Woodallkids Newsletter

Learn More

Dates to Remember

Hike for Autism
March 12

March 10-14

Coffee Chat
March 7
March 31

Parent Support Group
March 28

'All in for Autism' Casino Night 
April 3

Woodallkids Carnival
May 3

Open this email in your browser HERE. 

Parents Tips 

All children share a natural drive to explore their environment through play. Playtime is an opportunity for children to develop skills that support physical, cognitive, emotional, and social development. For many children with developmental disabilities, play does not always look like what we expect in typically-developing children. Limited physical abilities or restricted interests may make it difficult for children to participate in a wide range of play activities that are ideal for healthy development. Goals for both independent and social play are an important part of intervention programs, but these skills can also be practiced in the home with a little planning.

What you can do to support your young learner is to provide an environment rich with opportunities for different types of play including physical activities, sensory experience, pretend play, and problem solving. For children with autism, the surrounding environment may seem complex and confusing when many toys are presented in a disorganized way. Arranging your child's toys so that pieces that go together are stored in the same container may help encourage him or her to use toys for their intended purpose. Giving your child opportunities to explore toys on his or her own (unstructured) in addition to spending time demonstrating the intended use and encouraging participation (structured) can help make playtime a cooperative learning experience.

It is also important to consider your child's age, developmental level and abilities when selecting toys and activities. Research what types of activities your child is likely to experience in social interactions with peers of the same age. These activities are good goals to work toward. Consider your child's abilities and limitations. It may be necessary to make accommodations so that he or she can fully participate. Then, use less and less support over time until your child can complete the activity independently. Think about all of the steps in the process of using a toy or doing an activity. Make note of the steps your child can do by him or herself and which steps you might assist with. Consider the activity's level of difficulty and avoid choosing activities that are too difficult and frustrating.

Children with developmental disabilities sometimes show little interest in common play activities and parents may find it difficult to engage them in play. Have your child watch other children doing new activities. This exposure may encourage your child to take the first step to try something new. Exposure to the same activities over time can help build familiarity and interest. Consider sensory experiences involved in a particular play activity like loud sounds or being touched by others. Observe your child's reactions to different types of lighting, textures, scents, movements, and sounds and choose activities that incorporate the types of stimulation she or he likes. Children who seem to prefer to play alone may enjoy quiet activities with less talking. Scooping sand or water, listening to soothing music, or collecting leaves outside to make a collage are all great options to try. Art projects provide opportunities for children to interact with others in a way that allows for freedom to participate with no one "right way" of doing so.

Adding something new to play routines is a great way to expand on your child's repertoire of play activities. For example, a child who loves toy cars might enjoy building tunnels and bridges or imitating vehicle sounds. Try to use toys that engage and build on your child's current interests and abilities, and gradually move to increasingly complex play. Nearly anything can become a toy; dishes and silverware, old clothes, boxes, sand, spray bottles, and other items found around the house can be used to pretend, build, create art, and have FUN!

Play is an essential part of a child's life, and it is a great opportunity for parents and children to have fun together while learning about each other.

Learning Through Play from the Brent Woodall Foundation 
In this video, you will find examples of working with children through play in structured
and naturalistic settings.


From the desk of

Ashley Cope, Case Manager 
Brent Woodall Foundation  





4 Days to Go!

We are so incredibly proud and honored by Chris Waltenburg's dedication to the Brent Woodall Foundation. Over the last year, Chris has been training to go on a 2,185 mile hike through the Appalachian Trail. Over the course, he has raised over $10,000 for the Foundation! We are so appreciative of Chris and wish him the best of luck as he embarks on his adventure in less than four days! Check out his website to see live updates of his hiking progress and learn more about his journey. 


"The thought of raising money to help promote the work of the Brent Woodall Foundation for Exceptional Children is all the motivation I need to do this goal. I would like to shine a light on the courage of the parents who live every day in autism's shadow... I believe that children with autism, as with any illness, should have the best chance possible at a fulfilling life, This foundation helps to provide that chance. Help me help children with autism by sponsoring my hike of the Appalachian Trail." - Chris Waltenburg



A Word from Outreach
Remote Consultation Shoutout from Woodallkids Outreach 

Assistant Director of Woodallkids Outreach Bethany Covington  
   talks about the exciting outreach program. 


Look out for Facebook and
Twitter flash sales this week!

April 3, 2013 


Austin Ranch

2009 Anderson Gibson Road

Grapevine, Texas 75051


 Learn more and register 


Email Erin@woodallkids.org to inquire about sponsorship.


  Two Super Easy Ways to Help 

Register yourself on www.GoodSearch.com and choose the Brent Woodall Foundation as the mission you want to support. Every time you use the GoodSearch search engine, the company will donate one cent to the Brent Woodall Foundation. This is an alternative to Google that will do a whole lot of GOOD for children with autism. It is free and easy to use. Fund-raise for the BWF with just a click of your mouse!
Visited the Brent Woodall Foundation's wish list on Amazon.  
Help the Foundatiom with just a click of your mouse. 



Brent Woodall Foundation for Exceptional Children


Open this email in your browser HERE.