting office at 856-669-0211 Extension 200327




 
 


5 New Year's Resolutions for an Autism Mom
J ulie M Green
A new year is upon us. And though I've never been much for resolutions, like everyone I'm looking ahead, I want to do better.
My goals include the usual: exercising more and eating less (junk). But mostly I'm vowing to raise the bar as a mom to my 6-year-old autistic son.
I do the best I can, sure. But some days, my best falls short of good enough. My son is a tremendous kid. He deserves an equally tremendous -- at least most of the time -- mom. So in that spirit of self-improvement and self-awareness, I resolve to the following:

1. I will not force you to look me in the eye.
I will focus instead on ensuring that you are really listening to what I am saying, even if your eyes don't meet mine. I know how hard it is for you to look and listen at the same time, so when given the choice, I'd choose you hearing me every time.

2. I will not talk about you in the third person while you are in earshot.
You are not a baby. Nor are you a ghost. As you are old enough to understand more than we probably give you credit for, it follows that you deserve to be included in any conversation that concerns you. If it's a sensitive matter, or one with the potential to upset you, then your father and I should discuss the business behind closed doors.

3. I will cultivate an interest in your interests because connecting with you brings us closer.
OK, so I am no more interested in the Cyrillic alphabet than you are in Zumba or women's literature. However, I will make the effort to tap into your world because I'm interested in you. Your passion is contagious and inspiring. And who knows? Maybe it's not too late for this old dog to pick up a new linguistic trick...

4. I will have a "can do" attitude when it comes to your challenges.
On a tough day, it's easy to throw up our hands and despair about all the things you cannot do. On a tough day, the silver lining is so hard to see, no matter how we strain to see. Those are exactly the days when I need to pause, take one look over my shoulder and see just how far you've come. In the past six month, in the past year... You work so incredibly hard, and you are growing every day. I will not minimize or trivialize the tasks that are difficult for you (as long as you promise not to laugh at how hard learning Russian is for me!)

5. I will not apologize for or justify your behavior to strangers, or anyone else for that matter.
I will instead shrug my shoulders, smile enigmatically, and hope that they'll leave as charmed by your quirks as I (mostly) am. Haters gonna hate no matter what this mama says. If necessary, I can educate. I can provide information to those whose world has never been touched by autism. But as your mother, I refuse to apologize or feel anything resembling guilt or shame. Those who don't see you for who you are don't deserve my time -- or yours.


Are Your Dreams for Your Autistic Child Serving You or Them?
Listen to Your Child's Dreams for Himself
Written by  Lisa Jo Rudy  



Most parents have very specific goals for their children-and even more specific goals for their children with autism. Often, those goals start with "I want my child to be happy." But a  typical adult's version of happiness may not have much to do with an autistic child's interests, abilities, or desires.



Why Parents Set Unrealistic Goals for Their Autistic Children
Many parents of autistic children set short and long-term goals for their child without spending much time discussing the subject with their child. This makes sense to a degree: children with autism may have a tough time envisioning or articulating specific ideas about what they want from life. Even teens or adults on the spectrum may have a hard time coming up with a clear vision of the future. And goal-making requires a degree of abstract thinking and executive planning that may be unreasonable to expect.

Problems arise, however, when parents fill in any blanks with their own visions of what is desirable, interesting, comfortable, or preferable. That's because the hopes and dreams of a  neurotypical adult are rarely the same as those of an autistic child, teen, or young adult.
In fact, parental goals are often created, not with their actual autistic child in mind, but with the hope (sometimes subconscious) that their autistic child will somehow morph into a typical adult. Many parents, in fact, hope and dream that their autistic child will change to the degree that she will fit into society's norms and expectations.

Common Goals Held By Parents of Autistic Children
Many parents with autistic children express the desire to see their children happy. Their definition of happiness may look something like this:
  • "I want my child to have a nice group of friends."
  • "I want my child to live independently."
  • "I want my child to get married and have a family."
  • "I want my child to behave and think normally."
  • "I want my child to hold down a good job and advance in her career."
As you may have noticed, every one of the goals above-all of which are commonly expressed by parents of autistic children-are built around preferences and abilities that require strong social communication skills, solid executive planning skills, a preference for spending time in social groups, and quite a bit of personal ambition. They also assume a desire to find a permanent romantic partner and (ideally) produce offspring.

People with autism have many strengths, skills, interests, and desires. But because they are autistic, their strengths, skills, interests, or desires are not likely to revolve around social prestige or the desire to impress others. In fact, many people with autism actively prefer solitude to groups. Some people with autism do pair up, but many find intense intimacy to be overwhelming. What's more, it's a rare person with autism who is ambitious in the usual sense of wanting to impress and outdo his peers or parents.

 
Autism Special Needs Checklist: Big Kids (ages 6-12)
Reviewed by:  Anne M. Meduri, MD


When your child is ready for school, expect exciting new opportunities and challenges. The 
right education plan can help your child reach his or her full potential. But school is not just about learning. Just like his or her peers, your child is navigating friendships and social situations.

Follow this 8-step checklist to help your child succeed during the elementary school years.

Step 1: Look for Support at School
Many kids with autism spectrum disorder are diagnosed by age 3 and receive early intervention services. When they turn 3, they're eligible for additional services at their local school district with the help of an  individualized education program (IEP)The IEP may include therapy for speech/language, behavior, or sensory concerns. In school, kids might get extra support through a classroom aide or during a "lunch bunch" or social skills group.

Parents meet with an IEP team to determine a child's needs. While you can't insist on certain services, you can appeal the IEP if you feel that the plan doesn't meet your child's needs. The IEP is reviewed and updated each year, but you can ask for updates before that to make sure your child is meeting goals.

Not all kids with autism need an IEP. Those who do not qualify for an IEP can get educational assistance through a  504 education plan, which provides for accommodations in a regular classroom that improve a child's learning experience.

Step 2: Get Tech Savvy
Technology can help kids with autism improve verbal skills, social skills, and behavior. Through the use of educational apps and computer games and programs, kids can increase their focus, get rewarded for good behavior, learn new skills, and have fun doing it. Some devices (called "assistive devices") can even vocalize kids' thoughts if they have trouble speaking. 

Ask your child's doctor or speech or behavioral therapist for suggestions on what kinds of apps or other media can help your child. Many games help to reinforce the skills that kids are already learning in the classroom or during therapy sessions.

Step 3: Plan Playdates and Social Time
It's important for kids with autism to socialize with their peers, even if sometimes it can be challenging for them. Playdates and other activities are some much-needed chances to practice social skills and make new friends. Those who are struggling can sign up for a social skills group, which helps with things like introducing yourself, talking to others, reading social cues, and more.

When helping your child choose a playmate, look for someone who shares the same interests. Pre-plan the activities (like going to a park, playground, or another activity you know your child will enjoy), and avoid places with too much noise and stimulation if you think it will overwhelm your child. Let your child know what to expect ahead of time. Consider using a visual schedule with pictures or create social stories to help "tell ahead" what will happen during a playdate.

Step 4: Get Kids Moving
Physical activity is also great for kids with autism - it can help improve their fitness, coordination, strength, and body awareness. Regular physical activity can help prevent childhood obesity. Exercise may also help decrease repetitive, self-stimulating behaviors and improve attention.

Many sports programs, such as Special Olympics, Little League Challenger Division, TOPSoccer and at the YMCA, can help your child to be physically active while also meeting new friends who have similar challenges. Karate, therapeutic horseback riding programs, and aquatic therapy are also great ways to keep kids active.





Ham Biscuit Sandwiches With Apricot Mustard
You've never seen ham sammies like this before.

Wow your brunch crowd with made-from-scratch biscuits and a delightful mustard sauce. 
TOTAL TIME: 40 min. 
YIELD: 9 servings.

INGREDIENTS
Ham Biscuit Sandwiches

3 1/2 c.  all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled, plus more for work surface

1 1/2 tbsp.  baking powder

3/4 tsp.  baking soda

1 1/2 tbsp.  sugar

1 tsp.  kosher salt

1/2 c.  (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces, plus 2 teaspoons melted

1 3/4 c.  cold buttermilk

Sliced ham 

Apricot Mustard (below), sliced extra-sharp Cheddar, and lettuce leaves, for serving

Apricot Mustard

1/2 c.  apricot jam

2 tbsp.  whole-grain mustard

1 tbsp.  Dijon mustard

DIRECTIONS
Ham Biscuit Sandwiches
  1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt in a bowl. Cut in cold butter with a pastry blender or fork until coarse crumbs form. 
  2. Make the biscuits: Stir buttermilk into flour mixture until just combined. Turn out dough onto a well-floured work surface and knead lightly 3 or 4 times. Pat into a 3/4-inch-thick rectangle. Cut into 9 squares and transfer to a baking sheet, placing close together but not touching. Brush with melted butter. Bake until golden brown, 18 to 20 minutes.
  3. Halve biscuits and top with ham. Serve with Apricot Mustard, Cheddar, and lettuce alongside.
  4. Make the Apricot Mustard: Whisk together apricot jam, whole-grain mustard, and Dijon mustard in a bowl. Makes 2/3 cup.
January Fun Family Activities 


 
Jan. 4, 2020
Three Kings Day
Free admission
5:00 - 8:00 PM
Cherry Hill H.S. West
2101 Chapel Ave., Cherry Hill NJ 08002
In collaboration with Latinos at West, Latinos at East, and the Rosa International Middle School Multicultural Club, the Cherry Hill Hispanic Civic Association (CHHiCA) will host a Three Kings' Day celebration featuring Latin-inspired food, performances, crafts, dance lessons and a special visit from the Three Wise Men.
This is the second annual celebration. Over 200 people attended last year's celebration. Residents of Cherry Hill and surrounding communities are invited to this family-friendly event.
 
Jan. 5, 2020
Sensory Sensitive Sundays at Chuck E. Cheese
8:00 am
Chuck E. Cheese
2100 RTE. 38 Suite #4
Cherry Hill, NJ 08002
Chuck E. Cheese is proud to support families who have children with autism and other special needs. We offer a sensory-friendly experience on the first Sunday of every month at participating locations, opening our stores two hours before their normal opening time. Our Sensory Sensory events include a trained and caring staff that work to ensure each guest has a fun-filled visit. We realize that the Chuck E. experience can be very stimulating for any child, so our mission is to create an event that allows ALL kids to be a kid.
 
Jan 12th, 2020
WinterFest on the Cooper River
9:00 am - 10:00 am
Corner of North Park Avenue and Cuthbert Blvd, Cherry Hill, 08003, United States
Winter Fest will hold Skating Lessons for people of all ages and skill level. Lessons are taught by our Professional Skating Instructor, Jacqueline Barr. Our Skating Sessions & Fees include: 30 Minute Lesson with our Instructor, Followed by 30 Minutes of Practice and Skate Rental for a total of 1 hour on the Ice each week. Classes are held on Sunday from 9 -10 AM.
 
 
Black History Month Essay*Poster*Video Contest
CHAACA is sponsoring an Essay-Poster-Video Contest for Black History Month 2020. The essay, poster or video must depict a/an African American in the Armed Forces and NASA. This contest is open to Cherry Hill Students in grades K-12! Entries can be dropped off at Youth Services, Upper Level. For information on how to enter, click here.  https://www.docdroid.net/mnz9hwf/essay-poster-video-2020.pdf   Any questions, contact Cathy Jenkins at csaxjenks@gmail.com.
*Judges are needed for the CHAACA Essay/Poster/Video contest. Judges need to be available for one night of judging on either Monday, February 3 or Wednesday, February 12 between 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. in the Half Conference Center, Lower Level at the Cherry Hill Public Library. To register to be a judge, contact Cathy Jenkins at csaxjenks@gmail.com. Judges will read essay submissions, review poster and video entries.

PAWS DISCOVERY FARM!
1105 HAINESPORT-MOUNT LAUREL ROAD
MOUNT LAUREL, NJ 08054
Open 10AM to 4 pm Monday - Friday
10am to 6pm Saturday & Sunday 
Enjoy acres of family fun! Paws Discovery Farm promotes a special relationship between people, their local history, and their environment, with an emphasis on reaching out to children. Learning is designed to be fun at PAWS DISCOVERY FARM!
We offer classes and story hours, animal programs and birthday parties, as well as special events throughout the year. All visitors enjoy and learn from many interactive exhibits and over 80 birds and animals housed here.
 
Paint a Treasure
615 Station Ave.
Haddon Heights, NJ 08035
856-617-0602
For ages 5 and up. Come in and get creative anytime during our normal walk in studio hours.  You choose how to play - Pottery Painting or Canvas Painting!  Reservations are suggested for groups of 4 or more.  
Wednesday:  10am - 5pm 
Thursday - 10am - 9pm
Friday:  10am - 9pm
Saturday:  10am - 9pm
Sunday: 12 - 5pm
 (Closed Mon. & Tues. for Private Event Bookings)
 
We Rock the Spectrum
3111 NJ-38, Mt Laurel Township, NJ 08054, USA
856-242-9354 
We Rock the Spectrum Mount Laurel is committed to providing a safe, nurturing, and fun environment to foster learning, exploration and safe sensory experiences. Through our nonprofit My Brother Rocks The Spectrum Foundation, we provide social skills groups and activities for children across the spectrum.
We Rock the Spectrum Mount Laurel provides children with a fun and motivational environment to help them in the areas of strength, movement, sensory processing, communication, positive behavior modification, social interactions, and self-care skills. Our unique equipment assists all children in their neurological growth and development.
 
Miller Farms -Horseback Trail Rides & Lessons in Camden County!
Come enjoy the beautiful scenery at the only horseback/trail riding available in Camden County. Trail riding is offered Saturdays and Sundays from 10am to 4pm year round (Weather permitting). Children must be at least 7 years old to trail ride. Cost is $30/person for approximately an hour-long trail ride. Hand-led rides are also available for those younger than 7 and cost $5.
Reservations are strongly suggested.
We offer a great place for family fun, birthday parties, girl scouts and youth groups. Summer horse camp, riding lessons, and horse drawn wagon rides are also available.
1 Hour Trail Rides are $30 Per Person | Call for reservations | Trail Rides Sat and Sun Only | Open Year round
Miller Farms
134 N. Grove Street, Berlin, NJ 08009
856-728-3500
 
ISC - ISC (International Sport, Skating & Fun Centre) Cherry Hill
650 Kresson Rd.
Cherry Hill, NJ 08034
Classes: Sports
Camps: All, Sports
HOURS: Our offices are open 9 AM - 5 PM daily. Give us a buzz for more information!
CALL: 856-428-8588  
MORE DETAILS: ISC (International Sport, Skating & Fun Centre) Cherry Hill is any family's destination for fun!
Located off of Kresson Road (behind the 7Eleven) in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, we offer skating, a FunZone & Inflatable (10 & Under), and an arcade. Our facility also includes a cafè with pizza, hot dogs, popcorn, nachos, drinks and more!
ISC Cherry Hill offers activities for all ages, no matter the season.
Our youth & adult sports leagues run year round and include:
  • Soccer
  • Lacrosse
  • Field Hockey
  • Volleyball
  • Roller Hockey

Jellybean Jungle
Crispin Square Shopping Center  
230 North Maple Ave
Marlton, NJ 08053
Open Play Hours:
Monday - Wednesday 9:30 - 5:00  
Thursday 9:30 - 6:00  
Friday  9:30 - 8:00  
 Saturday  9:30 - 2:30  
Sunday - Closed for Private Parties  
Jellybean Jungle is a play and learn adventure that is exclusively for  children 5 and under. Our facility is a bright and stimulating environment  created just for your little ones.
Jellybean Jungle was designed by a New Jersey Early Childhood certified  teacher. Safe, age appropriate equipment has been selected for your  children's enjoyment. We offer a large variety of imaginative and  developmentally appropriate activities that will lead your child on an adventure  of social exploration! As your child plays, you will gain insight into their  development, as well as enjoy a great time of bonding.

Adventure Aquarium 
Mon. - Sun.: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
CALL:  (856) 365-3300  
1 Riverside Drive Camden, NJ 08103 PH: 844-474-FISH (3474)
Adventure Aquarium is just minutes from downtown Philadelphia on the  Camden Waterfront and features one-of-a-kind exhibits with more than 8,500 aquatic species throughout two million gallons of water. The Aquarium is home to the largest collection of sharks on the East Coast, including the only great hammerhead shark on exhibit in the United States, the only 
aquarium in the world to exhibit hippos, one of only six facilities in the US to have Little Blue penguins as permanent residents and exhibits the longest Shark Bridge in the world, a unique V-shaped rope suspension bridge just inches over Shark Realm. Adventure Aquarium is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), and is held to the absolute highest standards in animal care and exhibition.

Sensory Friendly Movies at AMC
AMC is proud to partner with the Autism Society to offer unique movie  showings where we turn the lights up, and turn the sound down, so you can get up, dance, walk, shout or sing! Our Sensory Friendly Film program is available on the second and fourth Saturday (family-friendly) and Tuesday evenings (mature audiences) of every month. Please check your local theater listings for specific show times, and don't forget to share your family fun with #AMCSensoryFriendly.

Battleship New Jersey 
62 Battleship Pl, Camden, NJ 08103-3302
866-877-6262
Located on the Camden Waterfront, NJ, across the Delaware River  from Center City Philadelphia the Battleship New Jersey Museum and  Memorial offers guided and self-guided tours. Climb inside the 16" gun  turrets, learn explore the captain's cabins and crew's quarters and  discover what life was like for a Battleship sailor. Group packages and  educational programs are available for school. You can rent space  aboard the Battleship for meetings and social events. Families and  youth groups can spend the night aboard the Battleship as part of the  overnight program. 


Careers
Would you like to make a difference in your community or an individual's life? 
Apply to New Behavioral Network today! 

We are now hiring . . .

 

Licensed Mobile Therapists

Behavior Interventionists

Behavioral Assistants

BCBAs & BCaBAs

 

We offer competitive pay, flexible schedules, and a supportive work environment.

Connections
NBN Group
2 Pin Oak Lane
Cherry Hill, NJ 08003
(856) 874-1616