Free Educational Events for March

Don’t miss out on the following!


iPad Grant Applications are Open!

Autism Speaks iPad 2 Technology Grant 

Through the generosity of Wyndham Worldwide, the Pickle Foundation, and Heather Nix of Washington, Autism Speaks will select 160 individuals with autism to receive an Apple iPad 2!

Eligible applicants are individuals who:
– Have been diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder by a licensed professional,
– Reside in the United States,
– Have limited income and cannot afford to purchase an iPad.

*Note: If you already submitted an application for the HP Slate 2 grant in December 2011, you will automatically be considered for the iPad 2 grant and there is no need to re-apply.

Technology Grant Timeline

February 29: Online Application Opens
March 7: Application Closes
March 8-29: Review Committee Selects Recipients
March 30: Recipients Announced!!

How to Apply

Applications must be submitted by the person with autism, an immediate family member of the person with autism, or a teacher on his/her behalf. The Technology Grant Review Committee will review eligible applications based on established criteria and select the iPad grant recipients. Some applicants will be contacted by staff for follow up information. All applicants selected to receive an iPad 2 will be contacted on March 30. Others will receive an email informing them of their status.

Click here to apply! You must create a login and select AutismCares iPad 2 Grant.

Autism Apps!

We are also thrilled to announce that Brain Parade™ has partnered with Autism Speaks to provide each iPad 2 recipient with a copy of their See.Touch.Learn.™ Pro 2012 app.

Brain Parade has also arranged with developers in the Moms with Apps collaborative to donate hundreds of copies of their family friendly apps. Together they are providing 1,120 free apps to the iPad 2 recipients!

Click here for details about Brain Parade and the apps provided.

Click here to see a list of Autism Apps in the Autism Speaks Resource Library!


American Youth Soccer Organization New Commissioner



Dear El Segundo Families and Faculty,

My name is Rodney Borba and I am the new AYSO92 Commissioner for Very Important Players (VIP). I am very excited to share that AYSO will be starting up a Very Important Players (VIP) soccer program for children whose physical or mental disabilities make it difficult to successfully particpate on mainstream teams.

VIP teams may include:

– Blind or visually impaired
– Amputees or with conditions that impair mobility
– Mentally or emotionally challenged
– Autistic
– Down syndrome
– Cerebral Palsy

We will be needing players, volunteers for coaching, and Buddies to help assist VIP players during practice and games.  The best buddies are peers of the players: older elementary, middle school high school, and even college students.

VIP helps more than just the players. Buddies and other volunteers increase appreciation and understanding of individuals with special needs. They find their lives greatly enriched by their involvement with their new VIP friends. For parents thinking they would never see their children playing a sport or making new friends, VIP gives them joy and hope. They are able to relax and enjoy watching their children having fun like other kids, perhaps for the first time.

If you or you know someone who would be interested in playing, volunteering, or finding out more information about AYSO VIP, please contact me asap by e-mail me @

I look forward to hearing from you soon and working together to make a difference.


Rodney Borba
Proud father of Kayla and Kyle Borba
AYSO92 Commissioner

Teams can have as few as three players and may be co-ed. VIP teams can be put together with players who register based on mobility or ability. Older and younger players can also be separated onto different teams when numbers allow.

I’m very excited to be in this role as I’m a father of a 6 year Autistic son.



Will My Health Insurance Cover ABA, OT & Speech Services?

Autism Conferences of America: Will My Health Insurance Cover ABA, OT & Speech Services?

A Presentation by the Law Offices of Bonnie Z. Yates

The Law Offices of Bonnie Z. Yates is pleased to participate in the 6th annual Autism Conferences of America on Wednesday, February 22nd, from 5:15-6pm at the Sheraton Park Hotel at the Anaheim Resort.

Coverage attorney Melissa Remer will lead a discussion of how to navigate the challenges of securing funding for ABA services, highlighting the recent California legislation mandating insurance companies to cover costs for behavioral therapies.

Attorney Bonnie Z. Yates will also be on hand to answer questions on the strategies and legal options available to you in order to obtain such coverage.

Parents and educators can expect to leave with both the clinical and negotiating tools necessary to ensure their access to– and benefit from– ABA services.


Click here to register for the Autism Conferences of America


Sheraton Park Hotel at the Anaheim Resort
1855 South Harbor Boulevard
Anaheim, California 92802

For more questions, visit, or call our office at (310) 204-6624.


Advance LA Conference Parents and Professionals


Attend an Important Meeting on Autism Budget Cuts on March 16


New JW logo

Parents: Have your son or daughter’s regional center funded services been reduced or have your child’s school therapies and aides become harder to obtain?  Are you concerned that there are inadequate educational, social, employment, and housing options to serve your adult son or daughter with autism?

Service Providers: Has your business been impacted by the cuts in payments from regional centers and school districts so that you can’t adequately serve your clients?

Regional Center and School District Staff: Have state budgets cuts required you to lay off employees and increase caseloads or class sizes so that you can’t do your jobs effectively? Have the cuts forced you to reduce needed services to children and adults with autism?

Individuals with Autism: Are you concerned about losing services that provide inclusion into your community and support to work and live as independently as possible?

If you answered “YES” to any of these questions, join us for our most important meeting yet…

Harnessing Our Power:

Mobilizing the Autism Community in Los Angeles County

Friday, March 16, 2012

8:30 – 10 am – Breakfast Honoring Our Legislative Champions

Assembly members Bob Blumenfield

and Holly Mitchell

10 am – 3:30 pm – Panels and Workgroups

The California Endowment

1000 N. Alameda Street, Los Angeles 90012

(free parking available behind the building; enter on Bauchet St.)

The disability community is facing another $200 million cut to services for the developmentally disabled and potentially billions of dollars in cuts to education. Please join leaders in the Los Angeles area autism community as we hear from leading experts on what this means to our families, schools, businesses, and organizations. We will honor leaders who have championed our cause and will develop advocacy strategies to show our strength as a community.

Who should attend? Parents, service providers, school district and regional center staff, advocates, organizational leaders, individuals with autism, and anyone who wants to expand and strengthen policies, programs, and funding for children and adults on the autism spectrum.

Meeting Highlights

Breakfast honoring Assemblymembers Bob Blumenfield and Holly Mitchell who have championed the cause of disability rights.

Panel: “Threats and Cuts: The Challenges We Face and How We Can Survive by Working Together” including how the rights of individuals with autism are being affected by budget cuts; how advocacy can make a difference; and what measures exist to preserve and expand services.

Panel: “Moving Forward: How Do We Build a Broader Coalition to Gain More Power?”including how to reach out to the business community, labor unions, and religious leaders; how to work with other disability organizations; and how to organize parents.

Speaker: How do we create a bipartisan coalition in support of policies and funding for individuals with autism?

Lunch Workgroups: “Creating a Powerful and Effective Advocacy Campaign” with groups focused on advocacy strategies such as: Building Coalitions within the Disability Community;Capitalizing on Social Media; Creating Powerful Allies with Business, Labor, & Religious Groups;Organizing Individuals and Families Affected by Autism; Putting a Human Face on the Issue;Reaching out to Republicans and Conservatives; Using the Mainstream Media and Press; and, Utilizing Data and Reports to Back Up Our Advocacy.

Cost: $50 per personincluding breakfast and lunchFinancial assistance is available for parents andindividuals with autism, if needed.

Registration Deadline – March 9, 2012


The California Endowment
1000 N. Alameda Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Driving Directions

Friday March 16, 2012 from 8:30 AM to 3:30 PM PDT
Add to my calendar

Please mark your calendars for the remaining meeting of the Autism in L.A. Series:


Autism in L.A.: Assessing a Year of Community Collaboration

Creating a Plan to Advocate for and Implement the Recommendations

Thursday, May 3, 2012 (please note date change)

The California Endowment


Light it Up Blue

World Autism Awareness Day is April 2, the start of Autism Awareness Month. There are many ways to raise awareness and funds:

  1. Wear the Autism Speaks puzzle piece pin every day.
  2. Wear blue clothing and ask your friends, co-workers and schools to wear blue too. Take a group photo and upload it to our Flickr site at
  3. Purchase blue light bulbs from Home Depot, available beginning March 1.
  4. Host a cocktail party and serve blue-themed drinks and food.
  5. Contact your local bakeries to see if they will frost their donuts with blue icing and donate a portion of proceeds from the baked goods to Autism Speaks.
  6. Ask colleagues to donate $5 to wear blue jeans to work on Monday, April 2.
  7. Ask the building where you work if they would be willing to light the building blue and have flyers about Autism Speaks and World Autism Awareness Day in the foyer on April 2.





Walk Now For Autism Speaks

The 2012 Los Angeles Walk Now for Autism Speaks will take place April 21, 2012. The website is now open for registration!Click here to start your team.

2012 Kick-Off
Our featured speakers will be Dr. Nancy Jones, Director of the Autism Treatment Network and Ari and Andrea Greenburg, top team captains of 2011. It’s your chance to learn fundraising tips, pick up materials and meet other teams.

Saturday, February 11
2:00 – 4:00 p.m.

The Rose Bowl
UCLA Locker Room
1001 Rose Bowl Drive
Pasadena, CA 91103


BACB Press Release Regarding TRICARE

1929 Buford Boulevard • Tallahassee, FL • 32308

For Immediate Release: Certificant advisory regarding Department of Defense proposed rule (76 FR 81897) to establish TRICARE coverage under the Extended Care Health Option (ECHO) of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs).

Tallahassee, Florida – February 2, 2012 – The Behavior Analyst Certification Board® (“BACB®”) intends to respond to Proposed Rule 76 FR 81897 and is issuing this advisory release to all BACB certificants who have been involved in the TRICARE Demonstration Project, or who expect to seek TRICARE coverage for services in the future. In general, the BACB commends the Department of Defense on its continued efforts to ensure the availability of coverage for behavior-analytic treatment of ASDs. The BACB intends to comment, however, on the following provisions that were introduced to “increase access to ABA services,” because the provisions may be of significant importance to certificants seeing TRICARE coverage of their services.

Provision § 199.6 TRICARE-Authorized Providers (e)(2)(iv)
ECHO Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Authorized Provider.

  1. The following are authorized providers of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) services authorized by § 199.5(c)(8)(iv) of this part to address the effects of a diagnosed Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD):
    1. Psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, certified psychiatric nurse specialists, and clinical social workers who provide ABA services within the scope of their license as an individual professional provider.
    2. Individuals who meet all ABA-related applicable licensing or other regulatory requirements of the state, county, municipality, or other political jurisdiction in which ABA services are rendered.
    3. Where such licensing or regulatory requirements referenced in paragraph (e)(2)(iv)(A)(2) of this section do not exist, an individual who maintains current certification by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB).
    4. A corporation, foundation, or public entity that renders ABA services and that meets all applicable licensing or other regulatory requirements of the state, county, municipality, or other political jurisdiction in which ABA services are rendered.
      BACB Comments
      Section (1): This significant expansion of authorized ABA service providers may raise concerns regarding the need to ensure that those professionals identified are practicing not only within the scope of their license, but also within the scope of their training and education. This point is heighted by the fact that some of these occupations historically do not have behavior analysis within their programs of graduate study or legal scope of practice.Section (2): This paragraph may not be advisable. States and licensing authorities may enact standards that are inconsistent with (a) national ABA standards and practices and (b) established credentialing standards.

Provision § 199.5 TRICARE Extended Care Health Option (ECHO) (c)(8)(iv)(B)(4)
Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Tutor.
An individual who renders one-on-one ABA interventions to a TRICARE beneficiary diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. ABA Tutors are not considered an “Authorized Provider” (refer to § 199.2 of this part) or an “Authorized Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Provider” and are not eligible for direct reimbursement by TRICARE.

BACB Comments
This provision could be problematic because early intervention programs historically operate using a model in which BCBAs supervise ABA tutors who deliver direct services. If the rule passes, there will need to be clear guidelines on how the Authorized Provider may bill for tutor hours.

The Association of Professional Behavior Analysts (APBA) will soon post its comments regarding the proposed rule at We encourage interested certificants to review APBA’s comments. Certificants wishing to respond to the proposed rule ( should do so by the February 27, 2012 deadline for comments. Comments must be submitted in accordance with the instructions located at Please do not submit comments to the BACB. Thank you.


Welcome to Holland

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability – to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It’s like this…

When you’re going to have a baby, it’s like planning a fabulous vacation trip – to Italy. You buy a bunch of guidebooks and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum, the Michelangelo David, the gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It’s all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, “Welcome to Holland.”

“Holland?!” you say. “What do you mean, Holland?” I signed up for Italy! I’m supposed to be in Italy. All my life I’ve dreamed of going to Italy.

But there’s been a change in the flight plan. They’ve landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven’t taken you to some horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It’s just a different place.

So you must go out and buy a new guidebook. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

It’s just a different place. It’s slower paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you’ve been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around, and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills, Holland has tulips, Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy, and they’re all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life you will say, “Yes, that’s where I was supposed to go. That’s what I had planned.”

The pain of that will never, ever, go away, because the loss of that dream is a very significant loss.

But if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn’t get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things about Holland.

Written by Emily Perl Kingsley