Kyle 2015

7/3/15 *You can follow more of Kyle's adventures on the facebook page: AutismGuards

Jan.16, 2015 Proud Mom moment! For the past several months, Kyle has been working with a peer specialist/mentor from Trail Guides ( a division of Mental Health Association) 700 East Main Street, 2nd Floor North, Norristown, PA 19401 267-507-3490. Kyle volunteers one afternoon a week for one hour at the Andorra Library. He has done a terrific job reshelving books and dvds using the dewey decimal system. Today, I am told that Kyle is making good progress and even engaged in more social conversations with patrons present. With the support from local businesses, peer support, and consistency of volunteer days, this experience will help Kyle continue to build all kinds of life skills. 
https://libwww.freelibrary.org/branches/branch.cfm?loc=AND

 


Nov. 8, 2014 On a beautiful, yet cold morning, Kyle and I walked November 8th for Autism Cares Foundation’s 5th annual Race For Resources. Kyle and I surpassed our modest goal.  Thank you to all of our donors and supporters!  We support the Autism Cares Foundation because they do special events for teens and adults locally and constantly.   Kyle has had the pleasure on joining in on the fun, over and over again. The ACF Foundation has expanded its reach from Langhorne, Richboro, and Horsham into the Ambler and North Whales area locations! They are doing Adult Programming, NOW!!! (Something that really does not exist after 18 and 21 for most adults living with ASD. )

Also, on Nov. 8, 2014 as it warmed up on Saturday afternoon, we had a great time with Plymouth Meeting Area's Exceptional Families of Exceptional Children Autism Awareness Day at the Elmwood Park Zoo. Plymouth Meetings Exceptional Families of Exceptional Children has a closed FB page that is very informative and supportive; ask to join.  

October 2014- Tennis Buddies is in full swing and Kyle is enjoying every moment of it!

Sept. 2, 2014 Kyle is very excited to be back at PWHS!  He is taking art studio classes for the first time at the highschool and we can't wait to see what he will create. He will also continue job cruising and working in different environments in and outside of school.  After the wirlwind of summer activities Kyle had, we are happy that school will add more of a steady routine.  This was truly "the summer of Kyle". (Seinfeld Reference) The more activities Kyle joined, the better everything! He will continue to go to mental health counseling, music therapy, the YMCA, bowling, walking around the park, library, pet store, book store, local eateries.The bet news of all is that with the help of a peer mentor through TrailGuides peer mentoring program, Kyle will continue to be apart of the community more independently.  Kyle's dedicated, friendly, and mature mentor is able to help him complete travel training, encourage the use of social skills, and guide Kyle with purchasing, shopping, and running daily errands! Kyle is truly making great progress in all areas of his adult life. Couldn't be prouder!

 

August 2014- Kyle, 18 yrs.old, had his first week of overnight summer camp and had a wonderful time! On the thrid day of camp, Kyle's camp counselor, Mr. Myers: Kyle did really well today. He went on the zip line, shoot bow in arrows and played basketball. He's watching shrek 2 movie on his dvd player tonite. He's eating well and is making friends in the cabin. By the end of camp Kyle had been very adventurous in doing the zipline, archery, horseback riding, and caneoing.  Summer L.I.F.E. offers experiential learning and social skills development in the context of summer fun. Designed especially to support students, ages 8-21, with high functioning autism and Asperger’s Syndrome, the programs – specialty camps, traditional day camp/overnight camp, and travel excursions – also support students who have social anxiety or difficulty connecting with their peers. Summer L.I.F.E. offers low camper-to-staff ratio, experienced camp staff, ongoing behavior support, structured daily programming, engaging, multisensory activities and “Real World” learning.  
To learn more information about this speciality camp ran by Valley Forge Educational Services; the folks that also run the Vanguard School, an approved private school, which offers post-secondary education, career development and social and life skills development to young adults ages 18–21 who have been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, mild emotional disturbance and/or neurological impairment. Contact:Holly Zipperer Phone: 610.296.6725 x115Email: info@summermatters.orgWebsite: http://www.summermatters.org/
 

Check out the FUN! page for many ideas and resources for  activities. 

Spring 2014- Kyle has joined a local YMCA that offers specialized classes for Kyle and teens like him.  Kyle has music therapy at Music Works and acting social classes with Theater Horizon.  He is enjoying being around his peers and is even going to a few dances and bowling.  

 

(picture below is of Kyle "rocking out" at Music Works, a music therapy class in Haverford,PA
2050 West Chester Pike, Suite 115 Havertown, PA 19083-2742http://musicworkswonders.org/adults.)

 

 

(picture of spring session final showcase at Theater Horizon 2014)

Hurry....there are still a few spots remaining in class that begins on Nov. 15. Theatre Horizons in Norristown, PA. 
(Unfortunately,Kyle will not be joining this session.  It is a wonderful program and he really enjoyed the 2 sessions hewas in last school year.) 
The fall session of Storytelling & the Art of Playwriting runs November 15-December 20, 2014. 
Class is 11:30 AM-1:00 PM on Saturdays.  
 

A partnership between Theatre Horizon and Philadelphia Young Playwrights, this class is for anyone who loves to tell a good story! Participants learn the fundamentals of storytelling as they develop the skills necessary to communicate their thoughts and feelings. Through improv games and writing exercises, participants learn to create strong characters, rich dialogue, and engaging story lines. Class culminates in a final showcase of participants’ work.  Leigh MalloneeEducation Director | Theatre Horizon610.283.2230 | www.theatrehorizon.org

In Spring 2014 My husband and I met two very dedicated father's, Tom Reinke and Jim Wurster, both with older adult children, that are dedicated to doing meaningful opportunities for our young adults with special needs. Their group is called New Avenue Foundations (located in Chester County/Media/Haverford, PA) They will be at the Media Farmer's Market again this year, starting May 8th. They have a partnered with others at their vendor table, including crafts and such made by people with disabilities. They hold monthly meetings at St. John Chrysostom's in Wallingford, PA to keep our families up-to-date on what we're doing. They are working on setting up some activities for our young adults (including music, drop-in center and cooking/nutrition class). They also have some awesome out-of-the box ideas on some housing for adults with different needs. (Wayne PA, Royersford PA and Narberth PA).
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April  2014 I hosted a resource table locally, at the Annual Whitemarsh Township Day located at Miles Park, on Saturday April 26th. Thank you to all the parents that came out and found me that day.  I believe that it is vital to build relationships with community establishments, especially one that embraces my special needs child, his friends, and all children. Community connections are extremely important for a variety of reasons, especially when they create real life opportunities for our growing adult population of special needs individuals.  My personal interest with my networking group: www.Autismguards.org is to create real time activities, job cruising opportunities, employment, higher education, and independent living opportunities. 
 

May 5th starts National Teacher appreciation week. Did you remember to THANK your child's teacher/teachers? This is the look of pride on a young adults face.  Kyle has made progress both at school and at home.  We have enrolled him in fun activities, like music therapy and drama classes.  We are especially grateful to his Life Skills lead teacher, Mrs. Emily Prager.  She listens to our concerns and Kyle's desires.  She has chosen electives for Kyle like music, tech Ed, cooking, and most recently art class, because she is invested in seeing that Kyle, and all of her students excel.  She has done a nice job scheduling different job options for Kyle to explore.  Mrs. Prager has helped  Kyle to be educated, social, productive, and challenged.  We feel that our family is soooo blessed to have her as Kyle's lead teacher!  She is one of a kind and Colonial School District should be proud of having hired Mrs. Prager as it's PWHS Life Skills Teacher.  Thank you Mrs. Prager!