Home-Based Therapeutic Services Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention www.PerspectivesCorporation.com

Friday, March 14, 2014

Meet The Docs: An Open House event for the Rhode Island Consortium for Autism Research and Treatment

On Saturday, March 15, 2014, the Rhode Island Consortium for Autism Research and Treatment (RI-CART) will be hosting "Meet The Docs;" an open house event introducing their autism registry project, among other research projects, to the general public.

Formed in 2009 by the state’s leading experts on autism research, education, health and advocacy, RI-CART is entering its second year of funding from the Simons Foundation; a private agency whose mission is to advance the frontiers of scientific research in many areas including those which benefit individuals challenged by autism spectrum disorders.

In 2013 the consortium received a $1 million grant from the Simons Foundation to help support the creation of a registry of all individuals with an autism spectrum disorder in the state. The registry - the first of its kind - will "gather important data for research while building a greater community of support, and give families and individuals with an ASD a voice for guiding policy, research and ultimately treatment," according to the consortium's executive director, Joanne Quinn.

"Meet The Docs" will provide the communities of Rhode Island to drop by and personally meet some of the doctors involved in the project, to learn more about RI-CART and how they can benefit from enrolling in registry project.

"Meet The Docs" will run from 10am to 1:pm at the Child and Family Services location at 1268 Eddy Street in Providence. For more information about the event, please contact Deb Langevin at 785-2666, ext 1054.

Perspectives Corporation, Rhode Island's leading agency providing services for people with autism spectrum disorder, joined RI-CART in 2013.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Autism Project RI National Speaker Conference 2014

Autism Project RI National Speaker Conference The Autism Project, based in Johnston, Rhode Island, is a unique collaborative group of parents and professionals whose objective is to develop a comprehensive system of education, health, vocational, career, and social and community supports for children and adults with autism and their families.

The Autism Project's National Speaker Conference is set to take place this year on Tuesday, February 11, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Warwick.

The conference will kick off at 8:00 AM with a continental breakfast, followed by a seminar on the practical understanding of cognitive skills and how they can be enhanced for students with autism. After a brief break, a lecture will follow on the impact of function skills on self regulation, and strategies to teach forethought for task initiation and competition.

A special lunch presentation will be delivered at noontime by Rhode Island's own Carolyn Dalgilesh, member of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) and author of the new book "The Sensory Child Gets Organized," teaching parents how to "tap into systems, routines, and visual aids to organize and empower" their children with autism.

In the afternoon, another seminar will commence on practical strategies to teach goal directed awareness, support task initiation, and completion & impulse control. The conference will be punctuated by a lecture on how to infuse executive function based instruction to support academics.

Boston-based therapist Sarah Ward, who specializes in the assessment and treatment of executive function deficits, is the keynote presenter at this year's National Speaker Conference. The conference is open to school professionals, therapists, PASS workers, parents, extended family members and individuals who struggle with executive functioning.

You can find more information on the Autism Project's website, theautismproject.org.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Autism Research in Rhode Island

According to the National Institutes of Health, funding allocated to autism research is on the rise nation-wide. It has consistently increased every year since 2010 at least; and in 2014 is projected to reach an all-time high of $192 million.

Rhode Island in particular has been at the forefront of autism research and advocacy in recent years. From the formation of the Consortium for Autism Research and Treatment (RI-CART) in 2009, to the establishment of a statewide registry of children and adults with autism in 2013, to the creation of a new state license plate to help raise autism awareness slated for 2014, Rhode Island is fast becoming a leader in autism-related causes.

Now a team at Brown University in Providence is creating a sophisticated computerized tool for the acoustic analysis of babies' cries as a non-invasive early warning system that may provide clues as to whether infants are at risk of developing autism.

The researchers, including Harvey Silverman, a professor of engineering, and Barry Lester, a specialist in baby sounds, hope that the project could soon be in hospitals around the country, and that their work could also lead to the development of easily accessible application that new parents could use.

The system is already in use at Women & Infants Hospital, in Providence, Rhode Island, and has produced some strong results so far.

For more information about this research, visit the Brown University website.

For more information about autism services in Rhode Island, visit Perspectives Corporation's Autism Center of Excellence.

Perspectives Corporation is a proud member of the Rhode Island Consortium for Autism Research and Treatment.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Raising Autism Awareness in Rhode Island in 2014

Rhode Island Autism AwarenessIn case you missed the news last year, in June, 2013, Governor Lincoln Chaffee signed a resolution to create a special joint commission whose purpose is to "make a comprehensive study to improve the quality of life and create positive outcomes for individuals with Autism in Rhode Island."

The 23-member commission will have their first meeting today, Thursday, January 9, 2014, at the State House.

In other news, Senator Adam J. Satchell, of West Warwick, proposed a bill last year - in support of the Autism Project of Rhode Island - authorizing the creation of a special license plate to help raise awareness of autism spectrum disorder in the State.

The creative composition of the license plate was open to the public, offering local artists and graphic designers a chance to compete for the chosen design. The submission deadline passed last week, January 1. Submissions are currently being reviewed.

For more information on the Rhode Island Autism License Plate, you can visit their Facebook page.

For more updates on the efforts to raise autism awareness in Rhode Island, check out our Facebook page, and stay tuned to our blog for further developments.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Lighting Up the Season With the Spirit of Giving

Christmas-themed light displays have become a part of many families' Holiday traditions. And If you're from the Rhode Island area, chances are you've been to - or at least have heard about - the Christmas lights display at La Salette Shrine, just over the Massachusetts border, in Attleboro.

But did you know there are some truly impressive Christmas light shows right here at home?

One of the most dazzling displays of Christmas lights you may have never heard of takes place at "The Crazy Christmas House," located in Coventry, Rhode Island. For eight years running, Tyler Horrocks has been decking out his Coventry home with Christmas lights in impressive Holiday style. What began in 2005 as a 5,000-light display has grown with each passing year, and now boasts over 63,000 lights in 64 different computerized sections. And yes, it's all set to music, which you can hear from the warmth and comfort of your car thanks to Horrocks' creative technical innovation.

Every year, the "Crazy Christmas House" raises money for charity. In 2012 Horrocks raised $8,000 for the Make a Wish foundation; and this year, he's hoping to raise $13,000 to fulfill the Christmas wish of one local boy, 11-year-old Jacob Matarese.

Jacob, who has been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, has himself done some extraordinary work for his community, raising money for multiple charities such as the Special Olympics and the American Heart Association. This Christmas, Horrocks is hoping to give Jacob the recognition he deserves, with your help, by raisings funds to provide him with an autism service dog through 4 Paws for Ability.

4 Paws for Ability is a non-profit organization whose mission is to enrich the lives of children with disabilities by training and placing task-trained service dogs, providing increased independence for children, and assistance to their families.

So whether you're looking for a way to get into the spirit of giving this Holiday season, or establishing a new Christmastime tradition for your family, don't miss this amazing spectacle for a good cause at the Crazy Christmas House this year.

The Crazy Christmas House is located at 9 Blue Spruce Drive in Coventry, Rhode Island, in the Wood Estates neighborhood. The light show runs every day, Monday through Saturday, now through January, including Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Donations to this year's charity can be given on site.

For operating hours and more information, visit www.crazychristmashouse.webs.com

Monday, December 2, 2013

Using the iPad as a Learning Tool for Children with Autism

According to a new study at the Vanderbilt Peabody College of education and human development, minimally verbal children with autism can learn to speak later than previously thought.

The study, completed in 2013, worked with 61 children with autism, ages 5 to 8, using speech-generating software on computer tablets to communicate. Researchers found that in addition to touching symbols on the tablets to generate speech, the children were encouraged to audibly verbalize the words themselves.

“For some parents, it was the first time they’d been able to converse with their children,” said the study's lead investigator, Ann Kaiser.

For years, Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC) devices have been used to enhance, expand and develop communication skills for people with autism; from picture card exchange systems to portable word processors and speech-generating talk boxes.

Now with the increasing ubiquity of portable information technology, modern hand-held devices such as the iPad may offer a more accessible and affordable way to help minimally verbal children with autism to communicate.

The study at Vanderbilt Peabody College was funded by Autism Speaks, and conducted in cooperation with the University of California–Los Angeles and Johns Hopkins University. It will be published in 2014.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Maine Set To Lead Multi-State Autism Study

In October, Spring Harbor Hospital in Westbrook, Maine joined a new and wide-reaching autism research project, backed by a $1.2 million grant, to study cases of severe autism across six states.

The project, which this blog reported on in August, involves the recently founded Autism and Developmental Disorders Inpatient Research Collaborative (ADDIRC), consisting of hospitals in New Hampshire, Maryland, Colorado and Pennsylvania, as well as the Rhode Island Consortium for Autism Research and Study (RICART).

Perspectives Corporation joined RICART in August of 2013.

The grant comes from the Simons Foundation and the NLM Family Foundation. The study will be led by Dr. Matthew Siegel of the Spring Harbor Hospital and is expected to included between 500 to 1,000 children, each of whom will be tracked over a period of multiple years.