Enhancing Lives
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Let's Talk Autism
Save The Date! - October 22, 2020
This fall, we are happy to announce that we will be hosting a 2 1/2 hr. virtual training for parents, professionals, and self advocates. Our speaker, Dr. Erik Carter from Vanderbilt Kennedy Center will be discussing The Road to Belonging: Creating Inclusive Environments For Individuals With an Autism Spectrum Disorder. CEU's will be provided. Be watching for full details in our next newsletter and on our website.

To learn more: https://okautism.org/Training-Events
Virtual Learning & Managing Screen Time-Part 2
This week, we continue our discussion on managing screen time while participating in virtual learning. Here are some additional tips to create more structure for when you will incorporate different types of screen time. Our hope is that it will encourage you to find creative ways to keep everyone calm, healthy, and engaged in constructive work and play.

While the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) have suggested screen time recommendations for children 5 years old and younger, they have no specific limits for children 6 and older, as long as it does not interfere with sleep physical activity, and other healthy habits.

  • Create opportunities to practice and teach “tech self-control” by having your child turn off the TV, tablet, or video game themselves. You may practice by setting up a visual timer for your child to see how much time they have left, and/ or giving them a 3-5 minute reminder for when they will take a break away from technology or give up preferred media device.

  • Explore additional leisure activities using technology. Are there podcasts or audiobooks that your child might enjoy that you could introduce them to?

  • Involve your child in daily routines such as dressing, meal prep and clean up. This helps ensure additional times during every day where there are breaks away from technology.

  • Create positive screen time experiences. When you need to use screen time outside of online learning, for example during times of day you are teleworking, meal prepping, or assisting a sibling in virtual school or homework, create “positive” screen time and encourage your child to play educational games or video chat with relatives.

  • Find the balance. It is understandable that during this time our children may have more access to screen time; however, screen time can interfere with a child’s daily routine which can prevent them from getting access to other activities they need such as movement/ exercise, sleep, and healthy eating. See that their day still includes activities that are in the best interest of their health and well-being in the long run.

  • Watch your child’s sleep patterns. David Hill, a pediatrician and professor at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine explains that “Although many parents might see digital media as a sleep aid, the presence of a screen in a bedroom leads to fewer minutes of sleep for children at all ages, including infants.” Even calm videos can interfere with a child’s melatonin secretion and disrupt their sleep.

  • Notice your own technology use. The AAP reminds us that engaging in news or social media feeds that stress us out can also affect our children. Take a media break to protect your own mental health too.

We invite you to explore these tips and find out which ones are helpful to you as a family. Please feel free to reach out to us if you need additional ideas or assistance.

We are available through email at okautism@ouhsc.edu
Training Opportunity Through Developmental Disabilities Services
The Developmental Disabilities Services Fall 2020 Virtual Symposium will be held on Wednesday, September 30th, 2020. The symposium will offer an opportunity for Developmental Disabilities Services (DDS) staff, provider staff, families and self-advocates to virtually participate and learn more about person-centered planning. 

The Fall Symposium will focus on how to help people have valued lives with a focus on person-centered principles in our individual planning process. We look forward to people from across the state coming together and learning! 

The event will be held virtually through the Zoom videoconferencing platform.
Registration will open September 1st, 2020 and close September 18th, 2020. The symposium capacity is 300 attendees, so register early. There is no fee to attend.

We Are Available To Assist You!
As employees of the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, we are currently working remotely. You can leave us a message and we will return your call or for more immediate assistance you can email us at okautism@ouhsc.edu
We encourage you to reach out if you need assistance!
Stay safe and healthy!
The Oklahoma Autism Network Team