Volume 6; Issue 3                                                                        August 3, 2002

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Hi everyone!

When my son, J. broke his leg the second last day of school this year, I had no idea what we were going to do. The orthopedic surgeon forbade him to go swimming or take a bath and he told us to avoid him getting overheated (hard work with the weather we’ve been having this July).  He wasn’t supposed to put weight on the cast initially, so he was pretty much bed ridden in our only room with air conditioning for most of the summer! I couldn’t take him to the park for fear he would get sand in his cast…so what could we do?

We could increase the hours of his home ABA/IBI program which was good because he likes to be kept busy, but I wanted him to have some free time fun other than fast forwarding and rewinding video tapes for hours on end. J

My team and I came up with an idea: we would reproduce camp in our basement in the form of a play program.  We would get my 8 year old daughter and her friends involved whenever possible; in fact anyone who knocks on my door these days is invited to join us in a rousing version of “Shake, Shake, Shake Your Sillies Out”!

My senior therapist, Aliya was in charge of crafts and she put together an awesome program and organized all materials for one craft per day.  I scoured the Internet for lyrics to songs and put together a tape of them with instructions on hand actions.  (We had to adapt some of them due to J’s limited mobility, but still made them as fun as possible.) We also looked at some games developmentally (and physically) appropriate to him.

I thought I’d share our program in the hopes it may be helpful to those of you who’s children are either not in camp or have a few weeks off.  Something similar can be put together for winter and spring breaks or (let’s hope not) in the case of broken limbs. J

These programs can be created in advance for use on rainy days and holidays.  They can also easily be adapted to groups to increase social skills.  I’ve used some very basic ideas here that are suited to my son, but they can be customized to fit other ages and developmental levels.  While you’re at it, you can even build a birthday party around these ideas!

This is a fun issue filled with ideas to help pass some time in a constructive and entertaining manner.  Play programs can help enhance social skills, turn taking, expressive/receptive language, matching, sorting, sensory integration, communication and much more. I hope these ideas are helpful to you!

Bee Cool,


This issue is dedicated to our team: Aliya, Zeenat, Wendy, Lisa and Nicole for all their help during this newest challenge.  It is also dedicated to my brave little guy, J.




We looked for well-known, up-tempo tunes.  Many of them have actions, which also address some of our sensory integration program.  My daughter who is currently attending day camp helped us a great deal with this.  She loved being involved and was proud to show off her repertoire.

You can accompany these songs with PCS from Boardmaker, Picture This, FlashPro II etc to help your child know what lyrics are coming next and to encourage joining in.  I print out my PCS and get them laminated at Staples Business Depot in legal sized sheets.  You can use a Burfab board to display them, or even use a photo album from the dollar store to put them in book form.

Some ideas for songs are:

Links to find more songs:

Children’s Artists

We copied the lyrics of all our songs and put them in a binder.  CDs can be stored in the binder using special sleeves bought at office supply stores.


How to organize:

Decide ahead of time which crafts you’d like to try. Once you decide on a craft, put aside all the supplies you’ll need (enough for two, you can teach through imitation) and put in a Ziploc storage bag.  Label the bag and be sure to label instructions identically.  Instructions can be put in the bag or in a separate binder.  This way, whoever is leading the craft can just pick out a bag and have everything at the ready.

Keep in mind that glue, paints; markers etc should be washable and non-toxic.  Purchase a shower curtain liner (Dollar Store again) to put over the floor, helping with cleanup.  Store all craft objects out of reach of children because there will be small objects, scissors etc.  Be sure that supplies like glue, markers, scissors etc are always put back in the same place, because they will not be in the bag with the rest of your goodies.

Proudly display artwork on your fridge using this holder:

Cool crafts:

Websites for crafts:

Arts and Crafts Basic Supplies:

Safety Scissors

Foam paper

Googly eyes


Construction paper


White glue

Tissue paper


Glue sticks


Felt/fabric pieces


Pipe cleaners

Washed out milk jugs


Non-toxic, washable paints

Clothes pegs


Packing materials

Flower arrangement foam

Brown paper bags

Plastic soda bottles and milk jugs


Buttons and beads

Popsicle sticks

White and colored paper

Egg cartons

Toilet paper and paper towel tubes

Adult’s old shirt worn backwards (to protect clothing

Magazines, newspapers

Wallpaper scraps

Foam trays from supermarket produce

Plastic jars

Thread spools

Old samples from Carpet Stores


Need ideas for some indoor fun?  Read on!

Interested in how to teach a game or independent play skill to your child?  Let us know at and we’ll devote an upcoming e-news issue to it!



Note: We received a great deal of positive response for our last issue.  We had included our version of the DSM-IV criteria for autism, minus the psychobabble.  I have since received input from a wonderful professional who’s helped to refine this for us.  We are reprinting it with these changes in this issue.   Many thanks go to R.C. for your help. You can read the slightly revised version here:

By: Michelle E

How I spent the first half of my Summer Vacation

My children have been keeping me extra busy this July but it has been going better than in past years. I still have not started counting the days before school starts. As much as I dread the days that they are home (bless their cute little souls) I think I dread going back to school even more - I will let you know in August if I still feel this way when they are all home and making my hair stand on end.

R and B started July off in Summer Recreation. It is a 4 week - 3 hour a day program that gets the kids together for sporty activities, pool once a week and other stuff like arts and crafts and putting on shows.

We are making progress - B didn't drop out of camp until the beginning of the 4th week this year. YEAHHHHHHH. This is progress because the year before he only made it 2 weeks at the most.  I sent him there for socialization reasons - knowing that he would be sitting the sports out because he hates sports and his coordination is not good and he is fearful of either losing or being teased (not sure).

Well, B found out the first day of camp that none of the children from his class were in Summer Recreation - and was very disappointed. (As was I) He decided that during the times when he didn't want to participate - he would play the Game Boy Advance. I was against this idea and told him that he was supposed to be making friends - not playing Game Boy.

Well, B took this to mean that if he needed to make friends - he would bring his brother D's Game Boy Advance too and a game link - so that he could invite the other children to play along with him. I said no way - he begged and pleaded and I gave in.

He actually made friends doing this and he only played it during the times that he was not participating in the sports - I warned him that if he lost the game boy --- he would be giving D his game boy.  Well you can guess what happens next...

That's right folks; he loses his game boy the last week of camp. I got a call from the director telling me he was extremely upset and to please come pick him up. Luckily my A.D.D brain forgot to put the cell phone on and I missed his call. I found out about this 2 seconds before I arrived at the school and they had found the game boy and the director of the program looked like he wanted to kill me and B was apologizing left and right.  He has decided that he has had enough of camp and is hanging out with me instead.

Meanwhile - 45 minutes away from Summer Recreation, I am driving R to acting school because he wants to be an actor when he grows up. So I sign him up for a 2-week program, which costs almost 500 dollars, and expect him to come out with a TV contract or something. It is a full day camp and they learn all about the theater and scenery and acting. He was not too thrilled when he first got there and there were only 3 girls and he. He told me later that he wanted to turn around as soon as he got there and leave and he sat in the back by himself. Then the other 42 kids showed up and he ended up making 8 friends.

So, I am really excited about his show, which is August 2nd, and then he gets to go to a cast party. He is having a great time. I have invited our whole family to come see R in his first acting career and he has his first big part. He is going to be a COCKROACH.

That's right -- a cockroach folks -- and not only that -- he is one of 4 cockroaches: Singing and fighting cockroaches.

I must tell you all - I am bursting with pride!!!! My first born in his debut role as a cockroach. :)

There is so much more to tell but not enough space to write it --- I will let you all know how the musical goes and how the Star does.

B has been home for 1 day and is already bored and D (notice I haven't complained about him) has been in school full time. The complaints will start coming in on or around the first of August.  And then the count down will begin :)

HAPPY SUMMER!!!!!  Michelle

If someone were to offer you something that would totally ‘cure’ your child of ASD and/or any co-existing diagnoses overnight, would you try it?  Our imaginary ‘cure’ would have been tested and proved to be totally safe.  What is your opinion?
Please email your answers to for possible inclusion in an upcoming issue.




   1.       “AUTISM FRIENDS: ( Come check out our 800+ links, Shopping section fundraisers      for parent run sites coming soon!)  Family pages and our Community section for chats 5 days a week!

     Coming soon to Autism Friends! Parent tips, ponderings and wisdom!

     Autism Friends is a Member supported website run by a parent. We are always looking for parent      contributions! Book recommendations, photos, best links, personal stories, poems & artwork by our creative geniuses. Contact Tina at: Tina”


  1. THE GENEVA CENTRE announces: a) Summer Training Institute is scheduled for August 19-23, 2002 in Toronto and August 19-20, 2002 in Halifax. Brochure may be viewed in PDF format at b) Geneva Centre International Symposium is scheduled for October 23, 24, 25, 2002 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. The Symposium 2002 brochure has been mailed out and is available at  This year you have the option to register on-line; major discounts for early bird registrations. Also, for the first time, delegates from around the world can access 8 presentations of the International Symposium 2002 live through the Internet. Some presentations have special interest for adults on the autism spectrum.


3.       Autism Children’s Intervention Services Inc.  ( Grace Damouni, Director/Founder - 8171 Yonge Street, Suite 226, Thornhill ON, L3T 2C6, Tel   416. 219 2316, Fax  905. 832 3139 E-Mail:

“Certified in PECS, Sensory Integration (went to Florida and took the course/lab with Pat Wilbarger), Greenspan’s Early Infancy and Childhood course (Floortime/DIR), training in Lovaas, workshop in Handwriting Without Tears, degree in psychology and most importantly, many, (9) years of clinical work with children with PDD/Autism. 

I work very closely with Dr. James Bebko of York University and Dr. Carolyn Lennox who are the consulting psychologists to ACIS. 

I am proud to say our IBI program is very comprehensive as it includes collaboration with SLPs and OTs as well as the educational team.  We help develop IEPs and provide trained shadows for classroom integration. 

We do travel outside of the immediate catchments region (once every month or two depending on the time of year) to administer staff training, consultations, assessments and program development.  We will travel to Guelph, Hamilton, Cambridge (for example) but only during certain times of the year.  However, we do not provide ITs  (mediators) to service this region although we can train staff that the family has already recruited.   For parents who are not interested in hiring a "team" we can set up the programs/binder.

We do however, provide "teams" and oversee the program for our catchment region, which is Markham, Pickering, Aurora, Richmond Hill, Thornhill, North York, Maple, Woodbridge.  If families live within this region we can offer a "team" with full services (assessments, programs, supervision etc) and this ranges in price from $20,000 and up depending on the treatment plan the family has in mind (we offer different plans).  In this regard we are very flexible which I believe makes us unique-we customize plans so that we are able to take into consideration the families needs/expectations.   Grace Damouni, Director/Founder


4.       Workshop Emphasizes Teaching Verbal Communication Skills to Children with Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities - Dr. Vince Carbone is a Board-certified Behaviour Analyst with over 25 years of experience designing learning environments for people with autism and developmental disabilities.  He provides preparatory training and clinical consultation to certified behaviour analysts, teaches university courses, and consults with schools, agencies, and families.  He is the developer and presenter of a series of workshops on teaching verbal behaviour (verbal communication skills) to children with autism.

Dr. Carbone will be conducting a 3 day intensive workshop "Teaching Communication Skills to Children with Autism and other Developmental Disabilities:  Introduction to Verbal Behaviour" on October 28, 29 & 30, 2002 in Oakville, Ontario.  The cost of the workshop is $400.00 per person if registered prior to August 15, 2002 and $425.00 per person after August 15, 2002.  The workshop is sponsored by Express Yourself Speech, Language and Communication Services.  For more information please call 905-333-9730.

Participants in Dr. Carbone's workshop will learn (1) to conduct a Behavioural Language Assessment, (2) to select the most appropriate form of communication for a child, and (3) to identify the communication responses and supporting skills that should be taught first.  He shares a special emphasis on teaching verbal behaviour to the most difficult to instruct learners.

Through methods of errorless teaching, specific quick-transfer procedures, and the use of discrete trial training Dr. Carbone has helped many children improve their communication skills.  The natural environment and intensive teaching sessions are both employed during program implementation.  Dr. Carbone's introductory workshop will provide parents, teachers, therapists, psychologists, and speech-language pathologists with practical information for program planning and implementation.


  1. “The Spectrum Community Newsletter: The Spectrum Community Newsletter is a new email newsletter containing news, links, shared stories on the spectrum disorders. The idea is to allow each subscriber the ability, if they have the desire, to be a voice heard. To receive the first issue please send email address to  Thanks, Christopher Chapman, Chief Operating Officer, Insight Direct, Inc
    800-471-4200 x231,,”


6.    “Our awareness campaign with the MPPs is having effects.  Please keep the letters to your MPPs coming, their addressed can be found at  Also remind all your contacts of the form letters to our target MPPs available at   

The community newspapers are responding well to us.  Look for upcoming articles regarding our families, scheduled for this week in the Mississauga News ( and hopefully in the next few weeks in the Vaughan Citizen (  It has been suggested that we should all e-mail or snail mail copies of these types of articles to our own local MPPs so that all our community newspaper articles reach all our MPPs in every constituency.  Let's all follow through with that suggestion, and then all our stories will be noted by MPPs across the province.  Sincerely, Nancy Morrison"

8.  Richmond Hill, Ontario: “A family in Richmond Hill would like their 6 year old child with autism to join a gymnastics class and/or dance lessons.  Following direction is a challenge at times, but she is very athletic in this area.  Does anyone know a gym centre in the area that works well with ‘our kids’?”  Contact Debbie at



A key part of the new program will include assigning specific ride boarding times at certain park attractions for guests with disabilities.

Guests with disabilities should stop by Guest Services to pick up a Guide for Guests with Disabilities. This free guide explains the ride entry guidelines and procedures, provides specific information related to each attraction, and includes an Attraction Boarding Pass now required for the special access accommodations. One Guide for Guests with Disabilities/Attraction Boarding Pass is required for each guest with a disability and will cover his/her accompanying friends/family members (up to maximum of three). Please note: you will need to pick up the new Guide/Attraction Boarding Pass each time you visit the Park.

Guests should take the Guide (which includes the Attraction Boarding Pass) to the ride exit and request a boarding time. A boarding time (based on the approximate length of the line at the time of the request) will be assigned and written into the Attraction Boarding Pass in the area designated for that ride. The time will be authenticated with a special stamp when it is written into the Boarding Pass. Guests with disabilities may not acquire a second or subsequent boarding time until any previous time(s) have passed, but may take advantage of other attractions that are not on the Attraction Boarding Pass.

Once the party has been assigned a boarding time in their Attraction Boarding Pass, they can wait in a comfortable location of their choice until it is time to board.

When the boarding time arrives, the guest with a disability can enter the ride through its entrance/exit. Once in the station the party will load into the next available ride vehicle.

Please call the Guest Services department (905-832-8131) at Paramount Canada's Wonderland if you have questions about this new program.

Or if you have any difficulties please direct them to the following.

 Kris Williams
Manager, Public Relations & Special Events
Paramount Canada's Wonderland, a division of Viacom Canada Inc.

9580 Jane Street, Vaughan, Ontario (Canada) L6A 1S6
(Phone) 905-832-7482     (Fax) 905-832-7419     (Media Pager) 416-484-5543

(Media Centre)



We are a group of parents who first came together in March of 2002 with the hope of advocating for ABA (Applied Behaviour Analysis) within the Ontario education system.   We are writing to ask that all concerned parents take time out of their busy lives to become involved in this important issue.  Our children will spend at least 12 years in the educational system and quality ABA would benefit them greatly.  Putting ABA in the classroom would ease the strain we all feel over trying to help our children learn.

If you’re new to ABA here is a brief explanation;

·         ABA is the most widely recognized and effective teaching method that allows autistic children to develop academically and socially

·         It involves breaking down a skill into smaller parts and teaching the child each part in a consistent and repetitive way until the skill is mastered. 

·         It is a teaching method that is tailored to each individual child.

Not only is ABA good for teaching children with autism it’s simply good teaching.   Thirty-five years of research and 550 published scientific studies support the benefits of using ABA to teach autistic children.

We strongly feel that now is the best time to act. The change in government leadership and changes in many of the key ministries gives us an opportunity to influence even more changes.  So far our group has been in contact with the Ministry of Education, the school boards, and MPPs.  We have made connections with other parents throughout the province.  If  we come together as one united voice, ignoring us will be impossible.

One way to become involved is to join our parents group (information about the next meeting is at the bottom of the letter). Another way is to join the Autism Society of Ontario(ASO). The ASO is recognized as a voice for autistic children and their families by government and the media.  Joining this organization would lend strength to our common cause.   

Our group is committed to exploring every option in order to achieve our goal.  Imagine what could be accomplished if all of us combined our efforts.  For the sake of all our children please get involved as their success depends on it.  Let’s believe that we can bring ABA to Ontario schools.  After all, we have nothing to lose yet our children have everything to gain.

Our next parents meeting is on , Thursday, August 15, 2002 at 7:30 pm at Surrey Place Centre (2 Surrey Place-by Women’s College Hospital).  We hope that you will attend.  Please contact the following people for more information and to let us know if you are coming;


o        Taline Sagharian

o        Patricia Petrolo

o        Paul Crisitini 

o        Lorraine Kor

o        Pat Cesario


11.  ABA/IBI Training “The Next Steps” Presented by Autism Society Ontario Halton Chapter on August 16 & 17, 2002. For details, copy and paste this URL into your browser:


Do you have an event, announcement, information or a request?  Email us at and we’ll put it in an upcoming E-News issue.  Email early to avoid disappointment! BBB Autism is not responsible for misrepresentations of persons or agencies utilizing this service.  Due to the positive response we’ve had from this feature, we regret we are going to have to start limiting entries to no more than 50 words, plus one email address for each submission.  This will be in effect next issue. Thanks for your cooperation! J


To subscribe, e-mail please provide your name and location.  To unsubscribe, e-mail please write 'unsubscribe' in subject line. If you think you know someone who might enjoy or benefit from these newsletters, kindly forward us their email address at
(C) 2002 BBB Autism

Past Issues
Archived issues (too many to list here) are available by link in HTML, plain text and PDF on our website at


CONTAIN PRACTICAL INFORMATION BY PARENTS FOR PARENTS Available on request, e-mail and ask for: (also available in PDF format)  

1.        Halloween

2.        Epsom Salts (Calcium too) – expanded version

3.         Epsom Salts – condensed version

4.        Pros and Cons of telling your ASD child his/her diagnosis

5.        How we advocate for our children

6.       Guide to holidays and large family gatherings


A notice to our readers...

The editor of this newsletter and founder of the BBB Autism support club is not a physician.

This newsletter references books and other web sites that may be of interest to the reader.  The editor/founder makes no presentation or warranty with respect to the accuracy or completeness of the information contained on any of these web sites or in the books, and specifically disclaims any liability for any information contained on, or omissions from, these books or web sites.  Reference to these web sites or books herein shall not be construed to be an endorsement of these web sites or books or of the information contained thereon, by the editor/founder.

The editor/founder reserves the right to make decisions as to whether contributions are appropriate with respect to content, length, etc.  We will not publish offensive material using foul language, or contributions that are inflammatory or disrespectful to decisions by or beliefs of other parents (i.e. therapies). We do not generally accept contributions if they are ads for private service agencies/clinics. We are also unable to accept contributions after an issue has been completed. We reserve the right to edit content, but will inform you in advance if we are going to do this. J

(c) BBB Autism – July 2002

This E-News is the intellectual property of BBB Autism Support Network.

Permission to reproduce and hand out is granted, provided the document is displayed in its entirety.  Other permissions may be requested by email:  The purpose of this copyright is to protect your right to make free copies of this paper for your friends and colleagues, to prevent publishers from using it for commercial advantage, and to prevent ill-meaning people from altering the meaning of the document by changing or removing a few paragraphs.