Posts Tagged ‘autism’

In April and May, We Celebrate Autism Awareness with Fantastic Webinars

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

 Click here to learn more!

Please join us for webinar series in honor of Autism Awareness Month from your computer, tablet or smartphone! If you have any questions, please call (732) 262-8020.

Everything You Need to Know About ABA Insurance Benefits and Eligibility

Wednesday, April 23, 7:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Presented by Laura Schueller, Office Manager, Above & Beyond Learning Group

With extensive experience on the subject including everything from getting started with verifying benefits to securing insurance authorizations, Ms. Schueller will focus on what individuals should know when it comes to utilizing insurance to pay for ABA services.

Click here to register!


Transitioning Youth with Autism and Co-Occurring Behavioral Health Issues

Thursday, April 24, 7:00-8:00pm
Presented by Lucille Esralew, Ph.D., NADD-CC, CDP, Clinical Administrator, SCCAT & S-COPE, Trinitas Regional Medical Center

This webinar will be an overview of the behavioral, mental health & service systems challenges that can accompany the transition of individuals on the spectrum from adolescence to young adulthood.

Click here to register!


The Many Faces of Autism; Differential Diagnosis and Sibling Monitoring

Tuesday, April 29,12:00-1:00 p.m.
Presented by Sarah B. Woldoff, Ph.D., Director of Autism Services, The Center for Neurological and Neurodevelopmental Health

This webinar will cover the differential diagnosis, early signs and symptoms, evaluation, and sibling monitoring once you have a child diagnosed.

Click here to register!


Developing Friendships

Monday, May 5, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Presented by Christen Russell, MS, BCBA, Clinical Manager, Above & Beyond Learning Group

This webinar will include models for facilitating friendships for children & adolescents. Tools for improving social skills, affective behavior, verbal communication, & nonverbal communication will be addressed.

Click here to register!

Space is limited! Only the first 100 attendees logged on will be able to view that evening’s session.

All webinar presentations will be archived at: within a week of completed presentations.

Teen Creates Powerful Educational Video to Encourage Understanding of People with Autism

Friday, September 13th, 2013

Teen Creates Powerful Educational Video to Encourage Understanding of People with Autism

Westfield teen brings together experts and community to influence teens to accept peers with autism spectrum disorder

Fanwood, NJ, September 9, 2013 – Autism Family Times with Brianna, Inc., a local non-profit offering family-based programming for families living with autism spectrum disorder, has taken part in supporting the production of a compelling video, created by a young teen who serves as a peer mentor for the organization. Alexandra Jackman of Westfield, NJ, has created A Teen’s Guide to Understanding and Communicating with People with Autism – aimed to encourage teens to understand and accept with peers who have autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

The film, now viewable online at:, was developed as part of an independent study program at Roosevelt Intermediate School in Westfield. Eighth grade students who are selected to take part in this Teddy Roosevelt Scholars program work with a teacher-mentor on a particular topic of student interest. Alex emphasized, “The purpose of my specific project was to help teenagers be more aware and understanding of people with autism spectrum disorder. The video is so important to me because I feel it could help anyone, especially typically-developing teens, to feel that they can interact and get to know people with autism and not be scared of the differences. People tend to be more accepting when they are more knowledgeable.” This project represents her passion about making sure people with special needs are understood and treated fairly.

Autism Family Times has been coordinating training of peer mentors in order for them to participate in various educational and creative projects with children with ASD and other special needs. At age ten, Alex was trained as a peer mentor through this organization. Alex serves as a lead mentor, working with teens and young children with ASD. “I know so many people with autism through the volunteer work I do and I care about them a lot,” says Jackman. Claudette Bardwil, president of Autism Family Times affirms Alex’s favorable interactions with children of all abilities. “Alex is involved side by side with children with autism and other mentors. In all her volunteer efforts, her acceptance is contagious!”

As she developed the video, Alex emphasized that she wanted to include people who had expertise and personal insights in ASD, as well as some children and teens with the disorder. For Alex, the film needed to be entertaining, engaging, and relatable for teens. “I thought a good trustable way to present this information would be by interviewing experts in the field.” Jed Baker, Ph.D., a distinguished clinical psychologist, behavioral consultant, author, and lecturer accepted Alex’s request to participate in this project. Dr. Baker understands many common issues related to teens with ASD and provides teen viewers with useful and practical information. Commending Alex and her project Dr. Baker underscored, “This is a great video created by an insightful student to help her peers understand what it is like to have autism. This is not your typical dry educational presentation, but a dynamic presentation that speaks to students of all ages to increase their sensitivity to those with autism.”

Also participating in the film is Adrienne Robertiello, Autism Educator at Children’s Specialized Hospital and Board member of Autism Family Times with Brianna. Ms. Robertiello steers collaborative initiatives to facilitate the awareness and participation of children with ASD and their families in community settings. Through generous funding from Kohl’s Cares, Adrienne presents to families, community service providers, organizations, governmental agencies, as well as general members of the community. One of the hospital’s autism education initiatives – Friends Like You. Friends Like Me. – helps educate children about ASD and offers tools to facilitate friendships among children with or without ASD. Because of this parallel message, Alex requested Ms. Robertiello’s participation in the teen film. “This is exciting,” says Ms. Robertiello.

“Alexandra has been able to put together an important message in a manner that’s relevant to teens. This would be an effective piece to use in schools and other forums during autism awareness month or to support character education programs.”

Children with ASD and their families worked with Alex to help her illustrate positive attributes, rather than emphasizing the challenges of the disorder. A Teen’s Guide to Understanding & Communicating with People with Autism highlights actions and voices of teens with ASD – revealing their affirmative spirit and desire for friendship. Alex has expressed her appreciation of all those involved in the film, demonstrating their support for building positive community relationships. Alex’s parents, Michael and Lisa Jackman, are very proud of their daughter’s accomplishment. “She has worked so hard, using her passion to make an impact on the people around her and beyond. She really enjoys and respects the children and teens with special needs and wanted to share her feelings with others.”

Ultimately, it is Alex’s hope that this video can help people with autism be more accepted in the community. As she now enters high school, she plans to promote more awareness about ASD, continuing her work with children with special needs through local organizations such as Autism Family Times with Brianna, the Friendship Circle and the Temple Emanu-El Ma’ayan Education Program for Students with Special Needs. A Facebook page has been established for information sharing and updates about Alex’s work and video.

The link to this page is:

2013 Effective Strategies for the Autism Journey

Tuesday, January 8th, 2013

Registration is now open for
2013 Effective Strategies for the Autism Journey
hosted by Children’s Specialized Hospital.

This full day symposium will feature Jed Baker, an internationally known expert on autism, social skills, and behavior. Other distinguished speakers will offer the most up-to-date information and strategies related to bullying, diversity, technology, transitions, and behavioral strategies. 

See the full schedule.

Register online now.

Download the registration brochure.

This is an excellent event for healthcare providers, parents, caregivers, adults with ASD, mental health professionals, school personnel, therapists, and others professionals interested in autism.

Pines Manor
2085 State Rt. 27
Edison, NJ 08817
Driving Directions

Friday, March 15, 2013
7:45 AM to 4:30 PM EDT